Aug 232009Coupon Organization Q & A


After my post last week HERE detailing my coupon organization technique I had quite a few questions. Since many of you asked the same questions, I thought I’d just do a Q & A post to help everyone out.

Q: I saw a slot for All You Magazines. Why do you have them there? And how do you know what coupons are inside?
All You magazine is chock full of coupons. But it also has other good things inside like helpful hints and recipes. Often if you clip the coupon, you miss out on what was on the other side of the page. I only clip the coupons as I use them and don’t clip them all.

I know what coupons are inside because I cut out the coupon list and paste it onto the cover of the magazine. You’ll find the coupon list within a few ages of the table of contents.

Q: I sometimes buy coupons from coupon clipping services or eBay. What do you recommend I do with those?
A:I buy coupons on occasion too. What I do is put them in an envelope and write on the outside what the coupon is. If I can, I usually just use the envelope the coupon was mailed in. Then I pull out my manila folder for the insert they were in and I staple the envelope to the inside of the folder. This way the coupons don’t get lost and I can see right away where they are.

Q: I noticed the coupon preview lists coupons from the Pittsburgh region. Are our coupons the same as theirs?
The coupons aren’t always exactly the same in every region. I usually flip through my insert and compare it to the coupon listing. If my insert is missing a coupon, I cross it off the list. If my insert has extra coupons, I type them or hand write them at the bottom of the list. If the value’s are different. I just cross out the value listed and write in my own

Q: Your list looks so neat and Excel formatted. I can’t get mine to look like that. Can you tell me how you did it?
Putting the list in Excel is somewhat time consuming. I don’t do it every week. If I have time, I take all the steps necessary to do it. Other times I’ll just print the list as is. I do find it is easier to have it in Excel but not exponentially so. Here are the steps to put the list in Excel. Beware, it does require advanced Excel knowledge.

  1. First copy all the text in the coupon preview. 
  2. Open Excel and paste in the coupon preview.
  3. Everything will go into Column A.
  4. In one of the cells, copy the “–” that separates the item and the amount off. I do a CTRL C to copy it
  5. Now highlight Column A
  6. Select the Text to Columns feature. I use Excel 2007 and it is under the Data Tab
  7. Choose Delimited, not Fixed Width and hit next
  8. Now uncheck the tab box and check the Other box.
  9. Paste in the “–” using CTRL V
  10. Hit Next, Then Finish
  11. Now highlight Column B
  12. Select the Text to Columns feature again
  13. Choose Delimited, not Fixed Width and hit next
  14. Now uncheck the tab box and check the Other box.
  15. In the other box, put a “(“
  16. Hit Next, Then Finish
  17. Now select Columns A,B&C
  18. Autofit the Column Width

Now you should see everything in three columns. Sometimes the auto feature moves the wrong information so I just scroll down and make sure everything is in the correct place. If not, I just type over it myself. Then I make borders and a header row. To get it to print to one page instead of two I set the margins small. And I go into the page setup and under scaling I set it to print 1 page wide by 1 page tall.

That should be it but if you have a question I didn’t cover, please let me know and I’ll try to help you out!

Happy Organizing!


  1. Very helpful….I am going to link your post on my blog tomorrow!!