Turbo Tax

Friday, April 23, 2010

How to Organize Coupons in 5 Easy Steps


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. 

Printable Coupons 

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. Smile

This post is linked to Thrifty ThursdayFrugal Fridays.

Having a Simple Coupon System is indeed a much Finer Thing!

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Coupon Teacher said...

Great idea! I have never thought of doing that.

Sarah said...

Love it! Great Idea. I was doing the same thing. You've got a fabulous blog.
I have a free directory you can enter your link into if you like, as well as a free e-report about growing a blog you can read.

Today I have a post about hot buttons to push for more blogging and business success if your interested.


Anonymous said...

Wow. Never thought to do that. I'll have to start trying it. Thanks for the tips!

Francie Schmuhl said...

Thanks so much for this post. You know that I've only just gotten started on couponing and that I'm learning. I've been wanting an easy way to find coupons in the inserts without searching every insert. And we both know that our area doesn't always get the same coupons posted in deals in other areas (how frustrating!). This is fabulous and I can't wait to try it out tomorrow!!

Yesterday was a great day for two reasons. First, I took a decent-sized donation down to Ronald McDonald House in Indy when we took our son to Riley for an exam. It made me so happy to take them things they need (without having spent a ton of money on it) when they were so good to us in our time of need. How good does that feel??

Second, I added up my savings for the week (I've been keeping track in a spreadsheet). I spent $105 on items worth $225!! Can I get a Woo Hoo??!!! I also took advantage of that great sale at Meijer. Wow!

Thanks again for everything you do. It's so very nice to have someone in the area that can help me with this. You're a Godsend!!

Lori @ Couponomic Stimulus Package said...

Francie, Good Job!!! That's so awesome to get such great deals and be able to give more because of it! I LOVE this too, to be able to give without hurting our family!

I hope everything is good with your son.

I'm so glad you find this site helpful. I enjoy your comments immensely! The main thing I want to do is help others and I really appreciate your feedback!

Anonymous said...

I do almost exactly the same thing! THe only difference is that I already spend way too much time doing stuff on the computer, so I format the list to fit onto a single-side of paper and then I print it out. I highlight every coupon I have and black out with a marker the ones I didn't get. I, too, find that this works extremely well.

Anonymous said...

When I did whole inserts I did the same exact thing. I would also write across the top of the page the date of the coupon that expired last in the insert. When that date comes and goes, then I know I can throw the whole thing away. I tried doing what you do with old inserts and ones that expire later than the others in the insert. But that seemed to be putting more work on my plate. It was just easier to hang onto the whole thing until they were all expired. Though, there were times that the ones that expired later were not things I used so I'd go ahead and throw the whole thing out. And if only one coupon was left in the insert that I wanted to keep I would go ahead and clip it and put in my organizer for all of my loose coupons. Another thing I did was once I clipped a coupon from the insert I would mark that coupon off of the list. I started doing this because there were so many times that I would see it on my list, only to flip through the insert and find it already gone. But I only mark it out if there are no copies of it left. I would also separate my insert pages and staple like pages together so that I could cut and get all copies of the coupon at once. All of that said, I've since switched to version of the binder method like no other I've ever seen or heard about.

Lori @ Couponomic Stimulus Package said...

Crystal and Anonymous, Wow! I'd never heard of anyone doing anything like my method!

Anonymous, That's a great idea to cross it off the list after you've used them all. I'd love to hear your current method! If you ever have a chance, feel free to shoot me an e-mail @ snlsvc 05 @ gmail . com (spaces removed)!

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