What's the best way to handle clipping coupons? I'm new to couponing and the first few times I went shopping I clipped every single coupon from the insert. Well, that was a mistake – I had so many coupons in my wallet I couldn't find anything. The next time, I only clipped the coupons I knew I was going to use and I ended up missing out on some great deals because I didn't have the coupons with me. So what should you do?
First of all, Julie, you're on the right track – you've realized the potential savings you'll see when you use coupons. So hang in there, you just need to find a system that works for you.
Obviously, you've seen what happens when you clip every single coupon in the insert. It turns into a confusing mess. On the other hand, there's always the possibility that you'll trip over some great in-store special and, had you brought along that coupon you could have picked up a year's supply of toilet paper for free.
Once you've been couponing for a while you'll develop your own system, but here's what I do:
Clip only the coupons you know you'll use. I prepare a shopping list each week using the coupon inserts, the store sales ads and my own kitchen cupboards. As I make my list I clip only the coupons I intend to use on that shopping trip. While I'm at it, I familiarize myself with the other coupons in the insert – the ones I'm not going to clip. Then I organize my coupons by aisle and put them in my coupon wallet, making sure I pull out any that expired since last week.
By clipping only those coupons I plan to use I avoid buying products I don't really want or need just because I find a great deal and I find this helps save even more money. It's easy to get caught up in the excitement when you find a $2 item you can get for 25 cents, but that's 25 cents you wouldn't have spent if you hadn't brought that coupon along.
Read more at “Don't buy something just because you have a coupon”
However, to avoid tripping over a too-good-to-pass-up deal on an item my family uses on a regular basis, I also carry a binder or folder with me to hold the inserts that I've clipped from. If it helps, you can make a list of the coupons inside and tape it to the front of the folder, but eventually you're going to develop that “coupon mentality.” You'll see a deal and you'll say, “Hey! I have a coupon for that!”
Happy couponing, Julie!
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