May 10, 2012
Today we’re going to hear from Contessa, who is sharing her “there will be another deal tomorrow” philosophy along with her organization method! Take it away, Contessa!
For me couponing is a game, one I like to play – and win.I try not to take couponing TOO seriously – I don’t stress if I miss a particular deal or a certain coupon. I might be irritated for a very short while, but I figure there will always be another coupon and another deal – later.
Don’t get me wrong. I work for a not-for-profit arts organization so I don’t make a lot of money and we need to stretch every penny as far as it will reach, especially with groceries. My long time partner (who has a similar type job to mine) still scoffs at my coupon clipping, or at least he pretends to. He used to scoff for real, but now I think he actually gets a kick out of going grocery shopping with me and seeing the total shrink smaller and smaller after I hand over my wad of coupons. Whenever the cashier asks “do you have any coupons?” He usually says something like “Oh, she has coupons. If we are out shopping, she has coupons.”
Couponing can take up a LOT of time, but it really does not have to. The key for me is being organized. I try to clip the coupons from the Sunday circular on that same day and to file them away in my little organizer, one of those accordion types. I now clip out anything I might possibly use, in case there is a sale I am not expecting, or if I see an item on clearance that wasn’t on my usual list. Then I spend a few minutes each morning checking I Heart Publix and I Heart Kroger just to see if there is anything new. I usually multi-task while waiting for coupons to print out, like reading the newspaper or checking email on one computer while printing out coupons on the other. I realize that not everyone has two computers, but we are lucky enough to have them.
I used to put the circulars into the recycling bin or pass them on to a friend when I was done clipping what I wanted. For a few months now though, I have kept the inserts after clipping. I write the date in large letters on the front and put them in a small plastic file. Too often I would see a really great deal with a coupon that I had not clipped, so I am trying this method for a while. I also have a small satchel (meant to be used for crafting supplies) that holds my coupon accordion file, my store circulars and my sorting envelopes. I used to take out the coupons I would need for a particular shopping trip and put them in an envelope in my purse and that would be all I would take to the store. Too often I would see an unadvertised special that I had a coupon for, but the coupon was … at home, where it did me no good at all.
Now, I write my list (I DO NOT EVER go shopping without a list), I pull out the coupons I think I will need for my shopping trip and put them in an envelope marked “current ad”. I also have envelopes marked “next week’s ad” (Thanks to Michelle putting up an advanced copy of the next ad!) as well as one for good deals at Kroger and one for Target and Whole Foods. I put all of the envelopes in my little satchel and off to shopping I go. I also have a small clear binder pouch like the kind that kids use to put pencils and such in their notebooks. As I shop and find the items that I have coupons for, I take the coupons out of my “current ad” envelope and place them in the clear pouch. That just makes it easier for me at the checkout.
With all of my coupons in tow, I am mostly covered for what I need to buy and whatever unadvertised deals I might find. Still, sometimes I find something I just don’t have a particular coupon, so I mutter and grumble a little, take a deep breath and walk away. There will be another great deal on another day………..and I will have that coupon!
Thanks for sharing your story, Contessa!
I could really use a few new volunteers for the Reader Spotlight – so please write in if you have a story to tell! Your post can be about almost anything to do with couponing. You can tell us about a particularly good or bad situation you’ve dealt with as a couponer, about how you got into couponing or how couponing has impacted the rest of your life, you can make a list of things every new couponer should know…just about anything, really! If you think it’s interesting and it has to do with couponing, email me with your idea at contactiheartpublix @ gmail.com!