This is the third baby step to Shopping with Coupons: A Beginner's Guide to Saving. This snack is focused on Organization. If you don't know how to Organize your Coupons, it would be challenging to be successful.
Sometimes my husband doesn't “get” my organization. Honestly, he doesn't have to since he doesn't do any of the grocery shopping, I get to :-) Here are some things that are important as you consider how you will Organize your Coupons.
Pick an organization method. The two most popular methods are the binder method and the filing method. I have personally used both methods and am currently a file-by-insert kinda gal. I will briefly cover both here:
- Clip coupons from weekly inserts (and coupons from magazines, etc).
- Sort and file coupons (using baseball card holders or photo sleeves) into intuitive categories for quick and easy access.
- Shop with your shopping list and Binder full of coupons.
- Discard expired coupons as new ones are sorted and filed.
With the Binder Method, your coupons are available during shopping to take advantage of any unadvertised sales that were not in your original shopping plan.
- Label weekly inserts with Date and Insert Name (i.e., 9/7 Smart Source). Even though the date is on the spine, labeling the inserts makes for quicker access.
- File weekly inserts by the week or month in file folders (I file mine by the month).
- Clip coupons once your shopping list is made at the time you need them.
- Shop with your shopping list and clipped coupons.
- Discard insert when coupons expire. If not all coupons are expired, I just keep the entire insert so I'm not clipping them out. I don't want to cut them at all until/unless I use them.
With the Filing Method, a personal suggestion is to keep an envelope of “SMART” coupons in your shopping envelope. These coupons will always be on-hand in the event there are unadvertised sales that were not in your original shopping plan. Please see my snack, Coupon Organization, for how I personally organize my coupons and more about what I consider a “SMART” coupon.
Again, these are just two of the most popular coupon organization methods. Honestly, I think taking a little bit from different methods to find what works for you is the best method. You will find that having your coupons organized, you will be efficient when you make your personal shopping list and pull/clip coupons to match. Your time = $$$!
Read all of the steps in the Beginners Guide to Saving.