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Friday, May 27, 2011

Here's How I Organize My Coupons

I personally do not like the binder method.  Some people swear by it and it works for them.  It just doesn't work for me so this is what I prefer.  I keep my inserts whole.  I create a new folder for each insert so 5/22 Smart Source will have it's own folder that is labeled on the tab.  And I use match-up up websites that match sales with the coupons.  Then when it's time for me to shop I look up the sales on the websites and pull the coupons I need from the proper insert folders.

Here are all my whole inserts in a file box.

I usually get 10 newspapers a week so I take each insert (Smart Source, Red Plum, etc.) and take it apart and reassemble it.  I do this by laying all the covers out in one pile.  Then I lay all the second pages out in a pile and so on. Once I have a pile of each page of the insert I staple the corners of each page and then reassemble the whole insert so it looks like one insert.  I do this so when I am looking for a coupon I just have to cut it out once and have 10 of them instead of searching through 10 inserts to find 1 coupon in each.  It saves me time on the day that I am actually clipping my coupons.  

***I have recently learned that some manufacturers aren't accepting coupons from stores that look like they were "gang cut" which means all cut the same.  I have since started only stapling the tops of each page of the insert and instead of gang cutting all 10 coupons I am cutting each one out on it's own but it still saves me time because they are all together instead of in 10 separate inserts.  

Here is a picture of a pile of each page stapled together with all the copies of the same page.

Here is how the insert looks once it is put back together.  It looks just like one insert but it is really 10 together.

Keep in mind that I do this technique because I have at least 10 of each insert each week. If you don't buy a lot of newspapers then this might not be the best for you.
I find it a lot easier than clipping and carrying around a binder.  Do I miss some deals by not having all of my coupons with me?  Probably a few.  But I do look up coupons from my phone in coupon databases (there are lots of them- google coupon database to find some) to see if there is a coupon for something I might find on clearance.  And then sometimes I buy the item and take my receipt back with my coupons when I find them at home.  Most stores will give you money back if you bring back your receipt and coupons you could have used.  

When I am ready to go to the store I print my list and look in my folders for the matching coupons.  I then have a small accordion file that I keep my coupons in for the weekly deals.  I have it arranged by the stores I frequent so I have a section for the Publix weekly deals, CVS, Walgreens, and Other.  I also keep restaurant coupons, Groupons, etc. in another section.  I put all coupons for the deals at each store each week in their own section so if I happen to go to one of the stores during the week and see the weekly deal I can scoop it up.

I also keep a second accordion file for internet printable coupons and other random coupons- 13 sections and then some have subsections. Each section/subsection has it's own long envelope that I put in backwards and write the title on the outside top before I fold the flap inside- See the Dairy envelope in this picture.

Here are my Sections/Subsections- Each Subsection has it's own envelope inside the section tab
1. Front section without a tab is Misc.
2. Meat, Chicken, Deli, Seafood
3. Dairy
4. Bread, Cereal, Breakfast
-subs are Bread and Breakfast, Cereal and Granola Bars
5. Condiments, Dressings, Sauces, and Seasonings
6. Cookies, Snacks, Crackers
-subs are Cookies, Snacks, Crackers (each has it's own envelope)
7. Canned and Fresh
-subs are Canned Fruit and Veggies, Fresh Fruit and Veggies
8. Pasta, Rice, Soup
-subs are Pasta, Rice, Soup
9. Flour and Baking
10. Frozen
-subs are Frozen Veggies and Frozen Fruit, Frozen Dinners and Pizza, and Frozen Desserts
11. Beverages
12. Cleaning, Household, Paper Goods
-subs Cleaning, Household, Paper Goods
13. Meds and Personal Care
-subs are Meds and Personal Care (I think I will be breaking down the Personal Care envelope into a few separate envelopes soon as it is getting full with so many different personal care items.)


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