If you have been to one of my coupon classes, read my article Where Do I Find Coupons?, or have piles of coupons laying around-you might want to know ” Now What??””
First you need to get organized. If that is not your norm, tell yourself “The more organized I am, the more money I will save!” It is true. If you spend an hour a week organizing your coupons and it helps you save $100 or more shopping that week, then you just made $100 an hour! $100 an hour to organize coupons? Awesome right? I have watched a movie, listened to music, and helped my kids with homework while I have worked on my coupons, so it is not like I had to make any ‘extra’ time to do it, I used what I had.
To get organized, you need to pick a ‘system’ of keeping your coupons ready to use. There are different ways you can do it.
The Binder Method– I recommend this for those who want to start a stockpile of food, that are not used to all the products, or that are unfamiliar with products that you have coupons for.
With this method, you will cut out your coupons, put them in baseball card holders, and keep them in a 3 ring binder (a large one!). Then use dividers to sort your coupons into categories. This way you can see the pictures on the coupon and will be able to find them quicker.
You will need
A 3 ring binder (3″ or larger)
Baseball card holder inserts-found in a 30 pack at Target in the baseball card section-around $5
Page Dividers-usually 1 or $2 each, I used 3 packs
With this method you do not cut your coupons until you are going to use them. If cutting coupons seems like a lot of work, you aren’t a really frequent shopper, or you don’t really want to start stockpiling, I would suggest this method for you.
How this works is when you get your coupon inserts you keep them whole. Write the date on the front of the insert and file them in a sheet protector in a binder, a hanging file crate, or a way you can keep them together for quick reference. Then, when you are going shopping you can check the internet (pantryoverflow.com!) for the best deals for where you are shopping. There you will see the date of the coupon and which insert to find it in. Then, you just go and cut the ones you need for that trip. The only downfall of this is that if you are at the store and see a really great deal you won’t have your coupons with you and you would have to go home and figure out where it is and have to come back another time.
If you have some other way of keeping organized use that! Too many times I have heard people just letting their coupons pile up, getting frustrated and throwing them away. THEY ARE LIKE MONEY!! You wouldn’t just leave your money laying around in piles would you, or throw it away because you didn’t want to organize it? The important thing is to just find what works best for you. You may try one way and find out the other works better, or come up with something different, and this is great. Once you get started you will find out what is the best for YOU! Once you get started and get organized is when the fun really begins!!