13 September 2008

I Have The Coupons, Now What?

What I do with all those coupons

When I first began couponing a few months ago, it was with the help of my friend Brandy. We had been talking about how much we spent at the grocery store. I made the comment about wanting to use coupons, but I never did so successfully.

You see, I've always loved the idea of coupons. You go to the store, hand over your stash, and instantly feel accomplished. I'd clip them okay, but after that I was clueless. I'd forget to take them to the store, or I'd lose them. I rarely knew what I had since the ones I hadn't lost were simply shoved into the abyss of my purse.

This is where Brandy sat me straight. Here's her SUPER idea:
Take a 3-ring binder. Insert the plastic baseball card sleeves. That's it! I went a step further because I'm obsessive-compulsive and divided mine into categories with tabbies -- think medicines, toiletries, grocery, pets, whatever works for you. I then inserted a pouch in the front for saving my receipts. At the back I added folders (pouches would work also) for my specific store coupons, think CVS/Walgreens. This gives me a place to keep their store specific coupons and rewards or again, I'd lose them.

I fold the coupons so that I can see what they are for and the expiration date. For this reason, I only put one type of coupon per slot. I do put my multiple identical coupons in the same slot with the ones that expire first in the front. I can't see the dates generally, but it ensures that I'll use those first.

This system makes it super easy for me to keep track of what I do and don't have. I also keep my restaraunt type freebie coupons in here too, and I rarely leave home without the binder.

When your coupons expire don't throw them out. Send them to military families overseas. They are able to use them in the commissary up to six months beyond the expiration date. Find out more here http://www.ocpnet.org/

How do you organize your coupons?

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