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Organizing Coupons

Updated on November 13, 2016
WhiteOak profile image

I am a photographer, published artist and writer. I am a makeup artist student, and studying herbs. I love to write and share my view points

I finished my Notebook this Morning

The objective

When you are clipping coupons it is as important to organize them as it is to clip them. Remember, clipping coupons and using them is almost like a part-time job. So disciplining yourself is like working online with your business, you need to have a schedule and stick to it.

What is the best way to organize your coupons? You have this pile of coupons that you just searched for and clipped. The pile needs to be broke down and separated out into different categories.

In order to make coupon usage work for you the first rule of thumb is: You Must Commit to this project. Basically, it will become like a part time job.. the money you save, and be really good, or it can be not so good.. it's your call!!

Does it really work?

Yes it does, if you organize them. Let's paint a picture of a typical day devoted to couponing.

-You get your Sunday paper (s)

-You clip the coupons that you know you will use

-You search online sites and gather the coupons you use, print them, cut them out and stack them up.

-You have this pile of coupons in front of you, now what?

The coupons needs to be sorted into stacks of products and organized into some kind of filing system. If you do not do this, all of the time and effort you have put into this project is going to be wasted. I will admit, it is much easier to just throw your coupons into your purse which by the way is often referred to as the "Black Hole". Than when your grocery shopping you have to fumble around in this "Black Hole" and try to figure out what coupon you have and what coupons you do not have.

Now comes the fun part, you get up to the check out lane and the cashier is ringing up your groceries. You begin to search for coupons you know you have, but the other customers in line are in a hurry to check out and you begin to feel you are holding everyone up so you just forget about the coupon and pay for your groceries.

Now, do not think about all of the money you just "threw" away because you were unorganized.. Yes, you actually just threw a lot of money out the window (so to speak) because you were NOT organized!

Simple ways to organize coupons

I have tried a lot of different ways to organize my coupons (and have just started a new way, which I will share in a moment.)

Throughout the years I have tried several different systems. I have separated my coupons into piles and placed each pile in its own envelope, writing the category on each envelope; as an example: dairy, can goods, meats, breakfast, household items, aspirin and other drug items, and so on. This worked okay for a while, but the envelope soon filled up with out dated coupons and I missed a lot of sale items that I had coupons for and that means I lost money!

I have tried using those little spiral folders that has several pages with slots on the front that you slip your coupons into. For me it did not work because there was not enough pages to separate my coupons into categories the way I wanted them and/or wanted them to be. So I trashed that idea.

I have tried making piles of coupons and paper clipping them together with not much luck. I have been using a little coupon holder that fits nicely in my purse with tabs that I could write the category on, and although this method worked pretty good, somehow I still became unorganized with my coupons.

My newest system: A three ring notebook with clear sleeves that have three sections on each page. I believe almost everyone has an old three ring notebook in their house somewhere. I personally purchased my clear sleeves on Amazon and just started organizing my coupons this afternoon.

Since most coupons have an expiration date I devoted my first page to expiring soon coupons. I am planning on writing a label for each section on the sleeves, devoting that slot to that particular item. I got 20 pages of sleeves which have three sections on each page; that gives me sixty different categories I can assign and if I want more, all I have to do is purchase another package of sleeves.

I will be adding some loose paper in the notebook to write out my grocery list and make sure I have a pen with me. I know carrying the notebook into the store will feel a little odd at first, but if you look at it, you are really being organized, if you find sale items you have coupons for they are right in front of you and really it does not take up that much more room than having your coupon wallet with you, a grocery pad and plus have a separate paper clip to hold together the coupons you are using.

I first heard about this system from a lady in Walmart, she even added dividers to her notebook. Since than Stick'em has blank tabs that would work just as good or you can even make your by using a blank label and folding it over a sleeve. I was lucky enough to find some dividers I had purchased in the past and decided to use them.

I believe this system of organizing my coupons costed me less than $10 (that is if you do not have a three ring notebook) It cost me $6.00 to put my notebook together which is a small fraction of what I saved last week in using my coupons.

Organizing your Coupons

Are you a coupon clipper?

How much money have you saved using coupons in the past three months?

See results

Stock Piling

Colder Weather Approaching

With the colder weather approaching rather fast, it is time stock pile foods that can be made quickly and easily. During the holidays, grocery stores usually offers good sales on can vegetables, beans, etc. You can very easily make a homemade vegetable soup just by using a few cans of vegetables and a few spices. I understand that you would much rather have fresh vegetables and such, but I am talking about if your electricity goes out and the only way of cooking is a small Coleman burner. (Which in my opinion everyone should have one)

Another good thing to stock up on is bottles of water. If you currently are using bottled water save your jugs and refill them with regular tap water and put the date on the bottle. I cannot tell you how many times this has helped my own family. This water has been used for washing dishes, sponge bathing, flushing the toilet. NO.. I do not save tap water to drink especially living in city limits.

I understand this may seem a little off track from organizing coupons-but often you will see coupons in the newspaper and by combining the coupon with can goods that are on sale, can save you that much more money.

Stock piling for the winter months is as important as organizing your coupons. It never hurts to prepare now.

Stock Piling

Part Time Job

If your budget allows... this is a GREAT way to treat couponing as a part time job. Once your groceries are rung out and the coupons are deducted... look at the bottom of the receipt and it will show you a total of money saved! WRITE yourself a check for that amount, get the check cashes and tuck the money away!! I swear, by doing this I have SAVED so much money!!

Do you stock pile food?

See results

One being Lowest-Five being Highest

5 stars for Is Couponing in your opinion worth the time and effort?

Thanks for stopping by..

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    • WhiteOak profile image

      Eva Thomas 6 years ago from Georgia

      I hear you. Coming up with an organization process was a little difficult at first. Now I would not give it up for anything. It is a lot of work, but I seriously see my couponing as a part-time job. Thanks for visiting and commenting.

    • mjwilliamson profile image

      MJ 6 years ago from Right Here

      Great hub! Organizing the coupons is generally my downfall when it comes to missing out on great deals. I've actually talked to both my sister and sister-in-law about it, and they also stated organizing to be there biggest problem.

    • WhiteOak profile image

      Eva Thomas 6 years ago from Georgia

      That is great Evylyn, I know you will be able to find a lot of useful online. Thanks for stopping by.

    • Evylyn Rose profile image

      Evylyn Rose 6 years ago from Colorado, USA

      Great hub full of information and useful tips! I used to be really big about coupons and it could get overwhelming if I didn't stick to my schedule. Since I switched to a vegan diet, however, the coupons from the papers weren't worth the costs of the papers. Once I get a new printer, though, I plan to get back into printing coupons. Thanks for sharing!

    • WhiteOak profile image

      Eva Thomas 6 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks mikeydcarroll, I appreciate you stopping by.

    • profile image

      mikeydcarroll 6 years ago

      It definitely is a good idea to be able to stay on top of trying to keep things organized with your coupons. Good luck to you!