I touched on this when we first started talking about couponing, but I thought I would go into a little more detail as to how I organize my coupons. Now there are several methods out there, and you may want to try out a few ways to find the right fit for you. Personally, I use the binder method. It’s a pretty simple concept–you organize all of your coupons into one 3-ring binder. You can use just a plain binder you get at the Dollar Store–or you can be totally awesome like me, and use THIS binder. I love this one because not only does it have a strap on it that I can carry into the store like a purse–but it also has a rings on both sides of the binder. I use one side to organize my food and grocery coupons, and the other side to organize household and personal item coupons.
You will also need some dividers with tabs to break your coupons down into categories. You can use as many or as little categories as you like. Some people even will organize the coupons in each category by alphabet, or by expiration date. I don’t do either of these, just put them in their separate categories and call it a day.
Coffee–because I have way too many coupons it needs it’s own category
Baking and Cooking Supplies
Boxed and Canned foods
Paper Products (like TP, papertowels, bags etc)
You could be less anal retentive and just use basic categories like Household, Personal, Refrigerated/Frozen, and Pantry. Easy enough right?
So now that you have your binder, your dividers, and your categories–you need something to actually put the coupons in. I use baseball card organizer sheets for my smaller, newspaper insert coupons, and THESE sheets for my larger and printable coupons. I also use both sides–just to save on space.
Here’s some examples of what my binder looks like just so you have something to go off of.
I also recommend having a copy of the coupon policies for each store you shop at. This way if you ever run into trouble you can easily refer to the policy. You will also want a buy price list to keep in your binder. This is a list of items you normally buy and the stock up price after coupons you will buy it at. You can download my own personal list or make your own. Some of your stock up prices may be different than mine.
When I first started out I used a small expandable file that I could keep in my purse. This worked really well for awhile, until I really got going with coupons. I ended up running out of room to store all of the coupons and found that I was missing out on good deals because I couldn’t easily access my coupons at the store–meaning I couldn’t see each coupon without taking them out of the file and sorting through them.
What methods do you use?