Sunday, April 12, 2009

Intro to Couponing Part 2

GET ORGANIZED

Once you have a way to get papers you HAVE TO GET ORGANIZED!! This is crucial for couponing success. You will hate to coupon if you are poorly organized!! I promise.

There are TONS of ways to organize your coupons. If you are using a method I don't mention, leave a comment and tell us about it!

  • I personally use the Binder Method. And I organize by week. So each week I pull my inserts apart and group by page. Then I put each page in it's own page protector. Most coupon sites tell you which coupon to use with the date it came out, so I can go to that week and flip through them until I find the one I need. This method works for me, because I like to clip as I go at the grocery store. So, once I put my product in the cart, I cut the corresponding coupons and put them in a separate envelope.
  • Joanie uses the binder method, but she organizes by category with baseball bard holders. This seems like the most organized (and time consuming) method. She has a table of contents and she doesn't have to clip at the store. I know I would use this method if I was willing to put in the time up front. She probably spends an extra hour a week cutting and filing her coupons. So, if you have a block of time on Sundays while your kids are napping, this option is awesome!
  • Boxes are another great for organizing coupons. You can use anything from a cardboard shoe box, a plastic tub (with lid), a recipe box, or try an index card box. This method is good, because you can choose a size that will work for you... You can go as large or small as you want. Then, use dividers to separate your categories (or separate by week) and then cut, clip and sort your coupons within each category. Make sure each index divider is tabbed so you can mark the sections.
  • Bambi (another contributor) uses a plastic flex-type coupon organizer. These are nice if you are new to couponing and don't have many coupons. You can carry it in your purse and take it everywhere. (It looks like a clutch) The downside is that it doesn't hold very many coupons.

There are so many ways to organize, and there really isn't a right or wrong way... Just find what works for you and perfect it.

9 comments:

Alex and Marie said...

What do you mean you group by page? Are you sticking a whole week's insert in one sleeve or just one page or pages that have something in common?

Shelley said...

Thanks for the organization tips! Joanie,..I want to see some pics of your binder! ;) Sounds impressive!

Heather Wheeler said...

Marie- I get about 10 papers each week, so I take the first insert and separate each page onto my table and then do that with all 10 inserts (that are the same), and then I staple all 10 page 1's together, all page 2's, ect. Then I do the same with the second insert. Then I just put each stapled pages in it's own sheet protector. So when I am at the store I can cut all 10 of the same coupon at one time, since they are stapled. So for one weeks worth of inserts I have like 20 sheet protectors full of coupons.

Also, I keep them with their weeks, I don't organize by category. I hope this makes sense, I am horrible at explaining things!!

Ginger said...

I use the binder method but hate clipping. I think I'll change to your method. But, with a bad back I hope that I am not going to reinjure it hauling a mega sized binder around with me.

Great description and I loved the visual even though it is somewhat frightening! LOL

Carrian said...

They have different expandable files that are still little but they expand HUGE. I can carry all my coupons around in my purse and I have a ton of space. I know everyone like tO pull the page, but I still prefer to clip my mine so I can see what I have and then I can pass the ones I don't want. This way I carry something small. The only place I can find the big one is Office Max. Everyone does it different though, it all works.

Heather Wheeler said...

Ginger- I actually really like my method, some people would probably hate clipping at the store, but for me, it sure beats the hours it would take me to clip and file. If you don't get too many papers, you could keep yours smaller, mine is so big because I have a minimum of 10 papers a week (and up to 35!).
Also, I always try to park right next to a cart drop off area so I can load my binder and 2 kids right into a cart. It saves me... a few times I have had to walk from the parking lot into the store with 2 kids, my binder and purse. It's no fun at all.
And yes it's totally frightening. EVERY time I go to the store I get stopped by people curious what in the heck I am doing!! Kinda funny.

The Givens Family said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Givens Family said...

I use the binder method and organize mine by category. In my opinion, I've found it's much easier to find a coupon you're looking for. Rather than sifting through the entire insert for one week, just go right to the section it should be in and then you can tell right away if you have the coupon or not. Also, for me, it's easier to pull the coupons I'll need before I go to the store and place them in a smaller coupon organizer (the purse size ones) rather than carrying my entire binder everywhere. I've always got my two kids with me so juggling them and a binder just doesn't work so well for me
I haven't found the time thing to be such a big factor when cutting and organizing mine. I think it saves on time later so whether you want to put the time in initially or take the time to find and cut later, it all depends on you.
There you go, my two cents on it all.

Jill said...

I'm new to couponing and I was wondering if anyone organized their coupons by brand? I'm afraid that if I choose categories I won't remember how I categorized things.