We ordered our Christmas cards from Tiny Prints last year, and they took three weeks to get them to us because their printers broke. It was no big deal because I got them in plenty of time to send them out before Christmas, so I didn’t think anything of it.
In February, I received a $50 gift card from Tiny Prints as an apology for taking so long to get our Christmas cards to us. This was not the typical $50 off $150 order – it was just a $50 credit. Woot. Woot.
The code for the credit expired on July 31st – which seemed like forever away. I remember thinking that I would use the credit to order my kids’ birthday invitations and/or thank you cards.
And I completely forgot about it until last week when I was cleaning out my InBox on our desk. I was so frustrated. I just let $50 get wasted.
I am a firm believer in not buying something just because you have a coupon or it’s on sale. The only justification for purchasing something is if you need it, and if you are able to save some money when buying it, well done. For this reason, I throw approximately 90% of the coupons we receive in the garbage. The big one right now is 20% off at Carters or OshKosh. I think we get that coupon once a week. But it can’t be used on most of their sale items, and only 20% off at Carters is still more than I spend on my clothes, so those go in the trash right away.
Every once in a while, we will get a keeper, and I have a tray on my desk where I keep stuff like that. Because coupons aren’t the only items in that tray, they get lost in the shuffle. At this moment, other items in said tray include: Cards that I received that I need to respond to, a list of dates of my daughter’s milestones in her first months (for her baby book that I’m just now starting), tickets to the Iowa football game Josh and I went to last fall, my dream house layout and some Bible study notes.
I can’t imagine how that $50 voucher got lost in that mess. #sarcasm
I have this sorter on our desk (similar), which I purchased in college to create a spot for my messy roommates to put the mail. It hasn’t had a purpose since moving to this house and was just sitting on my desk.
I decided to pull all of the coupons out of my tray and put them in here. Separating and putting them in a visible spot is the first big step in not forgetting about them.
I also decided to write the expiration dates of each coupon a neon post-it and adhere it to the coupon. Then I sorted the coupons by date, with the nearest expiration date first. I’m at our desk once a day, so I catch a glance of those bright pink notes each day. I’m reminded that they’re there and how long I have to use them.
This doesn’t mean that I use all of these, because I don’t always have something to buy, but at least now I don’t lose the chance to save money because I was unorganized.