Coupons can be very helpful in reducing your costs and increasing your savings. The challenge is how to best understand, organize, and use your coupons to give you the best benefit.
There are many ways to organize and use coupons. Some people receive many newspaper subscriptions in order to get several copies of the coupon inserts. Some people cut out every coupon, organize it in a binder, and bring that with them on every shopping trip so they have access to all of their coupons at all times. This also requires a significant amount of time and organization.
I have created a system that allows me to use coupons with little time involved.
1. I receive one subscription of the Sunday newspaper, and have 2 friends who give me their coupons inserts. I immediately write the date in big black marker on the outside of each insert.
2. Then, I flip through each one and cut out only the coupons I know I will use, are high value, or are for products that I might be interested in buying – usually about 10% of all the coupons.
3. The inserts are then filed in an expanding accordian binder by date. When I put a new insert in, the old inserts get recycled. This allows me to keep about 3 months worth of inserts that I can access very quickly and easily. (Note: There are many other ways to organize your coupon inserts – Some people organize their inserts using file folders in a milk crate, some keep their inserts in a box – the key is to pick a system that works the best for you and stick with it.)
4. The few coupons that I have cut out are organized in a little coupon organizer that fits in my purse. I have about 10-12 categories that I file them under organized by expiration date.
5. Something that also works for me – if there are coupons that are really high value that I definitely want to use – such as for a free product or Buy One Get One Free, I put those all together in a paper clip in the front, again organized by expiration date. Then when I go to the store, I look quickly through those and get those items so that I do not miss out on those coupons!
6. Store coupons - These are coupons specifically for certain stores. If they say ‘manufacturer coupon’ on them, they cannot be combined with another ‘manufacturer coupon.’ If they say store coupon, then usually they can be combined with a manufacturer coupon. (This is an easy way to get great deals! My favorite store that does this is Target.) The trick is how to organize these. You can organize them in each category with the other coupons, but I like to keep them separate, paper-clipped together by store or in individual envelopes marked with the store name. I keep them in a drawer, and then I can grab those coupons when I am going to a particular store.
This works for me because it is quick, easy to use, and I still have access to a lot of coupons! The key is to find a system that works for you and stick with it. It will get easier and easier.
Related Posts: New to Using Coupons? Helpful Tips for Beginners
Next step: Start using your coupons!
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