Monday, September 26, 2005


I am really good at clipping coupons. Every time I see one, snip snip snip. Or rip rip rip, but I always go back and trim the edges if I tore it out in a hurry. I even tear out coupons for brands I don't usually buy, being completely open-minded to a temporary switch if it will save me a few bucks.
The only problem is that I am not good at using coupons. I just threw out $15.30 worth of savings, because the dates had all expired. I always find myself at the supermarket checkout buying something that I need right away, and realizing that I've left a coupon for it at home. Or I'm on my way home after buying groceries and I realize I didn't take the coupon out of my bag and give it to the cashier.
Does anyone have any organizational tips on how to remember to use coupons before they expire?


Caitlin said...

I used to have the same problem. Now a combination of things helps but I am by no means a power-coupon-user.

One thing I did was start only cutting out the coupons I would really truly use...this actually reduces the amount of coupons to "manage" and effectively use (I'm not saying I wouldn't try another brand, but I stopped cutting out the "oh, never had that but it looks sort of interesting and oooh $1 off if I buy 25" sort of things)

We keep this small pile paperclipped to the calendar on the month they expire. That helps a little. But honestly, the thing that helps the most is actually planning out the grocery shopping.

We resisted doing this for years (I mean years!) but once we had a weekly day for sitting down and making that list, sifting through the coupons to find ones to use that trip, then clipping them to the shopping list...dorky, but it totally works.

We pay much less on groceries lately...mostly due to not throwing out food we bought on "inpiration" but didnt use...and slightly due to effective coupon-age.

YMMV because it seems like you do more impulse shopping (which seems to fit the whole NYC way of things) maybe just paring them down and keeping soon to expire ones in your wallet?

Anonymous said...

i can share what i do. i keep all usable coupons in an envelope in my purse at ALL times (b/c i too have missed out on great opptys!). near the beginning of my shopping trip (at store) i skim thru them. every time i do pick up an item i have a coupon for, i immediately take out that coupon and place in an obvious spot so that i will use it (in the front of cart/my pocket next to credit card/etc.). the last trick one should remember is to be sure that the clerk actually credits you for your coupon! they have forgotten on me so many times, but i hold my ground and make them credit my card or pay me the cash if they didn't include it.

lastly, in any shopping trip it is wise to check your receipt to make sure you weren't charged the wrong (or not the sale price when it was on sale) price on anything you bought -- before you leave so that you can have them correct it. i have been mischarged countless times but catch it. good luck! keep working on a system that will work for you; build a good habit. :)