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Let’s start 2013 off with some real coupon savings. The best couponers, the ones who save the most, are organized. Sorry, but it’s true. A coupon does you no good if you can’t find it, right?
But don’t worry – I’m going to help you organize all those coupons!
Here are some resources for getting your coupons organized:
1.) First, I recommend NOT clipping all your coupons. This is called the No-Clip Method for coupons. I recommend clipping the high-value coupons or ones you really think you’ll use. Then filing the rest by date. Right the date on the cover with a big marker so you can easily find certain dates. I currently do this in addition to the box method. . .
2.) The Box Method – This is is the method I’m currently using to organize my coupons. For the coupons that I do clip or for tearpads or blinkie coupons – they go in the box. I organize by manufacturer/product name. I have a type-A personality and by organizing by brand name – like Kellogg’s or Pantene – I’m able to find them easily. You can also organize by product type – cereal, frozen, toiletries, etc. – but I always forgot where I’d put something. I have a video and detailed tutorial about my box organization method here.
3.) The Binder Method – I have done this method before and it has it’s pros and cons, too. The binder is great because it’s easier to lug around then the box, you can just toss it into a big purse. It’s also better because you can see all the coupons at a glance. But folding and putting the coupons into the baseball card pages can be time intensive and the initial cost is often more. I walk you through creating a coupon binder here.
4.) Envelope Method – This method is really inexpensive to set up and you can start really small. You can just have a few envelopes in your purse for specific stores. Or you can get a sturdy photo box and put envelopes – organizing products by type (cereal, toiletries) or by product name, whatever makes the most sense for you. The box pictured above has envelopes A through Z organized by product name, plus store specific envelopes in the front. Read my tips on envelope organization here.
If you want to organize your coupons by type (not brand) here’s a good list to start with:
- Free – for all those FREE coupons that you want to use before they expire! Put this in the front – so they don’t get forgotten.
- Produce – Fruits, veggies and things found in the produce section (croutons, refrigerated salad dressings, tofu, etc.)
- Condiments & Sauces – Pickles, mustard, peanut butter etc.
- Beverages – Anything you can drink!
- Packaged and Canned Goods – Most of the stuff that is in the center aisles of a grocery store. Soups, dry pastas, tuna, canned veggies, crackers, rice, bread products, etc.
- Baking – Anything found in the baking aisle, including spices, parchment paper, brownie/cake mixes, etc.
- Cereal & Breakfast – Cereals, oatmeal, pancake mix, syrup,
- Snacks & Candy – Snack foods such as pretzels, popcorn, chips, gum, candy, etc.
- Dairy – All things found in the dairy section – cheese, milk, sour cream, yogurt, and things like eggs, refrigerated cookie dough, etc.
- Meats – All meat products
- Frozen – All products in the frozen food aisle, including frozen entrees, desserts, etc.
- Cosmetics – Make-up and cosmetics products
- Oral Care – Toothbrushes, mouth wash, dental floss, etc.
- Personal Care – This is a big category for coupons – hygiene products, eye drops, deodorant, face wash, body wash, lotions, shampoo/conditioner, hair stylers, etc.
- Cleaning – All cleaning products and fragrance products (such as Glade candles, etc.)
- Paper Goods – Napkins, toilet paper, paper towels, ziploc bags, tin foil, plastic wrap, etc.
- Medicine – All medicines, first aid items, vitamins, etc.
- Baby & Kids – Diapers, wipes, kid’s foods, etc.
- Pets – All things pets
- Office & Misc. – Office supply coupons and other items that you don’t have categories for.
How do you organize your coupons? Do you have tips or tricks to share with beginning couponers?
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