Organization is key for couponers. If you can’t find the coupon you need, then its worthless. There are a few methods of coupon organization out there but my preferred method is using a coupon binder divided by sections.
Coupon binders are easy to make, easy to use, and work well to organize coupons you get from sources other than newspaper inserts. The binder is divided by sections according to grocery aisles, types of products, etc. The binder can be carried with you to the store which allows you to take advantage of deals on the fly. The other popular method for coupon organization is by organizing whole inserts from the newspaper by date and clipping only those coupons which you need for your shopping trip. You can find more info on the whole insert organization method here.
I use the categories which are on the Krazy Coupon Lady website here. I printed out the sheets and put them in plastic sleeves, then put those sleeves into a standard three ring binder. Then I got trading card plastic sleeves (pictured below) and put them into the binder to hold and organize my coupons. To make it easy to flip to the right category, I put plastic label tabs on the divider sheets and organized the sections into the approxmate order in which I walk down the aisles at my local Safeway.
Yes, I take my binder to the store with me. It is easy to sift through my binder to find the coupons I need and I have some extra plastic sleeves in the front to hold stock up prices, a pen, and the coupons I am using for my purchase. I also keep store policies at the back of my binder. These store policies are useful to have on hand in case the clerk does not want to take your coupons or is not well versed in the store’s coupon policy.
Check back next week and I’ll discuss how to strategically shop with coupons to get rock bottom prices!
Next Post: Couponing Basics Part IV: Coupon Matchups