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Coupon Mastery – Never Miss an Expiration Date Again!

If you’re like me, finding a great coupon or store credit after its expiration date is a very frustrating experience – one that happened all too often to me.

Here’s how I use Google Calendar to solve that problem so I don’t miss out on sales or store credits and I keep track of where those valuable coupons are in my house!

I have a few stores I shop at regularly which give out rebate cash and coupons. One example is “Kohl’s Cash,” which is a terrible, wonderful thing. During designated periods of time, any purchases I make at Kohl’s earn back a percentage of Kohl’s Cash. It’s a form of scrip, if you’re familiar with that term. The Kohl’s Cash is valid for more shopping at Kohl’s, usually at a later date in the not-too-far-off future, but only for a limited time.

My problem, as always: I don’t remember what time it is, or what day – or what date things expire. Way too many times I’ve found $20 or $30 of expired Kohl’s Cash in my coupon envelope. ARGH. That’s a pile of shirts and pants or more for my ever-growing dudes, depending on what’s on clearance!

You’ll never guess how I fixed this problem.

Yup, Google calendar.

Any kind of rebate, store credit, or coupon with an expiration date goes on the calendar.

The minute I got some shiny new Kohl’s cash, before I even left the parking lot, I add an all-day appointment to my calendar:

Kohl's Cash Expiration Date - an all day appointment with three reminders for a week, two days, and one day prior, plus information on where the coupon physically is - Present Sarah always needs help remembering details, so Past Sarah helps out

 

I make sure I have notifications set up for the week prior, a few days before expiration, and the day before. The nice thing about Kohl’s Cash is that I can use it online – so if I don’t have time to go to the store (or, let’s be honest, I don’t want to put on real pants, leave my house, and go engage in live commerce) I can use the rebate cash online before it expired.

You’ll note that I also put the location of the certificate in the Description field. Present Sarah doesn’t remember time or dates any better than she remembers where she put things, so Past Sarah always helps her out.

This system has saved me a lot of frustration, and resulted in a 20% increase in the number of clean t-shirts in my sons’ drawers – some of which were much-coveted Minecraft shirts on clearance. WOO, clearance!

Keeping track of expiration dates in one place is a massive time and money saver!

I use this for all sorts of coupons. Looking ahead, I have $20 in rebate cash for Jockey that expires this month with a reminder set to alert me next week.

The only time I don’t add a coupon to my calendar is if there’s a minimum spend involved. For me, a coupon that requires me to spend $50 to get $10 off isn’t really a coupon.

But free store credit that would otherwise expire? Yes, please! I don’t want to miss out.

And now, neither will you. All you need to do are follow these three easy steps.

  1. Make sure to note the expiration date of any coupon or credit you want to use on your calendar and make sure to add notifications prior to expiration!
  2. Remind your future self where the coupon or certificate is with a note in the description field of the calendar entry.
  3. Make sure that the coupon is where you said it would be, and when the time comes, you can save some cash!

Where do you keep your coupons? What’s your favorite store for store credit and discounts?

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