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!

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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!

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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.

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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….

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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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