Sunday, September 4, 2011
The Mechanics of Couponing
Actually having the coupons in my pocket often has not meant that I use them the way I anticipate. I get distracted, I misread the sizes, I stick coupons in my pockets, I miscount items, and sometimes I just flat out panic at the checkout. Try as I can, I attempt to execute The Plan, but it doesn't always happen. However, The Plan gets me closer to my anticipated goal.
Here's The Plan:
I review the list that I have been developing throughout the week, cutting and pasting into a Word document notices from the super coupon bloggers that I follow. I develop my own shopping list of everything else that I need. I create one list. If the individual store lists are long, I create a page for each.
When the list is on Word, the internet coupons are hyperlinked. I print them off. I gather the other coupons I need. They are filed in a big binder, recycled from some training program long ago. I will review my filing system in a future blog.
I rearrange the list as best as I remember according to the stores' layouts. I print them out.
I have a plastic envelope system (photo) that my daughter gave me a long time ago. This was my couponing system until I got intense. Now it serves me well to hold the individual stores' coupons and store credits (such as ExtraCare bucks from CVS).
I take the big binder with me and into the store, because you never know what deals you may run across. Wouldn't it be horrible if you knew that you left THE coupon at home that would make a great deal a super deal? However, I only occasionally pull it out for these incidents.
I put my shopping list in the envelope system. I put the coupons for the respective stores in their envelopes. If I end up not using the coupons, I put them in the very back of the envelope system for re-filing in the big binder. This happens with some frequency because the information that I get off the blogs does not apply to our region or I just decide the deal is not good for me when I actually "confront it" in the store.
I stick the receipt and any credit slips in the respective envelope. The receipts get pulled out at home. The credit slips are there for use on a future shopping trip.
I try to have everything in order. It is amazing how off-task I get. Couponing takes concentration. I am not surprised that the Extreme Couponers are often in the stores for seven hours or more.