Couponing Tips for Busy Dads
Juggling work, kids, after-school events, and responsibilities at home can make for one hectic schedule. If you're a busy dad with a full plate, you may feel like you want to save some money by couponing, but simply don't have the time to squeeze one more thing in. The good news here is that you really can do it--and the money that you save by using coupons may well be worth the little bit of time you invest in collecting them. Here are some tips to make couponing easier and more efficient for all of those busy dads out there.
Get a Coupon Buddy
Collecting coupons does take some time--looking for them, printing them, and cutting them out may seem like too much if you're pressed for time. This is where a "coupon buddy" can come in really handy. If you're married, ask your spouse to help you. If you're single, ask a relative, friend, or neighbor to be your coupon buddy. You can take turns collecting coupons from the newspaper or online couponing sites--just make a list of what you're looking for so that you both know what to clip. If you both want the same coupon, you can usually print out additional ones by using the back button on your browser. It also doesn't hurt for you both to subscribe to the Sunday paper--it's usually full of money-saving coupons and sales ads. You can both benefit from some big savings and you'll be helping each other out by collecting coupons for each other. If you have trouble finding a coupon buddy, consider asking one of your children to help you out. Kids often love to help with tasks like these, and it's something that will allow you to spend some time together while doing something productive.
Organization is the key to successful couponing, so find a system that works for you--one that makes it easier for you to coupon, not harder. Binders work wonderfully for storing coupons, and you can use sports card protectors to store individual coupon stashes for easy viewing and quick removal. You can also use a small folder with pockets or a recipe box to organize and store you coupons. Decide which one method of organizing you like best and then take a few minutes each day to flip through and eliminate the coupons that have expired so that you have room for new ones. If you don't clean out your coupon binder or box on a regular basis, you'll end up spending too much time on it later because there will be too many to manage.
Pick a Focus
If you're new to couponing, the whole thing can seem entirely overwhelming at first. Couponing requires some patience in the beginning--and for some shoppers it's best to ease into it slowly. The easiest way to do this is to pick a focus. Take a look at your grocery list and pick out some of the higher-priced items. Cleaning supplies and toiletries usually tend to be some of the pricier items on most lists, so focus on finding coupons just for those items to start out. After you get the hang of couponing, you can gradually look for more coupons for other items in order to get some additional savings.
Use Couponing Resources and Apps
There are countless coupon sites, tools, blogs, and apps that can help reduce the amount of time you need to devote to couponing. Several online resources can do searches for you, saving and bookmarking only the coupons that you'll use according to what you typically shop for. Check out coupon blogs to find out which sites will be the most useful to you--and pick up more couponing tips along the way. If you have a smartphone, download a couponing app. A good coupon app will allow you to make a grocery list and search for relevant coupons directly from your phone.
Couponing is much easier than most dads might think. With these helpful tips, a minimal time investment, and a bit of patience, even the busiest of dads will find that couponing is well-worth the money it saves.
Guest post from Adam. Adam shares coupons for dads through FrugalDad.com.