Friday, March 19, 2010

Cutting Coupons: You're Not Too Busy, Part 3

So far, I've shared twenty different opportunities with you all for getting those coupons clipped: ten opportunities in the car and ten while you do your job. In this segment, part 3 of a 4-part series, I'd like to share ten different ways you can incorporate coupon clipping...

While You Care For Your Children
  1. Babies love to rattle paper- No doubt about it, babies adore crinkly, slippery, papery things. Give a baby a big scrap of paper and she'll be happy. Colorful coupon inserts (with the coupons you need already removed!) fit the bill. Do note that babies also love to taste paper and those dyes are not so good for them, so be sure to keep an eye out...
  2. Toddlers love to tear paper- The slightly older no-longer-babies-can't-yet-cut set loves to tear. Toddlers will have a ball if you let them tear your scraps into even tinier pieces. Bonus? Tearing is actually really good for them! It builds hand strength and forces them to use both hands together to accomplish a goal.
  3. Preschoolers need to practice cutting- Once your child is 3 or 4, he'll enjoy snipping alongside you. You can't expect your child to neatly trim out each coupon for you (yet), but you can let him practice his cutting skills on scraps or around coupons you know you do not want.
  4. Elementary school children can neatly cut on lines- Once your little one has entered even the youngest grades, she can cut neatly enough to actually help you... hooray! Involving your child makes it special. Try having a set "date" and serving up a special snack while you work and chat together.
  5. Tween-age children can learn why coupons matter and organize them- Your 'tween can be a super helper to you. Children in this age bracket can understand why coupons help us save money. They can help you locate a certain coupon you need for a specific trip. They can even help filter out the expired ones. Don't underestimate that skill- I've met a lot of adults who really have to think to determine where one date falls in relation to another.
  6. Teenage children can help plan menus and lists by matching coupons- Teenagers are getting ever-closer to heading out into the big world on their own. Now is the perfect time to teach them how to plan menus based on the sales and how to maximize saving by matching coupons. Children this age are absolutely savvy enough to get these concepts and, if you teach them now, they won't have to try to figure it out on their own once they're managing their own families and households.
  7. While scrapbooking- Putting together scrapbooks with your children can be a really special way to commemorate the big moments in their lives! While I have my snazzy paper-cutting doo-hickey out, I love to cut out my internet printables. It is absolutely perfect for all those coupons right in a row- always straight and easy as pie.
  8. While making collages- Children love to paste together images to form collages! And, boy, is it ever fun to see what things they wind up putting together. There are tons of pictures of food, animals, and people in coupon inserts. Even as toddlers, my kids loved to glue these images onto a big sheet of paper while I took care of the coupon business.
  9. While doing homework- If your children are a little older and have homework to do, use this opportunity to get a little clipping done while you sit with them at the table. You'll be available for any questions and you'll get this pesky little task out of the way.
  10. While they draw/color- It may seem oxymoronic, but for some children, creativity thrives with a little direction. Some little ones enjoy drawing and coloring more when given a mission. For example, you might see a coupon for frozen veggies with an image of green beans. You could say, "Look at these green beans! Can you draw some green beans? Do you think you can come up with three other green fruits and vegetables to add to the picture?" This will keep your little one engaged and make him feel like he's still "connected", in a way, to what you're working on.
Your kids come first. They should. I understand that you don't want to "take away" from your time with them. The above ten opportunities are there to help you find ways to spend good, quality time with your children AND save your family some money. And that's time well spent.

This post is linked to Frugal Friday.

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