November 22, 2009

Reader Question: Coupon Organization

A reader asked:  "Would you do a post on how you organize your coupons?"  There are 3 basic components to how I keep my coupons organized:
  1. Large accordian file for Sunday inserts:  I keep the inserts whole and write the date at the top.  I then file them by month.  This way if I read about a deal and the coupon is from "11/8 RP" I can just pull it out and snip.  I like this because there is no unnecessary cutting.  If I need to buy something and I want to know if I have a coupon for it, I use A Full Cup's coupon database to search for it.  It's free to sign up. 
  2. Small accordian file for loose coupons:  This is used for coupons I receive in the mail; cut from magazines; print "in case"; pull from blinkies in stores; find in or on packaging; cut out of an insert and planned to use, but never did; etc.  It is organized by type of coupon (bathroom, cooking, dairy...)  I go through and clear the expired ones out at the end of each month. 
  3. Envelopes:  When I plan a CVS or Target trip, I make my list on a junk mail envelope.  Note:  these are great for saving for many reasons.  I then store the needed coupons, gift cards, CVS card, printed coupon policy, a stock-up price list, etc inside the envelope to take with me.  I have a Target, CVS, Mall, and BRU/TRU envelope at all times. 
Just because this works for me, it may not suit your needs.  Some people like to cut out all coupons and make a coupon binder with trading card inserts.  Others like to carry around a box with little index dividers.  You just have to find what works for you.  Please feel free to share your own organization system in the comments.  Hope this helps!

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