What do you think a "couponer" looks like?
For most people, this usually conjures up images of the sage coupon queen who spends all Sunday meticulously clipping every coupon and strategically placing each coupon into some sort of binder or index card box. She's got her collection memorized and can use years of experience to scan a store ad and find the best deals available for her family. Most people I talk with get exhausted at the thought of doing that themselves, even if it would save them $400 or more a month.
I have an enormous amount of respect for those who do all that work and enjoy their system. It's just not in my DNA to do that. I don't have the time or patience - even if it would mean time saved at the grocery store. It just feels like an unending job that would leave me with blisters from the scissors and a mild case of insanity from staring at all those offers. It would stress me out to know that I couldn't go shopping until I put in my hours of cutting and filing. Again, I am speaking only for myself. Many of my friends and peers in the couponing world still advocate this system and I have respect for their diligence.
My desire to avoid stress, blisters, and mild insanity led me to create SavingsAngel six years ago. With technology, you can use the thousands of coupons that arrive in your newspaper or print from the Internet and let someone else do most of the work for you. Most weeks, I've found you can get the full benefit of 2-3 hours of clipping in less than one hour by working smarter - not harder.
If you are super busy and don't want to become a 'couponer' but would like to get the same benefit, may I recommend my simple 3-step system?
1. Collect coupon inserts. File all newspaper coupon inserts you receive (including Red Plum, SmartSource and other manufacturer inserts) in a single weekly folder. Some people use a file drawer or cabinet, some put their coupons in a box or container that they can easily move to their computer or table. Some people just stack their inserts in order on a shelf. Choose a system that works well for you.
2. Write the issue date clearly on the front of each insert with a Sharpie. (SavingsAngel matches coupons by the issue date.) You can find the issue date in tiny writing along the spine of the coupon insert. This will be important for step #3.
3. Only clip (or print) coupons when you need them! The Internet can show you where to find, clip or print coupons as you put your shopping list together. When you need a coupon to match a great store sale, we'll use a code like (SS 1/13) which tells you to look in the SmartSource January 13th insert. Quickly thumb through your insert, and you'll find the coupon you need.
The important thing is to commit to a system that is realistic for your level of time and patience. Technology has made saving money at the grocery store easier than ever. The fact is, the average family of four spends more than $800 a month on groceries and household supplies. You get to decide if you want to use your money - or the manufacturer's. Either way, buying groceries is just one of those necessities that will never end. My mission is to make it a whole lot less expensive for you.
Prepare to be impressed!
In celebration of SavingsAngel's sixth anniversary, I'm giving away a $100 gift card to the grocery store of your choice and a one year's VIP full access SavingsAngel membership to the winner of our "What can you buy for $40?" photo contest. Just head to our facebook page and upload a photo by January 29th of what you were able to buy for $40 using your coupons. Impress us! If you don't want to enter - but would like to vote on the most amazing couponer, you can do so after all the entries have been submitted starting January 30th. Enter, vote, or read the full rules @ facebook.com/SavingsAngel.
Josh Elledge, Chief Executive Angel, SavingsAngel.com
The best couponers save hundreds of dollars every month at the grocery store. However, couponers can end up living very extreme lifestyles to get those savings. For over five years, SavingsAngel.com has equalized the playing field - giving extreme savings to busy families who don't have the time or ability to be an extreme couponer. Each week, SavingsAngel.com's team of more than 70 angels combines over 2,000 products on sale at local grocery and drug stores with an enormous database of over 2,000 different manufacturer coupons. These combinations result in our members getting access to over 300 products each week for 50% off or better. Simply log in, choose the deals you want, print or clip only the coupons you need, and save hundreds of dollars a month at regional and national stores. Our angels will personally work with you to craft a plan that will help you buy healthier food at lower prices - helping you keep $200 to $400 in savings each month.
Josh Elledge is the Chief Executive "Angel" of SavingsAngel, Inc. - launched from his Holland, Michigan home in January 2007. A husband and father of three, he now appears each week on television, many radio stations and newspapers, teaching families how to cut their grocery bill in half using the Internet. Elledge created the technology found on SavingsAngel.com through the desire to save his own family's money. Successfully able to cut his own grocery bill from $600 a month to less than $300 a month, his message has reached hundreds of thousands of families. SavingsAngel.com is now growing rapidly throughout the country. You can watch a short video at SavingsAngel.com that will explain more information about how to cut your own grocery bill in half with the help of SavingsAngel.com.
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Chief Marketing Angel