You are excited just from the title aren’t you?!
I am proud to admit that I have a teensy bit of an obsession with organizing, the problem is, I often have trouble deciding on a final method or system for whatever it is that I am currently organizing (within an inch of its life). I have run into this problem with the coupon organizing system, but hopefully I can give you some suggestions so you don’t have to waste your time trying every available method.
You can’t dive headfirst into … couponing (still cringing at that word)… if you are just gonna stack Sunday coupon inserts and printable coupons up in a corner by your desk, can you? No, you cannot. If you are going to do this, and I mean really do this, then you are going to need a system. It’s like anything else – put in a lot of work now and then eventually it will become second nature.
There are coupon boxes, binders, satchels and envelopes- and there are numerous places on the Internet where you can buy “coupon organizing systems.” I recommend researching all the methods but buying your own supplies. It is much cheaper than buying someone’s (overpriced) system – and I mean, isn’t this all about saving money?
There are a ton of sites out there with advice on how to organize your coupons (I know, I have visited all of them…. ALL OF THEM).
Here are some examples:
But as I have said all along – what works for one person won’t work for another – so you will have to try a few different systems before you find what works for you. In fact, I am currently using about three different methods – but it works … for now.
The Coupon Binder
I recently had to upgrade to a 3″ binder because my 1″ one just wasn’t working anymore- way too over-stuffed. I went with one that has a nylon exterior and zips closed to prevent any coupons from falling out. This one also has a few file folders which I use for store circulars, restaurant coupons or rebate forms.
As far as whether or not to cut each coupon and file accordingly – that may be a matter of preference and available time. I originally was separating each Sunday insert and slipping the full pages into sheet protectors and then keeping them in the binder- making sure to use file tabs to separate by date they were in the paper because that is how the coupon deal websites categorize them (i.e. You need the razor coupon from the 9/18 Smart Source coupon insert). And this method worked for a while, but once you start to clip the ones you need it can start to get messy.
So now, I cut each coupon and file by category (free printable categories). I use 4-pocket currency pages, baseball card holders, and full sheet protectors to file the coupons. When I sit down with my store lists (matched with coupons), all I have to do is flip through the binder to pull out my coupons, and then I put them in an envelope (one for each store) in the same order as my list. It makes the process much faster.
Bottom line – you have to plan ahead before heading out on a shopping trip, or you will inevitably spend more than you had planned.
Happy shopping everyone!
Next up … Using cash-back sites, just in time for Holiday shopping!