Like most serious couponers, I’ve struggled to find a coupon organization system that works.
I think I finally have a system I can live with! It’s not perfect, but it works for me. Since some of you have asked about my system, I thought I’d tell you about how I clip and organize my numerous coupons.
Each week, I take some time to look through the Sunday coupon inserts. I clip all of the coupons for products I know I will absolutely use if I found a good deal on them (diaper coupons are a good example of this).
I put these in my small coupon organizer (I think I paid $7 at Walmart for mine). It is organized by the types of products (i.e. baby care, cleaning/laundry, paper & plastic, beverages, etc).
I then take the remainder of the coupon inserts and write the date on the cover. Then I file the inserts by month in a giant 13-pocket expanding file folder. This file folder never leaves the house.
Before I go on a shopping trip, I make sure to visit AFullCup, Hot Coupon World, Money Saving Mom, The Centsible Sawyer, Common Sense with Money, Pocket Your Dollars, and Stretching A Buck to check out the deals. If I find a product I’d like to try that is free with a coupon, I can find it in my giant expanding file, clip it out, and put it into my smaller coupon organizer. I also look through the sales circulars to match up the deals with the coupons I’ve already clipped.
Throughout the week, I hunt for other coupons. Some are printables I find through my internet searches, some come with free samples, and others are tucked inside packaging. I file these in my small coupon organizer.
When I’ve got my coupons matched up to the deals, I put them in the front pocket of my small coupon organizer and head to the store. I always try to have the small organizer with me at the store in case I come across a good deal.
So far this system is working for me.
I used to clip all the coupons, and put them in a giant coupon binder. While I liked having all the coupons with me when I shopped, I found it way too time consuming to do all that clipping and organizing. I also found that I was more apt to buy things I didn’t need because I had the coupon! It finally reached its ugly peak when I realized that the binder – which weighed a ton – was full of expired coupons for products I didn’t use!
My new system allows me to have all the coupons I need with me in the store, but it takes far less time to clip and organize them. I also like knowing that if there is a really great deal for a product I’ve never had on my “must-clip” list, I can pull it from my giant expandable coupon file of coupon inserts I keep at home.
It’s definitely saved me time and saved me from impulse buys. Coupons don’t save you anything if you don’t spend some brain power using them!