Get Organized: Creating a Coupon System

by Gina Blitstein · 0 comments

Armed with a sharp pair of scissors and the best intentions, you sit down with the Sunday paper, pull out the coupon inserts and start clipping. But now, faced with a stack of money-saving opportunities, what’s your next move?

If you’re like many folks, that stack may be relocated and lost when dinner is served or homework is spread out on the table. Let’s say you’re among the few who actually get those coupons into your purse or – better yet – into the store. That’s still only half the battle. There are a few more hurdles to overcome before reaping the benefits of those coupon savings: How do you know what coupons you have? How do you keep track of them all? And of course, how do you remember to actually use them?

Couponing is a skill and like any skill, if you want to hone it, you need to consistently employ a plan of action. In order to truly realize the savings from using coupons, you’ve got to develop a system that works with the way you think, work and shop. You’ve got to get organized. Here are five suggestions to help you organize your couponing strategy to optimize your savings:

  1. A place for everything. Provide your coupons a home of their own. That way, you know exactly where that stack of coupons belongs. Buy a pocket-sized accordion file from an office supply store. They are sturdy and you can separate different categories of coupons into each of the pockets. Keep that file in your purse as if it were your wallet! After all, it contains money, too.
  2. Write your shopping list on an envelope. An envelope is a convenient place to both write your shopping list, and store coupons that you know you will use. For example, there’s no doubt that you will want to use a coupon for “$10.00 off $100.00,” so store it in the envelope when you make your list. As you shop, stash the coupons from your file that you are going to redeem that day in the envelope as well so that they are in one place — and that place is right in your hand!
  3. Plan your shopping trip in advance. Take a few minutes before you head out to the market to match your coupons to your grocery list. Make a note beside items on your list for which you have coupons so that once you get to the store, you will be reminded to look through your file when deciding which brand to buy.
  4. Location, location, location. Keep a coupon near your method of paying so you will be sure to see it as you are checking out. This strategy works especially well when you are shopping where a coupon is not a usual part of your checkout experience, like at the pet food store.
  5. Coupon calendar. Sometimes coupons are so great that you don’t want to miss the opportunity to use them, even though they are not for a regular purchase — office supplies for example. Make a note on a calendar you use regularly to redeem the coupon before its expiration date so you won’t miss out on the savings on items you purchase, but less regularly.

Couponing can keep money in your wallet — provided you remember to use your coupons. These tips will help you turn couponing into a habit — a habit of saving!

Bonus Tip:

Did you know that you can save money with Netflix? Even if you don't plan on using the service, you should at least sign up for the Netflix free trial here to get some free movies for a month.

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