There are valid arguments against coupon-clipping. For people above a certain income level, cutting out coupons to save five dollars in 15 minutes simply isn’t worth it. For instance, a lawyer who makes $200/hour can spend his or her time better elsewhere. Also, if somebody happens to be at that income level, five dollars means less in the greater scheme of things. For most people, however, especially college students and stay at home mothers, it’s definitely worth it to take a few minutes out of your day.
Depending on how much you spend on groceries, you can save a significant amount of cash for almost no work at all. Most people are already aware of the products they and their family regularly use. It’s very little trouble to skim the Sunday newspaper or the advertisements you receive in the mail and clip the coupons you know you’ll use. If you don’t get the newspaper, many stores have their own flyers available near the door or at an information desk. Also, if you’re visiting a restaurant or tourist attraction, check its website. Though you probably already know this, many products have coupons right on or inside the packaging. Many places have coupons that are only available from the internet. If you want to go a little farther, you can sign up with one of the many coupon websites out there. Watch out, though. Quite a few of these websites will flood your email inbox with unwanted spam.
When I was growing up, my grandmother had a recipe box filled with 3×5 index cards. These were separated by tabbed cards that categorized each recipe into breads, salads, soups, and other labels. If you find that you have trouble organizing your coupons, you can create a box similar to this. While I prefer a box because it seems easier to organize, a large wallet can be organized in a similar manner. Whenever you go shopping, grab the coupons you’ll need. Now, this method does require a little more work since you’ll need to go through and prune out expired coupons. But, really, it only takes about 10 minutes a week and it’s easy to do during a television commercial break or while something is cooking in the oven.
The opposition does have another good point. I’ve seen very few coupons for generic or store brands. If you do regularly use a generic brand, you’ll probably save more by buying it. Stick to the stuff you typically buy and don’t drive ten miles out of your way to save $0.50. Use common sense and you’ll save money.