A few weeks ago, I talked about how to store your coupons, with some people preferring to file inserts and others clipping all their coupons. Today, I want to go over what to with printable coupons and coupons you might find from other sources.
Should I print every coupon I find online?
The short answer is no. Just as I recommend most couponers file their inserts rather than clip every coupon, I also recommend waiting to print most online coupons until you plan to use them.
Right now, the SavingsAngel.com coupon database includes 5,201 printable coupons. You would have to spend a lot of time – not to mention paper and ink – to print all those coupons!
So instead of printing coupons right away, use a coupon database that matches up the sales to the coupons. Our SavingsAngel database lets members see the best deals of the week and then links them directly to the printable coupons they need.
When should I print coupons?
Now, as with most things in life, there are exceptions to this rule. Printable coupons aren’t like your inserts. They aren’t simply waiting indefinitely for you to print them. Many have print limits which means that once x number of coupons have been printed, the coupon is no longer available.
This means there are some coupons you should print immediately. Coupons posted on Facebook, for example, tend to quickly hit their print limit. In addition, high value or free coupons should also be printed right away, particularly if they are for items you regularly use.
Once you gain some experience couponing, you’ll learn which ones are likely to only be available for a brief time. A $5 off coupon for a razor is a rarity and may be gone in a matter of days or even hours. Meanwhile, you can almost always find coupons for 30 cents off refrigerated biscuits or 50 cents off granola bars.
What do I do with printed coupons?
If you only print the coupons you need plus a few high value coupons, you’ll likely be using them right away. However, what do you do with them in the meantime? And how do you store the tearpad, blinkie, catalina and other coupons you might collect from various sources?
While printables are included in coupon databases, tearpad, blinkie and catalina coupons often are not. That means it is up to you to develop a method to organize those coupons and locate which ones you need for a future shopping trip.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer. Some couponers create a coupon binder like the ones used by those who clip rather than file their inserts. Other couponers may put these coupons into an old-school coupon box and file them away by category.
I know one couponer who has a zippered coupon clutch in which she files her coupons for each store for visits each week. After her shopping trips, she moves any unused coupons plus any in-store coupons and catalina coupons she finds to the back of the clutch. Then, before shopping the next week, she pulls out that stack of coupons and quickly flips through them to see if they match anything on her shopping list.
The key is to find a strategy that works for you. The right method will depend on how much time you want to spend organizing and how much time you want to spend searching through the coupons to find ones that match a sale.
If you need help finding the right method, feel free to stop by our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/savingsangel or SavingsAngel members get access to our Angel Community plus Angel Mentors who can provide personalized advice.
Written by: Josh Elledge, Chief Executive Angel - SavingsAngel.com on August 27, 2013.