You make your way to the grocery to store to realize you forgot your coupons. It’s enough to drive you crazy but going all the way back home to get them seems even crazier.
The last few trips to the grocery store I forgot my coupons but actually thought I had them with me. It wasn’t until checkout, the clerk was scanning the item and I couldn’t wait to hand over the coupon for that item. After an endless search in my handbag, the reality hit that they were left at home. It was one of those moments where you feel defeated and then you come home and see the coupons waiting patiently for you. The coupons that you forgot typically expire that day or the next so you know you’re just going to throw them away.
Living in an app based world, you would think digital coupons would dominate but they don’t, a resounding 70% of paper coupons are still used! Remember to bring them with you is the challenging part. Coupon organizers are great and work if you remember to use it and bring it with you. Digital coupons are great if you remember to use them. The chances of becoming an Extreme Couponer are slim to none. While the show is quite entertaining, realistically the time and effort that goes into getting those savings isn’t going to happen. #futuregoals #maybeoneday
Planning your shopping trip is critical to making sure your coupons get used. When you plan out your trip, you will check to see what coupons you already have and shape your trip around it. Making a plan for the grocery store also helps you avoid the extra bags of chips and candy that somehow end up in your shopping cart 😉 A list keeps you focused and disciplined.
Here’s how you can stop forgetting your coupons:
- Make A Plan– As mentioned before, this is so critical to successfully saving money at the store and making sure your coupons get used. Set aside some extra time before heading to the store to make your list, it doesn’t have to be 30 minutes, it can be short as a few minutes. It usually takes us about 15 minutes to put together our list and it’s worth the time spent because whenever we shop without a list, we tend to overspend.
- Label Coupon Items– Mark the items on your list to remind yourself you have a coupon for it. This can be as simple as writing the letter ‘C’ next to it or putting a dot next to it. Other ideas would be to use a highlighter or use a colored pen specifically for coupon items. Labeling your coupon items is an extra reminder to bring them with you to the store.
- Keep Coupons Visible- Store your coupons where you you’ll see them and remember to use them. If they are out of sight, they’re out of mind. We’ve tried almost everything from having a binder to a coupon organizer. These are great to use if you are able to remember to use them. We needed a system where we could see them so we created a pocket organizer where they all could be grouped together. We then put it where we know we would see it each and everyday, the door to the garage door. This is where we almost always leave the house and it would be a constant reminder to make sure we had the coupons. Another place to store them could be your car. This way they are always with you and if you do by chance forget them, they’re not that far away and you can run out to your car and get them.
- Simple Organization- Organizing coupons by category may work for some but we found it didn’t work for us. We spent too much time trying to figure which category it should belong in. There were too many times where we knew we had a certain coupon for an item but couldn’t find it and would just page through the binder wondering where it was. Eventually we would find it but our brains were exhausted because of the endless search. We decided to group them all together without any category organization. This has worked well because it’s easier to remember what coupons we do have. It doesn’t take much time to organize them, when we get a coupon we just put it in the pocket organizer. We tend to keep the larger coupons in the back so it’s easier to see the smaller ones. We also use a binder clip to keep them organized by store, for example all of the Bed, Bath, and Beyond coupons are clipped together and all of the Target coupons are grouped together. They’re not always perfectly organized in there but it works because it’s easy to take them out and put them back.
- Keep What You Buy- Only keep the coupons for the items that you buy. This can be really tough at times because when you have a ‘Save $1.00’ coupon for an item it’s hard to get rid of it because you feel like you’re throwing away money. There are also times where you think that you’ll end up buying the item because you have a coupon for it. That usually doesn’t happen and then you end up throwing away the coupon because the date has expired. Hanging onto more coupons crowds the space in your brain because there’s more to remember. You’ll more likely to remember your coupons when you don’t have as many and only have coupons for the items you buy.
Successful planning will leave you happy because there’s something so satisfying about saving money at the grocery store and watching your total go down after you hand over your coupons. You feel like you’ve outsmarted the grocery store and who doesn’t love that?! Setting up a simple organization process for your coupons will help you stop forgetting them.
Here’s a free printable shopping list that includes a checkbox for coupons. Download
How do you remember to bring your coupons?