I've been putting this post off because I keep imagining how hard it will be to explain it all! But, my friend Ellen asked me how I store my coupons, so I decided, It's Time!!! (Thanks for the push Ellen;)
When I first started couponing, I would cut the coupons and categorize them all. I had a big box full of envelopes labeled for each category. This was before I started my blog. I didn't really need to know which insert they came from, I just wated to be able to find them quickly. However, as I started my blog I wanted to be able to tell you, my readers, where to find the coupons. Also, the time I used to spend clipping coupons I now spent on here! So I simplified!
I realized a couple of things.
#1 I don't like to spend the time cutting out so many coupons from the paper that I never use.
#2 Great sites like Sunday Coupon Preview, while a great starting point, weren't completely accurate with what was coupons were actually in my paper.
So I, along with my wonderful husband who bought me all the products, came up with the following:
The Simple Coupon Organization System
Step 1 - Start at Sunday Coupon Preview Copy what they have into a Word Document. This is your starter form so you don't have to start from scratch.
Step 2 - Only have what's in your insert on the paper. Sit down with the inserts and make a mark(-) at the end of each coupon that's there. Make sure the expiration date is filled in, some weeks they don't do it and you really want all that work done now. Then erase all the coupons that aren't in your insert and add coupons that may not have been in the preview.
Step 3 - Alphabetize. Make sure the list is in alphabetical order so that coupons can be quickly found. Cut and copy is your best friend in this process!
Step 4 - Print that list out on a paper and place it, along with the insert, into a page protector.
Step 5 - Keep them organized. When most of the coupons in an insert have expired write insert date and type(i.e. SS 1/4), followed by the few coupons that won't expire for a while on a page and keep only those coupons in a page protector. Only do this though if you really want to keep those coupons.
This system has worked so well for me. I can quickly scan the page protectors and find what I'm looking for. It makes so that I only clip coupons I really need before I go shopping.
I have a sleeve that holds my printable coupons. I've learned to only print high dollar ones right away and wait to print the ones I see quite often when I'm getting my list together for the store. So far I just browse these and it's not a big deal, I tend to remember what was in there.
Next week I'll talk about getting coupons ready for the store.
Now let's hear from you!
How do you store your coupons? What's your favorite method to the madness.
This post is linked to Thrifty Thursday & Frugal Fridays.
Having a Simple Coupon System is indeed a much Finer Thing!
I hope you've found this post helpful.
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