May 10, 2011

Couponing 101 Getting organized.

Next, how to GET ORGANIZED!!   This part has TWO parts. Part 2a and part 2b, if you will.

Behold, part 2a - organizing.

There are 2 main ways to be organized with your coupons, and I'll show you mine second. The first one is to use file folders and a file box.

Like this:

This is where you keep the inserts whole and just file them by type and date. (the main inserts are smartsource, redplum, and proctor & gamble)

  • No cutting!! YAY!
  • Easy to find a coupon that is listed by date on some coupon blogs.
  • No last minute clearance deals.
  • Have to have a date listed to find a coupon you are looking for.
  • Hauling around a FILEBOX while shopping = Lame.
  • How do you file internet printed coupons, blinkies, etc?
Okay, now here is the method that I use - the coupon binder. For me it's an excellent method even though it does come with a little more upfront time.

Here's how you do the coupon binder. First, get a binder. (Oh, I crack myself up!) Then pick up some baseball card holders at your local Hades Walmart. Then you can either pick up some organizer labels or you can be ghetto like me and make your own with paper, tape, and a ballpoint pen.

See? Classy.

My categories are:
-frozen food
-canned food
-paper products
-girly (that would be tampons, pads)
-smelly (candles, air fresheners)
And then I have separate envelopes with cleaning products and medications.

But you can do whatever categories you want. THEN, you take the coupons that you've collected and cut them out. If you have multiples of one insert, cut them like so:

Stack the same page, here are 4 of the same.

Then cut ONE time all 4 coupons.

Then file them in the appropriate file. The above Hefty would go in paper products.

Part 2b - Planning the trip

Now is when you plan your shopping trip. All your coupons are organized and filed away and now to search the deals. You can go to a blog (like mine) or a more local one for your area, or a HUGE one like (I like that one since you can look at deals by store and that store's region). Or, you can pull up your store's weekly ad and look at it yourself. Write down some things that you would like to have or that look like a good price to you, then check out the appropriate "section" of your binder and see if you have a coupon that matches.

I like to use notecards for each store.

I then place the notecard and coupons I've pulled into one of these babies. (you can get it at any office section of any store.)

It is organized by store.

Since I live 15 minutes away from any of my stores, I have to be able to go to 3-5 stores at any given trip to save on gas. I file my Albertsons shopping trip. I file my Walgreens trip. And whatever other stores I've planned on going to. So when I shop, I "technically" only need my little shopping organizer. But I do like to have my binder with me in case I see some manager's clearance items or a non-advertised sale while I'm out.

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  1. I go back and forth on the organizing-- I currently do the file method but I'm thinking binder would make things easier to find and then I could take it to the store....decisions, decisions :0) Also how many newspapers do you get? Do you use a couponing website that tells you the deals and what coupons to use or do you follow the sales all on your own? I am currently cutting my bill in 1/2 but we are SO broke... I would like to get my grocery bill cut by 3/4. Ambitious?

  2. Hi Dana!!

    I actually don't get the newspaper at all (I know, right?!), but I do get a local freebie random paper that has a couple of the inserts in it. My neighbor also gets it and told me I could take his. I guess I get 2 papers, but they don't have ALL the coupons in them. I have used coupons by dede and with much success for a specific coupon I wanted. And I keep my eyes open while I shop for blinkie's, tearpads, etc. And I print quite a few coupons.

    I do like to look at and but I do look at the grocery store ads myself.

    And hey, if there was no ambition in this world - we would not have electricity, running water, or cars. YOU CAN DO IT!!!!


  3. I use a binder. My mom bought it for back-to-school for one of my kids. Turns out though, it is not a 3-ring binder. Instead it has a pocket that you stick the back of a spiral notebook into. It came with one in it that has 4 or 5 tabbed sections. The opposite side has a bunch of zippered pockets which I use to hold kid scissors (of which we have a bunch that come home with kids at the end of school year), pens, and a calculator that is used only for my binder. If I was more ambitious, I would make some more tabs for it. But for now, I use rather broad categories like "food" (including gum candy etc.), and "hygiene" (includes soap shampoo deodorant makeup toothpaste etc.) My binder is made of fabric, and has a zip closure. Over the front it has some mesh fabric that forms a pocket on the outside. In there I put the coupons I intend to use on my current shopping trip (or sometimes I put in any coupons I collect in-store, register tapes etc.) Then the whole shebang comes along with me to the store. The calculator comes in very handy for comparing prices.


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