With our 15 minutes, you won’t save a dime on your auto insurance. We don’t sell auto insurance. But we can help you put 15 minutes a week to great use saving with coupons!
If you don’t know the Fly Lady, check out her website www.flylady.net.
The Fly Lady advocates doing tasks in 15 minute blocks. When I tried this system, those hated household chores became so much more palatable. So when I talk in terms of 15 minute blocks of time, then I am paying homage to her.
I firmly believe that couponing should be modular. By modular, I mean that there is an assortment of distinctly different activities, and you can decide whether you have the time to do each one. Imagine that we were talking about housework, and instead of treating it as one thing, we talked individually about vacuuming, Swiffing, dusting, mopping, making the beds, cleaning the toilets, etc. Each task consumes perhaps 15 to 30 minutes per week.
If you can view couponing this way, then you are able to break a big activity into smaller, more manageable chunks of time. People who say that they don’t have time to coupon, certainly might have 5 minutes a week to make a list, right? Five more minutes to file away the Sunday insert? Another 10 minutes to check for deals on their favorite website? How about another 5 minutes a week to print matching Internet coupons? Ten minutes to clip matching coupons from those filed inserts? You get the picture.
I am a strong believer that couponing is an activity that can be customized very effectively to the amount of time each person has available. This is what we call the “Dusty Wallet Method”. You do not have to be an “extreme” couponer to save a considerable amount of money each week. In fact, I would argue that most of those self-described extreme couponers are devoting an unjustifiable amount of time to the activity. We’ve heard those tales of spending 60 hours a week on couponing. This troubles me, mainly because it scares many people away from couponing, thinking that there is room only for those who are consumed by the hobby.
The truth lies far away from obsession. There is a long established economics axiom called the Law of Diminishing Returns. This law states that for any activity there is a point at which the resources that you devote to the activity generate a lesser and lesser benefit. We all learned about this law from dieting, even if we never heard the fancy name. The first 5 pounds is much easier to lose than the second 5, and the second 5 is easier to lose than the next 5, and so on. In couponing, the first 2 to 3 hours per week generates the most savings.
Depending upon how you learned to coupon, you might think that good couponing requires you to keep a binder of clipped coupons, or to go from store to store each week just to capitalize on various deals. I will challenge both of those notions, and more, as someone who once made a living designing manufacturer’s coupons and now studies the other side of coupons (the consumer side) full-time. This blog and this entire site are devoted to giving you the tools to customize your couponing to work within your time and budget constraints.
Some couponing activities have a much better pay-off than others, and I will do my best to help you find what works best for you. If you say you can only spend 15 minutes per day, then we’ll help you figure out how to save the most for those few minutes. If you say that you need to save 60% on your grocery bill, then we can help devise a plan for minimizing the amount of time that it takes to reach this level of savings. [60% is easy. 95% is a bit more difficult!]
As you read about various techniques on this site, please don’t feel like you have to do everything that we describe. Adopt the techniques that make sense to you, and you will be well on your way to big savings!