Guest post from Kelly of Kelly Cox At Home:
Coupons can be a blessing and a curse. While they can save you money, they take up your time too.
Several years ago, my husband and I were trying to live on 1 income and looking for ways to save money. We learned how to coupon and literally cut our grocery budget in half. I was ecstatic, but quickly realized that I had a dilemma. Couponing began to creep in on my time in the evening and on weekends.
My goal was to continue to save money, but I didn’t want to coupon like it was my job! Family time is so precious and I wanted to free up my schedule and spend less time with coupons.
If you wish to do the same, I’ve got 3 tips to help you cure what I call “Coupon Time Creep.”
1. Realize that you can’t do it all.
We are all busy with home life, family, friends, work, church and so much more. I encourage you to give yourself grace and accept that sometimes you’ll just have to miss a deal or two. Oh well!
We can’t do (or coupon) everything, but we can set boundaries and priorities to help us save money and still enjoy spending time on what really matters.
I wanted to continue saving money but I had to limit my coupon time, which brings me to my next point.
2. Set a timer
When I first began to coupon, I would look up from my clipping, printing coupon frenzy and realize that I’d lost an hour of time. Oh my! I meant to start dinner, write an email and call a friend. Coupon Time Creep strikes again…
My solution to this (much too frequent) scenario was to set a timer. In other words, I’d give myself 20 minutes to devote to couponing and then stop. Whatever I had completed coupon wise during that timeframe would just have to do. In fact, I found that I stayed more focused because I had a looming deadline, and I wanted my time to be productive!
3. Limit yourself to one website and one store.
Couponers will sometimes visit multiple websites to compare coupon matchup lists and scour the internet for every sale or deal to be found. They will also often travel to several stores in the name of the deal. (I’m describing my former self here.)
I encourage you to save yourself time by considering one coupon website and one store. I’ve applied this concept to my couponing and now save both time and money! In fact, I’ve saved myself hours of searching and driving around because I picked just one.
If you coupon in order to save your household money, I encourage you to watch for the occasional Coupon Time Creep!
Your family, friends and household are so much more important than chasing after ever deal and coupon.
Remember you can’t do it ALL, set a specific amount of time aside, and pick one store and website to focus on.
You’ll be blessed to find you still save money and manage to preserve your time as well!
Kelly is a Christ follower, blessed wife, mom-to-be and a lover of all things home. She blogs over at Kelly Cox At Home about her journey at home and passion for debt-free living. She hopes to encourage others in that goal, while sharing tips on how to manage and enjoy all things that make up HOME!