I was organizing my coupons yesterday and thought about the fact that you all might find it interesting to see how I do it. I know there are many different ways that people do this and mine is kind of a hybrid between several of the "typical" ways. I like it because I feel like it takes less time than clipping every single coupon and yet I feel organized with it too.
I have three different places that I keep coupons- an envelope that I keep just clipped or just printed coupons in, a small coupon folder that I put printed/clipped coupons in that I take to the store with me, and a file folder satchel where I file my coupon inserts.
I have this envelope tacked to the cork board by my desk, right next to where my computer and printer are. (Very glamorous looking, eh?) :) When I cut a coupon out of a magazine, print a coupon online or get a coupon in the mail with a sample, I tuck them in here. It's kind of my landing place until I have time to put them in my coupon folder in a more organized fashion. But in the meantime, I don't have them cluttering up my desk, which is what used to happen.
I store all my clipped coupons in this little file folder. When I am getting my shopping trips ready for the week, I take any coupons from the envelope (as talked about above) and put them in their correct spot in the file folder.
I have the file folder set up with these categories: Grocery, Household, Personal Care, and Baby. I know that isn't as many categories as many people use but I like it and find it easier to work with than when I tried having categories like Oral Care, Feminine Hygiene, Cereal etc.
Then in the front I have a spot where I put the coupons that I plan to use that week for my shopping trip to each store. I take all the coupons for each store, paper clip them together and put them in the front. Then when I get to the store, all I need to do is pull out the appropriate clipped together stack of coupons and I'm ready to go. I also keep all my FREE product coupons clipped together and put in the front there so I am reminded of them often and can use them before they expire.
I found this lovely file folder at ROSS one day. I was excited because I was looking for something to file my coupon inserts in that wouldn't look ugly sitting by my desk. It fits the bill perfectly.
Anyway, I'm kind of getting on a bunny trail am I not? Back to how I use the file folder to organize my coupons. When the coupon inserts come each Sunday, I immediately get them and mark the date on the front of the insert in the top corner. Then I file them in my file folder, putting each month together in order by date.
So one slot in my file folder will hold all my June inserts. One, all my July inserts and so on. Then when I need a coupon from a certain insert, all I need to do is locate it and cut out the coupon.
At the end of every month or so, I go through the inserts and take out any pages that have only expired coupons on. In other words, if the page has a coupon that is still good I keep it, otherwise it gets tossed. This keeps my file from getting too huge and thick and saves me from leafing through pages unnecessarily.
I really love this system because I found that cutting out each coupon took way too much time plus my coupon folder soon had so many coupons in it that it was frustrating to find what I was looking for. For me, this has been a real time saver.
So there you have it. Nothing glamorous or amazing but it's what works for me when it comes to organizing coupons!