Save Time and Money
Savvy shoppers will tell you: to save money, you need to spend some time.But it doesn’t have to be hours on end. Here are tips to save both time and money.
1. File whole coupon inserts by date. Write the insert date in large numbers on the front cover (taking care to not write over any coupons) and place the inserts into dated hanging file folders. Then, when you’re ready to use a coupon, simply pull out the right insert and clip. (Another variation for multiple insert filing: Take the inserts apart, match up the identical pages, staple and date them. This allows for faster flipping and clipping later.)
2. To save big, you have to purchase great deals in quantity. This means you need more than one copy of the newspaper. To quickly clip multiples of identical coupons, put the individual coupon pages on top of each other, then cut at the same time. A few cautions: First, staple the inserts together to prevent slipping as you cut. If the pages slip, you could cut the coupons incorrectly, voiding them. Second, before cutting, be sure to check the opposite side of the pages, to insure you don’t accidentally cut through another coupon. Third, whenever possible, cut wide around the coupon to help avoid cutting accidents.
3. If you are pressed for time, take it slow. Make your shopping list one day. If there are Catalinas or special offers, make sure you understand how they work. The next day, look at your list, clip the newspaper coupons you need, then print and clip the internet ones. As you prepare your coupons, coordinate and notate on your list the quantity of each item you plan to pick up. You are now ready to shop any time. This method breaks up the time it takes to adequately prepare, releasing the stress the multi-step process can evoke.
4. Be prepared before you get to the store. Paperclip your coupons together or have them in an envelope. Have notes on special deals so execution is flawless. Arrange your shopping list by store aisle, or in the way you move through the store. It’s also helpful to order your coupons by your list. That way if the store is out of something, you can quickly find the coupons you won’t use and set them aside.
5. While in the store, move along, following your list. Double-check your path using the overhead aisle signs to avoid unnecessary backtracking. Use the self-scanners available in the aisles to verify sizes and varieties of sale items prior to checkout.
6. When you come home with unused (and now clipped) coupons, rain checks, or other important shopping papers, file them right away. Rain checks, Catalinas, and the like should stay in your coupon envelope and be with you at all times. (You never know when you might get a chance to stop again.) Leave any coordinating coupons in the envelope as well. Clipped coupons you don’t need should be filed. Using your hanging file system, have a file marked “Cut Coupons”. Inside the file, have envelopes marked either by department (dairy, health, and beauty) or alphabetically (the coupons are filed by product name). Place loose coupons in the proper envelopes. You can easily review the envelopes later for coupons you might need.
7. SavingsAngel members have the advantage of coupon-matching to the sales, coupon location information, and convenient internet coupon links. Add this to the list creation and sorting features, and it saves hours of time over doing it yourself.