Coupons 101: Organizing Coupons & Strategic Shopping

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Once you have mastered coupon lingo and built a coupon stash, you are ready to start organizing your coupons and developing your shopping strategy. Follow these couponing tips to maximize your success.

Organize Your Coupons

There are two widely used methods of organizing coupons. It is up to you to decide which works best with your lifestyle.

  1. The binder method – clip coupons and file in 9-pocket Baseball card sleeves in a 3-ring binder organized by category. This is very time-consuming, but very organized.
  2. Quick & easy method – organize coupon inserts by date & file them in plastic sheet sleeves in a 3-ring binder.  Follow coupon blogs & clip coupons when the products go on sale.

Get organized before leaving for your shopping trip

I like to go into the store with a plan of attack.  I get in, do what I came to do, and get out.

  1. Make a list of what you want & avoid wavering from it
  2. Clip & organize coupons before you leave
  3. Put coupons in a separate envelope or accordion folder
  4. Print the store coupon policy from the website and keep it with you

Pick the best time to shop

  1. Early in morning or late at night are the slowest times
  2. Remember, quantities are limited on the best deals (some stores will issue rainchecks)

Know your store’s coupon strategy (CVS example)

Every store has their own shopping card, coupons, rewards programs, etc.  I have listed a CVS example here because I shop there at least twice a week.

  1. Scan your CVS card at the coupon center – you will receive store coupons here. You can stack these coupons with manufacturer coupons to maximize the deal.
  2. Shop for the best deals
  3. Lay your green bag, CVS card, and green bag tag on the counter – you can purchase the Green Bag Tag for 99 cents. Put it on your green bag and have it scanned every time you shop. You will receive one Extra Buck for every 4 transactions. If you are a frequent shopper, you can typically make $1.00 each week!
  4. Lay your items on the counter
  5. Wait until all the items have been scanned
  6. If you have a $/$ coupon ($3/$15), hand this over first
  7. Hand over any other store/manufacturer coupons one at a time
  8. Present your Extra Bucks
  9. Pay any remaining OOP costs
  10. Don’t be afraid to ask for a manager, if there is a problem

Do you have any coupon tips that I missed?

By Emily Browning

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