Organizing your coupons 101

Monday, August 17, 2009
Now that you have all of these papers, what is the fastest way to cut, organize, and store them?  Here is my method.  To do this method, you will need a 3 inch, 3 ring binder, plastic sleeve baseball card inserts, and some stickers or tabs to help label your sleeves.  
Getting started - Pull out all the inserts that are the same.  For example, Red  Plum, Smart Source, etc. 
1) Start with one insert.
2)  Go to the middle and rip down the center.
3)  Lay out each page on the floor in front of you.
5)  Do the same thing with the next identical insert, putting matching papers together in a stack.
6) Once you have finished matching all pages from that insert, get your stapler ready with refills handy.
7) Put a staple in each coupon to hold the coupons together while cutting and organizing.  Try not to put the staple through the bar code on the coupon.
8) Cut out your coupons.  When you first start,  cut every coupon.  Now, if you don't have a cat, don't cut the cat food coupons.  However, cut all food, household products, and health and beauty products.  Once you have been using coupons for a about a month, you will have a better idea on the ones you want to cut or just save for later.
9) Decide how you want to organize your coupons.  I organize them alphabetically, by who makes the product.  For example, Tyson chicken goes under "T".  Some people prefer to do it by department, such as "meat" or "frozen foods".  You decide which way works best for you.
10) Slide your 6 dial coupons that are stapled together into one slot.
11) Repeat until all coupons are filed. (this is the part that takes some time)

Another - less time consuming method (I tried, but it didn't work for me.)
You will need a file folder holder and file folders.  On the side of each insert, you will find the date it came out in fine print. 
1) Take a marker, and on the front of the insert, write the date larger.
2) Place all matching inserts into a file marked with that Sunday's date.
3) Follow the blogs to find out what coupons to use and what date they came out.  Or check the coupons data base to see what coupons are out there.
4) Find out what coupons you plan to use that shopping trip.
5) Locate coupons and cut them out.

There is a downside to this method.  It is harder to remember what coupons you have.  And, if you just happen to be out and see an unadvertised special or clearance item, you might not have that coupon with you because it is still at home in a file folder.  By having your binder and coupons with you while you shop, you have a better chance at finding a great surprise deal.


  • Becky w/ Nickels-n-Dimes

    I agree that it is harder to remember what coupons you have when you are not handling them by cutting, sorting, etc. The more my hands touch each coupon, the more I am likely to remember I have it!

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