>> Thursday, December 17, 2009
It goes without saying that different people will have different methods for organization. But today I thought I would share my method for organizing coupons. This is what works for me.
All of my coupons are stored in one central location: a file folder tote. Or, more accurately, a file folder wicker crate, but you get the idea.
Each hanging folder has a labeled tab, which divides all of my inserts. The inserts are stored in order by date, most recent in front.
This is a great method, since almost any blog that provides deal advice will reference coupons by the name of the insert and the insert distribution date. Storing your coupons un-clipped in the original insert will provide the easiest way to locate a specific coupon when referencing deal ideas.
If you see a coupon in an insert for an item that you will buy for sure, it is a regular purchase for your family, then it would make sense to clip it and carry it with you, because you know you'll use it. Otherwise, the rest are better stored un-clipped until when/if they are needed. This will eliminate a lot of clipping time and sorting work!
I also have a 3-ring binder. In this binder I have tabs that divide baseball card holders. The baseball card holder is the perfect size to keep an internet printed coupon. Since internet printed coupons can come and go very quickly, it's best to print them when you can in order to ensure you'll have it when the right sale comes around. My divider tabs in the binder sort my printed coupons by category (baby, frozen foods, laundry & cleaning, dairy, meat, etc.) which makes it simple to locate a coupon that I have already printed.
My 3-ring binder stores neatly in the back of my insert tote, making the whole works orderly and compact enough to put away in a cabinet, up on a shelf, or I can easily take the whole thing with me in the car.
Now I may be looking through a store flyer, notice a good sale on an item that none of the blogs I follow have commented on. This is where the coupon database comes in. Just type in the brand name of the product, or manufacturers name and you will receive a list of possible coupon matches. It will list the source of the coupon, and those that are from inserts will be easy to locate with this organization method.
This is my method, it works for me and has ended the days of piles upon piles of clipped, un-clipped and printed coupons being all over my kitchen counter top. What works for you?