It sounds weird, but having loads of leftover coupons lying around can be a source of some serious stress.
Extra coupons can be messy and make you feel disorganized and even wasteful.
But most couponers hate the idea of just recycling unused coupons -- it's like throwing money away!
Here are some easy tips on how to handle excessive coupons and turn your couponing back into money-saving fun instead of an organizational chore!
- Reassess your organizational strategy. If you're overwhelmed with the amount of coupons in your house, you might be trying to work a coupon system that doesn't match with the way you stay focused. For example, if you have piles of inserts everywhere, you might be a good candidate for a coupon accordion folder instead of a coupon binder. On the other hand, if you love clipping the coupons but never seem to get them actually put away, you might need a new binder organization. My CBFF Emily has some great suggestions over on her YouTube channel that could be useful!
- Join or organize a coupon swap. Coupons that aren't useful for you could be gold to someone else. So joining or hosting a coupon swap is a terrific way to dispose of extra coupons -- nobody is more popular at a swap than the person who shows up with boxes of still usable inserts! Plus, coupon swaps are a terrific way to connect and trade tips with other couponers. If you live in San Antonio, my friend Brenda hosts coupon swaps regularly -- check out her Facebook coupon group to find out when/where the next meeting is!
- Set up a coupon box at work, school, or church. There are plenty of people in your extended social network who would love extra coupons but don't know how to get them without paying big bucks. So ask if you can set up a dedicated space where people can leave their extra clipped coupons or inserts -- just keep in mind you'll probably also have to commit to recycling leftovers once a month or so. Who knows, you might even find a resource for the coupons you constantly use for your family!
- Send unused or expired coupons to overseas military. Did you know that service personnel can use expired coupons at overseas commissaries? Coupon Cabin accepts manufacturer coupons for food, baby products, and common household goods, and then will mail them on your behalf to bases around the world. Go here to get started!
- Become a coupon fairy. I'm not talking about selling coupons -- the original meaning of playing coupon fairy is way more fun. Take any high-value coupons you won't use to the store on your next trip, and put them on the shelf next to the matching products. There's a couple of fairies who shop my regular store, and it's always a sweet surprise for me when I find a coupon I can use tucked next to one of my favorite grocery brands.
- Offer your extras to a local non-profit. It's possible that your neighborhood church pantry or animal shelter could use appropriate coupons, or again might be willing to host a coupon box. My town's animal shelter has a basket in their lobby full of coupons for pet food, treats, and/or litter!
- Feel okay about recycling your coupons. According to Coupons In The News, a whopping 97.5 BILLION coupons were issued so far in 2015 -- and only about 660 million actually got used. So you aren't the first couponer to toss out extras, and you won't be the last. Plus, coupon inserts run on cycles -- so if you don't need all those hair care coupons right now, they'll probably roll around again in a couple months or so.
What other suggestions do you have for dealing with extra inserts or clipped coupons? Share your strategies in the comments below!