Monday, October 6, 2008

Coupon Organization

I have been asked how I organize my coupons. There are so many different systems out there:
  • Keeping inserts uncut and filing by date
  • Small or large accordion file
  • Couponizer
  • Coupon Binders
  • The shoebox method - which I use.

Here are a few pics of my system. I cut the shoebox so it would be shorter and taped and stapled it. It isn't pretty, but is very functional.

My coupons are divided into several categories: Food, Household, Health and Beauty, Baby, School Supplies then into subcategories. You can get as specific as you want. Each subcategory has its own envelope. I put a 3x5 card in the envelope and stapled it. This serves as a divider. I got this idea from Money Saving Mom.
The envelopes are in order by category, but not by subcategory. For example, all the Food are together, but I don't care if Frozen is before Canned Goods. I just flip through the 3x5 cards to find the envelope I want. All of the coupons that have not been filed go in the front. When I have free time I file them. As I am clipping on Sunday morning, I put them in piles according to categories. This simplifies filing later.Behind all of the envelopes, I keep recent ads, a notepad to make lists, a pen, and an envelope addressed to the next person in my coupon train. Any coupons I know I won't use go in that envelope immediately, when it gets full enough, I mail it and make another one.

I also do not take this box with me to the store. I make a list, pull out the coupons I am going to use, and put them in a small accordion file. If I want to try something new that isn't on my list, but I have a coupon for that item, I'll take the coupon with me and see if the store I am shopping has a fair price. Otherwise I try to avoid impulse purchases.

I recently won a coupon binder, so I am exited to try it out and replace my accordion file system with that. It will allow me to bring more coupons to the store with me and hopefully scope out the best deals.

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