Wednesday, April 8, 2009

How to create & maintain an ORGANIZED coupon book!

I recently redid my coupon book. Here is a few tricks of how to keep couponing as simple as possible for your next trip out to the store:

1) Create a coupon book: For beginners start with a mini file fax arranged by type of coupons you most frequently use. I started with Target coupons, BRU coupons, and common baby products. For the more advanced couponer or grocery couponer--use a 3 ring binder or very large file fax. Use clear baseball card holders to contain your coupons.

2) Decide how to organize your coupons: Organize your coupons and divide them up into categories or groups by expiration date, brand name, product type, or by store name. If you have LOTS, alphabetize your coupons. I use a few of these strategies. First, I separate store brand coupons from my manufacturer coupons. Then I alphabetize each category. Within each letter I group together items by brand name. So for instance my target coupons are grouped A-Z and on the "C" page I have all my Clorox branded products grouped together.

3) Utilize folders: For when you don't have time put your coupons where they belong, slide coupons into a closeable pencil bag or folder. Then devote 1 hour a week to "maintaining" your coupon book. This will also allow for time to throw out expired coupons. I also have a folder for random coupons. This is because I receive TONS of emails with coupon codes to retailers. If something interests me I print it out and put it in my book for just in case I need it. By doing this I can keep my mailbox from getting too full of retailer emails, but I can still enjoy the special offers they send out. Also, use a folder or the front pocket to keep store ads incase you need to refer to it while at the store.

4) Store your coupon book wisely: To store my coupon book, I like to use a tote bag. I have one bag set aside next to my purse for when I walk out the door to go shopping. Also, you can hang it on a hook next to your keys by your main entryway. I also keep a spot in between my front seat clear for my tote bag to easily fit into next to my purse. This way my coupons are not getting in my way at home or in my car.

5) Keep what you need with your book: I keep a pair of scissor and a grocery pad and pen with my coupon book. If I need to cut a coupon out on the fly I have it right there. The pen and paper is for me to write out a makeshift list if I am on the go. Also, its a good idea to have a calculator if you are using coupons to budget.

6) Don't shop without a plan: Flips through advertised sales in your newspaper ads as well as online. Once you have a list of deals you would like to get, you can then from there check your coupons. Also be sure to check blogs and websites like for additional special deals or ways to save you more money.

7) Make your grocery list functional: After you have sorted through your coupons write up your grocery list. Instead of just listing the item though, list with it the brand name and the specific of the coupon. For example if you have a coupon for $2 off/4 cans of Progresso microwaveable soups write: Buy 4 PROGRESSO microwaveables *Use coupon* instead of soups. Also be sure to include sales prices if they are applicable.

8) Still frustrated with your coupon book? Create a table of contents! I have a cheat sheet at the front of my coupon book that tells me where I can find something. If you would like you can type up an alphabetical list to tell you wear to find what you are looking for.