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How should I organize my coupons? This is a big question that I get, and a lot of people are surprised to hear that I don’t keep my coupons in a binder with baseball card dividers!
There are some really simple ways to organize them and some more complicated ways. Obviously the more complicated, the more time it will take.
You can try different methods to see what works best for you.
How To Organize Coupons
File Folder Method – Keeping Your Insert Whole
This is the method I use because it’s easy and fast. When you get your weekly inserts write the date bigger on the front page of the insert. Then, get a large 13 pocket accordion file system or use a filing system in your desk and put all the inserts from this week together in one pocket. Next week put those inserts in the next pocket of the folder.
As the weeks go on you have all the inserts from each week together organized back by the date that they came out. If you buy more than one paper, just put all the inserts no matter how many into the same pocket. Now when you come to Southern Savers you will use the SS dates that are next to coupons on the weekly deal posts to find each coupon and cut it out before going to the store. (Example: PG 04/30)
I do not recommend this system to anyone that hates to miss a clearance or closeout deal in the store. The upside to this system is that the only time spent on it, is the time you spend getting ready for your trip. Usually takes me about 15 minutes to cut any coupons needed for a trip.
You will also need to have a smaller accordion file folder to store any coupons that you cut and don’t use or any printable coupons.
Some Additional Tips:
–Print the Regional Insert Coupon Variation list for your paper to quickly know what coupons you do and do not have.
-You will keep inserts for about 12 weeks. After that, you can clip the one or two coupons that haven’t expired and throw away the rest (or send them overseas to troops). See a quick tip to see when things are expired and ready to be cleaned out.
Coupon Box Method
Some folks can’t handle not having all the coupons with them, but they don’t want to spend all the time required in keeping a coupon binder. The middle ground between the two systems is to use a box that has many categories. Cut all the coupons in the inserts and then organize them into categories around the store. We want to break it down into small categories, or else you will have a hundred coupons in the middle of “dry goods” and go insane trying to look through that.
This system will take around 45 minutes to cut all the coupons in the Sunday inserts and then sort them into categories. I would recommend that you still pull what coupons you plan to use before shopping or else you will be in the store for ages. You can however, take the box with you to the store in case you find other deals.
One thing to note though, in your 45 minutes of cutting coupons the person in the accordion file system is now ready for the store. You haven’t gotten there yet. So this is a little more time intensive.
The Binder Method is the most organized but the most time-consuming approach. This method has you clip out every coupon possible and file it in clear inserts in a binder. You can use dividers to separate coupons into categories for extra ease in finding your coupons. This method will take a lot of time, but some people enjoy it as a hobby.
Label the dividers by location in the store and then start to put coupons into the baseball card pockets. Place your coupons individually (put multiples behind it) in the slots so that you are able to see every coupon. I put a coupon facing the front and a different coupon facing the back to maximize space. For the dividers, you are not limited by 12 sections so you can go crazy with tabs if you like. You can even get a little zipper bag (sold to hold pencils) to put in the front to hold your coupons for that trip and a pair of scissors.
Some Additional Tips:
-If you have more than one coupon for the same item, put the ones that expire first towards the front in the pocket
-Buy a folder that zips up!! If you hold a binder upside down the coupons will fall out the top.
-Look for a binder that has a 6 pocket accordion system too. Now if you cut and don’t have time to file the coupons you can still have them with you.
For visual how to’s, check out my Organizing Coupon videos: