Friday, November 21, 2008

Coupon Organizing

Recently my sister in law was initiated into the world of coupon clipping. I was writing a long comment on her blog then decided I might as well post it here complete with pictures.

I have been clipping and using coupons for about a year and a half, off and on. There is a kind sister in my ward that is crazy about coupons and has shared her know how. She helps watch the grocery ads locally and lets us know if there are any great deals and what coupons might be available. Until recently I was using the same method of coupon organizing as "the Pro" which consisted of a three ring binder with baseball card sheet protectors and dividers. The sheet protectors allow you to easily flip through your coupons and see what you have. The down side for me was that it was so large to carry with me to the grocery store and because of this I didn't carry it with me regularly (a carnal sin for the avid coupon clipper).

A few weeks ago I read in some random place (blog or magazine, can't remember which) about someone using one of those cheap 4x6 photo album books to carry her coupons in. I jumped on the idea and conveniently had one such book lying around. I divided it into sections using labels folded in half as dividers and then slipped my coupons into the sleeves. Granted it can not hold as many coupons as the three ring binder method, but for me it is more readily usable and limits me from clipping coupons for things I really don't use. The book fits easily into my purse/bag where it stays unless I'm adding new coupons or using it in the store, thus it is always accessible. I can also easily hold it in my hand while going through the store. Because of the smaller size I have labeled some pages specifically for certain brands that I get coupons for often ie. general mills cereal, Pillsbury, Loreal makeup, etc. If I see that brand is on sale I can easily pull out all the coupons in that specific sleeve and pick out the ones that apply.

Overall this new system is currently working well for me. Ultimately it comes down to you finding something that works for you and your particular style and needs.

As far as coupons go... I subscribe to one paper and get coupons on Sunday with a single duplicate packet on Thursday. I check regularly for coupons that you can print off online. It allows you to print two of each coupon per computer (ie. I can print two of the General Mills cereal coupons off of my desk top and two off of my laptop even though they are using the same router). Also many stores will take expired coupons up to a month past date (depending on the store and the cashier) and you can combine store coupons with manufacture coupons, especially wonderful at Walgreens.

Please share any tips or ideas you have gained from your experiences.
Happy coupon clipping!

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