Since I’m starting from scatch in a way, I decided to show how I clip and sort my coupons. This is honestly the most time consuming portion of the entire couponing process. For starters, this is how I do it. You may not like this method. We’re all different, isn’t that great? So this is just me. And this is also only if you clip your coupons rather than use the insert method.
The great thing to me about this method, is once you’ve gotten the swing of things, it’s really easy. Some sessions will take longer than normal depending on the amount of inserts you have.
Here’s the step by step:
- Do the research. Go ahead and subscribe to SundayCouponPreview and you will get notified of what will be in the Sunday paper. That way you know if you need to get one, two or several. Everybody’s household needs are different, but I for one, stock up on the Sunday’s when the P&G Brandsaver comes out. Why? Because these products I use regularly and stock up on regularly. Every month it’s usually the same products but not always the same value of coupons. On these inserts, I get a minimum of 4. Usually 4 is the most I’ll get, but not always. Once you know how many papers you’ll get then you plan accordingly. For me, I know what local newspaper boxes are well stocked, and I know that I live around some greedy coupon theives. So on these Sundays, I set my alarm early and get up groggy eyed and get my coupons before they’re gone.
- Clip Clip Clip. If you have a handy dandy helper at home, awesome. I have to go it alone. I invested in a paper slicer. I got it from Walmart for less than $20 I think. It makes the clipping process go much faster. A few pointers tho:
- If you get papers from more than one city, be aware that they may not be in the same order. For example, my Raleigh paper has more coupons, therefore it’s not going to match up to the inserts in my Greenville paper. The only exception are the P&G coupons because those are usually the same regionally if not nationwide.
- Be careful to line up your coupons exactly. It really sucks to be slicing away only to find out that the last page you cut off all the barcodes and/or expiration dates. Yes, total frustration.
- Sorting. When sorting the easiest way for you to cause a meltdown for yourself, is to clip and stack. That is you clip your coupons and then you make a big pile of them. The best way is to organize as your clip. From time to time, I will actually lay out a grid that I make with regular printer paper that will be labled with the different catergories from my binder. That’s a bit more time consuming. Usually I just go by insert. For example if I’m doing the P&G insert, I will clip and stack only like items, then I will be able to easily see the sections I have then I will put them in my binder. Then I’ll move on to the next insert, etc.
- Organize. This is part of sorting but basically from here, you take your sorted coupons and organize them as you so choose into your coupon binder.