Make Using Grocery Coupons Easier
To make your coupons-clipping activity pay off and save you real money on your grocery bill, you will need a place to store the coupons and have a system set up so that you can easily retrieve the coupons when you need them. Your coupons are useless unless you can find them easily and use them when you need them.
The first step to successful coupons clipping is to organizing your grocery coupons. For that, you will need to buy or make a coupon organizer. Once you have a place to store your coupons, you need a system to keep track of them and retrieve them easily.
There are many ways to organize your coupons. Some people like to sort their coupons by department, others sort them alphabetically by product name and some people sort the coupons by expiration date. The key to coupon clipping success is to find a system that works best for you. No matter which system you use, several elements will be essentials to any successful system used to keep your coupons organized and accessible.
To hold your coupons, you can use an old shoebox, a plastic storage container, an accordion folder, a recipe box, an index card box or a specifically made coupon wallet. A recipe box, an index card box or a coupon wallet would be a good choice because you can buy standardized index cards that will neatly divide different compartment for the different coupons.
However, what you use to store the coupons is not that important as long as you have a system in place that lets you neatly, easily file newly clipped coupons, and easily retrieve coupons in your inventory.
Here is a suggested system to file your grocery coupons that should work well for almost anyone:
To start, sort the coupons by product groups, such as baking supplies, breakfast, canned goods, dairy, frozen foods, juice, meat, snacks, and so on. Then sort each group of coupons alphabetically by the products’ brand name. Then sort the alphabetically arranged coupons by expiration date, with the coupons expiring the soonest on top of the pile.
To keep your system manageable, file all your coupons away the same day you clip or get them. This will prevent the coupons from getting lost or piling up. You want to keep the filing system and process simple and hassle free, so that you will enjoy clipping coupons and more likely to use the coupons to save money on your groceries.
You also want to purge your system of old coupons on a regular basis. You don’t want expired coupons or coupons that you wouldn’t use to take up space in your coupons file. Set a regular schedule for pulling expired coupons, and stick to the schedule.
The idea of purging your old and expired coupons is to keep your filing system simple and hassle free, so that you will more likely to use the coupons to save money.
Before you go shopping with your coupons for groceries, prepare them before hand. You don’t need to, nor do your want to, take all your coupons with your when you go grocery shopping. When you are making out your grocery list, do it on the back of an envelope.
Then go through your coupons and pull out the ones that you will be using for this particular trip. Mark with a “c” or whatever mark you want to use next to each item on your list that you are buying with a coupon. Place the coupons inside the envelope in the order that they appear on your list. Also, put a couple of paper clips in the envelope.
As you shop, go down your list and pull out the coupon for the item you are looking to buy. It’s a good idea to shop with a copy of the store or supermarket’s flyer. Double check to make sure that the price on the shelf tag or item is the same as the advertised price in the flyer. Double check to be sure that the coupon you have is for the product you want to buy.
If the coupon matches the product and you decide to get the product, put the product in your cart and cross it off from your grocery list, and clip the coupon to the outside of your envelope. If the item is sold out, make a mark to remind yourself to pick up a rain check for the item.
Don’t just throw the item anywhere in the shopping cart. Try to arrange your items so that when you are at the checkout, you can place the items on the conveyor in almost the same order as your coupons that you will hand over to the cashier. This will make it easier for you to follow the cashier as she rings up your groceries to catch possible error.
Don’t leave it to the cashiers to charge you the correct prices on your groceries or deduct the correct amounts from your coupons.
Choose whatever method or system works best for you. Your system should make coupon clipping almost effortless and in return for your efforts, give you measurable savings on your monthly grocery bill when you shop with coupons for groceries.