Thursday, June 18, 2009

How I organize my coupons for a shopping trip...

The first time I went shopping with coupons, I only had a few items and they were all in one transaction, so it was really easy to keep my coupons organized. All I had to do was gather them and stick them in my purse. When it was time to pay, I handed them over. Piece of cake.

The next time it was a little bit more complicated. I had to do a couple different transactions, as it was a doubler week and I had a few sets to use. I came to the store with a pile of coupons and after gathering my stuff, just started putting the coupons on top of each set of items, which took a little while because I had to go through the whole stack and sort them out.

The third time I went was even more difficult. I had a lot more items because I was shopping a really great promo, but also had doublers, so had to break the transactions down even further. Once again I had come to the store with my stack of coupons, but had written on my shopping list which items had to be with which set to reach the $10 mark (which is what I needed for this particular promo) SO I kind of had the coupons sorted into groups. I just put them in order by which coupons went with each other for which promo, but I still had to put each set of coupons with the right set of items and since there were so many in the cart, it just became pretty difficult to keep them from flying off, getting mixed up, etc. It just became a pain in my neck.

Finally, I came up with a way to keep them organized for my shopping trip. It's nothing glamorous and I'm sure there are probably better ways that I'll figure out at some point down the line. But for now, this seems to work great for me and is so simple and quick. This system is primarily for when you have to do multiple transactions due to certain promos and when you have doublers. If you are able to do all of your items in one transaction, there is no need to sort out your coupons. You can just hand the whole stack over to the cashier when it's time to pay. However, for times when you do need to do multiple transactions, the process is easy.

All I do is after I do my breakdown of transactions on paper, I gather any coupons I need for each particular transaction from my binder. Then I stick a post-it note to the top of the stack and write the basic information on it. I write how many of which items I need for that set and if I'm doing a promo where I have to hit a certain dollar amount, I also write the amount of each item or group of items and then the total for ALL of the items at the bottom. Then I check and double check that they reach that certain dollar amount. (this is how I can be certain, at check-out, that I have hit the mark to receive my discount should anything go wrong) After I am done writing the info on the post-it, I simply add a paper clip. There is my set of coupons for a transaction! I can then stack all of my coupons together (then I keep them all in a my Albies sheet protector) and not worry about having to flip through the stack at the store and try to figure out what goes with what. I can tell with a simple glance what I need for that stack of coupons, then when I check out, I just use the post-it again to put the right group of items on the belt, take off the paper clip and post-it, and hand the coupons to the cashier. It just really is super-simple and seems to do the job quite well.

Just thought this might help some of you out, if you hadn't come up with a way, yet, to organize them for your trips.

There are times, however, where it doesn't go quite so smoothly, such as when items you need for a particular transaction is out of stock! This is where you have to learn to be flexible and have back-up plans. I always pull out a few coupons for other things within the promo that I can get if certain other things are gone (I pull out all of my coupons so that I don't have to bring my coupon binder in the store, unless I don't have all of the kids). It helps to have your calculator with you (or use the calculator on your cell phone if you have one) so you can double check your totals.

Having your transactions mapped out will really help you save time at the store. Having the price of each item next to it on the Post-It note, helps you to easily swap out other items of the same price, so that you don't go over your dollar mark.

1 comment:

  1. thats kind of funny, cuz thats pretty much how i do it, except i don't have paper clips i keep forgettin them, but i use envelopes .. and have basically the same thing.. i organize my coupons before i leave the house.. =) but i still need to get a cute lil coupon pouch like yours !!


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