How to organize your coupons
You can print or cut all the coupons in the world, but if you don’t have them organized they aren’t going to save you any money. I’m going to share with you my method because it works for me and I’ve been doing it for years. But find a way that works for you-many people like the little accordian files that fit easily in a purse-or if you don’t carry a purse, you can toss it in your reusable bag that you take with you when you shop (you do have a reusable bag, don’t you??)
I upcycled a baby wipe container, got a pack of 4 x 6 index cards and just wrote on the top corner of each card the categories that I use most often (Baking, Beverages, Boxed, Canned, etc.). Then each week I just cut out the coupons that I like, that I think I’m most likely to use or that I know come up on sale frequently and then I just file those in the box.
Then I keep the inserts until all of the coupons in the insert are expired (you know, in case there’s a good deal that comes up in the future). And then every few weeks I go through and recycle the inserts that are old. To keep things organized I write the date in marker on the front of the inserts and then file them.
I chose the baby wipes container because it’s the perfect size-it fits easily in the front part of a shopping cart or in a big purse. I have tried to decorate it so it doesn’t look like I’m stealing a wipes container.
Then the final step of the coupon organization process is that I have an envelope for each store that I shop at frequently. So my box also has envelopes for: CVS, Walgreens, Schnucks, Dierbergs, Shop n Save, and Target. Into these envelopes I put all of the coupons that I’m going to use for the week. That way I can just grab my envelope and run into a store and just grab what I need. I fill the envelopes after I’ve looked at the sales fliers and matched the coupons to the sale items. This also helps to keep me on budget. It’s the easiest way that I’ve found to avoid having tiny coupons get scrunched up in the bottom of my purse. And I’m also not one of those people that wants to lug around my gigantic binder full of coupons into every store I go into. I do love coupons, but I need to make it easy for myself to get a deal and create my stockpile. The binder sometimes has a stigma to it; I can almost see cashiers roll their eyes when someone walks in with a huge binder, like they are anticipating what a pain this shopper is going to be. Sometimes I still shy about my coupon passion so the smaller baby wipes box lets my love my hobby on the down-low.