Saturday, February 13, 2010

Beyond The Deals: Is it really worth it?

So to kick off Beyond the Deals, here is an article that a BB reader sent to my inbox. The article reminds us of what many of us now know...The time it takes to clip/sort/file coupons is well worth the effort. Where else can you make $100/hour sitting on the couch!?!

*We redeemed some 3.3 billion coupons last year -- a remarkable 27 percent leap from 2008, and the first year-on-year increase in 17 years, according to a report issued at the end of January by Inmar, a coupon-processing agent.

*Average saving per coupon: Just $1.44, according to the Inmar report.

But let's treat this low finance topic for a moment the way we treat high finance. Let's subject it to the same math.

How long does it actually take to clip and use a coupon? Certainly the more you use, the less overall time you will spend per coupon, because so many of the costs -- getting flyers, sorting coupons and so on -- are generalized. Let's assume you spend a minute per coupon.

Saving $1.44 for a minute's effort is the equivalent of saving $14.40 for 10 minutes'.

Hourly rate: $86.40.

Maybe this would be as good a time as any to point out that the typical American working stiff -- those lucky enough to have jobs right now -- climbs out of bed each morning, goes through the miseries of commuting and endures the daily grind at the workplace for about $20 an hour.

*Someone who saves $25 a week will save $100 a month, and $1,200 a year. Over a lifetime that can easily grow to $100,000 or more -- even after accounting for inflation.

For me it's clear--since starting the savings journey in April 2009, we have saved over $4000 on groceries and spent just over $800!
In April, I will begin tracking my savings for 4/10-4/11. This time I will track everything including toiletries. We have never spent so little and had so much. I know many couponers agree with that statement. It does take time and effort but the rewards are great!

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