Coupon Organization ... Part 1 of 2...



I decided to write about coupon organization and
realized I have a lot to say
so I'll do it in 2 parts.
This section is about cutting and sorting coupons.

As more and more people are looking to save money, they are turning to coupons. I would like to share what I've learned about my trial and error of coupon organization.

Before I really started using coupons I had small plastic coupon organizer that I would take to the store with me, when I remembered. Problem was... by the time I remembered to take it, the coupons were usually expired, and at that time I wasn't getting the paper either so my selection of coupons was pretty null.

When I first began seriously looking into how to use coupons, I researched how others organized their coupons. I read about binders and boxes and file folders among a few ideas.... but first things first... let's cut them out.

Starting out I got 2 newspapers on Sunday (and still do) because that's what the "coupon guru's" were talking about. I wanted to cut them all and quickly found that by placing like pages on top of each other I could cut them out much faster than doing each individual page... insert big duh moment there. Just be sure they line up well, many times you have to lay them off-set to get the whole coupon on both pages!

After I got more proficient at cutting, I read about someone who would lay their coupons on the table and use the straight edge of a ruler and tear their coupon. Didn't work for me. I would always have one that tore through a coupon, and it took to much concentration.

For a long time I tore the inserts apart laying like pages on top of each other, doing that with all of the inserts before I would sit down with my scissor and begin cutting. As I cut, I began laying like items together which began to speed up the sorting process. Cold foods together, health & beauty items together, meds together, etc.

Now I've refined the process even more. I have recently started placing like insert pages together and then putting a staple through the corner of each coupon. It might take a moment longer, but the benefits are real for me.

Here's why...
I have found that it helps tremendously that all of my like coupons are always together. There's no chance that one might slide behind the next coupon not to be found until it's expired - or until I get home and wished I could have found it in the store.

It's also been a blessing in other ways... I have a 3 yr old (soon to be 4) little guy who goes with me to the store sometimes and he likes to help me with my coupons and sometimes they have a tendency to flutter away from us. Now, the like coupons are always together when I pick them up, saving me time putting them away when we're done.

Did I mention that I've almost spilled my box on more than one occasion.. much less stressful to put back into order when they're stapled together... (might be a good tip for you J. ;) if you're reading this).

As I said before, as I cut, I begin to organize into a few general categories. From there I can stack them together and come back to them if I don't have time to file them. When I'm ready to file them I pull the first category off the top of my stack, lay out the coupons into their more defined groups... health and beauty into deodorant, makeup, soaps, etc so that I can pull each area of coupons out and file into that area once.

As I file the coupons, I organized them by expiration date. The furtherest expiration in the back, closest to expiration in the front. Expired's get pulled as I file new coupons and recycled pronto... don't need to look at them again.

I also have an area for rebates, I like to take them with me so I don't have to remember their requirements when I get to the store, and an area for specific store coupons like CVS, Meijer, Kroger, etc. I did keep gift cards in my box for some time, until I left it at the store one day and decided that it would be bad enough if I lost my box, but even worse if it had gift cards or money in it!

More about filing systems soon!

4 comments:

~Sara said...

Sounds like you have a great thing going. I am sure it makes it so much easier at the store.

Tracey said...

Great tips! I love couponing and seeing how much I can save.

Jill said...

Very nice Suz.. I am going to try the staple. The kids spent about a half an hour yesterday getting all my coupons that had blown away off the fence. I found all my huggies wipes coupons! Lesson of the day... always make sure your coupon box is shut tight before heading out on a windy day!

Ann said...

Thanks for stopping bye and checking out my coupon organization article, Suz. You are right, great minds do think alike. ;-)


Ann @ couponsdealsandmore.com

Buy gift certificates for Alice through Swagbucks!
See my Swagbuck points & info below

My Current SwagBucks!

There was an error in this gadget