We know that we can save thousands of dollars while shopping by clipping and using coupons, and they are plentiful in newspapers, magazines, mailers and the internet, but organizing coupons to maximize savings as well as manage clutter can be a daunting task.
I started out tossing all coupons into a kitchen drawer; then I progressed to a bank statement box, shoe box, baby wipe container, accordion file, binder notebook and most recently found a Quick Setup Office Depot filing cardboard box in my garage left over from last year’s tax storage, and that has now become my official coupon clutter management facility. I have separated grocery coupons into categories to organize my coupons. Now can efficiently realize more savings than ever before. Admittedly it is a two step program, but I now save time and money. Here is how I started organizing coupons:
- The cardboard box ( approximately 12X14 is divided into categories. They are as follows: beverages, personal care, medicines, frozen foods, cleaning supplies, laundry detergents, canned goods, breads, seasonings, cereals, dairy, snacks, meats, fish, oil and dressings, pasta, rice, desserts, and snacks. I also have a special slot for mail-in rebates with the accompanying receipts as well as any printable coupons.
- Once a week I clip the coupons using the Sunday supplements in the local newspapers, file the mailers that arrive during the week and sift through coupons that have expired. (Many stores, however will honor expired coupons, ie Bed, Bath and Beyond).
- I tend to do most of my grocery shopping in one store and know how products are laid out in each aisle, and when I make out my shopping list, I am able to paperclip coupons from each aisle together using the map of the store to save time rather than having to sift through coupons for each item on sale. This way I do not have to carry all my coupons when shopping. I use a small accordion organizer with my name, address and phone number on it just in case it gets lost. I tend to think I save money when I am able to stick to my shopping list and my budget.
- The children have a fun time shopping also because they can find the products as we venture down each aisle.
- We have also reserved a special section for dining out coupons; and the most popular favorites in our home include Subway and Pizza Hut as well as 2-for-1 local restaurants and special promotions at Starbucks, McDonalds, and of course one of my big favorites … Godiva Chocolates.