Tuesday, December 8, 2009

How to Organize Coupons Part I

I thought it was about high time I shared with you how I organize my coupons. I've hesitated because it's been a while since I've kept them organized. Since I've started blogging, I've learned more about deals and coupons than I can keep up with. And I've quickly outgrown my simple methods.

I've been perfectly happy with this coupon purse. It's really just a tickle file I bought about 3 years ago for about $3.50.

I used legal sized envelopes, one per alphabet letter. The envelope was sealed with the top cut open so I could easily slide the coupons inside. Since I alphabetize my coupons by brand, it was so EASY to just clip and file.

But this only worked when I would buy one newspaper. Now I often buy two plus I print lots of coupons. Soon my simple clutch-like organizer grew so fat that the button kept popping off and I had to hold it together with a rubberband!

There was another system I heard about but I put it off for a long time: The binder system. You had a large binder or those Trappers we used in middle school. Coupons would then get sorted in these baseball card organizers. It seemed unappealing and complicated! But I had clearly outgrown the coupon purse.

So now I have a binder and it's blue and kinda blah. I might show you a picture. It took a long time to transfer all my coupons into the tiny pockets. I still have more to transfer! Now, I'm just waiting for them to expire so I can just get rid of them. One thing that's great about this new system is that I now think about which coupons to keep. After all, it's got to be worth the struggle squeezing it in there. There's a lady at my church who sends expired coupons overseas so she gets lots of coupons from me (many not expired). I figure, if I really am desperate for some coupons, then I can always get them on ebay.

It may be hard to get coupons in the binder, but it sure is easy getting them out! Many times I've seen store clearance and flipped open the binder to quickly pull out a coupon. I've done this for strangers and friends I've bumped into at the store. So far, this ease has made the hassle of organizing worth it.

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