Goodbye Coupon Chaos…

I have another surprise in store for you today…dont you just love Monday surprises!  Another guest blogger! 🙂  I asked my very dear friend, Lauren Nix, if she would guest blog for me today…the topic is coupons.  Lauren is a whiz at couponing and finding deals.  Im not too bad myself, but she is much better than I! Since our economy decided to take a dip in the cool money pool a few years back, coupons have become hot and popular again.  They take time and effort to keep track of sales and deals, but can save you money in the long run.  Therefore, I dont mind spending some quality time with my paper and coupon organizer to save hard earned dollars in the end!

Thank you Lauren!  Be sure to check out her blog too! 🙂

GOODBYE COUPON CHAOS

I absolutely LOOOOOOVE couponing.  I’ve been an avid couponer for almost 4 years and can’t imagine a “full price” kinda life.  I often sit back and try to imagine what my life, and bank account, would be like without coupons.
I’ve been asked by many of my friends & family, “How do you keep up with ALL of your coupons?”  Honestly, after almost 4 years, it’s like second nature.  Once you get a good niche for how you want your coupons organized, it just flows.  There are several great methods of keeping your coupons organized and contained. Here are a few of those examples…
– The binder system.  Starting with a large three ring binder insert plastic baseball card display sheets (found at your local Walmart).  Insert your coupons into the display sheets, facing outward so you can see your coupon.  It is completely up to you how your coupons are filed; alphabetical order in each pocket, or create sections by area of the market, i.e., Health & Beauty, Frozen, Baby, Paper goods, etc.  You may want to insert some dividers in front of each section…a little extra organization.  Your binder will grow quickly, so be prepared.  I’ve actually witnessed ladies in my local grocery store with 2 binders.  One specifically for food and the other for non-food.  This normally depends on the size of your family and how long you have been couponing.
– The coupon box.  You will need a toteable box with lid.  Cut small cardboard dividers and insert your coupons behind each category.  Or use labeled envelopes to house your coupons and file in the same manner inside of the tote.  You may want to break your categories down into subcategories.  For example: Baby (being the main category) with subcategories of diapers, wipes, food, other products.  Again, this will completely depend on the size of your family, your length of couponing, and your organization comfort level
– Whole insert method.  This is my personal fav.  I have an accordion file folder with 12 sections, one for each month.  Every Sunday, I sit down and write the date on the front of each insert and place in the correct month’s slot, newest first.  This works for me because I do not have a significant amount of time to sit down each Sunday and cut EVERY coupon out of the paper.  Also, most of your couponing blogs post from which insert (whether it is SmartSource, Red Plum, or P&G) and what date they pulled the coupon.  Thus, making it super easy for me to pull the insert from that month’s tab and match my deal.  I just LOVE those fantastic ladies who do all of the leg work in finding these phenomenal deals
For example:
All Almay Eye Cosmetics $5.99
-$2 off Almay cosmetic product, SS 1/01
You will come to find your own fabulous way to organize your coupons, but hopefully these ideas have possibly sparked an interest in getting your’s together or given you an idea on how to tweak your own method.
How do you organize your coupons?  Are you happy with your method?  I’m always open to suggestions on how to be a better couponer 🙂
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12 thoughts on “Goodbye Coupon Chaos…

  1. Great posts ladies! I sort my coupons by whole insert, but per week. I do this by using tab dividers that have 2 pockets in my binder. 1 pocket on each side of the divider. Using 2 per month for a total of 4 pockets or 4 week’s of inserts. The dividers I use have tabs and are different colors, so I use 2 of the same color for each month. When Sunday comes, after I look through the inserts, I file them into their appropiate spot and I’m done. For couponing on the fly, I keep a coupon database bookmarked on my phone. So, if I see a great deal, I look the item up on the database to find which insert it would be in and that’s it. Keeping a small pair of scissors in my binder is a must. I just wrote a post of my own, it’s a new blog I just started. It’s not a coupon blog, but you’re welcome to take a look at the post if you like. I included a few pics of how I set up my dividers and also added some other info that’s helped me along the way. The link below is a direct link to the post. Happy couponing! =)
    http://dreamznpeace.blogspot.com/2012/01/10-adjustments-that-made-couponing-work.html

  2. I clip the coupons that I think I am likely to use and keep them in a small accordion style coupon organizer divided by type. I then keep the whole insert in a bigger accordion file. But I’ve been wondering, how long do I need to keep each insert? My file is bulging already with ones from the end of last year!

    • I usually go through and purge about every 2 months. I look through each insert to make sure everything has expired. I recycle the inserts that have expired and cut those that are still in date. I file those in my mini accordian coupon holder that stays in my purse. Make sure to pay close attention to coupons like “Reach, Listerine, & Bandaid.” For some reason, these coupons tend to last up to 6 months after their circulation date and they are normally high in value.

      After you clean out your expired coupons, please consider donating those to a program called Coups For Troops {http://www.coupsfortroops.com}. I hold our military very near and dear to my heart…why not service those who serve and protect us each and every day?

    • My very first couponing site was Money Saving Mom. She’s great and very easy to understand. When I felt as though I could handle more, I turned to Jenny at Southern Savers. She is now my go-to girl. I have a few other sites I feel are trustworthy and scan those weekly as well.

      You have to remember, these ladies live all over the U.S. and coupons & sales are subject to being different depending on your location. I love Southern Savers because 99% of the time her matchups are spot on for my current ad. However, there are times when she may have a slight variance in her ad versus my ad. That’s why I also scan a couple other sites who are more local to my area (within 50 miles). I try to use my coupons and my time in the store in the most effective way possible.

      I realize there are those who are just getting into couponing and do not want to feel overwhelmed…and I completely understand. It’s a step process. But as with anything else, time will “season” you 🙂

      {www.moneysavingmom.com}
      {www.southernsavers.com}
      {www.extremesavingswithdivadesirae.com}
      {http://kingdomfirstmom.com}

      • Thank you so much for the reply. I live in CT and it’s hard to find match up sites in our region. I do like livingrichwithcoupons.com. Although it’s not local, I still find it helpful and like you said often reference other sites for back up.
        I’m a “file by date” kind of couponer too after doing it every way possible this is for sure the easiest and best for me personally.
        Thanks again; happy couponing!

  3. Pingback: Where do you get those coupons… | pureandsimpleorganizing

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