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After a trip to my hometown, I found myself thinking that perhaps I was spending too much time couponing. Who am I kidding? I already knew that!

My visit home confirmed what I already knew, but I still wasn't ready to give up on all of the savings. We are a one-income family, and that income comes from a graduate student, so that is a luxury I cannot afford! I was torn, and then I thought of a twist to the date organization method for coupons and decided to give it a try.

I figured if it didn't work I would seriously consider saving only by price-matching and using printable coupons. Panic attack, anyone? I was definitely about to have one just thinking of that being a possibility, because I knew that wouldn't cut it since I had grown used to the sweet taste of big savings. But thankfully it didn't get to that point, because plan "A" worked!

Before sharing this idea, let me begin by saying this is not for everyone. This method might not be right for you if you use a lot of inserts to stock up (couponing for a big family), and/or you shop for a wide range of products (using most of the coupons in each insert). It’s likely to work if your family is small and you often donate or recycle most of the coupons in the inserts because you don't shop for many products.

New Time-Saving Ideas for Date Organizing Coupons

  • Write the initials of the insert and the date it was published on top of each insert.
  • Put each set of inserts into a clear plastic sheet protector.
  • Keep three to three-and-a-half months of inserts in your binder.
  • Go to www.thekrazycouponlady.com to build and print your shopping list.
  • Clip only the coupons you need before each shopping trip.
  • Place clipped coupons in envelopes categorized by store.
  • Take envelopes with coupons when shopping, and leave the binder at home.
  • Make only one shopping trip per week, trying to visit at least two stores but no more than four.

No insert tearing and stapling involved! Just put the inserts into each sheet protector as they arrive. For example, gather all Smart Source inserts from a specific date (let’s say Oct. 21) and then label them (SS 10/21) and put them in a sheet protector. By keeping up to three-and-a-half months of inserts I have discovered I never need a coupon I've already discarded, because most of them would have already expired. Printing your shopping list from the KCL website will also save time, because there’s no need to write down every scenario anymore.

The final step is to go through each insert to clip coupons, and this is why I said this method won’t work for those using lots of inserts. But if you have read the “Beginners” section of KCL’s website, you know that a Krazy Coupon Lady might throw away at least three quarters of her coupons! Make your coupons count, maximize their benefits by improving your organization system, and enjoy the result: Savings in money and time!

This is a guest post by Tere from Boulder, CO
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