A reader, June, worked on this challenge and then sent in a picture of her finished organizational system, which is a coupon box. She said, "It took me 2 days (in odd hours here and there) to meet this challenge, but I finished last night. I cleaned out my box and started fresh with making new categories using your list--had to make extra dividers to complete this part. The box is MyCouponKeeper. Despite only having a few coupons right now, I'm done."
How And Why I Use A Coupon Binder For Organizing Coupons
by April @ Saving For My Family
April from Saving For My Family blogged about how she organizes coupon, and being a couponer she has a great system.
She used to use the filing method, but stopped. She said, "I used to use the File Method where you file the whole insert and just cut the coupons you are going to use. I quickly realized that I was missing out on clearance deals or unadvertised deals." That is what I've found to be the biggest complaint about this method too!
Now April uses a coupon binder, separating her coupons into categories and filing them behind the correct tabs (click the link to get a free printable on this site listing my suggested categories and subcategories).
She said, "The Binder Method does take longer because you are cutting out every coupon but I also know all of the coupons I have and don’t miss out on any unadvertised or clearance deals."
She also uses a red expandable folder for her Target coupons.
I just chose four of her pictures to share on this post, but I encourage you to go over to her blog post and look at all of them. I thought these four really explained her system well.
First, I love how she's got many of her supplies organized and stored within her coupon binder itself, in a little three ringed pouch, holding her scissors and other supplies.
The second picture shows all of her tabs in her binder. The more coupling you do the more categories you should have so you can find everything quickly.
The third picture shows the plastic sleeves she holds her coupons in, within her binder.
And finally, the fourth picture shows the expandable folder, which is also tabbed, she also uses. If you don't have that many coupons such a folder this size (or half the size) may work well for you too.
I Use A Coupon Wallet, Not A Binder Since I Don't Use That Many
Megan from Life of the Lorenzens shared her organizational system, which is to use a tabbed coupon wallet for organization.
She explained: "I am FAR from ever being an extreme couponer like on T.V. My time is worth way more than that to me. I usually only clip coupons for specific products that I know I buy regularly or new products that I really want to try."
This is a great example of the "get real" approach I think many of us need to use with our coupons. Megan knows herself. She knows she isn't going to use lots and lots of coupons, so why waste her time and energy making an elaborate system when something simpler will work for her.
In addition, she makes a routine of dealing with the few coupons she uses. She explained, "I have a system in place to clip coupons on Sundays before planning my menu for the week."
Having a system in place is key to organizing these slips of paper, since you're always acquiring new ones and needing to purge the old and expired ones. If you focus on it for only a couple minutes each week, and you are a small-scale couponer like Megan, this should be more than enough to keep you organized most of the time.
Another reader, Pamela, uses a little accordion type wallet holder for the same reason, and showed the picture below. She explained, "I prefer the accordion holder style; fits in my purse and I have a different color for retail stores, restaurants and all their shopper cards. The front pocket is empty so as I pull out a coupon I put it in front so by checkout they are all together."
Filing System For Coupons When Using Insert Filing Method
Many of the examples on this page show how readers have organized their coupons when they decide to clip them. However, if you use the insert filing method for organizing coupons you don't clip many, if at all, but instead save the inserts and grab the ones you need when you need them.
A reader, Jennifer, submitted this photo showing how she organizes her coupons when using the Grocery Game, which is coupon database which you use when doing the insert filing method.
Jennifer said, "I use the Grocery Game, so this is my full size file. I clip only what I use and sort by insert type/date (Smart Source, Red Plum, etc.). I also have sections for my favorite stores, dinner night out, and services."
Cortney from Faith, Home, Love was gracious enough to share some of the pictures of her coupon organizing system with me, and they are definitely worthy of this hall of fame.
Although she has a coupon binder, she does not clip all coupons. Instead, she files many of them by the coupon inserts and matches the deals each week and only cuts what she needs.
She actually has a couple of parts to her system, which includes the coupon binder, an expandable coupon organizer that she takes with her to the store (leaving the larger binder at home), and a grocery list folder.
Even though she doesn't clip her coupons, but instead files the inserts, she does have some binder pages holding loose coupons that come on the products themselves, or in the mail, so she can keep track of these too.
This is what she told me about her system: "I think I finally have a system that works for me! I use a binder in which I keep the inserts whole and then cut the coupons as I need them using Southernsavers.com to help with matchups. I then put all of my cut coupons into an expandable file to take to the grocery store with me."
Cortney actually wrote her blog post in two parts, and the second part is here, which describes what she does at the grocery store with her coupons.
Check out her blog for all her organizing tips. I especially like that she printed out the coupon policies for the stores she uses coupons at, so she can reference them when making her plans for couponing, so she is sure she keeps within the rules!
In addition, another reader, Stacey, sent in this photo of a similar accordion style file folder that is a bit smaller than a binder, but larger than the wallet organizers.
What I Do As An Alternative To A Bulky Coupon Binder
by Ferris @ The Hamman Family Blog
Coupons on ring
Coupons prior to being placed on ring
Ferris from The Hamman Family Blog shared an idea she implemented for organizing coupons after she became disenchanted with her bulky coupon binder.
She said about her previous coupon binder system: "I hated cleaning it out and coupons got very old in there or even though it was organized well I still couldn't find what I needed. AND my all time pet peeve.... The ONE time I'd forget to take it in with me... There would an awesome sale that I HAD coupons for! UGH!"
So, she looked for a new method for organizing her coupons, and hit upon an idea from Pinterest. The pictures you see above are hers, when she tried the idea for herself.
She used a binder ring to hold only the coupons she planned to use together, when she went to the grocery.
As she actually gets the item into her cart she takes the coupon off the ring and then its ready to hand to the cashier. Love it!
Are You Ready To Get Organized Now?
I don't know about you, but looking at all these great ideas from participants in this week's challenge got me motivated to revamp my couponing system a bit.
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