How to Organize Your Coupons
I can’t tell you how many times I have been asked the question “How do you organize your coupons?” And since this month is all about how to make Extreme Couponing Extremely Simple I thought I would share with you 3 ways I keep My Coupons Organized each week!
RELATED POST: Learn How to Coupon
1. Print High Value Coupons as you find them!
I mentioned that I don’t buy too many Newspaper Inserts any more and that’s basically because the Printable Coupons are SO GOOD these days! You can grab most deals for the same price or close to the same price using Printable Coupons and so I don’t typically invest in the cost of inserts or additional newspapers because the savings isn’t always worth the price I’m paying for those inserts.
That being said, it’s important to Print High Value Coupons as soon as you see them! Most coupons have a print limit which means they can only be printed a certain number of times. When a Hot Deal shows up coupons can go really fast! So as soon as you see a great deal using a Printable Coupon make sure you stop and print that coupon right away.
TIPS FROM THE PROSI have a stack of Printed Coupons next to my printer, just keeping these in one place allows me to print them right away then clip them all at one time before I go shopping. I don’t necessarily clip and file each coupon as I print it. It saves me a lot of time to clip them all at once, but I like to print as I find the coupons to make sure anything I need or want isn’t gone by the time I head out to go shopping! + Sometimes it’s hard to go back and find a link to a coupon that I want to print.
2. Only Clip the Coupons You need!
I know that the old school way of Organizing Your Coupons required clipping and organizing every coupon in the inserts so that you always had what you needed when you got to the store, but lets be honest that takes HOURS and I just don’t have time for that – Not to mention the time it takes to clean out your coupon binder each month! So my method revolves around 3 questions I ask myself before I clip a coupon:
1. Is this a Product I purchase Regularly? If it’s something I’m going to buy with or without a coupon then I clip that coupon! Because I know I’ll use that coupon.
2. Does this Item regularly go on sale? I like to clip coupons that I know regularly go on sale (Think Garnier) or for sales I know are coming up. Because I watch the Ad Previews for the stores where I shop I often have a good idea of what sales are coming up and which coupons I’ll want.
3. Does the coupon have a longer than normal expiration date? My general rule of thumb is I toss out my coupon inserts after 3 months. There are very few coupons that have expiration dates longer than 3 months from the date they were in the insert. If I happen to find one of those coupons that expires after that point then I’ll go ahead and clip it and hang on to it. But that’s VERY Few Coupons so this rule doesn’t apply much. But it does give me the freedom to toss those inserts after 3 months so that I don’t have a HUGE Stash of Coupons sitting around wondering if I’ll ever need something in there.
3. Use the Clipless Method for All Other Coupons!
The Clipless Method of Organizing Coupon Inserts is one of my favorites because it takes UNDER 5 Minutes to do! All you need is an Accordion File Folder or a Set of File Folders in a file box or file drawer.
Each Sunday when you pull your inserts out of your newspaper, go through them and clip any coupons you’ll use (See step 2) Then write the date on the front of the insert and stick them i a File Folder. You’ll easily be able to go back and find any coupons you need quickly and you don’t have to worry about clipping every coupon.
You can check out this post on Newspaper Insert Coupons to learn more about how to know which coupons you’ll need. The Coupon Database is also a great resource, you can search for coupons for any item and it will tell you what insert those coupons were in. Then you can go back and find those coupons quickly.
I also have Videos on Each of the Coupon Organization Systems if you want to check those out:
I always recommend using the system that works the best for you! Or you can choose to use a hybrid of these systems which is basically what I use! Overtime you’ll find what works for you! I used to be a Binder Girl, then I’ve moved to the Coupon Box and over the years as I’ve gotten a better grasp on what I need to buy I’ve started using the Clipless Method more and more! I still keep my coupon box with me for those coupons I know I’ll need but in general this mix of systems works really well for me! I rarely am without a coupon I really want and using all the Grocery & Drugstore Matchups Lists before I hit the stores also helps me know which coupons to take with me.
Don’t forget to check out the first post in this series & all the posts in our series on Extremely Simple Couponing Here.