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Sunday, February 7, 2010

Coupon (Dis)Organization!

I am often asked how I organize my coupons. I've been meaning to do this post for quite awhile, but to be honest I was embarrassed to do so! Here's my big confession: I don't organize my coupons. (There! I said it! I feel better!)

WHAT?!? How do you save so much money on your weekly shopping trips if you don't organize your coupons?

Listen. Just because you are disorganized doesn't mean you can't save money! This is what is working for me right now. I tried other methods. I started out using a small accordion file that I got for $1 at Target, but when I started printing more coupons, I outgrew that quickly. If you don't have a lot of coupons, though, this might work well for you. Or maybe you can find a bigger accordion file like this that will work for you.

Another popular organization method is a coupon binder. You can go out and buy a binder and some sturdy baseball card sleeves (not the cheap kind, I found--they rip) to organize your coupons. I decided to make a coupon binder out of a photo book I had in the basement. I used this for a few months, but found that it took me too much time clipping, filing, and purging coupons each week, so I stopped. However, this method works well for some people (especially those who are organized!)

One more option I've seen is a coupon box with envelopes inside for each category. I'd suggest getting a box with a lid (maybe even a cheap tupperware box at the dollar store), so your coupons don't dump all over the store (horrors!). Label your envelopes with your categories and put your coupons in them.

Something else I tried was the insert method. This is where you file your Sunday inserts by date. Then when you see a deal post that lists a coupon in a certain insert (like SS 2/7), you go to that insert and cut out the coupon. I quickly found that this didn't work for me because 90% of the time my inserts didn't have the coupon listed. It only led to frustration.

This is what I do right now. I have my coupon bag that I take to the store with me, and it has all my reusable bags in it (the bulk), along with scissors, a calculator, pens, paper clips, and all my coupons. The bag might look big to you, but some of you must have a purse this big! :-)

My (dis)organization system is to go through the inserts, clip what I think I might use and recycle the rest. I print off the printable coupons that I think I might use when I see them, but I don't clip them out until the week I plan to use them. I do end up recycling some coupons at the end of the month (you probably wouldn't save much money if you used ALL your coupons buying things that aren't on sale), but this saves me some time clipping and filing. I have a manila folder in the back of my coupon bag that has coupons divided roughly into food and non-food. I have a binder clip that has clipped coupons for items I know I will buy, and I keep that in the front of my bag. This way I have all my coupons with me in case I come across a clearance deal that I know I have a coupon for.

Would you be willing to share your coupon organization method? If you email me a picture of your system and tell me how it is or isn't working for you, I'll post it on my blog. Or if you have blogged about your organization method, leave a comment with your link. It'll be a coupon organization show-and-tell! :-)


Jaime said...

If it works for you than that is fantastic!

Here is the link to my coupon binder!

cookiesandmilk said...

I posted my "system" back in October. I still am using the same system because it works well for me. I'm glad you found something that works for you :)

Together We Save said...

I am a binder girl all the way!!

Angel Davidson said...

I am "disorganized" too! I have tried all the same methods of organization and finally just gave up recently. I separate between food/non-food, and put them in envelopes to take to the store.

I LOVE that you admitted your "disorganization" so freely to us! Makes me feel so much better about being the same way! But I still manage to save lots of money every week!

Thanks Jessica!

Erin Rose said...

Here is my coupon box. We love it. I currently just use cheap photo boxes but am looking for a more permanent and durable alternative. I thought about those plastic shoebox sized boxes but most of them are see thru.

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