Organize Your Coupons
You're at the checkout line when you remember: You do have a coupon for this cereal. Is it somewhere in your purse? At home? Sound familiar? You could be losing up to $300 monthly! The solution: Control your coupons. Here's how:
ClippingMake this a Sunday-night routine to do while watching TV: Collect a pile of newspapers and put two baskets next to you, one on each side. Go through the stack, cutting out all the coupons youd use and setting them in one basket. If you see any good coupons for items youd never buy like dog food when you dont own a dog cut those out, too, and put them in the other basket.
SortingFrom medicines to breakfast, choose categories (broad or specific) that best suit your needs. For example, you could group all lunch items under lunch, or divide into frozen foods, lunch meats and so on.
StoringTwo easy, cheap methods are 1) a three-ring binder and 2) envelopes. If you choose the binder, put coupons in transparent sheet protectors or baseball card holders and separate categories using the binders dividers. If you go the envelope route, use spare return envelopes that come with magazine or charity mailings. Label with your categories, and store all envelopes in one accordion file. Put the coupons you dont need in a shoebox labeled swap.
MaintainingAt the end of each month, go through your coupons and dump expired ones (or see our Q&S tip!). Every so often, invite friends over for a coupon trade. Take out the swap shoebox and exchange good deals. As for keeping your stash handy, the best place for your collection is the car, of course. That way, if you make an impromptu trip to the store when youre already out and about, youll be prepared!