Effective couponing requires more than just clipping and using coupons. You have to learn how to manage your time effectively. Otherwise, you wind up wasting your time and getting very little in return. Frugal Living reports that many extreme couponers do not actually save much money at all. Here are some rules for making the most of your couponing so that you can still have a life.
Learn to Make Quick Decisions
One of the time-wastes that can develop so easily happens when people look at the different coupons and don’t make a decision. Instead, they put the coupons aside in a pile. Later on, they have to go through and sort it. Instead, make a quick decision about the coupon. Remember that the coupon you have in hand is not the last one like it. You will be able to find other coupons for great deals. But you will not be able to get your time back. Only save a coupon if you’re reasonably sure that you’re going to use the coupon.
Organize as You Go
Whatever organization system you decide upon, make sure that you use it. No matter whether you get free coupons or rebate deals, organizing them as you find them makes it more likely that you can find them later. Once you lose a coupon, you’ll easily spend anywhere from ten minutes to hours trying to find it again. Usually the savings aren’t worth that. Have your organizing book or app with you and put the coupons into their appropriate slots as you go along.
Clear Out Your Coupons Once Every Three Months
When you start saving coupons, you will soon amass quite a quantity. Outdated coupons quickly take up space. So make a point of throwing out unused coupons at the end of every three months. This way you keep only the coupons that you plan to use. If you have not used them in three months, you’ll likely not use them. Don’t worry about analyzing them. Remember you can get more coupons. If you are using a coupon sorting app, then set it to automatic deletions when an expiration date comes up.
Avoid Saving Duplicate Coupons for Products You’ve Never Tried
When you find a new product that you want to try, avoid the temptation to cut out all of the associated coupons. You don’t know whether you’re going to like it, and you may wind up wasting lots of time on coupon clipping and organizing for products that you won’t use. If you want to be on the safe side, just set the entire sheet aside. Then make it a point to make the purchase, try the product, and then decide on the coupons.
Give Away Extra Coupons You Won’t Use
If you can’t abide the thought of waste, then take the time to share the coupons that you won’t be using. Make sure that there’s at least a week of time to use the coupon in. You may even be able to trade for other coupons you can use.