Money Saving Guide:
Organizing Those Coupons!
Organizing your coupons is very important. When I first started getting into it, I had NO organization whatsoever! I just threw them in a shoebox haphazardly. It took me a long time to find where they were, and I'd go to the store and realize, "Yes, I have a coupon for this great sale item, but it's at home in a shoebox!" Don't let this happen to you! In today's article, I'm going to discuss several ways (I've tried all of these) to organize. None of them is the "right" way to do it, since whatever works for you is the right way! I am also going to discuss several different products that can be used for coupon organization.
The first method I tried was with the same shoebox, but this time with a little bit better system. I went and bought a box of long envelopes and marked each on with a different category. Below is a listing of some possible categories. This is only a sampling and is definitely not all the possibilities You can add or delete any to suit your own needs:
- Canned Goods
- Cleaning Supplies
- Frozen Foods
- Paper Goods
A variation on this method is to organize you're coupons in alphabetical order by brand. This is the way I now do it because I personally find it easier. Once again, whatever method works for you is the BEST one!
Now, carrying a big shoebox into a store can be quite bulky indeed. I purchased a cardboard coupon organizer like the ones you see in stores and in the Sunday supplements. You can also use an index card box, using dividers to keep them organized.
Another way of organizing you coupons is by expiration date. This is a great way to ensure that you always have current coupons. Keep all coupons expiring on a given date or month, then when they expire you can throw them away or trade them to someone who can use them!
A great software program that you can use is CA$H IN, a freeware program that lets you input your coupon data in one place. You can add the categories you wish and each coupon is numbered. It is very easy to install and use, and a great way to keep your coupons up-to-date. For more information and to download it, you can go to their homepage here.
There are also some fancier organizers, such as the Coup-O-Dex® Rotary Coupon File™. This organizer is a rolodex for coupons. It has a built in calculator and attaches to the bar of your grocery cart. It costs $19.95 and you can check it out here. (On a personal note, I'm hoping to get one for Christmas! It looks really neat!)
Another "fancy" organizer is the Priceplanner Coupon Organizer. It looks like a day planner but is designed specifically for coupons. Features include clear plastic coupon pockets and easy flip tabs. This product costs $19.50 and you can check it out here.
I hope the tips in this article will help you in your coupon organization. Use one method or mix them up to create your own unique method! Remember: The best method is the one that works for YOU!
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Last week's article: Slashing Grocery Bills
Next week's article, Saving Time on Housework!