Monday, July 27, 2009

Organizing Coupons

Now that you have started to collect your coupons you need to organize them in a fashion where you can find them when you need them. The following methods are a few that I have used in the past.

  • Pencil Box Method: Cutting coupons out of inserts and putting them in a pencil box. Pros: Coupons are stored in same place. Cons: Difficulty finding coupons you need quickly.
  • Accordion File: I used a small accordion file and organized my coupons as household, food, toiletries, etc. I then filed the coupons in each category based on expiration date. Pros: Small enough to keep in your purse and carry into the store. Cons: Although it is organized into categories it is still difficult to find the right coupon when you need it.
  • Envelopes: Very similar to accordion method, but used envelopes.
  • 3 Ring Binder: This method was very effective for me when I really started couponing hardcore. You take a large 3 ring binder and put a package of baseball card holders in it. Then stick tabs to the baseball card holders to create categories. Clip your coupons and stick them in a slot so you can easily view them. Pros: Very easy to find the coupon you are looking for. Cons: Time consuming to clip every coupon & file into each category.
  • File Inserts: This is the current organization method I am using. I take each insert and date them with a sharpie on the front. Next, I go through the inserts and type each coupon into an excel document that I print each week. Then, I file the inserts in a page protector in a 3 ring binder. Before I head to the store I clip the coupons I want and place them in an envelope with my shopping list. I take my entire 3 ring binder with me but leave it in the car. If I see a sale that I wasn't expecting I will go through my excel document and see if I have a coupon in the car that I can use. Pros: Save time by only clipping coupons that are to be used. Cons: Have to run to the car when an unexpected sale is found.

I hope this post is informative. Please comment if you have found a method that works for you that I haven't mentioned. I would love to share new ideas.
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