Is Couponing Worth the Time?

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You all have probably noticed the new social media fad someecards.  I love them.  Many of the messages on the cartoons make me giggle out loud and I share a ton of them on Addicted to Saving’s Facebook page.  If you are new to someecards, you can actually create your own cards (go HERE to check them out).  So, a few nights ago at around 3 in the morning, I woke up and found myself trying to think of a whitty ecard that I could make.  The card above is what I came up with – what do you think? :)  (I shared this on Addicted to Saving’s Facebook page yesterday so this may look familiar.)

But this card leads me to ask, is couponing worth the time?  One of the most common excuse that I get from non-couponers is that they don’t have the time to coupon.  I can easily combat that argument showing my grocery receipts from each week and showing how much money I spend versus how much money I save.  If I spend 60 minutes cutting coupons and writing my grocery list, and if I save $75.00 at the grocery store, did I not just make a $75/hour paycheck?

So that is my question for you – do you find that it is worth the time it takes to coupon?  Share your thoughts

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  1. Stephanie says

    Absolutely. Use your time WISELY. Couponing doesn’t have to be your sole activity… I do it while I’m watching TV, while dinner is in the oven, when I’m in the waiting room at the dentist, doctor, etc. (hahaha, I really am looking up deals!). I also try and spend an hour before I go to bed couponing, and if I find myself with a little time off, I grab a cup of coffee and use that time to do what I can. And even if sometimes I am frustrated because it IS time consuming, I just remember that last week I spent $21 and change ans saved over $130.

  2. LaurelB says

    When I started couponing, over a year ago, it was for a trial period. I wanted to know for my own benefit, could it really save me money. I was concerned about the time, I had seen and heard about it takes so much time. I work full time and did not want all my home time taken up. The most time was getting set up at first with my binder, tabs and collecting coupons. Now its about an hour a week for the cutting and putting away. Planning my shopping is easy, you guys do the work for me. I was convinced that it would save me money when I bought body wash for 6 cents a bottle. That was really my first stock pile buy. My stockpile grew so fast, and without a big output of $ that also convinced me. The shopping trips are really where my time goes, but I plan those on my lunch break and at this point there are specific things I need, so even if there is a great deal or free, I may pass it up if it is something I already have a good supply of. Currently my total time output is maybe 5 hours a week for everything. I am totally comfortable with that, because of the savings!! The question really should be can your afford not to spend the time?

  3. Kelly says

    Here’s my 2 cents…. Absolutely it’s worth it!!!!! Learning how to coupon allowed me to continue to feed my children when my husband lost his job ( I was working part-time & dealing with a sick infant). It was down to the ” I need to cut something out of our budget and there is nothing left to cut”! He is employed now, however with the economy in the state that it is (regardless of what I hear on the news that is getting better) I know without a doubt I will be able to feed my family with couponing. Don’t get me wrong, there are times when I don’t want to cut coupons, however those weeks I still am able to do very well because of my pre-planning before my trips, ie only buying BOGO’s, using $ off my order coupons,etc.. Thanks Liza for all of your hard work, I will never be able to express how thankful I am for your site!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Jill says

    Before I discovered couponing, I used to cry when I ran out of dog food, shampoo, and laundry soap in the same week. Our food budget and menu plan were so tight and carefully planned that if one of the kids decided to go overboard with snacks, lunch meat or even peanut butter, we had to do without something else til next payday. I absolutely HATED Publix because I didn’t think I could afford to shop there. Now we have a comfortable stockpile, I can freely donate things to people in need and Publix is my favorite place to shop. I don’t care how much time it takes if I can leave the store with $70.00 worth of products and only spend $21.00.

  5. cynthia says

    Is it worth it?
    I have been couponing for 2 1/2 years. My sister went to one of Liza’s classes and came home raving about what we could save with couponing. I must admit, I was a bit confused at first so went to another one of Liza’s classes and was even lucky enough to introduce myself to her and meet her lovely family. She told me it would get easier to coupon and also would get less confusing if I stuck with it. She was so right! I now spend about 1-2 hours per week couponing and preparing my shopping list. The hubby loves sports, so I use that time to coupon.
    Since I started, I have shown SO many people her website and given them all the guidance I can with being able to stretch their dollars. Also, NO ONE ever leaves my house without a bag out of “my beloved stockpile” to take home. Some even come here to shop….lol
    With the money I’ve saved, I was able to pay for a new roof on our home 2 weeks before Tropical Storm Debby dumped a ton of rain in our area. I would NEVER have been able to do this without couponing. I would have had to finance it.
    So, is it worth it?? It’s raining right now and I’m dry…you be the judge!
    Thank you Liza! May God always bless you and yours!

  6. Donna says

    I really need to learn how to do this…I can’t believe I don’t/can’t get this…I am so frugal I only buy things on sale & plan my meals around that. I told myself 2 mos. ago that I was going to learn how to do this & got on line & joined/liked/signed up to everything couponing That was so overwhelming! I bought one Sunday paper & found 3 coupons that I would use…that was very discouraging! I saved like .70 cents…I really need to learn how to do this. I have no food & eat peanutbutter & jelly & boiled eggs all the time…That is gettin old now…I want to be able to teach my 2 daughters to do this & help them get started…How can I do that if I can’t even do this? I’m not a lazy person, but when it comes to this I am…What the heck?

    • cynthia says

      Please don’t get discouraged. I know it can be very confusing at first…I’ve been there. I usually buy 4 papers on a Sunday. You won’t save as much at first because you do not have the coupons saved to work into the sales. Start small, one store. I started with Publix. As you accumulate more inserts, you will be able to save more. I then incorporated CVS. With these 2 stores I do probably 90% of my shopping.
      Be sure to get a CVS Extracare card. With easy care bucks (ECB’s) and coupons you can get great deals. Hang in there!

    • Lisa C says

      I started couponing over 2 years ago, but it was not until I took Liza’s addicted to savings class that I really got it all. It took about 2 months of buying papers that I really was able to have the coupons I needed to match the sales. Also, use your computer to print coupons. There are several sites available to print from plus special deals from manufacturers on Facebook (see the printable coupons box on the right side of this page). Read the daily posts from Addicted to Saving to see all the new coupons that are available. Usually, a sale will soon follow so that you can use the coupons to get really good deals. Use the store finds section to see all the currents deals for a particular store you are shopping at. I think Liza has the best website for couponers. It is current, it is easy to navigate, and it works. Don’t give up. It takes a while to build your coupon portfolio and your stockpiles. You can do it. Good luck!

    • Susie says

      Donna, one of the most common mistakes is to look at the coupons in the paper & think “There are only 3 that I’ll use.” ALL of the coupons are usable. For example, I never thought I’d buy baby food (my kids are 20 and 22!), but when I can buy it and MAKE money to put toward something else on my grocery list, well I think I can come up with some way to use 18 jars of mango baby food – maybe mango bread? Anyway, one paper isn’t going to do it for you. You need even numbers (2, 4, 6, etc) to take advantage of the BOGO sales. One of my biggest tips would be to look at Liza’s Photo Show & Tell to see how she does it. Look at the coupons she uses and how it breaks down the price. And the other bloggers that post at the bottom of her Show & Tells also show some good deals, though I don’t think they lay it out as well as Liza. Her coupon match-ups and clickable grocery lists are fantastic tools & guides. Start slowly, shop at Publix & follow Liza’s lead. If you can get to one of her (or another) coupon seminars, that would probably help a lot. Hang in there – it’s worth it! Good luck! :)

  7. Jennifer says

    I think there’s more to your example of saving $75 with one hour of work = a $75/hour paycheck. For instance, what portion of the saved $75 was actually coupons? If you were shopping BOGO’s at Publix, a significant portion of that savings might have come from the BOGO’s. Also, one could argue that the cost of the newspapers where you got those coupons reduces your savings. So, in reality, your $75 in savings might have only been $20 – $30 or so from actual coupons. I coupon (on a very, very low level – I don’t buy newspapers, use printed coupons only, and my stockpile is tiny), so I find it worth it to some extent, but it’s something to think about.

    Since this is a couponing website, most people reading and responding to this post will be pro-couponing. It would be interesting to hear from others who used to coupon, but quit.

    • Gilbert says


      Before I learned how to use the coupon properly, I used to say that why would I buy an item for $5 after coupon when I can get another brand for less than $5. My friend gave me this website and another one to help me understand. I did not attend any of the coupon classes. I was just told that I need to start buying at least 2 Sunday papers and start reading from the 2 websites. It took me a while to get used to it.

      I know that most of the savings are due to the BOGO. But when the receipt shows that I used $5, $10. $15 coupons, it puts a smile on my face. An example was last Tuesday, I went to Publix with my $6 worth of coupons and bought about $25 worth of items and only paid $4.50. That tells me that this works.

      I don’t spend a lot of time clipping coupons to use, I spend an average of 2 hours a week to clip. I spend more time clipping the expired coupons to give to Liza for the military. :) It’s all worth it.

  8. JD says

    I probably spend about 2 hours a week, yet save at least $70 a week. To me, it’s completely worth it. You never want to run out of the things that you use all the time. That’s when you’ll pay the highest prices. And to be honest, I have my doubts about this economy. We would all be wise to be a little frugal with our money. Thank you Liza for your committment to saving us money.

  9. judy says

    The first six months were very time consuming and frustrating with trying to learn but I hung in there and it paid off. It’s been a little more than a year now and I probably spend only about an hour a week couponing but the trade off is that I’m in the grocery store in half the time so it’s a wash. I save an average of 60% a week and yes, Liza does most of the work for me so it’s really easy.

    Thank you Liza

  10. Jennifer J says

    When I first lost my $45,000 a year job, I couponed like crazy. It was one way to stay ahead of the bills. It did take time. I am proud of what I have learned about stacking coupons.
    Now that I am working and making 3/4 of my former income, I have noticed that I don’t coupon like I used to. Don’t get me wrong, I still stack coupons at Target, but I don’t run out to Walgreens (they have the most ridiculous coupon policy ever) like I used to. I NEVER shop at WalMart, their prices are just not worth it to me.
    I like to print off coupons now, instead of getting the paper. But I still save at least $50 a week with coupons at Target. I give most of my stockpile to the local homeless shelter.
    I am no longer an “extreme couponer” but I have learned to love to save money!

  11. Sarah says

    I have found a way to save a little time – enlist your kids to help you clip coupons! The printable coupons are especially easy for them. If your kids are young, let them practice by cutting the ones you don’t need.

  12. Lisa C says

    Since I took Liza’s class a year and a half ago, I have built a small stockpile and only have to buy toiletries and food when there is a really good deal. I rarely buy anything at full price now. I am also donating food to my church’s food pantry, to food drives at school and to school events without depleting my stockpiles. I made it through the entire school year last year without having to run out and buy extra supplies for my kids. I only had to buy a couple of exhibit boards for science and history fairs, but I used coupons on those. I gave storage crates full of “college survival” supplies to high school grads and 4 laundry baskets full of food, household supplies, office supplies, and other products to my niece who is getting married in a couple of weeks. Without couponing, I could not have afforded to give anywhere as nice a gift to these young people who are just starting out. I even buy gas cards at Publix at a discount. I have told a lot of friends and family about my deals, and ,even though they all say they should learn to coupon, none of them have begun to do so. All I can say is that it works for me.

  13. Joe says

    Be careful what you buy. There’s alot of junk food out there full of harmful chemicals and toxins. You aren’t saving if you are not making your family and yourself healthy.

    • Colleen says

      I completely agree, Joe!! But don’t you still find some deals on healthy/whole/organic foods through Liza’s site??
      I get a bit frustrated when the stores seem to BOGO (yes, I just used that as a verb! Ha ha!) chips, snacks, cookies, and soda when my family does not eat those things on a regular basis. I do love when there’s a sale on healthier brands, such as Cascadian Farms or even the Publix Greenwise! Any idea how we can get the manufacturers to put healthier food on sale more frequently?? :)

      Liza, you have been sooo helpful in saving my family money at a time when we needed it most…have I ever told you how much I appreciate all your work ? 😉

  14. laurajean says

    I started couponing Nov 2011 and on average over the past 10 months I have saved 65% which includes food, paper products, cleaning products and toiletries. I buy 4 papers a week, plan my shopping trip on a spreadsheet ( Isave my spreadsheets on the computer so I can track my savings) and usually combine a shopping trip with another errand so that I don’t waste gas. I spend no more than 2 hours a week on the clipping and planning and save $600 a month, to me that is the equivalent of having a second part time job that pays phenomenally, so yes couponing is definately worth my time…..and besides that it’s fun

  15. Lisa says

    My savings are definitely worth my time. Many people complain that they don’t have the time or it takes too much time but I say that you will make time for what’s important to you. Also, the time depends on how much you want to save. I think you can haphazardly coupon and save nearly 50% but if you really buckle down you can have savings up to 100%. My couponing is somewhat time consuming and some weeks are more involved than others. I also used to read a lot and watch the Foodnetwork every night. Two things that I have not completely given up but don’t do near as much because of couponing. I’m fine with it because I love couponing and what it has provided for my family and others.

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