That's It!! I'm Making A Spreadsheet!

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Old 05-03-2011, 07:45 PM
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That's it!! I'm making a spreadsheet!

OK! I've had it!

I have GOT to make a spread sheet. I am starting to accumulate so many coupons that my binder is unorganized - I started NOT clipping and waiting until I need them, but now I have so many inserts - I can't keep those organized. I want to have at least 3 of everything I MIGHT use (items I buy regularly or am willing to try for dirt cheap prices) WITH me in case I run into an unadvertised deal - but that could be difficult to keep up with even in the binder.

I am going to start my spreadsheet, but I fear it's going to take FOREVER! I don't want to use someone else's spreadsheet because that was created for them and I know it's like a binder - you organize it based on your preferences. I have limited time to coupon (it really can be a FULL-TIME job!) and I need to be as efficient as possible! I looked into the "clip-less" system, but I don't really want to be clipping coupons in the middle of the isle either!

Thank you for hearing me rant. I don't want anything from anybody (unless you would like to share tips )...I just wanted to vent. I'll let ya'll know how it turns out!

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Old 05-03-2011, 07:49 PM

RE: That's it!! I'm making a spreadsheet!

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LOL-I think i'm in about the same boat. Starting to pile up and time to organize is short. We have 22 days left in the school year (i'm a teacher) and i'm not sure if I have a job next year, so I think I have to bite the bullet and make a SS as well. Ugh! I have save a TON of $$$ since starting AFC, so I thank all those who share their knowledge here!
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Old 05-03-2011, 08:01 PM

RE: That's it!! I'm making a spreadsheet!

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Good luck. I use a hybrid system. I clip what I buy all the time or what I think I may need and put those q's in two small coupon holders, one is food by category, other is non food by category. I have a large accordion file from Target dollar spot that has five pockets and in each pocket I can put 2 of each insert from a week so basically I have unclipped inserts for the last 5 weeks. These items, the large file and the small coupon holders I carry in a canvas bag into the store with me. At home, I have a stack of inserts, with dates marked on the front of each insert in black marker, stacked with most recent on top and oldest on bottom. I can pull Q's from these stacks when I read about deals.
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Old 05-03-2011, 08:12 PM

RE: That's it!! I'm making a spreadsheet!

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I collate my inserts every week (I get 10) and then record each Q in a spreadsheet...my columns are...
  • Location (where is the physical Q - LS = loose/Q box, LS IP, SS 05/01/11, etc)
  • Brand
  • Description (keep it brief)
  • Value
  • Expiration
  • Qty on Hand (how many of the Q I have)

I HATE going crazy digging through inserts only to realize that I don't have the Q everyone else is talking about - this way I can look and see in SECONDS...

(P.S. I used to have a much more detailed sheet with barcodes, etc - keep to the basics - I don't spend more than 1/2 hr a week typing them in and have in turn saved HOURS of FRUSTRATION!)

(P.P.S. I also have a spot on my desk for Q's I pick up throughout the week - I ONLY enter them when I enter my inserts...this way I'm not going back and forth feeling like I'm always entering things in the spreadsheet)
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Old 05-03-2011, 08:32 PM

RE: That's it!! I'm making a spreadsheet!

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@WillU...this gives me hope! I know it will be a lot of work at first, but I'm on the same page! I want to easily enter then I will know what I have and I can easily search for expiration dates and remove them from my spreadsheet! I do need a filing system so I can clip 3-4 of what I think I may need and file the rest, but at least the spreadsheet will help me know what I have and where (thanks for THAT column!) I'm picturing somewhat of a hybrid system as well!

Also thanks for the "description" column...again - DOH! I wouldn't have thought of that!

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Old 05-03-2011, 08:38 PM

RE: That's it!! I'm making a spreadsheet!

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shashahx View Post
@WillU...this gives me hope! I know it will be a lot of work at first, but I'm on the same page!
Sure thing...

One thing I would suggest is to start entering them slowly...a little bit at a time...start with last weekend's inserts...

Then, depending on how you have things in your binder, start with one section (or letter, etc)...put a check mark on the Q's you've recorded...it sounds silly at first, but you'll see that it really does help when you're "back-tracking" to know which ones you've already done...then do another section the next night, etc...if you try to do them all at once you're going to get overwhelmed (trust me LoL)

Also - this is a great time to start - a LOT of Q's expired on 04/30/11...
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Old 05-04-2011, 09:52 PM

RE: That's it!! I'm making a spreadsheet!

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Quote:
Originally Posted by WillUBMyKnight
I collate my inserts every week (I get 10) and then record each Q in a spreadsheet...my columns are...

[*]Location (where is the physical Q - LS = loose/Q box, LS IP, SS 05/01/11, etc)
[*]Brand
[*]Description (keep it brief)
[*]Value
[*]Expiration
[*]Qty on Hand (how many of the Q I have)


I HATE going crazy digging through inserts only to realize that I don't have the Q everyone else is talking about - this way I can look and see in SECONDS...

(P.S. I used to have a much more detailed sheet with barcodes, etc - keep to the basics - I don't spend more than 1/2 hr a week typing them in and have in turn saved HOURS of FRUSTRATION!)

(P.P.S. I also have a spot on my desk for Q's I pick up throughout the week - I ONLY enter them when I enter my inserts...this way I'm not going back and forth feeling like I'm always entering things in the spreadsheet)
I have to admit, I love that you used P.P.S. I'm impressed! =]
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Old 05-04-2011, 10:51 PM

RE: That's it!! I'm making a spreadsheet!

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When you do spreadsheets, do you print them?
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Old 05-05-2011, 04:15 AM

RE: That's it!! I'm making a spreadsheet!

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Quote:
Originally Posted by tammyinwv
When you do spreadsheets, do you print them?
I am not planning on printing - it will end up being too large

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Old 05-05-2011, 04:44 AM

RE: That's it!! I'm making a spreadsheet!

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Before I found AFC (and was using a paid grocery list service), I would clip all the coupons that I would use (or possibly use if it was cheap). I put them in an envelope with the Insert Date on the front.

In Excel, I would type out a quick list with the following coupon info for each coupon in the envelope: Brand/Product, Amount off, Expiration Date. I'd sort the list in alphabetical order, so it would be easy to scan for a particular item if I was in the store.

I'd print out that list and staple it to the envelope. When I pulled coupons out of that envelope and used them, I'd cross it off the list that was stapled to the front, so I knew it wasn't available in there anymore.

Since each envelope just held one weekend's worth of coupons, they weren't too huge, and the list took me only like 10-15 minutes to type up. I kept all these envelopes in an accordian file thingy that I could take to the store with me.

This worked for me back then, when I was new to couponing and only getting one copy of inserts each week. Now I have a binder and multiple inserts, so I don't know that it would work as well. But... just thought I'd throw it out there. You never know what works best for you until you try a few different options.
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Old 05-05-2011, 04:54 AM

RE: That's it!! I'm making a spreadsheet!

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Thanks for the advice. Even though I am new - I do already have a binder and get multiple inserts. I've already started my filing system and spreadsheet (what a task!). I think I'll be able to modify and adapt as I go along but thanks for the tip about crossing it off the list as you use them! That was something I hadn't thought about yet! Yikes! Lol

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Old 05-05-2011, 04:57 AM

RE: That's it!! I'm making a spreadsheet!

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I think it would be hard if I hadn't printed out the list to remember which coupons I'd used to remove them from the spreadsheet later. But that is just me.

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Old 05-05-2011, 05:15 AM

RE: That's it!! I'm making a spreadsheet!

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You could set up an excel workbooks for the coupons. First sheet is for current coupons and second sheet could be your "index". You can then use the =LOOKUP function to link the coupons based on the barcode. So in the 1st sheet you have columns for exp date, barcode, coupon description, value, location. The second sheet just has barcode, coupon description and value. As you're going thru the coupons you can just type in exp date [TAB] barcode into the fields on the first sheet. The coupon description and value will pop into the fields based on what you've entered into your "index" sheet. It's a bit of work in the beginning but I can't live without my database and I can enter coupons into it lightening fast. You can purchase a barcode scanner (on eBay) for $12 called the cue cat. It's plug'n'play so you don't have to set it up at all.
HTH!
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Old 05-05-2011, 05:24 AM

RE: That's it!! I'm making a spreadsheet!

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OMG... my family would think I'd lost it if they saw me buying a barcode scanner. But what an awesome idea.

I just know my kids would steal it and try to play with it. Laser tag, store, star wars, etc. My 10 yo son would never sleep, he'd come up with so many things to use a scanner for. LOL.
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Old 05-05-2011, 05:34 AM

RE: That's it!! I'm making a spreadsheet!

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mochamom25
OMG... my family would think I'd lost it if they saw me buying a barcode scanner. But what an awesome idea.

I just know my kids would steal it and try to play with it. Laser tag, store, star wars, etc. My 10 yo son would never sleep, he'd come up with so many things to use a scanner for. LOL.
The only way my husband will help is if he gets to scan the barcodes! Lol. So maybe your kids will want to help
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Old 05-05-2011, 06:00 AM

RE: That's it!! I'm making a spreadsheet!

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Wow! I think I want a barcode scanner! It would certainly make my life much easier. I'm so behind on my coupon organizing! Sheesh!
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Old 05-05-2011, 06:00 AM

RE: That's it!! I'm making a spreadsheet!

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I have never done spreadsheets before. I only have Open Office software. I am not sure I would know where to begin. Is there also a way that you can delete ALL expired off the list by just searching for X dates?
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Old 05-05-2011, 06:06 AM

RE: That's it!! I'm making a spreadsheet!

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Quote:
Originally Posted by vestigialwing
You could set up an excel workbooks for the coupons. First sheet is for current coupons and second sheet could be your "index". You can then use the =LOOKUP function to link the coupons based on the barcode. So in the 1st sheet you have columns for exp date, barcode, coupon description, value, location. The second sheet just has barcode, coupon description and value. As you're going thru the coupons you can just type in exp date [TAB] barcode into the fields on the first sheet. The coupon description and value will pop into the fields based on what you've entered into your "index" sheet. It's a bit of work in the beginning but I can't live without my database and I can enter coupons into it lightening fast. You can purchase a barcode scanner (on eBay) for $12 called the cue cat. It's plug'n'play so you don't have to set it up at all.
HTH!
Does the scanner automatically enter them in the spreadsheet? Can they be downloaded from scanner to excel? That would be worth $12!!!

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Old 05-05-2011, 06:09 AM

RE: That's it!! I'm making a spreadsheet!

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TO do this would I just go to spreadsheets, set up the number of columns needed to put in required info, give them a name, then just start listing stuff under each category?
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Old 05-05-2011, 06:11 AM

RE: That's it!! I'm making a spreadsheet!

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I have 2 binders. One for Food only and one for household/personal. In each individual sleeve I have mailing envelopes where I have individual general catagories. For example. In one binder sleeve I have Dental. then I have an envolope for Toothbrushes. All toothbrush related coupons such as toothbrushes or floss goes into this envelope. Then I have an envelope for toothpaste. And so on and so forth. So my binders sleeves are Dental, Personal(body wash, lotions, personal men, personal women....), Household(Kitchen, Bathroom, Airfresh products, Paper Products, General Cleaners.....) I have Heath products, and Cosmetics broken down the same way. I have a deal sleeve where I put my deals together in envelopes. This system works for me. Its even condusive to the store , so if I see something I can quickly go to the sleeve and envelopes and check for ad hoc coupons.
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Old 05-05-2011, 06:23 AM

RE: That's it!! I'm making a spreadsheet!

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Tammy - I don't have excel either but you can use it on google

Go to google then at the top where you pick from map images ect there is a drop down menu on the right. Click that and then towards the bottom is documents. you can then make spreadsheets from there and save them or print them or whatever. Hope that helps!
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Old 05-05-2011, 06:30 AM

RE: That's it!! I'm making a spreadsheet!

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shashahx

Does the scanner automatically enter them in the spreadsheet? Can they be downloaded from scanner to excel? That would be worth $12!!!

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No, but I'd be willing to share my index. At least you wouldn't have to start from scratch...
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Old 05-05-2011, 06:30 AM

RE: That's it!! I'm making a spreadsheet!

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Thank a lot. I had forgotten about Google docs.
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Old 05-05-2011, 06:36 AM

RE: That's it!! I'm making a spreadsheet!

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Can someone explain how you set this up? I tried typing in titles for each column such as name, exp date etc, but it list these under #1 on the left, and that doesnt seem right.
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Old 05-05-2011, 06:54 AM

RE: That's it!! I'm making a spreadsheet!

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I suggest freezing the pane so that those column headings stay put. Especially when your list gets long, you'll still see your column headings.

Now I just got a Mac and I am not loving "Numbers". Being a PC girl for so long and using Excel has me spoiled.
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