Making Coupons Work for You

coupon organizersCoupons come in many forms, including postcards you receive in the mail, part of a “packet” of coupons from local businesses, and grocery store coupons you cut out of the newspaper. I understand in this day and age you can print virtually any coupon you want off the internet. That is super helpful and very handy, but this blog is going to speak to traditional paper coupons.

For those of you that still use paper coupons, let’s discuss storing them and remembering to use them. That’s one of the biggest complaints I hear about coupons. Most of us forget to use them or don’t have them with us while shopping.

How to store and sort coupons: I suggest keeping it super simple and using just three categories: groceries, stores, and restaurants. I put toiletry coupons such as shampoo or hair gel in the grocery category because we are often at super stores like Target, Wal-Mart or Jewel Osco where we may shop for groceries and toiletries at one time. By stores, I mean any non-food store such as Jiffy Lube, Bed Bath & Beyond, Staples, etc. These often come in the form of a mailer or postcard. If you truly get your oil changed at Jiffy Lube then keep the coupon. If you always go to the same local oil change place then let it go. There are some stores I never visit so there’s obviously no point to keep those coupons. Same with groceries in the sense that there are some groceries we never eat and I would never buy, so I pick and choose which coupons make the most sense for our family. Keeping them all is just going to clog up the system we’re trying to make work and save you money.

How portable you need your coupons to be will determine how you store them. Files, envelopes, pocket accordion pouches, and formal coupon books are all great ideas depending on your needs. My grocery coupon holder comes with me to the store, but I just flip through the restaurant and store coupons at home before we go out to eat or make a trip to Macy’s for example. Think through how you shop and when you shop to determine what will be the best place to keep your coupons.

Just like anything else in our lives, cleaning out the pouches of coupons and checking for expired coupons will be essential. Letting it get too far gone will be frustrating, so clean out the system periodically.

If you have mastered online coupons and print just want you need, I applaud you. I’d love for you to share the website(s) you use with us in the Comment section below.

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