Tuesday, August 2, 2011

How do YOU organize your coupons?

So there are so many ways you can organize your coupons and usually it goes from the "beginner" version to the "extreme" version. There are also the "time saving" methods as well.

Well, when I began couponing I used the method taught by grocerysmarts.com. This method(a simple time saving method) is simply sliding all of the inserts into scrap book page protectors according to date and insert type. It was good but I soon realized how many awesome deals I missed out on if I went solely off of their method. Since you don't open the inserts until they direct you to a certain sale you miss out on clearance sales that have matching coupons and you aren't totally familiar with which inserts have which coupons so YOU can't personally be watching for a good deal they haven't mentioned, and they only promote ad deals.

This led me to used the accordion files for coupons, more of a step up from the beginner stage. I had two, one for groceries and one for household and then I broke down the type of coupon from there such as dairy, cereal isle, boxed goods, canned goods, cleaners, detergents and so on. This worked well for quite a while and I do suggest you do this method if you are still somewhere in the middle with your couponing method. But I got tired of thumbing through each individual coupon in a big stack of them and I got so many coupons that my accordion files were too fat.

THEN I decided to try the BINDER... I mean the BINDER, the serious stuff, clipping everything unless it was a for sure "I won't buy" item like coffee and pet food. I don't drink coffee and I currently don't have a pet (unless you count my kids and my husband)... I won't waste time loading up on those or cutting the coupons for them either. Then you put them all in the baseball card organizers. This is a little tricky since there are so many different sizes of coupons. And some really are too big for this method, those go in a loose leaf sleeve.

Well, if you do the binder method you realize it does take quite a lot of time to keep up on and let's say you don't clip all your adds for a few weeks because life is a little crazy, then they sit there, you miss the sales on items YOU REALLY NEED and you still have these ads that need to be clipped(that's when it seems like couponing really takes a lot of time, be sure to not miss a week of organizing if you use this method).... well the next method is very new to me and I don't know if anyone else does it this way but I figured I would try it out and see if it works for me. It's something I came up with to solve my problems I face most with couponing... 1)time 2) organization 3)accessability...

It's a mix of the grocerysmarts.com and the BINDER method.... I don't want to clip everything but I want to SEE everything very easily while I'm at the store...just in case. So what I am doing is using the regular clear vinyl scrapbook slip covers and instead of putting the whole coupon ad in one, I quickly separate the binding(and if I have multiple, which I do) I place the exact same pages together and it forms a quick look through book. I still write big the date of the add on the front.  Then I will use dividers to separate out the Smart Source(SS), Red Plum(RP), P&G(Proctor & Gamble). I will keep the newest at the back so I will use the coupons expiring soonest first and when they expire I'll spot it easily and remove when necessary. Any other coupons I get(and I get a lot) from magazines will be in their own magazine section, mail will be in their own mail section, freebies in a freebie section, store coupons in their store section and any HIGH value in front by the freebies.  This takes away the time from clipping sooo many unused coupons... when I go through my expired, I usually have a good pile and it just makes me sad that I wasted the time to clip them so this really should help. And as a mom of three children 4 and under, time to myself is rare and clipping coupons is not top priority ya know... but feeding my family is and I like to save while doing it.
I'll also have those cool little sticky note tabs so I can easily mark coupons I know I'll use or I have seen a sale on recently... and if I decide NOT to use them, just take the tabs off. There are some kinks to work out for sure but I'm giving it a try.

What do you think? Do you have any excellent ways you organize your coupons? Pin It

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