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Friday, September 23, 2011

Coupon Madness

I am addicted to savings.  Not bad enough to be featured on a reality show, but I like to save money wherever I can.  Even if it is, as my husband loves to point out, a marketing ploy where big-name department stores increase prices and then mark them down 40 to 50% all the time to make you feel like you are saving oh-so-much money.

Coupons are only worthwhile if you actually use them.  It is a waste of time if you cut them out and shove them in your purse to be forgotten about until you clean out said purse and throw them all away expired.

How to Organize Coupons So You’ll Use Them: 

  • Whenever I clip coupons, I sort them into a small expandable file (about 4" by 6") that I keep in my purse.  Most of the coupons I use are store-specific, so I sort them by store.  My grocery store (Holiday Market) is a small, independent one that puts out its own coupons, so it has its own compartment.  I also do a lot of shopping at Target and get coupons from them in the mail, so it has its own compartment.  Other store-specific coupons go in another compartment together.  I collect a few manufacturer’s coupons here and there, but not regularly, so they all go in one compartment.

  • Receipts: I also keep a compartment for receipts on items that need to be returned.  This is neater in my purse than keeping them in my wallet.
  • Those that clip lots of manufacturer’s coupons could benefit from sorting by item.  Keeping coupons for food, household items and toiletries separated makes them more easily found while shopping.
  • You can even keep coupons sequestered together in a simple envelope in your purse or glove box.  The key is to know where they are, to remember you have them, and to periodically clear out the expired ones. 
  • If you prepare a shopping list, you may want to go through your coupons at the same time and keep the ones you know you will use for that trip together. 
Some bigger grocery chains have cooperative agreements with big manufacturing companies, such as P&G Everyday Solutions, through which you can select coupons online that can be linked to your Club Card and used automatically.

Happy Saving!!!  Please share your thoughts on how to organize coupons!

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