Have you ever wondered if coupons are really worth the time and effort? Do they amount to much in savings, or are you better off just shopping without them? There’s actually no clear-cut answer, as there are many factors to consider when determining the overall value of using coupons.

Time vs. Money

Which is more valuable to you, time or money? Ten minutes spent sifting through Sunday’s store circulars probably won’t take too much time out of your day, and you may find a few coupons amounting to a few dollars off this week’s grocery bill. But if you really want to start saving money, you’ll need to spend a lot more time at couponing.

The Coupon Craze

You may have seen television shows that showcase consumers saving hundreds or even thousands of dollars just by using coupons. This is possible, but only if you’re ready to dedicate significant hours of your life each week toward serious couponing. This involves: searching for, collecting and organizing coupons; researching sale items at various supermarkets in the area; and calculating your savings.

Here’s a tip: If you do intend to get serious about couponing, you’ll want to visit coupon sites such as Coupons.com

. This site provides a lot of information about couponing, allowing you to search for specific products. They also offer coupons that can be printed at home!

Matching Coupons With Sale Items

You may see certain items that periodically appear on sale. You may also notice that there are often manufacturer’s coupons for some of those same items. If you can find coupons to use for items that are also currently on sale

, then you can really see significant savings, especially when you buy multiples of the item.

Single Purchases vs. Stocking Up

Many grocery stores now tell you, right at the bottom of your receipt, how much you’ve saved on that specific shopping trip. While it’s probably not as much as you’d hoped it would be, small savings of 25 cents here and 50 cents there do add up over time. However, if you really want to make a big dent in your grocery bill, you should use coupons and stock up on a particular item when it’s also on sale. Or consider purchasing your everyday items at a bulk superstore.

The best way to maximize savings from coupons and make them worth clipping or printing is to match them with sales, use them to stock up and, if possible, shop at stores that double coupons for really big savings. When you make coupons part of your shopping habits, you’ll start to see a positive difference in your overall bottom line.