have mailed almost 4 million dollars in value worth of
coupons in the last 15 years for the USS Horizon and OCP so I have had a little
time to practice. I have found a few short cuts through the years.
I would like to share them with you.
Processing At Home Tips
I stack the sheets if they
are exactly the same on both sides. (Such as the exact same Sunday
newspaper insert.) I can cut several at one time that way. Be
careful not to cut off part of the coupon on the sheets under the top
one. This requires perfect alignment and a steady hand.
Don't get frustrated at first. It took me a while but I am pretty
fast at this now. This also allows me to cut up to 10 sheets at a
time. You will need a very good pair of scissors.
It also allows me to total as many as ten
coupons at a time. When I do this I spread the sheets out on the
kitchen counter. I will stack as many as I feel I can do at a
time. I will then cut them and leave them on the counter right
where I cut them. When I am finished cutting, I will go back and
total them in stacks of 5 or 10 or whatever I cut. I can do the
work with about 50% time savings. Finally, I will go back and
stack the coupons by size. I find that if I can fill the box or
envelope with neat stacks then I can get more in with less wasted space.
With Priority Mail that becomes a bonus. The stuff pouch or box allows as
much as you can put in it for a flat rate fee.
I use the flat rate Priority
Mailers because I get the best price. You can put as much as you
want in one. I stack the coupons by size and carefully load the
envelope to ensure no air pockets or wasted space is left. I stuff
it full. Naturally I only place "Food" OR "Non-Food" in an
envelope. I try to mail one envelope of each to the base at the
same time. I can get about $3,000.00 in one envelope and sometimes
as much as $5,000.00 in one. You need tape to close it, but tape
is cheaper than postage. Be very sure of the requirements your
local post office branch has for tape before you use this method.
I have a stack of envelopes, postage stamps for Priority Mail and
customs forms at my house. I fill in addresses on the envelope and
the entire customs form at home. I place the postage on the
envelope at home. (Note: Do not put the postage where the tape
must go.) I then rubber band the envelope shut with several rubber
bands if I know they plan to look into the envelope. The rubber
bands retard my spilling the coupons on the way to the Post Office.
I even have one of their mail tubs to stack the envelopes in.
At the Post Office I show the clerk
what is in the envelope (If they care today) and the clerk and I tape
the envelope shut together. (At this point they know me well and I
can close and tape at home.) Remember, tape is cheaper than Postage.
Discuss this with your mail clerks to see if they will let you tape them
closed at home. If you have pre-done the paperwork and postage and
they do not need to look into the envelope, then you can just drop your
mail bin off at the counter and you are done.
I do not mail partial envelopes.
I have a lot of coupons going through (approx. $25,000 a month) so I
just save back partials for the next mailing. Why waste the
postage. It is best if you can ship once every month or two and do
larger mailings. This minimizes trips to the post office, allows
for the use of the Priority Mail Pouches, and saves money all the way
I have a special pair of good
scissors to cut the coupons with. Cheap scissors tear the coupons
and end up wasting a lot of time. The extra two dollars are worth
I also have a place set aside to cut.
For coupons that I intend to stack and cut, I work at the kitchen
counters. I stack one type of booklet at a time around the
counters. I then go around again and cut and leave the coupons in
place on the counter. I go back one more time and total by size of
coupon stacking them as I total. These "by size" stacks fit nicely
into the Priority Mailer.