How to Keep Your Coupons Organized.
Last week we discussed in our, “Frugal Living Series”, How To Obtain Coupons.
Now that you know how to obtain a nice collection of coupons, it is very important to come up with a system on how to organize them. Even the best intentions of being more frugal and saving a lot of money via using coupons will fail if you don’t have a sense of organization.
Webster defines the word, “Organized” as having a formal organization to coordinate and carry out activities.
So, as with any other activity that would soon turn to chaos without an organized plan, so it is with coupons.
How you organize your coupons is a very personal decision, because what works for one person, may or may not be the most enjoyable/efficient way for another. There are two ways that I have found to be successful, that we are going to discuss today. Both ways can save hours of time each week.
Here is my coupon filing system below.
With this system, you pull the coupon inserts out of your Sunday paper, write that current Sunday’s date on a tab folder and file your folders with the most current date first.
I keep around nine months worth of inserts. Coupon inserts that are older than nine months, can simply be thumbed through quickly to see if there are any coupons that are still not expired. You may cut them out if you think you may use them. Usually by nine months, all your coupons are expired.
In addition, I file my three most current All You Magazines behind my weekly inserts.
If you order coupons from Coupon Clipping Services, be sure to keep the extra coupons you have ordered in dated envelopes with the Sunday dates they came out in, then file those envelopes along with their corresponding, dated, whole inserts. Keeping everything nice and organized and easily accessible.
I keep a miscellaneous folder for all extra coupons I may obtain through mailers, free samples, blinkies, and peelies.
When it is time to go shopping, all I have to do is print out my store list straight from my own coupon match-ups, and pull all the coupons I will need. All Coupon Match-ups have their corresponding coupons and the dates they came out in. Example ~ Use $1/1 coupon from the 12/26 SmartSource insert. This step takes very little time to do and in no time I am ready for my next shopping adventure.
The draw back to this system is if I see an unadvertised sale in a store, I will not have my coupons with me.
The most positive thing about this system is you never have to deal with a coupon unless you are going to use it – saving you a lot of time.
The next system is the binder system. This is the way I used to file my coupons. This is when you clip all your coupons and file them by categories in clear – 4 and/or 6 pocket baseball card holders. The cheapest way I have found to buy these baseball card holders is through Ebay.
Use tabbed dividers to mark your categories keeping it nice and organized. Categories are a very personal thing as well. Come up with categories that make sense to you.
You can categorize coupons by store lay out, in alphabetical order, or by type of products. I personally have found categorizing my coupons by category worked best for me. Such as Cleaning Items, Dairy, bread, etc.
The binder system is a really good system to have all your coupons with you at all times. If you enjoy taking advantage of unadvertised sales and clearance sales this is a great system for you. Not to mention, you are always ready to run out the door to do your shopping with no prep time involved.
The down side to this system is you have to put the time into cutting and filing all your coupons weather you use them or not. You will also have to keep on top of removing expired coupons. However, this is all very doable with a little time and effort.
I highly recommend you keep your first name and a way to contact you in the event you lose your binder. Can you imagine how sad you would be if you lost all your coupons? I personally, cannot imagine that.
Those are just two of the many ways to keep your coupons organized. You could organized your coupon by categories in small white envelopes or in a shoe box type container.
How you organize your coupons is totally a personal choice. You probably will change the way you organize your coupons throughout your couponing career as I have. I started with a small plastic box, moving my way to a binder, then to the file system.
The important thing is this: That your system is working for you. Once you find the right system for you it will make couponing a positive experience keeping you organized, as well as saving you tons of money and time.
The most common question I get from people is, “How long does it take you to use coupons each week?” Well, my answer to that is about three hours. Considering most weeks I save around $100 in coupons if not more, I have paid my self well. Go HERE and take this week for example. I saved $185.24 in one week, just on the three major drug store chains. If I were to divide $185.24 by three hours, I have paid myself $61.75/ Hour.
Where are you going to go and make $61.75/Hour on a small part time job? Let me suggest, probably no where? That is not even mentioning you get to keep all the products.
In today’s economy, we need to look at couponing as a fun, paying hobby.
It is a way to bless your home and others. As I always say, why not tell your money where to go.
Every week, our Frugal Living Series articles have a $20 Gift Card (Winner’s choice) attached to it.
The reason for this giveaway is to make sharing fun. Anyone who answers the below questions and / or who shares anything on this topic in the comments section below will be entered to win a $20 Gift Card.
The giveaway begins now and will end next Wednesday when the new Frugal Living Series article is posted.
1. Which coupon filing system have you found works best for you?
2. Are there any tips and/or tricks you have found that you would like to share?
3. How helpful did you find this article.
Have fun!! I cannot wait to read all your comments. I loved all the comments last week!