It has often been advised for leaders to be lifetime learners. This is good wisdom, but does imply that it takes a lifetime to learn new skills? According to the book, The First 20 Hours: How to Learn Anything… Fast, by Josh Kaufman, many new skills do not take as long to acquire as one may think. My family has taken on couponing as a way to save money and earn great deals on items that we frequently use. Now before you throw up your hands or think about the last time you waited in a grocery line with three items because of a couponer, I want to tell you that it works. And no, not all couponers hold up grocery lines for fifteen minutes as we will discuss a little later. Couponing is an investment, as I have learned, and it saves my family big money and I am all in.
My household is comprised of five people: my wife, a teenager, a toddler, a newborn due next week (Yay!) and me. We devote a couple hundred to our grocery budget each month. Lately, we have been eyeing couponing websites that teach practical strategies and helpful information about the local grocery store such as our beloved Publix. Whether online or in-store, Publix weekly ads are available for consumers to browse at their convenience. We spot the sale items, usually the buy-one-get-one-free items, and then we find manufacturer coupons to match the sale items. It gets even better, competitors may have a better deal and most recognized grocery chains, like Publix, will accept competitor’s coupons to keep your business.
Couponing is an investment and modern technology has helped the process. At the rate we are going, and to do it justice so that you can see the immediate results, it takes about 2 hours a week. Helpful online blogs with shopping ads and menus to match the coupons save us quite a bit of time and money (about 40-60% of the original bills). Technology has also helped couponers take up less time in the checkout line by offering digital coupons. At checkout, couponers are asked to enter their phone number, which is linked to the online offers.
We also appreciate when stores offer rain checks on sale items so that you can still get the details at a later date if the item is out of stock. The good thing is that Publix allows you to still use your coupons on the items as long as they did not expire by the date of the rain check.
In the past, I would have been very squeamish and irritated about using coupons. Now that my wife has helped me to see the value of couponing and its impact on the family’s budget, I am fully on board. Couponing works for my family. It is not that we have to do it. We get to do it and save money in the process, while still eating the foods we enjoy. It contributes to my overall enjoyment of learning more about ways to help my family move forward.