Before the advent of the internet, I agree that the art of couponing was of questionable benefit. We all remember that time: Sitting with all of your (snail) junk-mail and a pair of scissors. Literally slicing and dicing little pieces of paper. Sticking these papers on your fridge with a magnet or two. Shoving a couple into your pocket, another couple into your wallet. Using the world-renowned “Entertainment Book” for their coupons. Looking through every page of the newspaper. It was a time-intensive matter! It would take an estimated 20 hours a month to cut, organize, compare, store and use the coupons in question. Not a heck of a lot of fun.
Enter the internet. In a moment’s time, you can find coupon codes for practically any online or offline retail you want. Perhaps it’s Free shipping? Perhaps it’s two for one deals. Or 10% off. With a click of a mouse you can get discounts for exactly the products you wanted to buy anyways. There are mailing lists, forums, comparison sites. The opportunities are endless. It’s quick to find, easily accessible and even simpler to build into your weekly routines. Suddenly twenty hours per month has turned into an average of 5 hours per month.
And then, enter smart phones and tablets. Now you don’t even need to be at home in front of your computer. Mobile-optimized sites and native apps allow you to easily search, get updated, share, and redeem coupons, vouchers and gift cards. You can prepare your coupons on your train ride to work, or your bus ride out. The effective time you use is essentially zero. Even when you’re in bed or watching TV you can fiddle with your tablet and coupon away.
With the average savings from coupons at 5% of a household’s budget, or $50 per week, the time you spend on couponing in this day in age is well worth the effort.