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Friday, September 10, 2010

Guest Post: Coupon Organizing!

The following is a guest post courtesy of LivingTheDomesticLife!

As couponers we all have something in common, we all like to save money! We like coupons and we like it even more when the coupons match up to the sales! When your coupons are organized you can truly maximize your savings with each trip to the store.

There are three popular coupon organization methods. Each has its pros and cons.

Accordion File or File Box: One of the pros to this method is having your coupons with you when you shop. The accordion file is usually a smaller container and a much smaller scale of coupons. The File box can grow to be quiet large. You would need to categorize your coupons once they are clipped and file them into the sections. A con to this method would be having to flip through each coupon in a category to find the coupon you are looking for. I would assume it would take some time to pull expired coupons too since you would again need to flip through each coupon checking the date.

The Whole Insert Method: This is a fairly simple way to organize your coupons. You simply keep the insert whole as it comes, mark the date on the front and file. You would keep a file box of some sort with file folders inside for each weeks inserts. Lets say you needed a coupon for $0.25/1 Bounty from the 8/29 P& G Insert. You would simply find the file labeled 8/29 and pull the insert out and clip the coupon! The Pro: The least time consuming method by far. The con: You wouldn't have your coupons with you at the store for that spontaneous deal. You would need to know ahead of time what coupons you would potentially be using. Although if you did find a deal you couldn't pass up you could always go back later if its worth the extra time.

The Binder Method: For this method you would basically have a zip up binder that has coupon holders of some sort inside. Some people use old baseball cards holders or you can find coupon holder sheets made for coupons binders. You would create categories and use dividers to keep the sections separate. Since you would need to clip any coupons you think you may use one con could be the time it could take to clip and file. The pro however is having all your coupons with you for that great deal you didn't plan on finding. Another Pro to the Binder is being able to flip through the pages and scan for a coupon. With a quick flip to the correct category and with just a glace you can spot the coupon your looking for!

Personally I prefer the coupon binder! When I first started couponing I used an accordion file. That lasted all of 2 weeks! There just wasn't enough room and I really didn't like to dig through each category to find one coupon. This past summer I tried the whole insert method. I found that I missed more deals by not having my coupons with me and because I wasn't spending the time cutting coupons out I hardly knew what coupons were out there.

I try to update my binder once a week typically Saturday mornings before I grocery shop. As long as I update it weekly it truly isn't that time consuming. I prefer to stack my inserts and cut like coupons all at once. Then I lay them out in groups matching the categories to my binder. Once all my coupons are cut I go section by section and first remove any expired coupons then I add in my new coupons. I've found Ms. A's Coupon Orginizers to be the best coupon holders. With these I don't have to cut each coupon down real small or spend extra time folding them to fit into a small slot.

After I've made my list for the store I pull out the coupons I plan to use and put them in a pencil pouch at the front of my binder. As I'm shopping if an item isn't in stock I can quickly pull the coupon out and put it into another pouch to be refiled later. If I find a coupon to use when shopping I pull it from the section its in and add it to the pencil pouch. This way I'm ready to go when I get to check out!

Every method has its pros and cons it comes down to what will work best for you and the time you want to put into it.

What method have you found works best for you?

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