You can save a good deal of money by using coupons wisely. The first thing to remember is not to waste time cutting and saving coupons for items you never buy and probably won’t even try. This particularly applies to grocery coupons, because we spend a large percentage of our money in supermarkets or grocery stores, and other stores that accept coupons, such as pharmacy chains, hardware stores, big box stores and warehouse clubs. Clip the coupons you will actually use, and try to use them when your stores have a sale on those items. In order to maximize your savings, you need to organize your coupons so that you can find them, and remember to use them.
First, choose your filing system. Will it be easier for you to group the coupons by categories, such as dairy, frozen, paper goods, etc., or to simply file them alphabetically by brand or product name? Each system has its pros and cons. Some products may fall into more than one category (frozen chicken patties could be under “meat” or “frozen” or “poultry”, for example), so you have to figure out where you will think to look for it. If you alphabetize by brand or product name, decide, for example, if you will remember it as “Cat Chow” or “Purina”, “Country Crock” or “Shedd’s”. Once you pick a filing system, be sure to file new coupons as you clip them, and dump expired ones at least monthly seatgeek coupon code . If you can’t file your coupons immediately, temporarily keep them under a clip, like The Finger or a magnetic clip, where they’re highly visible, such as your fridge.
Next, pick a container for your coupons. I have gone through several types over the years, as the size of the family and my coupon stash shrank. I started with a check storage box, about 8 inches square, and had hundreds of coupons, organized by categories, then alphabetically by brand within. Back then, most coupons were good for 6 to 24 months, and some didn’t expire at all, so coupons accumulated and stayed for months in the box. Nowadays, most coupons are only good for a month or two, so the turnover is faster, as they get used up or expired ones tossed out. This means fewer coupons to tote. I graduated from the check storage box to an envelope sized accordion file, with about 12 dividers. I still kept coupons by category as before, but it also works alphabetically. Coupon wallets are available with divider inserts that work well. They range from paper or cardboard, to plastic or fabric. You should be able to find a container that works for you. The size you need depends on how many useful coupons you carry, which depends on how much you buy. Unless it fits in your purse (or pocket), the only problem is remembering to take it with you when you go shopping. I now use only a small cardboard “envelope” that I keep in my handbag all the time, with coupons alphabetized by brand name.
There are several ways to remember your coupons when you leave to shop. You can keep the coupon wallet with your handbag at home, so you will always see it when you reach for your bag. You can also keep it together with the store fliers you’ll be taking with you. Leaving the coupons in the car isn’t a great idea, because you need the file in the house when you clip new coupons and work on your grocery list. A sticky note on a handbag or on the door, or a message board reminder might also work for you. Be sure to check for any new, unfiled coupons you put under The Finger or other handy clip.
If you receive coupon offers, register tape coupons or reward cards from retailers like office supply, department, hardware, drug or home improvement stores, attach them to your store credit card or store club card with a paper clip or by wrapping the card in the offer. This way you won’t forget to redeem your rewards when you are in the store.
With the price of groceries these days it only makes sense to use grocery coupons in order to reduce your grocery bill. Grocery coupons can literally save you hundreds of dollars a year. Unfortunately, many consumers today collect so many coupons that they can’t keep track of them all and end up with expired coupons and no savings. Here are a few tips that will help you to use those grocery coupons more effectively so that you too can save money.
Don’t Keep Every Coupon
Most people, when they start saving coupons, save every single coupon they find. This eager beaver approach usually ends up with you being so overwhelmed with coupons that you can never find the ones you actually need. Eventually, the hassle will become too much and you will simply throw the lot away and give up thinking that using coupons are more trouble than they are worth. When you start saving coupons only begin with coupons that you know you will actually use like those for dish detergent, laundry detergent, toilet tissue and the like. Place each specific type of coupon in a coupon organizer or a separate envelope and label it. That will make it easier to find the next time you go shopping.
Make Your Grocery List First
For food items make out your grocery list first and then check your local paper and online for coupons that will save you money on the food you are actually going to buy. You can also look for coupons for your non food items at the same time. This way you will have the coupons you need when you go shopping without being overwhelmed by an overstuffed coupon file.
Shop at Stores Offering Double Coupon Deals
If possible try to shop at the stores that offer you double the value on your coupons. If you get $.80 off that can of tuna instead of $.40 you will be much further ahead. Think of the coupons as money, wouldn’t you rather get a $10.00 discount than half that amount? That is why shopping at stores that give double the value can save you which in the end means you have that much more money left in your pocket.