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Organize and Save

By Margaret Combs

One of the worst ways for those of us who clip coupons to lose money is by not having the right coupons on-hand when we need them. Have you ever been in line at the store and thought to yourself, .I know I have a coupon for this at the house. Why didn't I bring it with me? Should I just put it back and pick it up later?.. If you are like me then you have been in this situation before, probably several times before. This is an aggravating moment when you realize that you are not as organized as you thought you were. This does not necessarily pertain to all aspects of your organization skills but it certainly speaks for our organizational priorities. One of the worst realizations about this is that food is one of the biggest budget-busters for most Americans; generally costing around one-third of a family's income, after taxes.

To put a dent in the grocery stores hefty fees the number one rule is to hold tightly to your beloved coupons. If you are a fan of super-stores then you are getting a great deal on bulk items, but you must still find your way to a grocer for smaller quantity items. With all of that said the main point here is that it is nearly impossible to refrain from purchasing from grocery stores entirely.

With a simple resolution to coupon-clip you can save a whopping ten percent from your yearly grocery shopping bill as researched by Shop Smart magazine. Although the resolution does entail the actual use of the coupons in order to save that kind of cash. So now that we know the kind of dent coupons can make, and the commitment the coupons require, now we need to figure out the procedure needed to make the proper commitment. Commitment can be a strong word, but saving money can be stronger.

Start by utilizing your clipping skills. Frugilista's gather more than one Sunday paper as well as asking friends to collect for them; don't forget to shop around online for coupon communities and sign up at your favorite manufacturer's sites for direct savings. Now, you have gathered the coupons and need to organize them in a fashion that will be easily accessible and available even on quick trips. Using either an envelope, accordion file, index file, binder, or index card filer begin to create personalized sections that fit your needs. Categories should be individually sectioned off (such as Health & Beauty, Frozen Goods, and Snacks) and organized either by product, expiry date, or alphabetical order; whichever appeals to your needs most. Once your organization is complete you need to envision your routine. Weekly trips to the grocery store are easy to plan for, but what about the quick-trips? This is when you begin to practice preparation; have quick-trip item coupons (such as milk, toilet paper, or diapers) available in a grab-n-go format, such as a separate envelope kept in your pocketbook. Make it easy to save yourself money.

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