I am sure you have all been working on compiling your coupon collection and reading them to know what you can and can’t use them for, right? Well, now you need to be able to keep them all organized so that you know what you have and don’t find it when you get home AFTER you have already made your purchase.
Here is where you must have at least some organization in your life. That doesn’t mean you have to alphabetize your coupons (even I don’t do that), but at least have some semblance of order. You can actually keep your coupons organized in a few ways. We’ll start small and work up the to grand daddy organizer.
SMALL AND HANDY:
You can find small organizers at places such as Dollar General, the Dollar Store or even Walmart and Target. These normally have about 8 – 12 slots for you to put your coupons in. Most of the time they do not have labels on the sections, which allows you complete customization. If you have 8 sections, great sections to start with include:
Just find sections that work for your life and your couponing needs.
When your small organizer begins to bust at the seams, you will need to upgrade to something bigger. I personally recommend The Couponizer. This is the system I have used myself. The cost is about $25.00 (which will include shipping/handling). This is an INCREDIBLE organizer. It has sections for you to put the coupons you intend to use, those you need at checkout and has ways to help you quickly sort and organize your collection of coupons. If you have a birthday coming up, saving the link for your spouse or significant other may not be a bad idea! WINK! WINK!
NOTEBOOK (a.k.a THE BEAST):
That is what I sometimes affectionately call my binder. This is the grand daddy of coupon collecting.
The first thing I purchased was my binder. I wanted one that had a handle and strap so that it would be easier to get in and out of the store. It also has a smaller zipper where I have placed my scissors (to cut out coupons as needed) and a calculator (which I carry to find the best deal based upon package sizing). Here is my exact binder:
The other feature I liked about the binder was the outside pocket. It is removable, but also has built in file dividers. This is great to use to hold my inserts before I have a chance to cut and place them into my binder.
I then purchased plastic baseball card holders to hold the coupons and other items. I paid a little more and got some that have more weight to them. My hopes is that these will hold up longer than their cheaper, lighter weight counterparts.
I have tabs to divide my sections. I did not get the ones with insertable tabs as those can easily fall out. Rather, I paid a tad more and got some that are re-writable. However, I have a label maker, so I typed up my labels and can easily pull them off and change the section if I need to.
The sections I have in my binder include:
Bakery (I put all breads, rolls, etc here)
Household (things such as batteries, bug spray)
Cleaning Products (anything but laundry or dishwashing)
Paper/Plastic (includes disposable dinnerware to toilet tissue)
Retailer (includes coupons and catalinas)
You can find this list in a printable format here.
The last thing I placed in my binder was a plastic zipper pocket. I have this so that I have a place to put coupons that I may have clipped, but just didn’t have a chance to file. I can also use it to put any coupons that are about to expire so that I don’t forget to use them.
Another option is to purchase an accordian file (similar to the one below) and place your weekly inserts into it, grouped by date. Simply write the instert date across the front and file it away. Then, before you shop, you find the coupon you need and clip it only then and use it. That way, you save lots of time trying to clip, sort and organize on a weekly basis. You can then access the coupon database to find the coupons you need to clip before you shop.
Hopefully you can get now get your coupons organized so as you walk into a store, you will feel empowered to start saving money.