Saturday, February 21, 2009

Sorting Coupons

First off, if you think you can just go for it and jump in with both feet, you can go to The Grocery Game or Coupon Mom to get started. Both sites have great information on stockpiling with coupons. But if you are wanting to just try it out in baby steps, then I hope I can help.

Things we will need:
~Coupons - Start out with 3 sets. This will not be too overwhelming at first. I buy 6 now at a time, but wish I would have started out a little slower. Also, my grocery store doubles and triples coupons but only 3 of the same coupon so this is another good reason to start out with just 3.
~space to sort out the coupons. You will need a table, countertop, or even the floor. Give yourself plenty of room to lay out all the pages.
~pen and post-its (or a piece of paper with a paper clip will work also)
~file folder (optional right now, but soon you will need it for sure)

There are only two different sets of coupons this week. Red Plum and Smart Source. Take one packet at a time and sort your coupons by page. You should have 3 copies of each page. Soon you will be coming back to these pages to find a coupon and when you do, this will make it SO much easier.

Note: These pictures are not of this week's coupons. I had to plan ahead and took pictures last week. If you see a coupon you must have, I do have a link to a lady that you can get prior week's coupons from. Or let me know, I might not need it :-)

Next, look to see what coupons are there. This is where I know a lot of people just give up on couponing. I have heard so many people say that there are no coupons for things they use. I hear you, but stick to it for a month at least. I know for sure battery coupons come out several times a month and we all need those, right? So look at the ads carefully and if there is a coupon for something you use all the time, go ahead and cut it out; all 3 of them. Remember they are in a stack so cutting three at a time is a cinch. Put them to the side.

Only cut out the coupons you know FOR SURE you will use. If you see something you have been wanting to try or that you might use since you have a coupon then leave it in there. We will come back to this.

I use Garnier Fructis shampoo and conditioner so I know I will use these coupons. I also know that stores frequently run sales for this brand so again, I know I will use them.

Next, you will gather each page and stack them up inside the front page of the packet. As you stack them, look at each page again. Here is where we take note of the coupons you did cut out and the ones you might use at a later date. On your Post-it Note you will write down the brand of the ones you did cut out and draw a line through them. This way, when you start using "The List" you can quickly see that you have already cut out those coupons. Then, for the ones you want to take note of for later be sure to put the date it expires. For example, I might not need Tylenol cold right now. I may not use it at all, but if I do need it I want to remember where it was quickly. Also, as you stack up these pages put the ones you noted in the front of the stack so when you need it, it is right there in front.

Now put your post-it note right there on the front of the packet. I can quickly see that I cut out coupons for Garnier, olive oil, and deodorant, and there are coupons for Tylenol cold inside and when they expire.

That's is for today. Pretty easy first step, right?

Set the packets in a safe place until next time. Put a paper clip on the coupons you cut out and throw them in your purse or diaper bag. If you shop this week and happen to notice one of these is on sale then go ahead and use the coupons. Buy three of them.

I will post another mini-lesson on Tuesday on how to organize your coupons and packets.

I hope this was helpful. I welcome questions here in the comments and I am working on getting an email address where you can email me from this blog. I will answer any questions in the comments or I will amend the post to include the info.

See you Tuesday,

1 comment:

Becky said...

Thanks for the info. I am toying with the idea of doing coupons again . I am one of those that says they don't have coupons for things I need. I don't buy a ton of processed, packaged stuff which seems to be what coupons generally are all about. I also buy generic a lot. We will see but thanks again for the idea. I am definitely tempted to begin :)