Day 1: We all have to shop! Why not save money while doing it?
Day 2: The Language of Couponers – Translated!
Day 3: Where Art Thou Coupons?
Day 4: Know Thy Coupon (What does that fine print mean?)
Day 5: When to Use Your Coupons
Day 6: Buy Groceries, Pay for College with Upromise eCoupons
Day 7: eCoupons the Alternate to Clipping
Day 8: Don’t Get Mad, Get a Rain Check
Day 9: Advance Your Couponing Skills with Rebates
Day 10: Stockpiling
Day 11: Organize Your Coupon Stash
Day 12: Surviving the Checkout Lane
Day 13: How to Handle Coupon Rejection
To keep ya’ll here, I’ve read you should use words like “Easy”, “Proven”, “Effective”. Well, there isn’t really one method that is the easiest or proven when it comes to coupon organization. Everyone has their own preferences on what works best for them.
I’ve tried several methods and have my own system. Sometimes it isn’t perfect. Sometimes it isn’t pretty. It is what works for me.
So today I’m going to give you some ideas and maybe it will help you develop your own system on what works for you.
Does this look organized to you?
No, probably not. This is actually a picture of me working on my “masterpiece” while getting organized for a mega shopping trip. It looks ugly but I assure you there is a method to my madness.
I use the weekly insert method instead of clipping every single coupon every week. Meaning, I take my Sunday newspaper inserts, use a Sharpie and mark the date of the insert on the front page. This is a really fun project for my 7 year old son since it does involve the sacred Sharpie marker. If you use my weekly deals, you will notice I put the insert date and type in the coupon spot – this is to help those who use the insert method.
I do clip some coupons. I clip coupons I know I will use right away such as “Free” coupons or items we are always buying. I place these in my black coupon organizer which I will tell you about in the next edition of the 15 days of couponing.
At one time I was then placing them in a 12 pocket file organizer like the one shown to the right. However, I soon realized this was not large enough and it was annoying having to mess with the velcro when I needed an insert quickly.
So now I use these open file organizers. It looks messier but it works better for me as I can fit more inserts and reach them quicker to clip.I still file them by date but I don’t take the time to write it on a label. I just use the front of the insert as a guide.
Coupon organization is probably one of the biggest frustrations rookies have. I’ve put together a list of the advantages of each method. Use this as a guide to help you decided which method may work best for you. Just as with any other organization system, it does require constant updating to keep it organized or you will have a big mess like this.
Advantages of the Insert Method:
- You don’t spend hours clipping, sorting, and filing every single coupon every week even the ones you don’t need.
- Easy to find the coupon you need when you use my store match ups or the Coupon Database.
- You don’t have to try to guess which category you filed a coupon that good fit into several categories.
- You don’t “lose” coupons in your stash that state “any” product of a certain brand which could apply to medicine, baby, etc.
Advantages of Clipping each Week:
- Sometimes you find coupons in your weekly insert that the databases didn’t tell you about or had down for a different week. Sometimes different areas get different coupons at different times.
- You will have coupons clipped when you find a spectacular clearance deal.
- Coupons are already clipping for trading, giving away, etc.
- You spend less time right before your shopping trip pulling coupons our of your coupon binding instead of finding them then clipping them.
People who clip each week usually use a coupon box or a 3 ring binder with plastic sheets to organize their coupons by category. I did that when I first started couponing and I couldn’t keep up with clipping every week and once I even had a child empty out my entire coupon binder by flipping it upside down!
Coupon Pros or Newbies: How do you organize YOUR coupons?
The 15 Days of Couponing will guide you through the art of couponing. It is a skill that you can learn and maximize to the full potential to help your family and help others. So if you are interested in cutting your grocery budget in half or more, read yesterday’s edition and stay tuned for tommorrow’s edition where I will show you my little black coupon binder and how it helps keep me organized before, during, and after shopping!