Monday, February 6, 2012

29 Days of Couponing Tips: How To Organize Your Coupons!

Every day for the month of February, I am sharing tips with you to help you to get started with couponing! So far we have talked about....

Day 1: Coupon Inserts 101
Day 2: Printable Coupons
Day 3: eCoupons
Day 4: Coupon Clipping Services
Day 5: More Ways to Find Coupons

So, we have talked about a lot of ways to get coupons - now we need to talk about how to organize all of them!

Keeping your Coupons Organized is Very Important! Without Organization, finding the coupon you need, when you need it becomes a chore. Then you will find yourself saying, " I don't have time to find that coupon, forget it - I'm just going shopping!"  There are so many different methods of organizing your coupons, and once you figure out which system works best for you, you will stop leaving the savings at home!

There are two different ways to organize coupons that I wanted to discuss. But, keep in mind that there are several different ways to organize!

I made a video explaining this....

(1) Whole Insert Filing: Uncut coupon inserts are filed, by date, in a filing system. All sources from the same date are filed together. Coupons are clipped only as needed. Variation: Inserts are divided both by date and source, such as filing Smart Source and Red Plum inserts separately. Another variation: Collated Insert Filing: Uncut coupon inserts are collated together by identical pages, then filed in a filing system. To further organize, they can also be divided by source. Coupons are clipped only as needed.

(2) Coupon Binder Method: The Coupon Binder is exactly what it sounds like.... binders with page protectors that store all of your coupons in one place. I made a video back in 2008 describing my coupon binder if you'd like to check that out Here.

Personally, I now utilize both systems. First, I grab the coupon inserts out of the Sunday newspaper. Then I go through and cut out all of the coupons that I think that I will use, or the coupons that look the "Best" to me. Then I will file them into my coupon binder. The rest of the insert, I file into my Whole insert filing system. When I am preparing to go to the store, if the coupon that I need is not in my coupon binder, then I simply look for it in my whole insert filing system. I only use the small organizer with my prepared shopping list and coupons ready for the trip. I still bring my coupon binder with me to, just in case if I see an unadvertised deal.

Here are some categories to base how you organize coupons:
- Candy/Gum
- Produce/Eggs/Staples (ex: sugar)
- Beverages
- Dairy Items (ex: cheese, yogurt)
- Meat
- Frozen Foods
- Snacks
- Boxed/Canned Goods
- Cereal/Breakfast Items
- Condiments
- Dish/Hand Soap
- Cleaning Supplies
- Miscellaneous Household (ex: batteries, light bulbs)
- Food Storage and Trash Bags
- Laundry Supplies
- Paper Products (ex: toilet paper, paper towels)
- Lotion
- Hair Care
- Face Soap/Deodorant
- Eye Care
- Dental Items
- Make up
- Feminine Products
- Body Soap
- Vitamins
- Medicine
- First Aid
- Diapers/Wipes
- Miscellaneous Baby/Kids
-Pets - Cats/Dogs

Here are some great resources to help you to get started with coupon organization: sells coupon binder kits that are ready to go! It takes all of the guess work out of putting together your coupon binder! The tabs are even already labeled! Plus the prices are great!

20 (Twenty) Single Ultra Pro 8-Pocket Pages - Eight Pockets Page (8 Top Load / Horizontal Slots)

(This was the closest thing to what I have that I could find on Amazon)

Snap-N-Store Letter and Legal File Box, 17 x 14 x 2 Inches, Black and White Scroll Design (SNS01835) (While I was searching on Amazon, trying to find something for the "whole insert filing" I found this! I like it & it's only $9.99! Maybe I'll upgrade - this would look a lot nicer than my old crate!)

Hanging File Folders (Ohhh, they have pretty colors too! I just have the plain green one's)

Whew! That was a lot! How do you organize your coupons? Do you have any tips that you'd like to share? Do you have any questions about coupons, or how to organize them?

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