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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Organizing those coupons!

Now that your gathering all these coupons you have to figure out how to organize them. There are lots of ways to do this, experiment with a few and find what works best for you.

First up, the flier method. People who use this method keep their Sunday paper coupons in flier form, they don't cut them out. This allows them to reference which paper which coupon was in and which week it was. They don't have a lot of little bits of randomly sized paper to deal with. I'm not a fan of this method because I need to actually handle each coupon to easily remember what I have.

The second method is the envelope method. This requires cutting all your coupons, and organizing them into categories (dairy, meat, pets, etc) by manufacturer (Kraft, Conagra, P&G, etc) or by store. Labeling envelopes with your chosen categories and tucking coupons inside.

A similar method is to use an expandable file folder, they make coupon sized ones. and labeling it similarly. This is the method I use and my category names are always evolving as we change the way we shop. This method works for me because the file folders are small and I feel comfortable carrying them around with me. I also find it easy to get the coupons in and out of the sections and I don't have to carry scissors. The downside is that i do have to sort through a stack of loose papers to find what i need within the category.

A third method is the binder method. Loose leaf binders are filled with trading card sheets and those sheets are filled with coupons. Each sheet can be labeled with a category name. Full page sheets can hold large coupons or full flier pages. Other folders in the binder can hold sales papers, receipts, and shopping lists. The downside of this method is the binders are usually bigger. It's sometimes intimidating to walk into a store and spread a full sized binder out over the child seat are of your shopping cart.

Whether you pick one of these or make up your own organize your organizer buy your store's layout.

Possible category headers:

fresh produce, bread, cereal, snacks, meat, canned goods, dry goods, staples, baking, frozen foods, dairy, meat, pet food, baby it6ems, magazines and books, paper products, cleaning supplies, medicine, hygiene, office supplies, beverages, candy, ethnic foods, store specific, freebies, rebates, etc . . .

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