All I have to do is use the find command and look for a certain coupon. It has worked great for me so far. I love to save money it so much fun. I use my lunch hour and half to enter my coupons in my excel. I work a full time job so it is possible for everyone to do this. Inside, I have vinyl slash folders which allow me to separate out my planned shopping trips coupons I think I need in the front, store-specific coupons in the back I also throw in my restaurant coupons in the binder.
I ended up clipping out each week items I knew we would regularly purchase or could get for free found that with experience you learn the sale cycles. I file everything else by week in a file folder bucket. I have been through every single coupon organizational method known to man and truth be told there are positives and negatives to all of them. I started with the binder but constantly found myself getting behind on clipping coupons to file in the baseball card slots.
Plus, I never take all of my coupons in the store with me. Instead of categories I labeled the sections A-Z and filed the coupons according to product name.
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So, I then switched to the whole insert method filing by insert name and date. I tore apart the inserts and stacked like pages together and stapled them so that when I needed to clip a coupon I could clip all of the copies I had at once. The list was helpful because then I could check very quickly without having the thumb through the insert to see if I even had that coupon. It also listed expiration dates, so when the last coupon to expire had passed it was easy to just get rid of the whole insert without having to look at individual coupons.
Plus, no matter what I never want to take all of my coupons in the store with me. With all 3 methods I always only took my list and stack of coupons. Hope this helps someone trying to figure out what to do. I had the binder for about a year and I liked some aspects and hated others. It took time to organize and keep organized. Also, it was heavy. Lots of extra weight from all the plastic pages.
So I streamlined. I got two of the small purse sized plastic accordian folders and set one up for drug store items and the other up for grocery store items. I saved the front pocket for coupons I plan to use that week and organized the other pockets by the layout of the store freezer section, dairy section, coffee aisle, etc. I only clip the coupons for items I regularly use or would like to try. I use a box and envelopes, too. I basically do exactly what Crystal does.enter site
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I used to use an accordian file but with all the printables, I had too many coupons to fit into it. I use a rubbermaid shoe box size box and use cut-down envelopes which I have labeled by category. Plus I was always frustrated with how many coupons I spent time clipping that I never used! Now I have a combo method.
Those go in my binder. The inserts go into hanging folders in a file cabinet right next to my desk. Then over the weeks I match my spreadsheet with my weekly list. Before I go shopping I have a very detailed list with product, price, store coupons, manf. This folds over nicely and I put the coupons inside and paperclip the whole thing. It was an inital desperate attempt to pack my coupons into something was going to throw them into a plastic bag until I saw the cooler bag on the floor. Worked well for me since then. Wanted to head out also for the envelops but I hate paper cuts.
So snack bags it was. I bought two coupon organizers from Hannah Coupons. Not to advertise here…but I found that this system works best for me. This helps as I do all the grocery shopping at one store and most of my non-food items at CVS. I sort each section by expiration date. I know it takes some extra time but it makes it easier to see what coupons are expiring that month.
I would only recommend this system for couponers that do not get multiple inserts. I use an old recipe box as well. Excuse me for being nit-picky, but, is this another series? Or is this part of the 31 days to Cheaper Food Budget? And can we have the next installment of either that or Saving to Buy a Home, soon, please? I think you forgot. I like to be as inconspicious as possible to avoid distractions while I shop. So I do most of my work at home. Before leaving the house I get as organized as possible. I clearly mark the date on each insert.
I leave all this stuff in my trunk with my reusable bags unless I am getting my list together! I use the Grocery Game to organize all of my coupon-related shopping, and I use her method. I have a large letter sized accordian binder that holds 13 weeks of coupons. Takes 5 seconds. Then, when it is time to put together my grocery list, I look on the Grocery Game to see what is on sale that week and all the coupons are identified e.
Takes about minutes to construct my list and clip.
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So I never clip a coupon until I am ready to use it. It totally works for me, but these kinds of systems seem to be highly personal, so I say do whatever works for you. Elizabeth , Does it cost to use the grocery game. I think I saw her featured on a tv program about a year ago. Coincidentally, that is what started me on my frugal adventures. It is time consuming, but not too bad if you do some every night. I consider it my part time job. And it would. I would say the best part about the binder method is having a mental image of all the coupons I own.
I can easily match things up on a discount rack or a surprise sale because I have actually seen all these coupons through the baseball card holders. I also can easily see the exp. I am certain to have them showing either in front or back when I put them in. I have accepted that this is going to take work and commitment on my part. The Lord has been so good to us in His provision.
The least I can do is put a little effort forth. I used the box method and when my oldest, 7, would carry it sometimes it would get spilled and we had to redo it all. She felt awful! My kids 8,5,3,2,1 are always helping and wanting to help. So I switched to the binder. I like it alot! I just need to be more organized. I have tried so many different organizers — finally I found something that worked AND was convenient! I now have the small size for non food items — easier to take to CVS and what-not and a mega size for food products. I love them! I have even ordered them as gifts to my friends.
I have a fairly new method well to me anyways for filing coupons. My husband is such a sweetheart, look at what he bought me to file my coupons in. I am not sure what to call it, any ideas? Rebecca , I do a similar thing, but my thing that holds my whole inserts looks like a big ol black suitcase. I love it. I also keep scissors, a pen and calculator in my binder. I pull the coupons I need before going to the store but carry the binder in with me to the grocery store just in case I find another deal.
It worked okay with the pre-printed category tabs for awhile, but then I found myself creating new tabs for the stores I frequent. That worked okay until I accidentally misfiled a coupon then forgot about it and missed a deal in a different store. And eventually, I pretty much destroyed the wallet and the tabs and accumulated enough coupons that I was overflowing into an envelope. Again, not a perfect system at all. Wow that is a great organization method!
Right now I am doing the binder method, and it is working ok but not great. I always love to see how other people do it! I would love to use the box method as you do Crystal. I nearly quit couponing because I was getting so far behind and having to dig through a lot of inserts each week just to find those coupons I needed. I got those folders and boxes free on one of those Office Max perks deals you posted! Now, I can get the coupon matchups listed by several kind bloggers for my stores easily and only clip the ones I use.
I put online printables, blinkies, catalinas, etc. I do miss those clearance deal finds, but can look up coupons on one of the data bases if I need a specific one. I posted twice about this. Too funny, I just started a 3 part post on how I organize mine. I use to use a rubbermaid container like you do, but disaster struck one too many times of the lid falling off….
I, too, use a box for my coupons. Mine came from e-bay and I really like it. It sits about five inches tall and the lid has a clasp, so I never worry about them falling out. I find it works well for me. One tip I found recently that has started saving me a BOATLOAD of time is for multiple inserts, put like pages together and then staple the coupons together not through the barcode and then you can cut them all out at once instead of cutting each coupon separately!
Wow, I think my systems works really well for me. Made tabs with Index tabs and Card Stock paper. It has a handle and zips up and has enough room for a pen and calculator. They have smaller sizes available for the begginer My friend just bought one of the smaller ones because her coupons just would not fit in the accordian anymore.
This works really well when you have a little helper carry your coupons. Here is a picture of one that looks like mine but I only bought the larger size not the set. Measurements are Length: 8. The flier creates a little table that keeps your stuff from slipping through! With paper divider in envelope if a subcategory is needed. Hope this makes sense!
Very similar to the box method Crystal has, but instead of carrying around a box you carry around a medium cloth purse! I also separate out the coupons that are for a single item from those that are for multiple items as the single-item coupons are really worth more. But I was driving myself nutty trying to keep up with those. I graduated to the coupon binder method 3 years ago. I did the envelope mentod as well, but got tried flipping through coupons trying to find the one I was looking for.
I love the binder and everything is very easy for me to find. I love the binder method. In enter all of my coupons and their information into a spread sheet that has various information on each coupon If you can type fast it just takes seconds per coupon. Then apply a filter to them and you can search by brand name, type, category, exp. I use the binder method with this so I can take my coupons every store I go to.
You never know when an unexpected price cut will come your way.
I am using a small binder. Now I know coupons make me happy all by themselves. But I still love my pretty binder… Sometimes just wish it was a little bigger. I just use an old diaper wipes container, but the envelopes are exactly the same. Love this method! I have a box too.
I find the other stores typically have the same stuff in their aisles too baking aisle, pasta aisle. It works really well for me to have them in order like this. I used to cut all the coupons I anticipated using and carried a small coupon organizer into the stores. But then I realized I was missing out on loads of other great deals by discarding the coupons I thought I would never use. Now I keep the entire insert intact and write the date on the front and file it into an accordian type filing system.
I print out my list and matchup all my coupons to the store ad at home. The particular site I use makes it very easy by matching the item on sale to the all the available coupons for that particular item by giving the the coupon flier Red Plum, Smart Source, etc. I cut only the coupons I need, then file the flyer back into place. I then take the list, store ad and all my cut coupons to the store. It has also allowed me pick up free items that I may not use, but can be donated to a charity.
I also put the store policies in the back so i have them. I just need to find a way to cut corners, any suggestions? I also have a mini according file folder i label with the stores i shop at for store coupons and another for my actual trip. I have it labeled with fast foods including pizza, resturants, house, car and retail stores a few tabs for clothing, toys etc that i keep in my car. I also put the ads in here.
Boxes worked for a while, but I accidentally dropped it a couple of times and let me tell you that was a huge mess and it had to be totally re organized. I know it takes a while to stuff but it really helps me visually to see the coupons and I use and find more that way. In my box method I would skip over coupons sometimes because they were stuck to another one or something weird. I also alphabetize my binder by product name not by category.
Although I do have a separate section for Kraft, Pillsbury, mouth products, medicine and cereal. I also have a separate section for Kroger and Target since those are two store I frequent. Also another good idea is to put your phone in your binder or box in case you get distracted and leave it at the store. I find it much easier to just put everything in alphabetical order then I can go straight to exactly what I need.
When I print off my grocery list, I also add these coupons to the bottom that I plan on using. I thoroughly enjoy your blog and have learned a lot from your posts. Great article! I used to do the binder method, but got tired of carrying something so big. Any ideas? For me I go through my binder once a week page by page and pull out any expired coupons. I do this right before I put the new coupons in. I also use ms. My understanding is you have to fold a lot of coupons with the baseball holders that might make it difficult.
I love your box idea. It fits on the top of the grocery cart and I can see everything in a category at once. I live in an area that triples regularly so I use the color dot sticker on the outside of my baseball card insert sleeve to mark the best coupon deal. This helps me float up and down the aisles turning the pages and grabbing what I need, so I get in and out. It also keeps me from pulling coupons out and then having to re-file them. I also keep full inserts in a expandable file in the trunk of my car organized in date order. The others I hold on to but keep them in the insert so I can go back and clip it if I need to.
I find rarely do I dig one out and it saves me time by not clipping coupons I may never use. I use the binder method for about a year now. I love the binder I have everything sorted by categories so I can flip and quickly see if I have a coupon and what it will bring my price too. I purchased MS. The are flat sheets with 5 strips across to put your coupons behind.
If you want to see pictures got to LivingTheDomesticLife. I love that I can get all my coupons in where they go fast! I usually pull out any coupons I plan to use before my shopping trip and put those in a front pouch and if I am not going to use one I put it in another pouch until I get home and can put it where it belongs.
I really thing the organizer makes all the difference. My binder fits when open across the baby seat in the front of the cart. I tried the envelopes first, and am now doing the binder. As I need them to do the weekly deals or to flip through to see if I have a coupon that the Lower 48 got, I just pull them out of the box and look through them as needed. I have an accordian style coupon organizer I got free from 4Imprint years ago and I use that to keep coupons that my mom sends me clipped, Catalina coupons, etc.
I then just use the elastic on the outside of the coupon organizer to hold the envelopes down and so everything is in one place. As I get to the store I am currently shopping at, I pull the envelope I need off the front of the organizer and I make sure I also have my list with me as well. Really, anymore, I use internet printed coupons so much since we get so few of the printed and my stockpile is healthy enough that I usually end up shopping at one store and sometimes two, both about five minutes away from where I live.
I just replenish my stockpile as I find awesome sales and so forth. With two kids under 2 and both of them busy…I quickly learned to streamline. It has reduced a lot of stress in my couponing. This article was perfect timing for me. I appreciated the comments about the binder vs box. My friend took a photo album- made tabs for different sections such as cerea;, bread and then on the lines next to the slots where the coupons would go she seperated it out into kellogs, general mills ect.
I have tried the binder and have struggled with keeping it organized and having to cut the coupon so neately, I was missing out on good deals. I then tried the box system but the envelopes would never stay up and then I could not find what I was looking for. I think using a photo album is great. My album starts out with a section for CVS, Walgreens, Rite aid and then has a section for freebies and then goes into sections.
It is so easy to use. I then have a folder where I put coupons I have printed off the internet. I find I am so much more oganized this way. Save favorite stores and coupons to pull them up quickly. A perennial favorite remains a top pick this year because of its wide selection. As one of the biggest sources of online coupons, Coupons. It's especially useful for grocery trips. Coupons can also be electronically added to shoppers' loyalty cards at select grocers. Amazon acquired Woot in , but there is little evidence of the corporate parent aside from being able to check out using Amazon payment information although some former fans assert that the site has gone downhill under new management.
Woot features daily deals in nine categories, such as home, computers, sport, and kids, and a special sellout section features last-chance deals. The site's T-shirt section is especially popular. Members submit and vote on unique designs. Visitors can search by category or store, and there is a section with printable and online coupons. Consumers who create a free account can comment on and save deals for later.
The recipes and frugal-living blog at Money Saving Mom are extras atop a comprehensive coupon database. Coupons are listed along with the associated retailer, item, expiration date, and coupon source. This site draws from other major aggregators such as Coupons. The database may look a little messy, but with 4, coupons, it's hard to complain. The Krazy Coupon Lady 's coupon database is simple to read and sort, making it easy to find an applicable coupon.
Search by keyword and coupon type printable, newspaper, or mobile. Visitors can also browse curated deals for the day, read money-saving tips, learn how to coupon, or post a "brag" about a recent bargain-filled shopping trip. The main page features recent deals, including a number of money-making opportunities that result from combining coupons with cash-back apps. Makes sense, as they do a lot of the shopping for the household. Here are reviews of the major sites, what they offer, and what others have to say about them. CouponMom : This is one of the biggest mommy blogger coupon sites.
It was created in by mom Stephanie Nelson, who later ended up on Oprah and wrote a book about couponing. The layout is a little strange, with larger blue tabs in the body of the main page listing coupons underneath and sidebars with gaps in content until you scroll down farther. Viewpoints reviews, while mostly positive, list site navigation and not being able to understand the tabs as two of the site's biggest cons. Another is that not all coupons are usable everywhere because the site mines from various Sunday circulars. In fact, as an Associated Content review points out, some states aren't even listed on the site.
There are deals by store, like Target and Dollar General, but most are for grocery shopping items. You have to install a coupon printer to print coupons. Some coupons are printable and some aren't -- these are usually the ones gleaned from Sunday circulars. Viewpoints users like the wide range of coupons, tips for combining coupons, the blog, and the forum activity. Frugal Living TV likes CouponMom's Virtual Coupon Organizer and the Grocery Deals by State features, which really furthers the overall aim of the site of getting you better organized at selecting coupons for savings.
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However, this is not a site we can recommend due to the fact that not everyone in all states can benefit. Plus, the poor site design just means you'll probably spend more time than you need to looking for the right coupons. Money Saving Mom : This site has a fun design and looks more like a blog than a web site. In fact, you won't find coupons on the home page, just a list of blog posts, the most recent featuring pictures of some very cute children.
The posts deal with cheap meals and creating a family budget, though there are some posts on special offers for various items.