Tuesday, June 5, 2012

#couponchallenge Step 3: Organizing Coupons

Okay, I've got my price book so I can spot a good sale and I'm collecting coupons so I can pair them with a sale. How am I going to keep track of all this?

I'm doing a sort of combined organization method.

For printable coupons, I'm only printing what I'm 99% sure I'll use (there's a cost associated  to getting these coupons, after all!). Then I'm clipping and filing those by type (food, personal care items, cleaning products, store coupons, etc).

But I'm saving the entire coupon insert, and will just peruse and clip what I need before shopping. If I don't end up using any insert coupons before they expire, I'll save them and when I've got a big stack, I'll mail them to the military where they are usable despite old expiration dates.

For emailed coupons, I'm only checking that account right before I go shopping, so I'm not tempted to buy something I wasn't planning to.

One lesson I unpleasantly learned last week: KEEP THE COUPONS IN THE CAR. This makes for a wee bit of hassle when creating a shopping list, but let's be honest: I am much more likely to unexpectedly swing by the grocery store on my way home than I would like to admit, and the coupons won't do me one lick of good sitting nicely organized on my desk at home. So. The coupons stay in the car unless they are actively being sorted, clipped, organized, or consulted for list-making purposes. Hopefully that will increase my usage dramatically.

As for what I am using to organize them? Well, the inserts are in a stack held together with a binder clip, and the clipped coupons are in a plastic envelope that used to be my "envelope system" when I was on a cash-only basis my first few years in New York. I've no idea where that thing came from, but I've had it at least nine years and it's still going strong.

How do you organize your coupons?

1 comment:

  1. I did not know that military could use coupons past expiration date; can you give an address or link for others to be able to do that too? Thanks!

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