We’ve had an Ice Storm for the last two days. Yesterday, it took me 45 minutes to find my new Dodge Journey that I hadn’t even drove yet under all the ice. Then I attempted to go to work, but only made it about 4 miles before I turned around and came back home the road was so bad. It took me 20 minutes to get that far and back to town. Today we have a snow, or rather, Ice day. We haven’t got much of the snow that other parts of the country have got, but we sure do have ice.
What’s the best thing to do on a Snow/Ice Day? Sit down with a cup of Hot Chocolate (my new favorite thing is to top it off with Cool Whip) and catch up on organizing coupons.
I’ve recently had some people ask how I get such great deals at Rite Aid, so I decided to do a series on coupon basics. If you’re willing to put in a little effort, the reward is amazing. I’ve been couponing for years. Even as a teenager I was clipping coupons. But I never knew how much money they could save you, if you played the game. Now it’s a thrill to see what bargains I can get each week.
Deal Seeking 101- Organizing Coupons
First off, you need a system that works for you to keep all the coupons you’re collecting. I use this according style binder that is for organizing bills and such. You can find these in the office supply section. I’ve even found them in the dollar section at Target.
Then you need to figure out what categories you’re going to have. I keep the first pocket empty (I’ll explain later why). Then I sort by Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snacks, Drinks, Dressings/Condiments, Baking/Desserts, Cleaning, Personal, Dogs, Baby, Office and use the back space for coupon books and restaurant coupons.
These are the categories that work for me and doesn’t necessarily mean that they will work for you. This system may not even work for you, but this is what I have found to be easiest for me and yet portable enough to take with me to the store.
Next you need to sort all those coupons you’ve been clipping. I put mine in to piles according to the category in which they belong. Also as I am sorting, if I come across a coupon that I think I will use that week, I set it aside. While sorting the most recently clipped coupons, I go through each category in my organizer and get rid of the expired coupons (I know, there are many organizations out there, such as military bases that you can send expired coupons too that are still able to use them past the expiration date).
Once everything is sorted and up to date, I put them back into the organizer.
Then I take the coupons that I set aside that I am going to use this week and put into an envelop for “This Week”. I also keep envelops for various store coupons. I do this for Rite Aid and Target. If you have more stores around you that offer store coupons, you could do other envelops too. These are the only ones I do because outside of Rite Aid and CVS we don’t have any other stores in town that offer store coupons and I never go to CVS since it’s out of my way. The closest Target is 20 miles away, but I still keep their store coupons just in case I’m in the area. Then I place these envelops in that front pocket that I left open earlier, so that these coupons are easily accessible when out shopping.
Once all of your coupons are organized you’ll have an easy way to take them with you on your next shopping trip.
Coming Next: Where to find coupons other than newspaper inserts.