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January 19th, 2011
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Q&A: To clip… or not to clip…

I am considering trying to keep my inserts in tact rather than clip. Do you know people who use this method and do you think it will be effective? I LOVE to coupon, but can’t stay caught up on the clipping/organizing right now to save my life. Thoughts???  – Jennifer

Jennifer, Thank you for sharing your question. I think it is a great one that many people would like to know about. To Clip or No to Clip… The non-clipping method is one that I have even considered doing at one point in my journey of couponing. I tried a modified idea of “not clipping” , but decided to go back to my good ‘ol box method.

For those of you who are confused about what we are talking about, let me explain. The “no clip” method is merely a method of organizing your inserts rather than organizing your coupons. You don’t clip your coupons until you make your shopping lists. Some people will either file their inserts by name: Smart Source, General Mills, Redplum, and P&G. They write the date on the front and file them away. Then when they make their shopping list they merely find the coupons they need and clip them then. Seems simple enough, right?


Well, I tried a modified version of this where I only clipped the coupons that I knew I would probably use and then filed the rest of the inserts in the file folders. This worked for a while, but I found that creating my shopping list became really time consuming. I hated flipping through the inserts and I actually ended up spending more time, then when I just clipped them all. Instead of it taking me 15 minutes to make a shopping list, I was spending closer to an hour preparing it.

Plus, I was missing alot of in store deals when I went shopping. When you have your coupons already organized in their categories, it is VERY easy to find that coupon for the box of brownies that just happens to be on sale. I only like to shop at Homeland once a week, so I don’t want to make multiple trips to the store for the unadvertised deals.

This is what I do now: I clip almost everything. There are a few coupons that I just don’t clip because I know I (or my friends will not use). I get 3 papers every week and I have my clipping and organizing time down to under 30 minutes, even on the weeks that we get 3 or 4 inserts!

So… What do you do if you can’t find the time to clip coupons, but you think that you should? Instead of trying to change your plans, try to make yourself more efficient.

  1. Set a designated time each week to clip coupons. I do my every Sunday night (during one of my TV Shows). My husband knows that once the kids are in bed, I will be on my living room floor cutting and organizing.
  2. Find ways to get your clipping done faster. I will share on Monday how I have cut my clipping time down (I’ll video my clipping Sunday night)
  3. Figure out if it is worth it to you: I struggled with finding time to cut my coupons. Then when I realized that spending 1 hour a week at most to clip my coupons was worth my time. I save my family over $600 a month by couponing, which means over $100 a week. To me that is worth taking the time to sit down and get it done.

Ok, Jennifer, I think that was a long answer but hopefully it made some sense to you. In short, I think the “no clipping” method can work for many people. BUT in my experience I would try to prioritize your time and make yourself more efficient with clipping before throwing in the towel. 🙂

If you haven’t checked out the Question and Answer section, I would go there to learn lots of great information. If you have a question that you would like me to answer on the Coupon Closet, contact me here.



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