Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Coupon Organization

Organizing your coupons may seem like a never ending chore. In fact, it is. New coupons are issued all the time on the internet, in our Sunday papers, and in home mailings. Keeping your coupons sorted in a meticulous fashion not only helps you find them easier, but it can keep you from missing out on a terrific last minute deal.
Below is a picture of my favorite system. this is a cute brown sued-ish bag with files inside. I labeled them with cute labels I printed off the printer. This is actually only part of my system. I have a file box with inserts inside. Each file is labeled with a date and has that weeks Sunday inserts inside. I have a plethora of small while labels and files to add more each week. The coupons I tend to use the most get cut out right away and filed in the below pictured file bag. I also have a section in my file box for printables and store fliers. It is the best system for me and takes very little time compared to my old system, and my even older system.A few tips to get you started:
  1. Choose a coupon organization that works for you. Just because your favorite couponing website praises one specific method does not mean that style will be the best suited for you and your couponing needs.
  2. Keep all your coupons in the same place. Having a stack on the counter, a few by the computer, some in your purse, and some in the car will make it more difficult to find what you are looking for.
  3. Don't be afraid to try a new system if the one you currently have isn't working for you. Sometimes all it takes is a little change to get things in order.
  4. Set aside a specific time each week to do your couponing. This way you won't feel like you are always clipping and organizing coupons and it won't cut into time that should be spent elseware.

There are many different ways to organize your coupons. What it really boils down to is personal preference and time spent. Here are some popular methods.

  • Box – a shoe box or plastic box with category separators
  • Binder – a zip up folder with categorized base ball card holders and page protectors
  • File – a categorized file box or accordion style filer
  • Envelope system – a separate envelope for each category often stored in a box similar to the box system
  • Bag method – a coupon purse with a file system inside. Much more stylish and easy to carry than most other couponing systems.

What is important when deciding how you want to store your coupons, is to find a method that works best for your situation. Your coupon system may look drastically different from the next person’s. It is all according to how you coupon.

  • Couponer #1 may carry all her coupons with her to every store looking for unadvertised deals. She is organized, not only in her coupon method, but in her head too. She is able to recall coupons that she has on the spur of the moment and knows exactly where they are in her binder of thousands of coupons. This is not me.
  • Couponer #2 keeps her coupons organized in such a fashion that she can easily find them for a quick trip to the store. They are all cut and categorized neatly. She may not be able to locate them quickly enough to use them on the spur of the moment but she can find them quickly enough to remember to grab a few for sales match-ups just before she runs out the door. This is not me.
  • Couponer #3 keeps the coupons for items that go on sale often or coupons for products she purchases often cut and categorized neatly in a file, folder, or binder system that can be carted around if necessary. Then, she keeps all uncut coupons organized in a larger file system that is not as easily portable. These are marked by date and can easily be found when a coupon from one of the inserts is needed. #3 has an organized list with paper clipped coupons completed and ready for each store before she leaves the house because she is not completely organized and needs accurate, planned out lists for maximum savings and efficiency. I am couponer #3.
  • Couponer #4 keeps an envelope with a handful of coupons inside. This stays in her purse and is often forgotten about. She likes the idea of coupons but can’t seem to make them work for her. I used to be couponer #4.

You will want to tailor your couponing system to meet your personal needs. If you want to be able to carry every coupon with you every time you shop to snag those unadvertised sales and deals, you’ll need to create a system that you can take with you everywhere. If you want a quick plan of attack to allow you maximum savings with little time actually shopping, you won’t necessarily need all of your coupons cut and ready too far in advance – you can cut them and organize them as sale fliers come out. Couponing is not an exact science.

Do you have a method that works great for you? I'd love to hear about it. Please leave a comment with details or a link to a post you have completed on your system!


Hadias said...

Here is a link to my coupon system. This is my third system howver I am on a revised 4th system. It's a combination of Binder, Accordian file and a cute coupon sorter my daughter gave me.