Sunday, August 9, 2009

Filing Coupon Inserts - NEW (to me) SECRET STEP

First, I must say that
my mother-in-law, the



Really is amazing.

She clips my coupons for me.
Close your mouth. Quit staring.
She totally rocks.
And she's mine, so step off.

But I've been getting 4 newspapers myself lately.
Mrs. A clips the coupons that come in her paper,
and I file those in my coupon box.

Then I take the WHOLE inserts from the 4 newspapers I get
and I mark the front of each with the date and source,
like so:

8/2 RP = August 2 , Red Plum
8/2 SS = August 2, Smart Source
7/16 PG = July 16, Procter & Gamble

(Yes, smarty pants, it does already say
SmartSource, Red Plum, etc. across the top of the insert.
But when I'm in a hurry searching for coupons,
my simple mind and my failing eyes
are trained to look for 8/2 RP or 8/2 SS.
So... well... that's why.)

THEN, I do a quick glance through the inserts.
If there's a product I know I'm likely to use no matter what,
I will cut all of that coupon from my inserts.

If it's a product that I don't know if I will use or not, but
wouldn't pass up if it were free or very cheap, I will cut out
one or two.

My inserts get filed by date. All the inserts from a given
date will be in a file together.

Then, when I see something in a sales ad and want
to know if there's a coupon for it, I go to a coupon
database like the one on Hot Coupon World
(accessing the whole database requires registering, but
it's not painful).

There's a sad part of this story.
The database is not infallible.
:>( Can you even believe it?
Different areas of the country get different coupons.
It's a fact of coupon life.

The database might say there's a coupon
for hemorrhoid cream in 7/16 SS, but it might not be
in mine.
( Hemorrhoid cream... he he he... now you're all
wishing you had that coupon, aren't ya?
For the record, I made that up.
It was fun to type "hemorrhoid cream".
Easily, I amuse.)

Remember how I said I'll cut one or two coupons
for items I wouldn't want to pass up if they were free
or cheap?

What if I'm in the store and I see one of those items
at a great price, but you have to buy more than one
to get the deal, or I'd like to stock up, but I don't have
the coupons in my file box?

This happened to me a few times before I started doing
this new step that has already saved me tons of time
when I'm actually in the store.

I will now reveal THE NEW(to me) SECRET STEP
which works for me, but may not for you, and you're still ok,
and I'm still ok, and it's all ok, but ANYWAY...

Before I file the cut coupons in my coupon box, I mark
the back of each coupon with the date and insert info.
That way, when I have one of a certain coupon but think
maybe I have more that I didn't cut, I can pull out my insert
file right there in the store (Yes, I often carry it, because OCD
keeps me from leaving it at home.) and retrieve the additional copies
of the coupon.

This is also good when I'm at home searching the coupon database
and I see that coupons for a certain product have been in more
than one recent insert. I can look at the backs of the coupons I
have cut to see if I have all the coups from all the dates. Maybe
I've cut all the 6/28 coupons but not the 8/2 coupons. I know
right where to look, because I have implemented the

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