There are some great links to some great "couponing" sites that I use daily; and I'll show you how I organize and save as well, I like to keep it EASY. Check out the WELCOME spot to your right to get started

Monday, June 29, 2009

Set Up and Organization

Once you have your coupons you'll need a spot in your house for organization. You'll need to spread out!
There are two methods for organizing your coupons that I know of, there's the 3 ring binder method (shown in this link from Krazy) using baseball card holders for coupons....which I am not opposed to and may eventually have to go to some day soon..... I'll give you the pros and con's later, but for now this plastic coupon file works great for me....

We'll talk about grocery coupons first:
I have divided the sections by isle and/or food type for my specifications.

I'm using two of these divided coupon organizers for grocery coupons - 4X6. And a larger one for other types of coupons. 8X10. So three total.

There are 13 categories in each file, I got these at Office Max for $2.99 each. I needed two for all 26 categories. I leave one slot empty in front of each file for a purpose I'll explain later.

Here are my categories:
1 Dairy - Eggs/Butter/Sour Cream/Yogurt
2 Drinks -Drink Mixes/Juice
3 Frozen Treats
4 Frozen Meals & Sides - Frozen dough/Pizza/Veggies
5 Refrigerated Deli - Pudding cups/Cheese/Deli Meat/Cookies/Canned Dough
6 Produce
7 Bread
8 Baking Isle
9 Meats
10 Breakfast Items
11 Snacks - Cookies/Chips/Fruit Snacks/Popcorn
12 Cleaning Products - Dishes/Cleansers/Swiffers
13 Paper Products - Ziplocks/TP/Paper towels/Plastic ware
14 Pet Food/Supplies
15 Home goods - Lightbulbs/Batteries/Office Supplies
16 Condiments - Ketchup/Sauces/Salad Dressing mix
17 Boxed and Canned Food - Meal Prep items/Pasta
Personal Care -
18 Skin Care - Soap/Face Cleanser/Lotion/Sun Block/repellent
19 Tooth care
20 Hair Care - Shampoo/products/accessories
21 Make-up -Nail Polish/Remover/accessories
22 Shaving and Deodorant/Shaving Cream
23 Medications - Rx/First Aide/Vitamins
24 Feminine Products
Empty spot #1 and #2

Now, this is how I divide a ton of coupons at once. I do this once a week from all my collected and printed coupons.

To organize these babies I take all my IP's from the week and cut them out, I clip all the coupons from the Sunday paper by overlapping any duplicate coupons and cutting them out at one time. Then I lay out my printed category papers on my table and start sorting!

This is my trusty assistant.....he looks confused, don't worry, it's his only his first time, he gets better.....

If you want the file I use to print out these organizer sheets just email me and I'll forward it to you. I don't know how to post something like that yet.
When I have all my piles sorted I take one category at a time; lets say "dairy"and sort that dairy pile by expiration date (earliest expired in front) and then add them to my already organized dairy coupons from the weeks before and sort all of them by expiration date again.
This is kind of a pain, but necessary. When you make up your grocery list, you'll be able to find these coupons relatively quickly when categorized.

After doing this for 3 months now worry I started to worry that I'd outgrow my two coupon holders but after using them and having to take expired ones out, the numbers stay about the same so no biggy
Crazy alert -the binder method is for the Crazies they use HUGE 81/2X11X6 inch thick binders with baseball card holders for coupons......and I think that will take up WAY more room in my life and my shopping cart and take me way more time to organize and cost me a ton to get going.....
Right now I can fit these baby's in my purse.....So I'm happy with my current method. If/when I go to a Crazier method I'll let you know....
Mission Accomplished......Manufacturer Coupons Organized
Sad Story - Keep an eye on your coupon holders! After a month of collecting coupons I had one file like the one above. I was in Albertson's one day, I turned my back to focus on some items and turned back to my cart and SOMEONE STOLE MY COUPON FILE! No joke. they left my purse, stole the coupons! ARGH, that was like $650 worth of coupons in there. I was heartbroken. The store clerks all helped me keep a lookout for the perp. But no luck. So I had to start OVER! I blogged about my plight in a comment section of Krazy coupon lady and one kind stranger emailed me and offered to send me some coupons! I couldn't believe it! And she did! She sent me like 1/2 a pound of great coupons too. I thought that was so kind and sweet. Gave me faith in humanity again and everything...... Well....after buying some coupons, being given a ton by this amazing blogger from Massachusetts (Bless you! Queenbuv3!).....and after clipping and printing: I'm double what I had before. Moral of the story is; watch those coupons. They're not after purses anymore.
Now for the rest.....Dining out, Activities, Services/other stores, Grocery Specific Coupons & Weekly Ads -
Ok, Here's how I organize all of the other types of coupons...nothing fancy, but necessary..

Dining out coupons - I collect these from the mailers, from online sources and email promotions. They go in the "Dining" slot. We don't dine out without a coupon! We use the Happening's Book for these is a link for free ebook with tips on using the Happenings Books. I have three BTW.
Things to do/Activity coupons - for whatever there is to do around town.

Services/ other store's coupons - For clothing/craft stores, household and car services etc...
This week - mailers and store Ads - I switch out the old and add the new every Tuesday when the new mailers hit my box.
Grocery Store (specific) coupons - This is where I gather the Catilina coupons (the register coupons the print out with your receipt - CAT's) I put these together with binder clips specific to each store and take that store's coupons with me every time I go. HINT: Walmart is the only place that accepts other store coupons. Sorry for the sideways pic. I cant turn it, it's uploading sideways! UGH.

Receipts - I save these baby's to motivate me and see how I'm doing! I also keep them to help me with a running budget - How much did I spend/How much did I save? Etc...
Other file folder Categories in review......
1 Dining
2 Activities
3 Clothing/Services
4 This Week - Store Adds/Mailers
5 Grocery Store Specific Coupons
6 - Receipts/Coupon Table Organizer Sheets
Got it? Now....Lets Prepare to Shop!

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About Me

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Utah, United States
I love to cook, it's how I de-stress; most people don't understand it but they love to taste test! I turn on some great tunes, and get to baking. Here's my family blog, come see what we're up to at I'm also big into couponing and can help you save a lot of money here: Thanks for visiting my little corner of the Web :)