Thursday, February 16, 2012

Handling Household Tasks: Clipping Coupons

Yesterday, I started a new series on handling household tasks, and I discussed how I review circulars each week. Today, I am going to explain the process I have adopted for clipping coupons.

Because I do not get a Sunday newspaper, I rarely get coupon inserts. Instead, I rely on printable coupons and coupons I receive through online promotions. To get those, I have signed up to receive e-mails from a LOT of the manufacturers of the products I use. These are a few companies that frequently send coupons via e-mail and/or post them online:

I also sign up for some web sites that send e-mail alerts regarding freebies and coupons; too, I have Groupons, Google Alerts, and other daily deals sent to me. Because I sign up for so many newsletters and alerts, I always end up getting spam--especially spam that I do *NOT* want to see. To curb the annoyance as much as possible, I created a separate e-mail account at Gmail. (I actually included the words coupon account in the e-mail address.) I then created filters within Gmail to ensure that e-mail containing certain words is automatically deleted so that I never have to see it. As a result, I have relatively few problems with spam at this point.

I check my coupon e-mail once a week. Because I sign up for so many deals alerts, I have anywhere between 200 and 400 e-mails in my inbox each week. I can usually sort through these in an hour or so--and that time includes reviewing the recipes that I also receive at this account (and pinning the good ones!). By the time I am finished, I have usually printed tens of coupons.

And then I begin the task of cutting the coupons, generally while I watch "Army Wives" or another of my shows on Netflix. If someone has saved me some coupons she has received in her newspaper or via some other medium, I sort and clip those at this time as well. Because I personally use so many coupons and because I clip insert coupons I would not generally use to send to troops overseas, clipping generally takes me another hour.

The next step is organizing the coupons into a coupon organizer or binder. More on that tomorrow!


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