(click on the picture for a larger view)
On Mondays, I download the Sunday newspaper ad insert data from Savvy Shopper, format to fit my spreadsheet and check to make sure it matches the coupons I have. I provide the finished product in my Insert Highlights series.
I really like the spreadsheet method because it is so easy to search for coupons while I'm reading the store ads or surfing the internet. All I have to do is use the FIND feature in Excel and type in whichever product I'm looking for. This eliminates looking through all the individual coupons when planning my deals.
The spreadsheet is also great for finding coupons that are about to expire. Once a week I sort my database by expiration date (Data-->Sort, choose "expiration date"). Then, I read through and see if there are any coupons that I would really like to use before they expire. I can add the product to my list so I'm sure to use them.
Just scrolling through the spreadsheet, when sorted by product, also gives me an idea about which items I may have a manufacturer's coupon to stack with a store coupon. Or, I'm able to quickly see if I have a coupon to go with a rebate offer. (I enter all rebate forms I have in the spreadsheet as well)
Having all the information on which coupons I have in the spreadsheet helps me feel organized and in control. Coupons tend to multiply and they are small and easily lost. Next in this series I'll explain how I store the coupons themselves.