Organizing Your Coupons
If you want to be a couponer there is one thing that you must master; organization. If you cannot find a coupon, you cannot use it. Here are some tips for those of you who are looking to start couponing, to get organized.
There are many people who use what they call a coupon binder. This is a binder that has baseball card protectors inside. Then the coupons are put in alphabetically by the first letter of the product’s name. Some people include pocket pages in their binders for the coupons that they have that expire soon. Many feel that this coupon binder is rather handy and that it is simple to maintain. However as with anything there are pros and cons.
One of the pros of the coupon binders is that it is portable. You can move it from room to room in your house; you can move it to your car, your friend’s house, the store, and so on. If you take it to the store with you and you notice that there is something that is on sale that you did not realize was on sale you could quickly look through your coupon binder to see if you have a coupon that you can use with that sale. With the coupon binder it is easy to take notes on which inserts had your favorite coupons in them so you can get more. You can also keep a list of various store’s coupon policies in your coupon binder and take it with you when you shop for reference.
One of the cons to the coupon binder is that you have to commit to the time it takes to clipping coupons and filing them. It can take some time to get your binder organized. Sometimes it can be more difficult to find expired coupons in a binder. With a coupon binder you have to regularly go through and check the date on all of your coupons.
There is another very popular way to organize coupons; this is called the whole insert method. This is where you file the entire insert that the coupons come in, not just the coupons. With this method you do not clip any coupons until you are ready to go shopping and even then you are only clipping the ones that you need. If you have more than one of the same insert than they get filed together. This method too has pros and cons.
One pro to this method is that you can save a lot more time than with the coupon binder method. If you file your inserts by the date on the front it also makes it much faster to find expired coupons. These are rather easy to maintain which is a major draw for many people. With this method you do not take your entire coupon collection with you to the store, just the ones that you clipped for that trip.
A con of the whole insert method is that it is harder to make quick decisions in the grocery store when you happen upon an unadvertised sale or clearance item. With this method you will not be able to start going through all of your inserts and start ripping out coupons while you are at the store.
Whatever system you use to organize your coupons is not what is important, what is important is that you are organized. Keeping organized is one of the keys to being an efficient couponer. Saving money does not have to be hard, but you do need to put a little effort into it.