Coupon Organization

My Two Favorite Ways to Organize Coupons

·         The Whole Insert Method- This method is the least time consuming.
o    Supplies needed: Accordion File Folder (AFF) with at least 12 sections
o    Canceled check file
o    Scissors
o    Coupons and Inserts
o    Something to hold coupons while shopping. (I use a baggie.)
In this method you will save whole inserts and each week you will stick them in a pocket of your accordion file folder (AFF). Each week’s inserts will go into a different pocket. Your AFF can hold up to 12 weeks of inserts at a time. A coupon insert expires after about 12 weeks. Occasionally there will be a coupon or two in the insert that does not expire. That is where your cancelled check file, or small accordion file folder, will come into play. This is for single coupons. When most of the insert expires you will cut out the few coupons that have not. You will then file them in your small AFF. You will put coupons you have clipped, found at a store, was mailed to you, etc. in the small AFF. You will need to label your small AFF with categories. I have a AFF with 13 pockets. I put all my Internet printable coupons in the last pocket. You could also cut them out and file them in your small AFF.
When the weekly deals are posted you will look to see which insert they come from. The blogs always include type of insert and the date the insert came out. You will then go to that section in your AFF, pull out the insert, check to see if you have the coupon, clip it and re-file your insert. When you are finished clipping all the coupons you need, put them in a baggie/envelope to take to the store.

·         The Coupon Binder-This method is more time consuming but may help you get better deals on clearance items and unadvertised sales.
o    A large Binder
o    Baseball card holders
o    Dividers
o    Scissors
o    Coupons and Inserts
o    Something to hold coupons while shopping (I use a baggie)

The Coupon Binder Method is great for the organized folks! I am not in that group! With this method you will clip all/most coupons that come in the weekly inserts. You need to decide whether you want to clip all the coupons or just the ones you know you will use. I ask myself, “Would I use this product if it was free?” If the answer is yes, I clip the coupon. If no, I throw it away or stuck it in a folder to give to someone who can use it. There are a lot of products I would not pay for but I would certainly use if they were free!
Next, you need to divide your inserts up into categories. As you go along you may want to change the categories to ones that make sense to you. After you baseball card holders and dividers into the binder, you will start clipping coupons. Next, you will place your coupons in the baseball card holders. It is best to place them where you can see the product and expiration date. If you have to fold a coupon to make it fit, try not to fold on the bar code. Place multiples of the same coupon in the same slot if they have the same expiration date, if they do not, place them in separate slots. Every so often you will need to clean expired coupons out of your binder.
When you are ready to go shopping, you will check the blogs for your deals, see which coupons you need, look to see if you have them, pull them out and place them in a baggie/envelope to take to the store.
You can also take your binder to the store with you. That way if you see something for sale or on clearance you can check your binder to see if you have a coupon for the item!