This post is really only for those totally crazy coupon people. I can say they’re crazy because I am one and I hang with lots of them. We officially met together last week to all get a sort of “Couponing 101” lesson together. People brought their ideas, their resources and their questions. We let the kids have the house and we all sat at table and tried our best to answer all the “But what about this…??” in everyone’s minds. It was an incredibly good time…if you’re a nerdy nerd, like me.
A few weeks ago there was a great post on Southern Savers (the MAC DADDY of all coupon websites–there’s a link to the right if you want to give it a spin) about the different ways that people organize their coupons. For me, this is some seriously good reading. I found it comforting that I did fall into one of the major categories of coupon organizing methods: 3-ring binder. I affectionately call it “The Beast” because, while it is the LARGEST 3-ring binder one can purchase, it is bulging and ready to explode with all my coupon treasures.
Here are some shots of it:
(sad right, taking pictures of your coupon organizer)
So, you start with the biggest binder you can find, purchase many, many pages of the business card organizers (found at Staples, some people prefer the baseball card organizer because the pockets are bigger. I personally don’t mind a little coupon oragami to be able to see lots on one page), tabbed dividers and sheet protectors. My sections started as: General Grocery, Health and Beauty, Cleaning Supplies, Paper Goods, Baby, Pets and Restaurants. But, as my stash grew, I broke out some sections from general grocery: Dairy, Snacks, Breakfast, Meat and Veggies and these are serving me just fine.
I put all the restaurant coupons in a sheet protector.
And, I put my “extras” (coupons that I don’t THINK I’ll use, but I save anyway just in case something comes up free and I could get it and donate it) in envelopes labeled with that Sunday’s date. Also, I’ve ended up using a lot from the extra file at CVS. Sometimes you can get something for free and get the Extra Care Bucks back to use on something you really do want. So, the extras can be a money maker. Another thing that’s in here that I didn’t take a picture of is my zipper pocket. It’s one of those clear pencil pouches that has holes to go into a binder. I put my coupons for each trip in there and then just pop it out and take it with me when I’m ready to go. Though, I need to buy another one so I can separate drugstore and grocery store trips.
If any of you want to tackle this system, good luck. I think it’s the best one overall. It seriously doesn’t take me long to organize them all and then I can easily flip to them when I sit down to plan my “attack” for my drugstore trip on Sunday and my grocery trip(s) on Monday. Here’s one last time, then I’m leaving this alone. I know that some of you are genius level and thought of this your first week clipping coupons, but I can be a little slow to come around. To make clipping multiple copies of coupons go super fast, lay matching pages on top of each other and clip them all at the same time. Then, they’re already in neat little stacks and you don’t spend 3 hours making little piles all over your living room floor. Example: you have 3 copies of the Red Plum insert from Sunday’s paper. Take off all the top pages and lay them on top of each other. Clip all the ones from that page at once. So EASY…I don’t know why I didn’t think of that earlier and save myself hours and some serious backaches from bending over the piles of coupons.
To end, I’ll share a funny moment with my child from this morning. As I am sitting and organizing coupons from this notebook, Carter pulls some of them from the front pocket and is holding them. I say, “What do you have?” He says, very clearly, “Cou. Pon.” I can’t believe my 22 month old has this word in his vocabulary. Or, maybe I can.