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Getting Started

OK..I am NOT by any means the greatest coupon mom out there.  I only recently took a class from a friend and was HOOKED!  I've always been a "deal seeker"...but, I never used coupons correctly until now.   The key, I've learned, is to gather TONS of coupons.  Keep your eyes open at every store, newspaper, and magazine that you read.  I personally get five Sunday newspapers (and my sweet neighbor gives me her coupons on Sunday also).  Many cities will offer special rates for multiple copies of the Sunday paper (just call and ask your local newspaper.) that you have all those coupons...what the heck do you do with them??

You need to organize them.  

I know...easier said than done.  But, here are a few methods that I've found while researching.  Try a few...and see which method works best for you and what your intentions are.

Method 1--Using envelopes
Organize all the coupons that you have on hand with envelopes.  You could label each with a different category (such as Meat, personal products, soaps, paper products, etc).

Clip all your coupons and sort them accordingly in their respective envelopes.  Once you have all your coupons sorted and in their envelopes, store the envelopes in a plastic tub, shoe box, file folder, or whatever you like best. 

(another idea is organizing the coupons by expiration that none expire on you!)

Method 2--Accordian File or wallet

You can buy an accordian file or make your own.  

You can choose a large accordian file or a small one that will fit nicely in your purse.   The larger one would be a good choice for long term use while the smaller one would do great when making small shopping trips.

If you're going to buy an accordian file, look for one that has tabs on the top pockets...for easier labeling (and finding).

Method 3--An Index File Box

Boxes are great for organizing can use anything from a cardboard shoe box, a plastic tub (with lid), a recipe box, or try an index card box.

Use dividers to separate your categories and then cut, clip and sort your coupons within each category.  Either buy index dividers that will fit your box o make them from cardboard from old cereal boxes.  Make sure that each divider is tabbed so you can mark the sections.

Method 4--A coupon organizing binder

You can make a coupon organizer binder to sort and store your coupons.  
(this is personally the method that I use...but, try different ones to see what works for you)

I found my binder at Wal-mart for about $25.00 (but, I have a friend who also found hers there for only $19).

These are handy because you can fill them with a small pair of scissors, a calculator, pad of paper, pens or pencils...and of course, your coupons. 

Fill the binder with plastic sheets for trading cards.  You can also find plastic sheets for pictures that have three or four pockets per sheet.  (I use a combination.  If the coupon is too big for the trading card size pocket, I just fold it nice and tuck it in).

Separate your plastic sheets with binder dividers.  You can sort by alphabet, expiration date, product category, or whatever makes finding the coupons easier.

How to Sort and Organize your coupons

Whichever method you choose as your coupon organizer, you'll need to have a battle plan on how to keep them organized within their storage system.  Here are a few suggestions:

  • By expiration date:  You can clip together coupon batches by month or just store them all loose in the envelope with the about to expire date at the front and moving back (by date).
  • By products:  Within your beauty and health category, you can clip together all the shampoo coupons, all the detergent coupons, makeup coupons...etc.  
  • Sort alphabetically:  Another way to organize coupons within the system is by product name or product item (Ivory soap, Smuckers jam, Laundry detergent, etc)
Choose whatever method works best for you. The goal of the setup is to find a system that will help you to use your coupons before they expire as well as to know WHERE to find your coupon when you are looking for it!

Clipping Coupons

This may be obvious....but, I didn't know.  When I first started getting five Sunday papers at a time..I would take out one coupon insert, and start clipping, then the next...and so forth.  It was until about a month later that I actually asked another mom what they did.  I felt so dumb!  STACK the inserts if you have multiple of the same coupon...(even staple them in a few places to keep them from moving).  Then, you're cutting so many so fast....and you're putting them away and off shopping before you know it!!

Here are a few sites that have more details about saving money with coupons and tips on how to organize them:

The most important thing is to have fun ( is)...and save money.  That's what it's all about!  Now...get organized...we have shopping to do!

thanks tipnut for these great tips!



Deal Fanatic on April 28, 2009 at 10:55 PM said...

You are a fabulous coupon shopper. That's why I Subscribe to you and follow you...
Now, let's all do the same.


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