Why organize coupons? Because coupons are a great way to control your budget and make sure you pay the lowest possible price on items you would buy anyway. Consistently using manufacturer coupons when buying groceries and household supplies can add up to significant savings – up to a few hundred dollars over the course of a year.
The only caveat when it comes to coupons: just like discounts and sales, you do NOT want a coupon to convince you to buy an item you wouldn’t normally buy – this is wasting money, not saving it.
For coupons to work, you have to come up with a system to organize coupons. Otherwise it is going to be very difficult to use them efficiently. Follow these tips for organizing coupons, and the task of clipping and sorting your coupons will become much less daunting.
1. Purchase a coupon organizer, a pocketed folder or an accordion file, and mark each pocket with a different shopping category. You can also use envelopes marked with the different categories.
2. Coupon categories should reflect your normal shopping categories. The basic categories are: Meat and dairy, canned goods, grains (including crackers, cereals and granola bars), pasta and rice, baking supplies, sauces and condiments, frozen foods, beverages, snacks and sweets, baby supplies, personal care, cleaning supplies, and paper goods.
3. When you organize coupons, you can sort the categories alphabetically, or you can sort them by the order of the aisles at your supermarket. Alternatively, instead of sorting coupons by category, you can organize coupons by their expiry date.
4. Each week, when making your grocery list, go through your coupons and pull out the coupons that you can use that week. Mark each item on your list that you have a coupon for and place both the list and the coupons in an envelope inside your purse.
Efficiently organizing coupons requires some advance planning, but the savings when you use coupons every week are significant. Take the time to organize coupons in a way that makes them easy to use – it’s the best way to make sure you will use them every week.
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