Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Coupon Organization - my new, more-better system!

My old coupon system worked fine until about a few weeks ago when I really started taking to getting so much free stuff using coupons and store promotions. The box system I had thrown together just wasn't doing the job anymore. I saw a really cool and inspiring video description (I wish I could remember where) of a coupon folder and I thought, "hmm, I think I have the stuff to make that right here." I ended up having to spend about $1 for page protectors but we had everything else just laying around.

I have described the new system below along with some pictures. If you like what you see and think it will work for you, you will want to keep a keep an eye on our blog. We will be giving one away sometime next week - totally ready for you to add your coupons!
Here is my zip around folder. It is a 2 inch 3 ring binder zipper folder that I have had for about 9 years. I have never used it for much so I thought this would be the perfect coupon storage folder.

Just inside I have a pocket where I keep store ads and then some smaller pockets hold pens, scissors, a calculator, and paper clips.

I slide clipped coupons into sports card protector pages. I fold them so I can see the product the coupon is for. I use both sides and they fill up very fast. These pages are separated into categories. I have baby/toddler, meat/dairy, home, health/beauty, snacks/baking, general food, pets/office/misc.

I have a top loading page protector at the end of each section with all my 'need to file' coupons for that particular section. I also have one in the back for coupons that need to be clipped but I usually clip all my coupons right away.

CVS has its own page protector to hold my flier and Extra Care Bucks. I certainly don't want these to get lost in the ocean of coupons and I make quite a steal at CVS. As soon as I get more into Walgreens Register Rewards I will probably do the same with it. If you don't know about CVS and Walgreens amazing deals then read more here to learn about it.

I keep club cards and gift cards in a sports card protector in the back. When I use the gift cards I write in the amount left on each card in sharpie directly on the front of the card.

I also keep notebook paper in the folder so I can write down things I want to remember - like a particular store's price on ground beef or an upcoming sale I don't want to miss, rebate offer details, or a discount I want to pass on here.

I have made couponing and deal finding bring our family of 8's grocery spending down from around $600 a month to less than $300 a month. Frugal Heart is my journal to help me stay focused and keep me motivated. I also really like passing on what I learn to others. I am always adding tips and descriptions of how I do things and I add links to printable coupons that can make a good deal great. Plus, since I am still fairly new at this I write out all my mistakes so others can avoid them!


Lisa said...

I too, enjoy the binder system. I had been doing the box type, but found that I was spending a lot of time searching through the envelopes/sections. I've found with the binder it is such a help. I am more of visual person. Everything is laid out on each page. Also like how you can easily see the different coupon values for products. Especially for things like yogurt and t.p.
Thanks for sharing your binder. I like the idea of having extra paper to jot down deals.

Genevieve said...

That's a great idea! I may even have some of the supplies laying around to try one myself. Currently I'm using the same coupon flex-file thing I've had since high school (um... 15 years?) and a #10 security envelope... thrown in a canvas bag with the fliers. It's not working too well for me :/