Saturday, June 6, 2009

Keeping Coupons Organized While Shopping

If you are a couponer you know that couponing is time consuming, confusing sometimes, and the key is to staying organized!!
Our K-mart is doubling coupons tomorrow and since I was preparing I thought I'd share my system of preparation and how I stay organized while I'm actually in the store shopping.

First I start by browsing the web for all the best deals for the week and I jot them down in a regular notebook, along with the coupons I'll need for each item and the date of the insert the coupons will be in. After I've gathered my coupons I compress all the info into a smaller more organized notebook. This way I know exactly 1)Coupon value 2)Product name 3)Regular price of each item (a lot of times this price varies in different areas and websites give just a round about price and this could alter your overall savings) 4)Total Out Of Pocket (OOP) expense I'll end up paying for the item after my coupon

I have been keeping the bank envelopes to organize my coupons for when I'm out in the stores (they seem to be the perfect size and give easy access to thumbing through coupons). I either use them to organize by store or by department in a single store. (With K-Mart doubling this week, I'll be using these two envelopes to organize by department - Food & Personal Care Items - you'll need more envelopes if you are shopping at more stores or in more departments)

And lastly, when I'm shopping I don't want to be caring around my giant coupon binder or file system - I always bring this small "Five Star" pencil case. This one works great for me, it has 2 side pockets (to the left). I put my shopping list and the coupons I bring with me in the back pocket (in their separate envelopes shown above) and then as I put items into my cart I take the coupons out and put them in the front pocket so I have them all ready to go when I get to the checkout. Also I love the top pocket, it fits my calculator perfectly. When you have a child shopping with you or the store is a little crazy with people my brain tends to not want to function, or should I say, it forgets how to do math. It's handy to have. I also throw in a couple of pens for crossing off my shopping list or for making notes.

Thanks checking out my organization tips and hope they work for some of you too!