There are many methods of organizing coupons, none of them being more right than another. You will need to find the one that works best for you and your couponing needs. If you try one method and don’t like feel free to try something different. It took me several tries to get a system that works well for me. These are not the only methods of filing coupons, but they are some of the more common methods.
Coupon Binder Method
A common method for coupon organization is the coupon binder. This is typically a zippered type 3 ring binder filled with baseball card sleeves. After coupons are cut they are then organized by categories such as dairy, toothpaste, etc. and slid into the sleeves.
The advantage with this method is that you could take a lot of coupons with you while shopping. You would also be able to quickly page through and see at a glance what coupons you have.
A disadvantage of this method is that the binder gets heavy rather quickly and becomes difficult to manage while shopping. It also takes quite a bit of time to cut and sort the coupons each week. You would also need to through your binder on a regular basis to weed out the expired coupons.
Whole Insert Method
Another form of organizing coupons is the Coupon Insert method. Using this method requires no cutting when you get your inserts but rather the insert is marked on the front cover with the date (I use a black marker so it is easy to read) and then filed away. The date is found in small print on the spine of each insert. Then when you need a coupon, you use the handy Coupon Database to find which insert the coupon you need is located and then cut the coupon.
The advantage to organizing coupons this way is that you are only cutting coupons as you need them. Also with this method you will have all the coupons from each insert. Whereas if you were cutting them out you may come across a coupon and think I would never purchase this product so you don’t bother cutting the coupon and a few weeks later after the insert is long trashed that item you though you would never buy is a moneymaker at your local drugstore.
Using this method the disadvantage would be that when you are out shopping you won’t have your coupons with you, so you may miss a few good deals sometimes.
The third method would be a coupon box/organizer. This can be a small plastic container, a basket, an accordion coupon folder, a coupon box or even a fabric homemade one. Dividers are usually made of heavy cardstock and labeled by category.
The nice thing about using this form of organization is that these items tend to be smaller in size and some very easily fit in your purse or bag, making them easy to take with you wherever you go.
Using this method though you will still need to cut and sort all your coupons into categories. Since these organizers are smaller they can quickly become very full with coupons. And should they get dropped or spilled you may find you have a mess of coupons everywhere.
I would love to hear what methods you have tried for coupon organizing and which one you found works the best for you.
Next week I’ll show you which coupon organization method I use and also a look at what I take along to the store on a shopping trip.