Coupon Clipping? Get Your Kids on Board
by Dee Marie
Little Savings Slips
Pros & Cons of Using Coupons
The Art of Couponing
Few can argue that clipping coupons can lead to significant savings at the grocery store. Devoted coupon users scour their local newspapers and grocery store ads to find coupons for their favorite grocery items. Coupled with discounts offered during in-store sales, coupon clipping can really make a dent in a family's grocery expenses.
The only downfall with coupon clipping is the time required to find and manage your coupons. Gathering all of the available coupons can require a great deal of time. In addition, you must develop a method of organizing your coupons to make sure that they are available when you need them. Talk about a time commitment.
There might be a way to get some able-bodied volunteers in your campaign to cut grocery costs. Try enlisting the aid of your children in your coupon clipping. Here a few ways to encourage their participation:
- Make coupon clipping a contest. Many Sunday papers have two or three coupon circulars within its pages. Give a circular to each of your kids and let them peruse its pages. Set a goal. For instance, maybe the goal will be to find three coupons for products you regularly use. Then, reward the first of your helpers to reach it. A frugal reward might be an extra hour of television or video game time for each week's winner.
- Reward special coupon finds. If one of your kids finds a particularly valuable coupon like a free item, allow your helper to get that item on your next shopping trip. It won't cost you anything (except the sales tax) and you'll keep your little coupon hunters enthusiastic.
- Plan meals around coupons. Maybe your little one loves those little frozen pizzas. If he finds a coupon for it one week, consider allowing him to plan one evening's dinner around that coupon. Not only will you get help with your coupon clipping, but you'll also get help with your meal planning. For one night, you won't have to wonder what's for dinner.
- When grocery shopping, put one of your children in charge of the coupon book. Make him your partner in grocery savings as you make your way through the grocery store aisles. He'll love being your special helper and you'll have less to juggle.
Coupon clipping, although a worthwhile investment of your time, can take up more of your day than you would like. Use ideas like these to turn this thankless task into one more opportunity to spend time with your family. You will get a chance to teach your children the importance of budgeting and have fun with them, too.
Debt is preventing me from taking a vacation this year or the vacation I'd like to take this year! Tell us: Yes, debt is affecting my vacation plans! or No, we're going exactly where we want to go but we'd love to learn make our trip as inexpensive as possible!
Dee Marie has published over 200 articles on personal finance and frugal living and writes for the popular personal finance blog "Not Made Of Money." To save money today, see the free tips at http://notmadeofmoney.com/blog/.
Take the Next Step:
- Coupon clipping can be a financially worthwhile activity. However, it can also be time consuming. Start today getting the kids involved in the process. It's a win-win situation. You'll get some much-needed help, and they'll learn a valuable life lesson.
- Your groceries cost less when you get cash back! Checkout 51 can show you how!
- For more articles on coupon clipping, please visit www.stretcher.com/menu/topic-a.htm#coupons
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