Perhaps you're new to this idea of organizing coupons, so you somehow strayed and found this post on the web. Well, I have been saving and getting rich with coupons ever since, and so I thought it would be great to share my experience and also teach you a little bit of this - organizing coupons in a way that makes business sense!
First things first - things you shouldn't do
You see, we all want to use them at the end of the day. But somehow we can't use them as intended because of the following things:
- Clip & Forget Method
You clip them with good intentions, then you keep them in a far away drawer, forgetting them altogether.
- Bottom of your Purse Method
Maybe you got one during a checkout, then you decided to put in inside your purse, only to discover it 3 months later, after the expiry date.
- Folder Method
You decide to keep them neatly in a cute folder. I have no problem with that. The only thing I have against you is that whenever you go shopping, you don't consult the folder first.
My point is, you won't save any money if you can't organize them in a way that they are easy to retrieve. But on the flip side, it's possible to design an overly complicated system that always prompts you to get out every Sunday when new coupons arrive.
A System that Stores our Coupons Neatly, hence making them Easier to Manage:
The 3 Basics that Have Worked for Me
I have discovered 3 different effective methods for organizing coupons. But I figure out that the ideal method for you will depend on your style, how you like to shop, how many coupons you want to use and also how much of time and effort you're willing to dedicate.
Method 1: The Coupon Binder
Even if you've never bound anything in your life, chances are that you've seen some people carrying these files at the shopping stores. Let's chat a little bit concerning this method.
First, I advice that you clip and file your coupons on a weekly basis. Make sure you print coupons that are printable and store them this way. Then organize alphabetically and categorically. Make sure they're neat and tidy.
Note Coupon binders have worked for me ever since I discovered the technique. However, I find clipping and organizing every single coupon a great time waster. So instead, I only clip coupons I think I will use in the near future. This is how I spend my 20 minutes on Sunday. I also have a re-usable grocery bag, where I carry my coupon binder so that they stay discreet when going shopping.
Method 2: Folders or Filing
Maybe the coupon binder method isn't for you. In this case, I request that you file your inserts every week. Each insert must have the week date printed somewhere. You could also use a marker pen to write the date across before storing them. I also advice that you purchase cute bins where you can store the folders for easy retrieval.
How to retrieve coupons quickly and conveniently using this method Let's say I am filing away a $10 off soup coupon. I would mark my files using special numbers. My file or folders will have numbers from 1 to 30. So I would assign number 10 to cater for the category of soup coupons alone. In case there's a deal, I simply refer to files/folder number 10.
Method 3: Coupon Box
I still love the coupon box because it's convenient and portable enough. It also keeps all my coupons safe and tidy.
You see, when I ventured into this idea of couponing some time back, I started with baseball card pockets and binders. But after one year, they got too heavy and bulky, large and even awkward. In fact, it became hard to see the expiry date or even what a specific coupon was all about.
I have found the coupon box method ideal for coupons that don't expire too quickly. So the one's that expire quickly are assigned to folders/files.
My coupons are kept in clearly marked envelopes and put inside the large transparent box. The box has appropriate mechanism for arranging them in special categories and also locking for safety. So my coupons are always safe.
I only recommend that you use this box if you're storing coupons that don't expire quickly. The ones with a shorter lifespan can be kept in neat folders/files.
How to Manage Your Coupon Trips to the Stores
I know the idea of carrying a large file of coupons to the stores doesn't resonate well with most people. But there's a way you can carry the coupons you need without ever screaming it loud - that you are a crazy couponer!
My method is very simple. I only choose the coupons I will need from the vast array of my coupon storage system. Then I put them together in a special bag that looks like a purse. It's not really a purse, but an accordion-style coupon organizer. This purse also lets me easily manage my rebates, as well as store coupons and rewards safely.
More people find it convenient to shop and save with e-coupons these days, so it would only be fair that I end my post with a few points on how to manage them.
I use the word ''e-coupon'' to mean coupons that you load to your loyalty card or store reward that come off during checkout. For instance, a site like Fred Meyer shows many coupon offers that one can easily load to their card.
But you see, it might be too tempting to want to load them all. However, my problem is that whenever I attempt to do this, I forgot what I have loaded and what I haven't. So I end up wasting time, going back to the sites to confirm again.
But then I discovered a secret of adding the ones I need before printing them all. When I do this, I realize that I am more apt to using them at a later date.
Now that you've read this, you can put it into practice. Make sure you save money with coupons. Remember that the little pennies you save can substantially add up over time. You will be shocked if you keep track of what you've saved.