One method of organization doesn’t work for everyone. I am going to share mine but as you become more familiar with couponing, you may find a different method works for you.
For me, clipping coupons is too time consuming. I often get multiple copies of the same insert and clipping and filing them all just gets too overwhelming. So I just save the whole insert. First I get a file folder and label the folder with the insert and date. Then I print the coupon list from the Sunday Coupon Preview site. I highlight the coupon that has the latest expiration date so it’s easy to see when I can recycle the insert.
Then I put my inserts in their respective folders. If I get multiple copies of the same insert they all go in the same file folder. Here’s a visual. You can click any of these pictures to enlarge them.
Then I needed something to put all my file folders in. So I went to Walmart and got a suitcase file. For those of you who want to grab the same thing, it was in the office supplies section and cost $9.88. In each slot I put file folders for the inserts for the week. Some slots have 5 folders. Others only have 1. It all depends how many inserts were in the paper that week.
Doing this each Sunday takes me less than 10 minutes. Then I plan my shopping trip. The stores I do matchups for should be pretty easy for you. I list the insert and date in my matchups. All you have to do is pull the file folder and clip out the coupon. I always cross the coupon off the main list after I print it out. Then I know whether or not I need to flip through the insert or if the coupon has already been clipped.
For stores I don’t do matchups for, you’ll have to do a little more work. I just make my grocery list like normal. Then I use A Full Cup’s coupon database HERE to see if there is a coupon for the product I’m buying. They list the date and insert so you can easily match them up. Depending how long your list is, this generally takes me 10-20 minutes.
Once I have all my coupons together, I stick them in my grocery store file. I don’t take all my coupons into the store – just the ones I need. I got this nice organization file for my birthday and it is a great replacement to the old icky one I used before. This one was purchased at Barnes & Noble for $14.95. Go HERE to see it online. There’s 5 slots. I stick coupons for Randalls in one. Coupons for CVS in another, etc.
The best part is, there’s a pencil and notepad in it too. I make my grocery list on the notepad that’s included. If I see something onsale at the store that I don’t have a coupon for, I just write it down on the pad. When I get home I can see if I have any corresponding coupons. If there are lots of great things I missed, I’ll make a second trip to the store. Otherwise, I just let the good deal go by. One thing I’ve learned through the couponing process is that you don’t have to grab every deal. It’s okay to let them go by. Here’s a picture of the file:
Many of the emails I received asked me what I do with printable coupons and other coupons I come across that aren’t in the weekly inserts. I have another small accordian file for those. I think I got it at Office Depot but it was ages ago. I just put all extra coupons in there. When the A Full Cup Coupon Database says there was a coupon for the product I want in a mailer or internet printable, I check the accordian file. I usually go through it once a month and pull out all the old coupons.
So that’s my technique. By no means is this the best way. This is what works for me. But if you don’t have a good system you’ll get frustrated by the vast amount of coupons and then possible give up or miss out on deals. So if my way doesn’t work for you, ask around or Google for ideas. You can easily find other options that will work better for you.