Thursday, February 18, 2010

Thrifty Thursday: Coupon Organizing

Have you started clipping coupons yet? Have you found a good way to organize them?

How you organize your coupons depends on how involved you plan on getting. I started with an accordion file that fit into my purse. That worked for about 5 weeks... until I had too many coupons and they no longer fit inside the file! Then I had the coupons organized by envelopes sitting in a basket that went to the store with me one week. My hubby was so embarrassed by the basket that he agreed with me when I decided to get a binder (not that he will be less embarrassed by the binder when we go shopping).

Here is what I did:
I started with a 1 1/2 in. binder...
I added 10 pages of 4x6 photo protector sheets... this created 40 pockets. For now I just have my old envelopes placed in each pocket. As I begin to create my shopping list for the week I will pull the coupons out of the envelopes.
I then have 12 pages of tinted sheet protectors. These are for store specific coupons. I am also able to place the store ad and my shopping list in these pockets! I have them color coded...
Red=department stores
Blue=grocery stores
Green=drug stores
Yellow=has yet to be filled

In the very back I have some baseball/trading card sheet protectors that can be used for skinny coupons... or very specific categories. This page has water filters, eye care products, batteries, light bulbs...

I still use a little envelope to store some specific coupons that go with me always (craft stores, restaurants, and gift cards).

I really like the binder approach so far. I feel like I am able to keep everything in one place and stay organized. I also like being able to keep my store ads in the binder with the coupons for easy reference. Now when I head out the door I grab my binder and my grocery bags and I am all set... and the hubby can't be too embarrassed when the cashier rings up all my groceries and the total is way low thanks to my coupons!

What are you using for coupon organization?


Kate said...

Hey Michelle-
I like the binder approach (and being able to take the store ads with you!). Currently, I'm using a small photo album (the cheap flip 4x6 variety). The photo slots are large enough to hold printed coupons and any that I may cut out of ads (sometimes a couple in one slot - if they're similar products). Thats about as in depth as I am right now. I try to keep the very first page/slot for my CURRENT list (my shopping list, any rain checks that I'm going to use and coupons that I have sorted out of my stash and will be using on the trip to the store, and any catalina print outs, like "$4 off your next order", etc).

After page 1 I'm not as organized as I'd like, but its grocery first (somewhat organized - but I know where it is and what I have), then health and beauty, next is non food (batteries, toys, games, etc) and following that is organic food (I keep them separate because where I usually grocery shop doesn't have very much organic dairy...or they're separate for me to quickly page thru to compare or if i'm at another store, the organic coupons are separate).

Sooooo - not quite as on the ball as you are, but its a compact little album and it works pretty good for me (so far!). Happy Couponing!!!

Julie (Denton) Korkis said...

I keep mine in a vintage metal recipe box I got at a thrift store. It has dividers for each catagory. I really like it and it's easy enough to use, but it doesn't latch shut so I'm constantly on edge a little about ruining all the hard work I've put into it (carrying the box and a 2 year old is quite a chore). And I'd say if the coupons embarass Kevin, leave him home... (No offense Kevin :)) For me, sometimes grocery shopping is the one moment of "me" time i get all week! ;)

kathleen said...

Thanks for the info on the coupon organization - I haven't geared up to do it yet, but I do like looking through the store ads. One day.

Do you know anything about double coupons and how they work? I always see stores advertising them, but is it really as easy as one coupon X 2?? or are there tricks involved? Do you know which stores mostly do double coupons?