Late last year, I wrote about my new coupon binder and how excited I was to use it. This was going to be the thing to keep my coupons organized.
Well, it’s not. My current coupon system isn’t working. I realized this after I spent a couple of hours lugging my giant coupon binder around, only to realize that nearly all of the coupons in it were expired!
I realized that I just don’t have the time to cut all the coupons from three newspapers (sometimes more if my mom gives me her coupon inserts), organize them, and put them into the binder.
I also realized that I was only actually using a small fraction of the coupons I was clipping because I was trying to control my stockpiling.
One of the things I loved about the binder was that I could take a glance at my coupons when I happened across a good clearance sale at the store, and be able to find super deals. I’ve since discovered a couple of problems with that strategy. First, if I’m not updating my coupon binder, it’s pretty useless. And secondly, most of these great, can’t-pass-up-deals were for things we didn’t really need like candy or other high calorie snacks.
I realize that I need to have a working coupon system. I started tracking my coupon usage last April, and since then, I have saved $1,575.19. So I’m not going to be giving up coupons any time soon!
I’ve decided to revisit the system established by Stephanie Nelson, aka The Coupon Mom. The Coupon Mom strategy works like this: You save your coupon inserts from the Sunday newspapers and write the date on the front of each insert. Then, before you go shopping, you use the grocery coupon database to determine which coupons you need to clip to get the best deals.
I plan to expand on this system by utilizing the forums at A Full Cup to find the best deals. A Full Cup also has an extensive coupon database to help me find the perfect coupon to use to get the best deals.
I’ll use my current binder to keep the inserts organized by type and month. I’ll use my smaller, purse-sized coupon organizer for my actual shopping trips and to organize coupons that I get in the mail, from packaging, etc.
I think this system will save me time, still allow me to be organized, and best of all, help prevent impulse buys.
I’ll be keeping you posted to let you know how it goes!