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Set Yourself Up for Coupon Success

Set Yourself Up for Coupon Success

September 25, 2009

We recently interviewed an avid couponer, Jennifer. She blogs about all the great deals she finds, and keeps track of her savings. For instance, one of her most recent posts were about Del Monte Tomatoes at Lowe’s Foods that would end up being FREE! Just how did she do it? Organization is key! Here’s how Jennifer gets set up for success before her shopping trips:

To start out with, I have a 3-ring binder organized by grocery store aisle with baseball card holders holding the coupons where I can see them. It has a canvas cover that zips closed so nothing escapes when my toddler throws it across the room, as well as a shoulder strap so I have my hands free in the chance that I have to take the boys to the store with me. Inside I keep a calculator, pen, blank paper, a couple of empty zip lock sandwich bags, and a couple of paperclips. There are also a couple of mesh pockets where I keep the paper ads and coupons that are too large for the card holder slots.

Before I go to the store I make sure all my coupons are clipped and sorted in my binder. I have a gallon sized Ziploc bag with smaller sandwich bags inside that are labeled by category (i.e. groceries, drugs/vitamins, paper products, pets, personal items, etc.) for coupons I don’t think I will use. I keep them for swaps or my train (check out eHow for their simple explanation on how to start a coupon train), and also if a deal comes along that’s just too good to pass up, I still have the coupon. This also helps because if someone asks for a certain coupon I don’t have to sort through an enormous pile of them to find it. Once a month I go through and remove the expired coupons from both my binder and my bag.

I have a dry erase board on my fridge and whenever I notice something is getting low or gone, I add it to the list. I get the circulars for my area grocery stores and drug stores e-mailed to me each week. When it first arrives I open it and do a quick glance to see if there’s anything on sale that we use frequently or need. If there’s something I want to make sure I get before the sale is over, I add it to my list for that store with the letter S in parenthesis beside it indicating that it’s on sale.


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