When I decided to start clipping coupons I knew I had to have a good way to keep them organized. I have dipped into couponing off and on and have tried various methods, but none of them worked for me.
I found Money Saving Mom's organizer and I tweaked it to fit my own needs. The first thing I had to do was resist buying a new container. I could have easily gotten a new one for under $3, but I really didn't want to spend any money at all. At home I found my green basket, which is perfect for me.
This is what it looks like when its filled and ready to go:
These are the papers that you saw on top:
I always keep my latest copy of Costco coupons in my basket. Inside of that I keep any restaurant coupons, car repair deals and other like things.
Other than that I keep circulars (this week I have two) and right now I have a booklet that goes to a specific store.
Inside of the up-to-date circular I keep coupons, like so:
When I get a new circular I look through it, then I try to match up coupons. If I find some good deals, I keep all of the coupons inside of my folded up circular. When I get to the store, I take the full circular along with the inserted coupons (sometimes I just take the whole basket in). Some stores have advertisements, but then you can't find the info in the store. I find it helpful to be able to look in the paper while I'm shopping.
Some weeks I may find more deals than others. Last week, for instance, I shopped at four stores, because I was able to match up lots of good deals, but this week I'm only going two places. In other words, I'm not loyal to any one place!
Ok, so if you are at my basket and you lift up that section of papers this is what you will see:
Crystal uses envelopes with a piece of cardstock sticking up. What I decided to do was use a half of a sheet of paper and fold it into a file folder shape. I like things to be more open and an envelope seemed to constricting to me! :)
Crystal was so kind as to write out all of the categories she uses. I think there's over 50! I combined a few, so I don't have quite that much, but it is definitely useful to have them broken down and alphabetized.
If you take one of my packets out this is what you will see:
This particular section (hair under the hygiene group) has quite a bit, but most of them just have a few. When you have just a few it makes it easy to find what you're looking for without taking too much time.
A few extra notes:
- When I get coupons ready for a shopping trip I double check expiration dates.
- At the end of each month I go through all of my coupons and recycle the expired ones.
- I file store coupons under their proper category. For example: if I get a Pampers coupon that is only good at Target, it goes in the diapers section NOT a special Target file.
- I usually keep a pair of scissors in my basket.