Couponing Tips: The Importance of Being Organized
You hear about others using coupon to slash their grocery bill by 50% or more, but you are having some trouble getting started. One of the reasons you might not be having success in your couponing endeavors is a lack of organization. While you don’t need to devote 20 hours a week to couponing to get great savings, you do need to set aside some time to stay organized. Here are some tips to help you get – and stay – organized.
Budget Your Time
If you believe what you see on the TV show Extreme Couponing then you might think it takes 20 to 30 hours a week to use coupons effectively. Remember, that show highlights the EXTREME couponers. With just a few hours a week you can be organized and get the most savings.[ws_ads_post position=”right”]
If you are serious about couponing then you will need to set aside time each week to complete the following tasks:
- Clipping coupons
- Putting the coupons in your binder or other organization system
- Checking sales flyers
- Matching coupons with sales
- Making your shopping list
Note that not everyone chooses to clip coupons each week. Instead, some keep their coupons organized by date and then clip only the coupons they plan to use for each shopping trip.
Have a System
Whether you clip all your coupons or only clip the ones that you plan to use, you will need to have some type of system.
If you plan to only clip the ones you plan to use then you will need to keep your coupons organized by date. This is because the sites that list coupon matchups will tell you the type of coupon (i.e. Red Plum, Smart Source) and the date that the coupon came out. When you have your coupons organized by date you will be able to find what you want quickly.
If you plan to clip all of your coupons each week then you will need a system to organize them. Many find that a binder is the best way because you will easily be able to flip to the section that you want. You will need a binder and some plastic inserts like the kind used for baseball cards.
Separate the binder into sections such as dairy, baby stuff, pet items, canned goods, shampoo etc… Put the clipped coupons into the proper section and you’ll be able to find exactly what you need with ease.
Keep Things Current
Each week as you add new coupons, take a few minutes to weed out those that have expired. This will help keep you coupon collection current and make it easier to see what you have.
Make a List
With all of your coupons carefully organized, you are ready to shop. As you go through your weekly coupon matchups, make a list of what you want to buy. Include the price AND the price after coupons. As you check out, you will easily be able to make sure the items are ringing up at the correct price. Also, because you included the price after coupons, you will know about how much your total should be at the end of the transaction.
Many shoppers also like to pull the coupons they plan to use during their shopping trip and put them in a separate envelope so they won’t have to dig through their binder as they shop.
Being organized is one of the keys to using coupons effectively. A few hours each week is all it takes, and you’ll be on your way to savings!