Sunday, January 3, 2010

Now what?!? Organizing Coupons!

So you have coupons--Now what? Organization is key! Here's a previous post about organizing coupons.

There are 3 common ways to organize coupons. Check out the 3 highlighted methods below. Take one and make it your own. Whatever works for you! Some people sort alphabetically, others sort by category. I file my loose coupons by category and each category is subdivided. For example, under the toiletries tab, I have subcategories for razors, toothpaste, shampoo, etc...This initial time spent organizing is a key to saving time and energy in the long run.

1. Clipping & Sorting (using an accordion filer/or box): Clip all coupons and sort in a accordion filer/box. Can sort alphabetically or by product category.

PROS: Easy to find coupons. Easy to carry into a store. Great with a small supply.

CONS: Tedious clipping/sorting.

2. Filing Whole Inserts/Clipless: File entire unclipped inserts according to date.

PROS: Easy, quick to sort. No clipping. Easy to find coupons when matching up from a list--Using frugal blog match ups. They give you the date and source, you just go to that file.

CONS: Must search database to find coupons on unplanned purchases. Can make finding coupons take longer. Almost impossible to take into a store.

3. Binder Method: Large 3 ring binder that zips closed. Here you clip coupons and sort in plastic baseball card/photo holders. Can sort alphabetically or by product category.

PROS: Easy to carry into a store. Makes finding a coupon for an unplanned item easy.

CONS: Time consuming, to clip/sort/clean out.

Keep in mind that each system has pros and cons. You must find the system that works best for you. You may find that you change the way you organize your coupons as you get more and more of them.

How do I organize? I started with the accordion(mother's day gift)...Within months I moved to filing inserts because I got tired of clipping so many inserts. I have been filing inserts for 5+ months. It has been super easy and a time saver for me. However, I am ready for a change in the new year. I am working on a cross between the binder method and filing inserts. Clipping one set for my coupon binder to take with me in stores and filing the rest.

How do you organize your coupons? Comment below!


renee said...

I am very happy with my method. I use a zip binder with clear page protectors. (Not baseball card type) I slip the whole coupon insert into the page protector. No clipping needed. All inserts are dated and organized accordingly. Then I print out a copy of the coupons found in each insert. I use various sites, including this one, to find such lists. I slip the coupon list in front of the inserts. This makes locating specific coupons quick and easy. I do not have to flip through all of the inserts when I am looking for a specific coupon.
I currently have 32 page protectors in the binder. I am able to store 3 months worth of coupons, including my all you magazines, internet printables, and other coupon books. At the end of the month I will clean out the inserts that are over 3 months old By then most have been used or expired. Those that have not will be clipped and put into my small hand held file that fits into my purse.
I have tried the clipping method and the filing method - didn't like either one. This works best for me. No clipping, easy to carry, easy to organize, quick to locate coupons.
Plus the binder I bought has a 4 page accordian file in front and zipper pouch. ($11 - Walmart).

Staci said...

I use a combo method. I flip through the inserts each week and only clip Qs for brands/items that I KNOW I will buy (our few family favorites). I want to make sure I have those with me at all times and I keep them in an accordion file that is small enough to toss in my purse.

Then, I file the rest of the insert with the date clearly marked on the top. I use coupon databases and matchup blogs each week when I am prepping to find out which coupons I need to pull and clip.

I also use my purse file to store printables and home mailer coupons, since they aren't always in a coupon database. Otherwise I might forget about them.

This method has been working for me for almost a year and I love not having to clip every single coupon until I really need it. Such a time saver!

Sarah Doyle said...

I used to use a small check organizer type coupon holder until I got so many coupons the sections were too stuffed to try to sort through them. I found a fantastic binder type coupon holder at - now everything is right at my fingertips and easy to find. I'd recommend this "designer" coupon tote to everyone.