One of the comments that I hear most frequently when I'm teaching coupon classes is "I cut out my coupons, but I never have them with me when I need them." It happens to even the most dedicated couponer. Organization is critical in the couponing world. Spending just a few minutes each week will keep your coupons in order and save you money in the long run.
Here are a few tips and tricks that I have found helpful:
Clip coupons for items that you always buy
We all have specific items that we purchase on a regular basis. In my house, it's Pop-Tarts. Adam eats Pop-Tarts for breakfast every day, so I know I'm always going to be buying them. These get placed into my Coupon Box so that I have them handy when I go to the store.
Clip coupons for items that will be free or nearly free after coupons.
I have a separate place in my coupon box where I keep these so I don't forget to use them. If the product is something that I will not use, I still pick it up, and then give it to a friend or family member or donate it.
Clip high dollar coupons right away
Then hold on to the coupon to use when the item goes on sale. I do this because I know that even if the item does not go on sale, I'll still save money.
Write the date of the insert on the front page with a permanent marker
Never miss a local story.
This makes it easier to find a coupon from a particular week.
Store the remainder of the coupons in a hanging file folder container.
I put my coupon inserts from each week into a file folder marked with the date of the inserts. Hang these folders in date order.
Take your coupon box or binder with you every time you leave the house.
In fact, I actually usually have my coupon box in the car so I'm never without it!
Coupon Box vs Coupon Binder
For beginner couponers, you will probably begin storing your clipped coupons a little accordion style coupon oraganizer. After you've been couponing for a while, you'll probably find that you need a larger storage solution. For the coupon box and the coupon binder, I suggest that you include dividers to sort the coupons by category.
By having your coupons organized and easy to access, you'll you spend time and save more money!