Sunday, September 6, 2009

Organizing Coupons

ok all

I have totally redone my coupon binder AGAIN. So in the interest of sharing, I thought I would let you all know some different ways of organizing your coupons, and maybe give you some ideas. Now if you know me and you find this funny....well I totally understand.. for I am not the most organized person around. I'm just giving you some options and telling you what worked for me. Ultimately, you will need to choose what works best for you, and it may take some trial and error before you do.

Now, there are many different ways to organize your coupons. the first that I used was the old index file box, or accordion file. These are the kind that our parents frequently used. You can purchase a little plastic organizer from Wal-mart, I believe they are check organizers. Some cost as little as a dollar. (but remember you get what you paid for) You can separate each section into whatever catagory you want: breakfast foods, canned goods, meat, beauty products, cleaning, ect. As I said, this is the first method I used, and although it worked ok, I didn't like the fact that I had to search through a pile of coupons to find a coupon or two. And believe me I have piles, generally I get two sets of coupons a week (thanks to a wonderful aunt) so eventually this did not work for me.

Next I moved onto a binder. Binders are wonderful things for organizing coupons. I found one I already had at home. I pulled some old photo inserts, recipe pages, and confiscated some baseball pages from my loving brother, all to use to hold coupons. (these all work becuase you can file them individually into the pages and see them all at a glance) The first binder I had I continued to seperate my coupons by catagory. Sadly after a while I had gotten away from couponing (just think of all of the money I wasted in that time). But when I came back I went back to the binder, only this time I organized alphabetically by brand name(although you can also do it by product name) With both of these methods it is very easy to find the coupons you are looking for, since you can see them all. All you have to do is flip through your pages. A binder can also hold your scissors, calculator and any other miscellaneous items that you think you need. But alas, this method also was too difficult for me. My down fall, FILLING. I hate to file (so I would never finish completely ) and I would always end up with a pile of coupons in a sleeve in the back, that inevitably I would be sorting through at the store.

My most recent attempt at organizing my coupons continues to be in a binder, only now I don't clip my coupons. I purchased some clear sleeves from Wal-mart. I collect the inserts for each week, mark them with the date (somewhere on the outside), and put them all in the sleeve (also marked with the date, using an erasable marker) You may wonder how I find the coupons I need for my shopping trips. Simple really, I use coupon database to find where/when/and in which insert the coupon I need is at. So for example, you may see this, 0.75/2 nabisco cookies or cracker, exp 9-6-09 (ss 7-26-09) . Many different websites use this layout to tell you what coupon to use. To break it down, I am looking for a .75cent off 2 nabisco cracker or cookies, that expires on 9-6-2009, and it was in the Smart Source insert in the 7-26-2009 paper. So now all I have to do is pull out the smart source under that date and clip that particular coupon. So far I like this method of organization, Easy to file, and Easy to find. The one draw back is if you happen to find a sale while you are out and about, you probably won't be able to find the coupon right there and then, but will have to go home, and search it out and then make a second trip..But I haven't had this happen to me as of yet.

So those are the three methods I have tried for organizing my coupons. What I have learned is what works for some doesn't work for others. You have to find a way to organize your coupons that works for you, because if you don't' you won't succeed. For right now the last binder method works for me (since I hate filling) but maybe the binder by category works better for you. Go and try different things and find out what you like!! These are just three methods I'm sure there are more.. go and google, expand your horizons, and then come back and let me know what you use, what you have tried, and what works best for you!!!

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Hi, I am a stay at home mommy who is trying to stay sane with three very mischievous little boys, who are the light of my life. Oh, I also have a husband that I adore. I have recently started a weight loss journey (again). I do like good deals, but have not been as active as I use to be in couponing.. and lastly I am a flybaby who hasn't been flittering very well recently, but I am still trying.