Sunday, November 7, 2010
Coupon Basics: Getting Started, Part 2
Getting started with couponing and creating a stockpile can look like a daunting task when you realize how long it takes to clip an entire coupon insert with the assumption that clipping them will save you time. For me, clipping them takes so much time because I buy multiple Sunday newspaper issues, which can turn into hours of unnecessary time away from my family, college course work, and other demands of being me. It took me an incredibly long time to figure out a system that worked for me because I just thought that all coupon pros clipped all of their coupons. My search for a good system sent me to forums, searches, and websites selling their coupon products. I ended up designing my own binder system and have received many compliments on it while shopping, as well as from other pros. I was still clipping all of my coupons though, and spending a lot of time doing it...still. I was pulling my hair out at the end of the Sunday nights when I realized that I didn't get anything done on my to-do list and that I still had to go to bed and get some needed rest for work the next day. I had dreams of clipping coupons, sorting coupons, matching coupons, building coupon scenarios. Coupons were becoming my nightmare! I didn't want to give up though, so I kept at it and slowly but surely I am developing a system I've had in place now for about 6 months. I had to take stock of all my types of coupons (inserts, homemailers, booklets, peelies, etc.) and decide how I could best store them in an accessible way that would not require pre-clipping them. I gathered up some supplies I had already laying around the house, and organized them according to type. I wrote on the top of each insert with a Sharpie (first making sure I'm not writing on the back side of a coupon on the reverse side of the page), and grouped them together by date. I store all of my other types of coupons in an expandable file box. My coupon binder still gets used too, since I can use it for loose coupons, such as peelies, wine tags, and coupons I clipped intending to use, but ended up not using once I got to the store. I have a coupon center...sort of. Actually, it's my craft, card-making, textbook, school supply, coupon center. But hey, it's my center, and it saves me time...and money.