Store and Organize Coupons

Thursday, April 15, 2010

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There's three major methods of storing and organizing coupons that I will cover. Actually, there's a lot of different ways to store/sort your coupons. I am only going over these ways to get your started. I definitely promote that everyone find there own groove when it comes to coupon sorting. If you don't like it, you won't do it. Find the way you like, even if it means changing a few times, so that you are sure to continue sorting your coupons. Sorted coupons makes it easier to find them and if you can find them, you will use them.

Box Method:
It can be any kind of box that you can setup a file system inside. My first box was a shoe box that I decorated and put alphabetical cards made from card stock inside. I file alphabetically in my box by product name. I do have some sections in categories (envelopes) in my box because they are frequently used. For example: baby, cereal, frozen veggies and shaving supplies are categories. It's nice to have a box that will close, has a handle and fits in the shopping cart easily.

I use a really awesome box now that I will have to get pictures of soon. It's cloth covered, clips closed and has a strap like a purse! Love it!

Box Method Advantages:
  • Easy Clipping
  • Fast Sorting
  • ABC’s are universal

Box Method Disadvantages:
  • Once dropped, all could be lost
  • Maintaining expired coupons is taxing
  • Category sorting is challenging

Binder Method:
Binders are very popular and visual! I use a mini binder sorted by store. So when I prepare to head to the store I place my cards, list and coupons in my picture album binder. Sometimes it is all I take in to the store but I usually take my box in with me too. My binder can fit in my purse (picture on right). I slit the top of each photo pocket open to make the pockets be able to hold taller coupons and easier to get in to.

Many binders are used to house ALL the coupons. These are usually 2 inch or larger zippered binders (picture on left). They are outfitted with baseball or scrapbook sticker storage pages. Coupons are separated into categories by divider pages. There's even a place that sells awesome covers with straps for your binder called The Coupon Clutch. Brilliant idea!

Binder Method Advantages:
  • You can SEE everything you have!
  • Category’s can be by aisle, product or whatever!

Binder Method Disadvantages:
  • Clipping coupons to fit the little holders
  • Depending on your categories, sorting can be tricky (alphabetizing is difficult)
  • Costly to get it started
  • Heavy!

File Method:
The filing method is one of the easiest methods to use. You will basically set up a filing cabinet, box or drawer for keeping your coupons. Each folder or pocket you place your coupons in will contain a date or insert title. This lets you easily identify WHEN you received your inserts. By knowing the date you received them you can use a database to find the coupon later. (If you don't remember the date you picked up your coupons, check the insert binder. In TINY print you will see the date the insert was issued. YAY! Write it on the front cover to make it easier to find later.)

I use the Filing Method to keep my coupons sorted before I get them clipped. I get behind on my clipping more often than I care to admit. Whoops!

File Method Advantages:
  • Easy Clipping
  • Fast Sorting

File Method Disadvantages:
  • Coupons are not always with you

So now, go out try all the methods or just one but definitely find the one (or two) that work for you and have fun shopping! :)

Be sure to check out ALL of my Online Coupon Class