How To Coupon: Should You Pay Someone to Clip Coupons for You?
Before I started couponing, I only knew about “clipping services” as a service politicians or corporations employed, paying someone else to “clip” (or today, download) copies of articles about them in the press. Turns out, though, such services exist for couponers — you can pay someone else to clip coupons for you! But are these services worth it?
First, how do clipping services work? Generally, you pay someone either a per-coupon rate or a flat fee to clip multiple copies of the same coupon. Why would you do this? So that when you encounter a great sale, you’ll have multiple coupons to use and you can build up your stockpile. The only other way to get multiple copies of a coupon is to buy multiple copies of the Sunday paper, and that can add up fast. A clipping service might charge you as little as five cents per coupon, plus administrative and shipping charges. If you can get ten copies of a valuable coupon for a few dollars, that’s much cheaper than buying ten copies of the paper.
Still, though, are these services worth it in the long run? It really depends. Where I live, I can buy a weekend paper for just $1. My local paper also distributes a free copy of the insert later in the week. For me, it’s probably not worth it unless I’m trying to build a stockpile of specific costly items (diapers, for example).
If you do decide to try a service, always keep an eye on the coupon expiration dates and estimated shipping time. If you’re buying coupons and planning to wait for a big sale, you don’t want them to expire before you can use them.
Living Richly on a Budget has compiled a short list of existing services, which, if you think a clipping service would be right for you, can help you get started.
Shop smart and save! Check out more tips on couponing and savvy shopping!