Every now and then, a reader asks a question that we think everyone should have the answer to. When this happens, instead of e-mailing someone directly we will post our answer here on the site so that everyone can benefit from the information! We know that with some questions, if one person asks there are many people thinking the same thing. Here is our latest great question:
Question: Hey Yall,I wanted to know your method for organizing your newspaper clipped coupons. It is very overwhelming and time consuming to be contantly sorting through them. What are your tips and techniques?Thanks~ Lindsey
Answer: Everyone has their own system; Heather may even have a different system from what I use! But I will explain my general method for staying organized and “clipping” coupons.
My main goal is to spend as little time as possible doing this, while still being efficient. I have a life; the last thing I need to do is spend my weekend immersed in coupons. To answer your question, the most basic answer is this: I don’t clip them ahead of time. Ever. it takes too much time, and you’re right- it is overwhelming. So here is my system:
Sunday inserts: every Sunday, I take out the coupon inserts, clip them together with a binder clip, and put a post-it on the front with the date of the paper. I do not sort through them and clip out what I think I might need and throw out the rest. First of all, that wastes time because I may not need everything I clip. Secondly, I may throw out coupons that I think I won’t need, only to find myself unable to get a great deal later on.
When I get the ad with matchups every week (we post the link here for you!), I simply pull out the insert dates I need, clip the coupons, and go shopping! When there is a product I want, the match-up will have a listing like this: $1/1 – 8/2 PG. So, I pull out my inserts labeled for 8/2, find the coupon, and clip it out. This system works for me because it takes minimal time, I never clip out coupons I don’t use, and it is easy to keep them organized and non-overwhelming. When you clip out everything and stick it in a binder, that can become a huge mess and is too much for me to handle. But it also means that you need to plan ahead and make sure you have what coupons you need with you when you go to the store. However, it is worth it for me to save so much time!
Other coupons: This includes internet coupons, peelies, blinkies, home-mailer coupons (see the lingo post for more information on these). I put these type of coupons in a coupon folder- I use the accordion type and file them under categories such as “baking”, “dairy”, “cereal”, etc. I also use this folder to file my CVS card and ECB’s to keep them all in one place. I tend to carry this with me to the store along with any other coupons I need for the day!
So, that is my system. I hope everyone found this helpful! To help our new couponing readers get started, we are giving away a compact 7-folder coupon organizer randomly to a reader who comments below on this post. Please leave your e-mail address in your comment and we will contact you when the winner is chosen! Any post without an e-mail address will not be considered. Also, if you have any other questions or suggestions on this topic feel free to post below. I love hearing how other people organize their coupons!
Also, if you participated in our last giveaway make sure to contact us at savingmoneylivinglife at gmail dot com with your mailing address! Thanks everyone!