As I’ve discussed before, I’m a big fan of sensible coupon use. I rarely enter a grocery store without a shopping list with fifteen coupons paperclipped to it, and people in line behind me are often shocked as they watch my shopping total go down, down, down to sometimes amazingly low amounts. I wouldn’t want to even speculate how much I’ve saved in the past month with grocery coupons, but I’d be willing to bet that it’s reduced my food, household, and toiletry bills by 30% or better.
The funny part is that I really don’t spend very much time collecting the coupons. Instead, I effectively just hire others to do it for me – and still make a tidy profit. I merely visit a coupon broker once a week or so to see what they’ve clipped out of the Sunday papers and pay them a tiny fee for just the coupons I want. For a dollar or two, I get a big heaping envelope of coupons that I can basically directly take to the store and save money with.
Let me use an example. One great, easy to understand coupon broker is Kirstin’s Coupon Corner. She lists all of the coupons she has, along with a tiny price for each one.
Let’s say on Sunday evening, I assemble the start of a grocery list for next Saturday’s shopping excursion (I do this sometimes, mostly because cutting down to one grocery trip a week or less is a big money saver). I look through the cupboard and add the following items that I need to the list:
A tube of Crest toothpaste
A package of Luvs diapers
Dishwashing fluid (probably Dawn or generic)
I visit Kirstin’s Coupon Corner and I start matching up these items with coupons she has available:
$0.10 – Crest Paste or Liquid Gel $1/1
$0.10 – Luvs Jumbo pack or larger $3/1
$0.05 – Dawn .50/1
$0.05 – Tabasco Sauce .50/1
$0.10 – K-Y product (2.75oz or larger) $2/1
$0.05 – Hunt’s Tomatoes (11oz or larger) .45/3
I decide to get three of the Luvs coupons because it’s a stellar deal, so I request $0.65 in coupons from Kirstin, plus $0.39 in postage. I send her off a PayPal payment of $1.04 and this list of coupons.
On Friday, I open up my mailbox and there’s an envelope from Kirstin that I ordered. I take them to the store. How much do I save on stuff I would have purchased anyway? $13.45. It cost me $1.04 and about fifteen minutes extra time – and I didn’t even have to open up the Sunday paper. If you want to blow things out of the water even more, try lining up this strategy with a double coupon day at your local grocery store.