Tuesday, October 12, 2010

In Coupon Organization Hell

When I started couponing in earnest, I was sure that my new coupon organizational system was absolutely the greatest thing since sliced bread. I wrote about that here. But since I wrote that post, I started asking my friends and family for any coupons they weren't using, and the number of coupons I have to file now has quadrupled. Don't get me wrong. That's a great thing! The more coupons I have, the more successfully I can stockpile. So while I might be in coupon organization hell, I'm in coupon clipping heaven.

But what to do with all those coupons?

The problems I've come across are threefold. 1) I've found it's pretty pointless to write an expiration date on the envelope because I end up running out of room on the enveope and my dates blend in with all the other dates on the envelope and it becomes a huge jumbled mess. 2) I've also found from watching this for a while that I end up (most of the time anyway) with coupons over and over again from the same manufacturer, and the coupons are usually the same from week to week. So if I want to stock up on a product, I tend to use all my coupons of one type even though they came out weeks apart and have different expiration dates. 3) Since all the coupons are in a jumbled mess in the envelope, I end up going through all the coupons anyway, so all I really need is the brand name at the outset to know if it's worth my time to go looking for a coupon.

So today I'm going to reorganize, this time writing the brand name and nothing else on the outside of the envelope. It's the simplest fix until I come up with something that works more efficiently. Maybe I'll write tally marks for how many of each coupon I have. But it's still not ideal.

In an ideal world I could sort the coupons inside the envelope by brand, and know at a glance how many I have and when they expire. But that's going to be time consuming to record, and I don't want to devote even more time than I already do to this.

My quick fix solution for about-to-expire coupons is to pull them out and put them in their own envelope - but I'm going to have to keep them organized or else I won't know what I have--the overriding problem here.

Hopefully this is going to be the tweak I'm looking for.

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