April 24, 2018

Coupon Etiquette Tip #4: Be Organized

Oct 25, 2011

While being unorganized doesn’t break any laws (thankfully, or there are many of us who would be in deep trouble!), it can be a huge inconvenience for cashiers and other shoppers.

Does it irritate you to stand in line for a long time while you wait for someone who lost their checkbook, forgot their debit card number, or is arguing with the cashier about a pricing error? It’s especially annoying when you are in a hurry or have young children who are about 10 seconds away from a meltdown.

First let me say that I don’t think you should feel pressured or uncomfortable at the checkout when using coupons. You have waited in line just like everyone else and your purchases are no less valued by the store than anyone else’s.

The store is reimbursed for all the coupons you use (if used correctly), so your coupons are just as valuable as cash. Don’t be intimidated, rush through your order, and lose track of coupons and savings. If you are organized, your turn at checkout should not take too much longer than any other person who is purchasing the same number of items.

Now, while you do wait in line like everyone else, you do have to keep in mind that your order will probably take a little longer, no matter how organized you are. You might consider letting other customers know that you are going to be using coupons and they might want to consider a different checkout line if they are in a hurry.

You could also let customers who are only buying a couple of items go in front of you. I think this is a great thing to do, even if you are not using coupons!

How to Be Organized at Checkout

  • Have all your coupons already clipped. Do not wait until you get in line to clip your coupons!
  • Have the coupons you are going to use in an easy-to-find location. Storing them at the bottom of your messy purse is not encouraged.
  • Have your coupons stacked neatly. Try to keep them unfolded and facing in the same direction to save the cashier time. If you are worried about them sticking together, trying stacking them in a criss-cross pattern.
  • Group items for “free” coupons together at the beginning or end of the transaction and give the cashier those coupons first. Having them all together at the beginning or end will make it easier for the cashier to look up the price of the items.
  • Use coupons correctly. Make sure you’ve read the terms of the coupon carefully and are following the store coupon policy.
  • Organize at Home. If you spend a little time at home organizing your coupons, it’s a lot easier to be organized once you get to the store. Be sure to choose the organization method that works for you. If you choose one that’s too time-consuming, you won’t do it and you’ll be no better off. Go with what works.

Being organized will not only help keep cashiers from rolling their eyes and other customers from tapping their toes, it will save YOU time and money!

How Being Organized Will Benefit You

  • You will be able to watch the prices of the items as they are scanned. This will make it easier to catch price mistakes and correct them as they happen. This will also save you time because you won’t have to go to customer service later and try to get a price adjustment or refund.
  • You will be able to watch the coupons being scanned and make sure the cashier does not accidentally miss one. If you wait until the next day to look at your receipt, it may be too late to prove they missed a coupon.
  • You will know that you gave the cashier all the coupons you intended. No more finding missed coupons in the bottom of your purse, in your pocket, or left on the counter at home.
  • You will have the opportunity to be a shining example of a couponer. You might even gain an ally in a cashier or recruit a watchful customer who is looking for ways to save money.

Being organized does not take much time, and with benefits like saving money, it’s time well spent!

How to Organize Coupons: The Day Planner Method

Sep 15, 2011

Melissa shared the following coupon organization method:

I use an old day planner/portfolio that my husband had for work.  I was able to attach a handle from a camera bag for easy transport.  I use the inside pocket for department store q’s, restaurant q’s and the current grocery store sales ads.  I have a pencil bag that I picked up on clearance last year after the back to school sales.  I use it to hold a pen, small scissors and any large coupons that won’t fit into my card holder sheets.  If I have a planned trip I will also store the corresponding coupons in it for easy access.  There are business card holders that are great for credit cards and loyalty cards when you want to keep it down to one bag, no purse.

Behind the pencil bag I have page protectors that contain store coupon policies, uncut coupon inserts and any Groupons I may have.  I then have a coupon page (I currently use the 9 count baseball card protectors but intend to order other sizes off of Amazon soon) that contains any q’s for free items or those soon to expire that I don’t want to forget about.  Behind that is a page of store q’s (Walgreens, etc..).  I have my regular q’s divided into categories that make sense to me (very important) using tabbed dividers.

I use a clear plastic check organizer when actually cutting out a large number of q’s.  It is labeled the same as my big binder for easy transfer and makes the initial sorting much faster.  It is also convenient for those times that I only have time to cut the q’s but not to place them in the holders in the large binder.  It fits easily into the binder, which zips completely shut.   I have triplet three year old boys and time is not something I have alot of.

Thanks so much for sharing, Melissa!

You can find more Coupon Organization Methods HERE.

How to Organize Coupons: The Mega Coupon Bag

Sep 14, 2011

Melissa shared the following coupon organization method:

I recently purchased a new coupon organizer. About 4 weeks ago it arrived in the mail and I am a very happy girl! Was the binder system hyper organized, yes. Was the binder system too cumbersome and heavy to get used on a regular basis – yes and yes! So I did a little SWOT analysis on my coupon organizing system and came up with this: I need something that lets me organize by section, something that doesn’t weigh more than my dog AND something that is a little less embarrassing to carry into the store with me.

And this, my friends, brings me to my new friend: The MEGA coupon organizer. I bought this from a woman (Deb) on etsy.com.

Keep reading…

Thanks so much for sharing, Melissa!

You can find more Coupon Organization Methods HERE.

How to Organize Coupons: The Scrapbook Album

Sep 13, 2011

Dawn shared the following coupon organization method:

I have a scrapbooking album with clear plastic picture holders that hold 4X6 prints.

I also used post-it tab labels to let me know which page holds what categories. This makes it really easy to get to the page that holds the coupon I need to use/or file.

Also, the picture holder pages hold big coupons, like the ones you print out off the web. Everything is organized by the way the aisles are set up in most stores.

Also, in the back I keep all of my current flyers in regular scrapbook page holders.

Thanks so much for sharing, Dawn!

You can find more Coupon Organization Methods HERE.

How to Organize Coupons: The File Box

Sep 12, 2011

Amanda shared the following coupon organization method:

This box is only about 2 inches wide, and it is filled with 26 slots to file things. I figure that should hold nearly 3 months of inserts, assuming 2 sets on most Sundays. It locks tightly, and has a handle so it is easy to carry if I ever happened to need to carry it anywhere.

I will file the coupons inside by date and type, and in theory they will be much easier to flip through and find what I need.

You can see that I have already gotten a small start on sorting them by date and type. I think this new item is going to help me out tremendously, saving me time and frustration. I also won’t have to worry about the kids and pets getting into my box and spilling or otherwise maiming its contents.

Keep reading…..

Thanks so much for sharing, Amanda!

You can find more Coupon Organization Methods HERE.