Sunday, February 21, 2010

How to Use Coupons Part I: Organization

Based on the questions I have received from my readers, I've decided to do a mini-series on couponing. This first article is about how to organize your coupons. There are several methods used to organize coupons including using a baseball card binder; keeping inserts intact and only pulling them as needed; etc.

The method I use is the check file method. I have 3 check files with labeled tabs. You can label them according to your shopping needs and then insert your coupons into the appropriate sections.

My first check file is labeled with grocery items as follows:

  1. Snacks
  2. Air Freshener
  3. Baking Items
  4. Beverages
  5. Canned Goods
  6. Cereal
  7. Condiments
  8. Dairy
  9. Frozen Foods
  10. Meats
  11. Pasta/Rice
  12. Produce
  13. Salad Dressing
Check file #2 is labeled for non-grocery items as follows:
  1. Diapers
  2. Baby
  3. Cleaning Supplies
  4. Deodorant
  5. Facial Care (Razors, etc.)
  6. Feminine Hygene
  7. Hair
  8. Laundry
  9. Makeup
  10. Oral Care
  11. OTC Meds
  12. Paper/Plastic
  13. Soaps/Body Wash
Check File #3 is kind of a catch all for everything else:

  1. Mall Coupons
  2. Receipts
  3. Rebate Forms
  4. Entertainment
You can adjust any of these labels to suit your needs. For instance, you may want to change one of them to "Pet Food" if you have animals.

I hope this gets you on the road to organizing your coupons so you can save money!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info! How do you keep track of the coupons that are expiring soon? Mine always seem to expire before I use them because I forget or they get lost in the stack.

Emily said...

I don't really have any tried and true method of keeping track of the coupons that are about to expire. I just try to keep them at the front of each section and if they are really good coupons, such as free product coupons, I try to use them right away so I don't forget about them!