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Friday, October 22, 2010

Keeping track of coupons

A $1.00 saved is $2.00 earned.  Have you ever thought about that?

You see, on every $1.00 earned from an employer, there are federal, state and Social Security taxes on it.  If the individual is a tither, then 10% goes to their church.  Depending on the tax bracket, $1.00 saved may actually be worth more than $2.00.

Hence the reason I love coupons.  While I'm not a professional coupon clipper, I do put effort into it each week.   As a work-at-home mom for a national ministry, I make considerably less than what I would make if I took my skills to the marketplace.  One way I "make" money is by saving it. But if I don't organize my coupons, I'll never use them. 

Since we don't eat out a lot, most of my coupons are for grocery or home items.  Here are a few tips that have worked for me:

Grocery Coupons

I organize mine in an affordable coupon wallet bought at Target.  For about $5.00, I store all my grocery coupons by type of product.  Within each section (dairy, frozen, canned) I sort them by expiration date.  Closest date goes in the front of each section.

Before going shopping, I review my coupons and pull those that I might use.  I almost always use a coupon when a product is on sale.  And I always take my entire coupon wallet just in case I see a sale, but the item isn't on my list.

I found some great suggestions for making your own coupon organizer at TipNut.  She's got tips for using an index box, envelopes and a binder for the most organized. 

Restaurant/Product/Service coupons

Mine all get put on a bulletin board in my laundry room.  This is by the door to the garage, so it's easy to see on the way out.  Plus, I really like the visual reminder of what I've got. I try to sort them by type:  pizza, restaurants, stores, etc.

Some coupons get moved to my wallet, just in case I'm by the store.  Right now I've got one for Bath and Body Works that's going to expire soon.  I'm hoping to get by the mall, but that takes more effort than I've got right now.

If you like carrying all your coupons with you, consider a small plastic envelope with a Velcro closure. 

Tuck this envelope in your purse or your car.

Sort by expiration date or theme.

Purge regularly.

Calendar with pockets at the bottom

Each year I get my mom a wall calendar with a pocket at the bottom.  She loves to keep her notes, coupons, invitations, etc in this.  It's a great way to keep all kinds of little pieces of paper organized by month, and it doesn't take up any extra space. 

Costco (or your favorite warehouse store) has them at a great price now and they make great gifts.

What are your favorite tips for organizing coupons?  I've love to hear.

Grace & peace,


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