Saving money at the grocery store with coupons involves gathering and cutting coupons, matching up coupons with sales, and shopping at the right times. Every couponer develops her own style for getting to the savings, but there’s one thing all successful coupon shoppers know–how to stay organized.
Here are four components of coupon shopping that you’ll need to keep organized if you want to be successful.
Organize Your Coupons
In order to save the most possible, you’ll want to get Sunday paper coupons. You’ll find lots of methods to organize your coupon inserts and there’s no “one size fits all” method for a coupon filing system. The important thing is to pick a filing system you can be consistent with because the easiest way to get disorganized with your couponing efforts is to fall behind in your coupon filing.
The best way to stay consistent and be organized is to pull your coupon inserts from the Sunday paper and put them in a folder labeled with the date they came out. If you’re using Coupon Sense to make your grocery list, it will be a piece of cake to go back and find the coupons and you only have to clip coupons you know you’re going to use.
Organize Your Shopping Trips
The key to a successful, organized shopping trip starts before you head to the store. You’ll need to make your list and cut your coupons. The printable Coupon Sense shopping list is organized by category, which makes staying organized in the store super easy. When you’re in the dairy section you can look down at your list and see all of the dairy items grouped together, when you’re in the canned goods aisle, you can look down and find all of your canned goods in one location on your list.
Many sales require you to buy a certain number of items in order to get a discount. If you are shopping a sale like this stay organized by grouping items in the cart that are part of the sale. You can even use reusable shopping bags for the sale items. Put your items in the bags while you shop and your sale and non-sale items won’t get jumbled.
Organize Your Pantry
Having an organized pantry will save you a lot of headaches. If you don’t know what you have, you won’t know what you need to purchase to maintain your stockpile. If you need some ideas for organizing your pantry and storing deals in other areas of your house, check out this article.
When you are purchasing a lot of the same item, it’s important to organize your pantry so you have a chance to use items before they expire. Keep like items together on the shelf. Check expiration dates and be sure the oldest items are near the front. An organized pantry means you won’t be wasting your hard earned savings.
Organize Your Time
It takes time to be a successful coupon shopper, but with a little organization you can maximize your time to get the very best deals. The ideal way to organize your time for coupon shopping is to designate the same time on the same day each week for coupon shopping. You’ll always know when you are going to shop and you can plan accordingly.
If you can’t go at the same time each week, plan time on your calendar at the beginning of each week for coupon clipping, list making and shopping. The discipline it takes to stick to your schedule will pay off in savings.
If you’re running to the store last minute because you are out of things, you’re probably not going to use coupons, you’re going to buy things you don’t need and you’re definitely going to spend more.
If you’ve tried to coupon in the past but failed, don’t be afraid to add a little more organization to your coupon routine and try again. Successful coupon shoppers know that keeping everything organized might take a little trial and error, so don’t be afraid to try something and then try another way if it doesn’t work. Don’t give up and you’ll have your coupon organization down in no time.