February 24, 2010

Coupon Organization


Coupons can save you a good bit of money... if you remember to use them. Part of making sure you get the most out of your coupons is a good coupon organizing system. I have tried several methods (binder, envelopes, etc.) and this is the one I keep coming back to. If this method doesn't work for you don't give up, just try something different. Coupons are worth the hassle.

Personally, I don't waste time cutting every single coupon out of the paper. I just cut the ones I know I will use and save the rest of the coupon "inserts" in a file folder sorted by date. When MoneySavingMom or someone mentions a coupon they usually tell you which insert it was in so you can go get it out when you need it later. You can also search the "Virtual Coupon Organizer" at CouponMom to see if/when a certain coupon came out.

This has been especially helpful since I started shopping at CVS. I buy things there that I normally would not have saved the coupon for, but since it is free, I'll get it. This "system" has saved me a bunch of time...and space in my coupon file! The down side to this is if you don't have a coupon with you that would get you a great deal, like if you find something on clearance for instance. But it is still much better than cutting out the ones know you will use and tossing the rest!
Coupon File Box (above and below)

My coupon box is an accordion style check file from Walmart (costs about $4). It is a bit longer than a regular coupon organizer which is nice since I don't have to fold some of the longer coupons. It also has a little compartment in the front that I use to store scissors, a pen, and a calculator. Put your name and phone number on your coupon organizer somewhere so if you lose it (say in a church parking lot... not that I've ever done that!) then you'll hopefully get it back.

Open


Closed

Organize your coupons so you can find what you need quickly. I organize my coupons by category. I use envelopes to divide each category. For example, in my "mouth" section I have envelopes for toothpaste, mouthwash, toothbrushes, floss, etc. On some of my envelopes, I jotted down the known lowest price (like from Sams or Aldi) for items I buy frequently. That way I know if I can get a better deal with the coupon then I should stock up.

Envelopes

This is probably obvious, but make it a habit to go through your coupons and remove the expired ones. I hate when I think I've found a great deal and then notice the coupon is expired!

In the back of my coupon organizer I have an envelope for each store I shop at (Piggly Wiggly, CVS, Walgreens, etc.) and as I make my list I stick the coupons in the store envelope. Do bring your coupon organizer along though even if you pulled all the coupons out ahead of time to match your list...you never know when you'll find a deal.

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