Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Time Saving Tuesday - - Organizing Coupons on the Go

I live 20 min. away (at 60 mph) from all grocery (except 1), pharmacy, and big box stores. I must make good use of my time "in town." I prepare for my trips the night before. I read up on the deals available at stores located in the town where I will be shopping. I print any IPs and clip any insert Qs I will need. In my early days I used envelopes to store my coupons for shopping. Now, I have several coupon folders. I have three main folders that hold Qs for items our family uses regularly:

1) Groceries/food
2) Paper/plastic/cleaning supplies
3) Health/beauty/medicine/feminine/diapers

These folders have multiple pockets with label stickers so I can separate frozen from dairy from canned goods, etc.

I also keep folders for specific stores (some stores share one). Here is a peek into two of my store folders:

1) Food Lion - I keep my customer store card and Qs for current sales up front. I also store FLIPs, FL catalina Qs, rain checks, milk tickets (when they offer 1 free wyb 6 milk), and other promotional Qs (for example, the free ham giveaway).

2) CVS - I keep my CVS card, a copy of my husband's card, my extra care bucks, my receipts (this is sometimes necessary to keep track of the ECB offers I haven't completed for a particular week or month), the CRT Qs (coupons that print at the end of my receipt when I make a purchase at CVS) that go with my card number, DH's extra care bucks, receipts, and his CRT Qs. I also file CVS store Qs, Rx transfer Qs from any pharmacy (most CVS's will honor these), rain checks and mfr Q's for this weeks deals and mfr Qs for upcoming deals in this folder. -- This folder is packed quite tight.

In the back of my folders I have a space to store new coupons I find in the store: blinkies, tearpad Qs, winetags and/or MIRs.

Here is a photo of all my folders.

I keep my folders, sales flyers and print outs on specific store deals in what I call my coupon purse. I keep this in the car when I am out. I usually leave the purse in the car and take the Q folder for a particular store with me. If it is a grocery store, I will usually bring my gorcery folder in, too (or I end up returning to the car to get it). Here are two photos of my coupon purse.

Another tip: I often get store % off Qs in the mail from Kohl's, $ off or % off at JC Penny, Sears, Lowes, Home Depot, etc. When these come in the mail, I remove the Q right away and stick it in my purse in the same sleeve where I store that store's credit card. Sometimes I use it, some times I don't. It only takes a few minutes and sometimes it pays off in big savings!

It is my hope that this peek into "how I do this" helps you. Good luck creating your system!