Wednesday, October 5, 2011

31 Days: Are Coupons Worth the Effort?

One of my “techniques” for creating a peaceful home (something I am always actively striving for) is to have systems in place for some of the monotonous things that need to get done each week. Once you find a system that works, you will save time on those tasks!


One of the hardest things for me to keep up with is the paperwork! Mail, homework papers, coupons, receipts, etc… It can become overwhelming very easily. Just yesterday, I had to take some time to sort through quite a few piles of papers to get my desk back in decent shape!


Today I am going to share my “system” for handling coupons. I have been couponing for a couple of years now. Over the past few months, I haven’t been as dedicated as I was previously, but I still use coupons on a regular basis.


First of all, let’s talk about the coupons that I receive in my Sunday paper. Depending on the week, I usually receive between 1 and 4 coupon inserts with my paper each week. In the past, I have picked up extra papers on the weeks that included 4 inserts, but I haven’t done that in a while. According to my “daily schedule”, I sort all of my coupons on Monday. There are some Mondays that I just don’t get to it so the following weeks I will have 2 weeks of sorting to do. If I keep up with it, it really doesn’t take very long at all!

There are about a million ways that you can sort your coupons. I have chosen to keep my coupon inserts intact (without clipping every single coupon) and to file them in an expandable file folder. I definitely don’t have the time to sit around and cut out every single coupon and file it away.

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With each insert, I:

  • write the date on the front of the insert

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  • quickly browse through to look for coupons that I always use or that are really great coupons that I definitely want to use before it expires…I only clip those coupons!
  • file the insert in the expandable file by week

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I place the coupons that I just clipped into my coupon file (which goes with me to the store)…

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I have a section in my file for each section of the grocery store:

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  1. Condiments
  2. Breakfast
  3. Pantry
  4. Fridge/Freezer
  5. Non-food (i.e. batteries)
  6. Cleaners
  7. Paper products (napkins, paper plates, etc…)
  8. Dental Care
  9. Beauty (shampoo/conditioner, lotion, deodorant, etc…
  10. Health
  11. Pet Care
  12. Baby

What about coupons that come in the mail, or from tearpads in the store? Throughout the week, I place them in the “coupons” folder of my desktop basket along with store ads/flyers….


When I go through the coupon file each week to file the coupons, I either place them in the file mentioned above or into a larger file folder (the purple one below).

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This larger file contains a section for each store…Target, home stores (BB&B, Office Depot, Harris Teeter, etc…) I keep the ads in here as well as coupons that are only available to be used at that particular store.

I keep the 2 file folders and all of my other coupon paraphernalia in my brand new Thirty-One gifts utility organizer. Love it!

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So…how about you? Do you use coupons when you grocery shop?

Have you missed any of the other posts for the “31 Days to a Peaceful Home?” You can find them all on the index page.

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