Saturday, November 21, 2015
We all love saving money, but organizing coupons—not so much—especially itty bitty grocery coupons with microscopic expiration dates. Here are some strategies for dealing with coupons:
- Go digital: Join your grocery store frequent shopper program with online coupons that load virtually onto your rewards card. Just click on the coupon and magically get the discount at checkout.
- Consider the big picture: If you routinely print grocery coupons from websites or apps, consider whether the cost of paper and printer ink is worth it. Unless you’re an “extreme couponer” (buy $100 worth of groceries for $25), you’re probably breaking even at best. And of course, there’s the “cost” of your time.
- Keep it simple: ONLY clip coupons that you’ll ACTUALLY use. And read the fine print! Save $1.00 on two bottles of salsa; no problem. Save $1.00 when you buy these three different products; too complicated!
- Separate & contain: Sort coupons by grocery category and contain in a 13-pocket accordion plastic file. Label the file tabs with your category names, e.g., Produce, Deli, Meat, Breakfast, Staples, Beverages, Household, Dairy, Frozen, etc.
- Be consistent: Contain coupon clutter “in the moment” and consistently. It takes five to 10 minutes to skim, clip and file the Sunday coupons vs. about two hours if you save up a month or two of coupon inserts. Purge expired coupons at least once a month, e.g., on the first or last Sunday of every month.