Since the economic downturn in 2008, couponing has once again become popular. According to coupon processing company Inmar, the industry had its first year-on-year growth in 17 years in 2009 with a whopping 27% increase in usage. The increase is partially because businesses did issue twice as many coupons to drum up business, but it was redemption that wildly increased by 360%!
So who has time to do all this couponing? For one thing, a recent Wall Street Journal article calculates that couponing nets an hourly wage of $86.40, far above an American’s average income.
Plus, these are tax-free earnings that add up. Saving just $25 per week through couponing gives you a $1,200 annual savings. So perhaps looking into couponing makes more sense than meets the eye when we consider that the average coupon saves just $1.44.
Let’s look at a number of time-saving ways to coupon in this day and age of new online technologies.
Websites like ShortCuts.com offer both digital and printable coupons that are organized and easy to find. You can search by the stores where you shop most often or product categories.
No longer do you need to read through all the dog food and diaper coupons in a flier if you don’t have pets or kids. You can search for savings on anything that applies to your household from canned goods to cosmetics to deli products and electronics. Organic items are even listed as a separate category. Simply searching on a website will give you quick and easy access to savings on the products you actually need and want.
By using digital coupons, you no longer have to spend time with scissors, nor do you need to remember to take your coupons with you shopping. The coupon is loaded right onto your store savings card for immediate application to your purchases. Now this is a 21st century update to an old activity.
You only have to register your card with the offering website in advance. These are available through specific brands like Proctor and Gamble or general coupon sites, as well as grocery store websites.
Also, most grocery store websites have a feature where you can “load” digital coupons, making your visit to the store even easier!
Savings from couponing add up before you know it!
Don’t Ignore Store Specials
Online listings of store specials actually eliminate the need for a coupon and let you know when big savings are nearby. Many times local grocery stores will often promote a “loss-leader” — a product where they actually come close to losing all profit but lead customers into the store to buy something else at regular price.
Invest a few minutes per day by using online organizational tools, and your couponing hobby will be launched, saving you serious cash in the long haul.
written by: Sarah Boisvert
Sarah Boisvert is a writer who covers a variety of topics from Apple Computer to apple fritters.