You can save big money with coupons and here is the tips.
How to organize coupons, rain checks and weekly store specials for maximum savings at the checkout!
Learning how to organize food coupons is simple, much like using a Rolodex(TM) for business and personal contacts, or a ‘tickler file’ to remind you when bills are due.
Your first step is to purchase an inexpensive nylon wallet, creating separators for categories, which you can make yourself with index cards. Now, just follow this step-by-step guide to learn how to organize coupons, rain checks and weekly grocery specials for maximum savings.
1. On your next – and all – shopping trips, pick up every coupon from those grocery aisle dispensers. You can pass ones you don’t need to a friend, or ‘donate’ to a coupon exchange bin. The name brand coupons don’t usually constitute savings, unless the item is on sale and the coupon gets you a price that’s lower than a comparable product. Nonetheless, if you don’t use it, you can always pass it on.
2. Online coupons are abundant. Let’s say you’re loyal to a certain ice cream brand, pricey, but worth it to your taste. Go to the manufacturer’s website and see if they have a coupon you can download and print. If not, chances are good you’ll be able to find one at one of the coupon specialty websites. To find these, Google ‘food coupons’ or ‘your-brand ice cream coupons’. (You’ll doubtless find many other coupons for other products you like.)
3. Make it a habit to go through the weekly grocery sale fliers to collect advertised specials on meats, produce and other normally pricey items to work into your menus. Notice which are ‘manufacturer coupons’. The grocer who includes these manufacturer coupons typically prints ‘only redeemable at ABC Grocers’ or something to that effect. Sure, they want you to redeem it at their store, but the manufacturer doesn’t care. Any grocer will accept manufacturer’s coupons, so look for the best price in your nearby supermarkets.
4. Now, with all the coupons you’ve gathered, you’re ready to learn the inside secrets of how to organize coupons in a way that won’t let these savings slip by, unused. Take your stash of coupons and sort them by category. Go through each pile and, with a highlighter or red pen, circle the expiration dates of those which expire within the next two weeks.
5. Create categories of products, according to your individual household needs. For example, canned goods, dairy products, produce, staples (such as bread, grains, pasta, sugar, coffee), frozen products, beverages and juices, deli items, baby items (such as baby food, diapers and baby shampoo)and household cleaning products are standards on most of our shopping lists. Make a separate index card for each category and slip these cards inside your coupon organizer. Leave one index card at the front of your organizer free, labeled ‘use this week’.
Just behind your ‘use this week’ card, make a card for the soon-to-expire and weekly specials from your grocery flier. Those weekly specials, particularly on items such as meat and coffee, are known as ‘loss leaders’, items sold close to, or at cost to lure you in to that supermarket. Stock up on these deals, as your budget and freezer space allows. Your food savings will mount up, month after month! File each category of coupons in it’s slot.
6. Before you do the weekly shopping, go through your coupons and match them up with items that are on sale, or provide savings on something you need this week. Don’t miss rain checks. Inspect the ‘soon to expire’ coupons for this week’s date. Place these coupons in your ‘use this week’ category, sorting them in roughly the order you’ll find the products in the grocery aisles. As you do your shopping, pick up the items with coupons you want to use. Remember, you need to calculate the actual savings on name brands when compared to generic or store brands.
Plan your menus around your coupons. Be imaginative, working every coupon, rain check and weekly special into this week’s meals. Think ahead. For example, if you have a coupon for cream of mushroom soup, which you use often, stock up now! In my area of the country, a single can of this soup tops $1.30! Buying 10 cans for 50 cents a piece, with a coupon, you save a whopping $8.00, for the same amount of product.
When you’ve completed your shopping, donate any unused coupons to a neighbor or the coupon exchange bin and pass the savings on!
Next week, follow the same procedure. It’s as simple as that! So there, in a nutshell, is how to organize coupons with a method that ensures you make the most of your shopping dollars.