Avid shoppers have the habit of collecting coupons. But as the shopping industry has become a regular thing now, the deals, offers, and coupons have become their prime strategy to promote their business. With this strategy, the number of coupons released is on a grand scale, and there is no specific limit for them.
By this, not just avid shoppers, any general shopper would love to have some coupons with them. Who does not like to get an off on the overall price of shopping? So, it is perfectly normal to have coupons with you.
As the shopping industry is expanding, it is now customary for each brand to release coupons and not only shopping companies. Each brand has their coupons that give customers the best deals on their products. This distribution of coupons makes things complicated as the vouchers only target products and not all in general.
This vast range of coupons brings on complexity to customers. That is the problem of arranging them. If each brand has its coupon and you are about to buy different products, you need other coupons for each product too.
The solution to this problem is to organize those coupons by categorizing them. But on what basis? How can you arrange those categories? How can one carry all those coupons to shopping? These are the immediate questions that arise when there is talk of finding a way to organize coupons.
But worry no more, because every messy thing can fit into one pattern, and then this pattern can be used to categorize and organize the mess out in a structural order. Let us go deep into how and what to organize.
If you have many coupons with you, it is evident that you would or should find a way to organize them. Because you must put them somewhere, and you need to know where to put it and how. The ‘how’ is important because the place ‘where’ you put it should have a reason, a pattern to remember and understand.
If there are no patterns, things get messy, and you spend more time browsing coupons than shopping. So, to organize them in a way that you can find and carry them quickly, you need to find a pattern between these coupons.
You can put all the coupons in a file, and each page or set of pages in that file belongs to that category only. You can also clip them together. All the coupons of different types can be pinned under one whole bunch so that you can travel with a bunch of coupons when you are about to go shopping.
Pinning is a cost-friendly idea to maintain coupons. Many people also make an excel sheet of what coupons they have so that it keeps things organized.
How to Create Coupon Categories?
To create coupon categories, you need to understand which coupon deals with which product. You can use categories all the coupons that you have for that product together. By doing this, you automatically create a system of arranging coupons by category. Each category can be anything that has a typical pattern.
The most general way of creating categories is by the commonalities of usage. If the coupon targets baby diapers, it is best to name the class as ‘Baby Products.’ An example of such generalizing the similar products is:
There are a bunch of coupons about Dog food, dog brush, dog wash, dog belt. You can see that the application of all these products is around one thing: the dog! You name the category as dog and file all the coupons that apply to a dog in this category.
Now comes the issue of sub-categories. Subcategories are the things that make filing more complex but easy to browse and find them. As complex, the system is as easy as the searching goes.
To name a category, you already know what this category consists of. But if there are even commonalities in those listings under categories, there can be sub-categories, making things even more comfortable.
Examples of Sub-Categories
Sub-categories can be arranged by looking at similarities in the listing of categories. For example, if you saw Baby food, Baby Formula, Baby snacks, and many more regarding the eating habits, you can file them all into one sub-category called Baby Food. This filing makes things easier. Now Baby Food is a subcategory of Baby and has a listing that is only concerned with coupons on baby food.
As we have gotten a definitive picture of how to find similarities and file them in a more detailed way, we can now directly get into a sample of categories and sub-categories listed together. This sample makes things more precise, and you are free to copy and edit it as you like. The categories and subcategories are just examples, and they can be anything.
Sample Organized Coupons
Baby food: Baby formula, Baby milk, Baby snacks, and Cereal powder.
Baby dress-up: Baby diapers, Baby dresses, and Baby napkins.
Baby hygiene: Baby lotion, Baby powder, Baby soap and shower, and Soft baby towels.
Household Hygiene: Shower, Hand-wash, Sanitizer, and Dishwashing Liquid.
As you can see, Baby and Household Hygiene are two categories we have made here. As there are different hygiene products with no similarity with them, we chose not to create a subcategory for the ‘Household Hygiene’ coupon category. And the above category ‘baby’ has three sub-categories. In this way, you can list all the categories and put those coupons accordingly.
Coupon categories are more comfortable to sort if stuck on the pages of files. Print the category listing, cut them out, and stick them on the files. Stickering helps you quickly find out the categories without much effort. And as said earlier, steps to set-up such complex organizing only results in effortlessly searching.
What is the order?
You can sticker them, put them in coupon categories, and even divide further into sub-categories. But how to put them in the order? Because the motto is to find an optimal way to organize coupons, we need to make it as classified as possible. To do that, you also need to create a pattern to structure these coupons of the same category.
The first thing that strikes our minds when we hear the term ‘sorting by order’ is the alphabetical order. It is merely putting the coupons in alphabetical order. You can choose to select the alphabet of the brands or the sub-category.
It is easy to choose the sub-category because you will know where the coupon will be while browsing all the coupon categories. But it is not that ideal to depend on the alphabets if you are looking for an entirely organized manner.
FIFO and LIFO
These are a widespread way of sorting things. First-in-first-out is a way of arranging coupon categories such that the one put first is the one used first and the most recent one in the last. Last-in-first-out is precisely opposite to that way of organizing coupons. You need to use the most recent ones. The first stacked coupons stacked at last. This way is not so ideal, and there are doubts about calling it even organized.
Organizing the coupons according to their expiry dates is the best and most optimal way of organizing them. This way, you get to use the coupon, which is going to expire soon. The coupon that expires after the longest time is at the bottom of that stack. Compared to all the other ways of sorting the coupon categories, this is the most complicated yet smart way.
If you want things to be more comfortable when you need the coupons, it is better to have a complicated and challenging method of organizing them. The setting up is going to take you a lot of time and energy.
But this is like a one-time investment you can do for the greater good. The greater good is saving time in the future when you finally start using and searching for these coupons. This equation is how coupon categories and organization of coupons work—saving time in the future.
We are wrapping up!
By organizing your coupons most optimally, you can also be crystal clear about why you are heading to a shop and what you need to buy. This method prevents you from purchasing other things as you do not have those coupons with you right now. It is saving money and time. It would help if you gathered more coupons, divided them further into coupons you would probably use and the ones that have no use for you.
You can find other coupon collectors and trade these coupons for the ones you want! It is an entire community or massive bunch of people that participate in this ritual of coupon collection! Get that deal before it expires, and in an organized way!