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Ways To Organize Coupons
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It is so important to have a good coupon organization method to follow. If you are just beginning to coupon, fight the urge to jump in without doing some prep work. Taking a few hours to get organized at the start is going to save you a LOT of time and headache in the long run! Here are some ways to organize coupons.

Make a List of Supplies

I realize it may seem contradictory to spend money on coupon supplies and storage, considering the whole point of couponing is to save money. Truth is, you really don't have to spend much, if any money. Start by finding things around the house you can use. You may only end up needing to buy plastice baseball card sleeves. These are a few things I suggest to have ready for couponing:

  • 9 pocket plastic baseball card sleeves
  • Binder (fabric one with a shoulder strap works great, but you can get by with less expensive ones)
  • Crate, file box, or file cabinet
  • Hanging file folders
  • File tabs
  • Self-adhesive index tabs
  • Notebook
  • Envelopes
  • Binder clips

Setting Up

I have found the best method for me is to have five of each coupon in my coupon binder, and file the rest away fully intact in their original inserts. After I collect my newspapers, I pull out all the coupon inserts. If I have twenty Smart Source coupon insertsfrom one given dae, I set five inserts aside. I label a folder with the coupon insert source and date (ex. Red Plum 7/24) and store the other fifteen inserts in a file cabinet. Crates or file boxes are great alternatives to a file cabinet.

Coupon Binder

If you are follow blogs to match coupons with sales, it will probably be best to categorize your coupons by insert source. Similar to your stored coupon inserts, you will have tabs in your binder for each coupon insert. From there, you can break down your coupons from each insert into the following categories:

  • Health and Beauty
  • Paper Products
  • Household cleaners
  • Refrigerated/Dairy
  • Frozen
  • Drinks
  • Cookies/Crackers
  • Cereal
  • Canned or Boxed Grocery
  • Meat
  • Fruits/Veggies
  • Random (in my binder, this includes batteries, magazines, and seasonal items like pesticides)

Store Coupons

I tend to keep my store coupons intact in their booklets. I keep anywhere from one to four booklets from each store. I clip them together with binder clips, and only take one out right before I head to that store.

But what about store coupons from coupon inserts? If I find Target or Walgreen's coupons in an insert, I just cut five of each like the rest of the coupons from the inserts. I put them in my coupon binder, according to the insert, and after my random coupons.

"Other" Coupons

When deciding on ways to organize coupons, don't forget to include in "other" coupons. For me, these are any that I don't find in the newspaper inserts. You can find coupons from a few other sources: electronic coupon machines at the store, store displays, on product packages, magazines, and with your receipt when you check out. I make seperate categories in my coupon binder for these.

Since these are a little harder to come by and are available in smaller quantities, all of these go into my coupon binder. I have a "random" category which is any coupon I pick up at the store from the shelves or off of products I have purchased. I have another tab for "All You" coupons (which is a magazine available at Walmart with tons of coupons). Lastly, I have a tab for my "Catelina" coupons. Catelinas print out with your receipt, usually after the receipt has printed.

Don't forget to keep yourself organized by implementing a schedule: a set time for clipping, a time for pulling expired coupons from your binder, a time for organizing random clipped coupons. Everything I have gone over today is what I have found to be the most efficient method for me.. thus far! Couponing is a skill, and like any good skills, you will continue to evolve and improve at it. Everyone has different ways to organize coupons. Make adjustments as you learn new things, and do what works best for you!

Street Talk

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