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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Organize Those Coupons!

Have you got your coupons organized?

After several requests I am posting about how I organize my coupons. I am by no means the guru! This is just what I do and it really works for me. The system is easy to maintain and I can quickly look at what I've got if I need to search for a coupon while at the store.

Here's how I organize my coupons:

First I sorted my coupons into these categories: (You can change them - condense them or make them more specific based on how many coupons you have).

:: Beverages
:: Bread
:: Beverages
:: Candy
:: Cans
:: Condiments, Spices, Sauces
:: Dairy
:: Baking
:: Frozen Food
:: Fruit (including dried fruit, canned fruit, etc.)
:: Pasta, Helpers, Rice
:: Refrigerated Dough (think Pillsbury items)
:: Snacks
:: Laundry and Dish Soap
:: Air Fresheners
:: Paper Products (toilet paper, paper towels) and Bags (ziploc and trash)
:: Dog Food
:: Miscellaneous (batteries, etc.)
:: Deoderant
:: Lotion
:: Make-up
:: Shampoo
:: Soap and Shower Gel
:: Feminine Care
:: Razors and Shave Gel
:: Toothpaste
:: Personal Care (items that don't fall into one of the above categories)
:: Cleaner and Household
:: Allergy Medicines
:: Acid Reducers
:: Pain Relievers
:: Vitamins
:: Other Medicines

I also have envelops that I fill weekly (or bi-weekly) - like my CVS envelop, Wal-mart envelop, Walgreens envelop, and Bi-Lo envelop. Once I look at the ads and figure out what I am buying I make lists and find the coupons that I am using and put them in the store envelops.

For CVS my envelop also includes all my ECBs, Gift Card, and my transactions are clipped together. For example One transactions coupons are clipped together along with a quick list of what items I'm planning to buy in that transactions. Here's a picture of my CVS envelops contents:

In addition I have my scissors, calculator, paper, pens, and some paper clips in my box.

Every Sunday night or Monday night I clip coupons and file them in their envelopes. At the end of each month (about a week prior since most coupons expire at the end of a month) I go through my coupons and pull out the ones that are going to expire. I check to make sure none of them are for items I use often or that I want to use in the upcoming week before they expire and then I put the ones that I am not going to use (that are expired) in a bigger envelop and mail them off to the military. They can use them for a couple months after they expire.

While we're on the topic of coupons be sure to check out this article entitled, "Why I'm Not Embarassed To Use Coupons." HERE.

How about you? How do you organize your coupons? I know there are at least a hundred different ways! Link your system here and maybe you can help someone else who has 'em tossed in a bag or someone who is just getting started!


Sarah's Savings said...

Hi Denise:) Question for you -- do you take the box with you to the store?? Or do you only take the ones you know you will use?

I have a binder and take the whole thing with me. I am often glad I did because if a "plan" changes, I might want something else, or if I see something and realize "hey I could use that!"

Just curious -- looking for best method. I'm liking my binder, but realize I miss a LOT of expiring coupons because I don't pull them all out often enough...

Denise Sawyer said...

I take the whole thing with me. It sits nicely in the front of the cart. That way I can flip through them very quickly.

Like you, I take it along because I have often gone in without it thinking that I am going to make it fast and won't need the others only to have to run back out and grab it because I can't pass up a sweet deal!

Hope that helps!
The "Cent"sible Sawyer

April said...


This is great info.

Since you asked -- after trying lots of different methods, I have a binder with baseball card pages in it that I use to keep individual coupons I get (i.e. those I get in the mail, or those from the library or those I find in the store). Then, I also have plastic sleeves so I can keep the coupon mailer intact, write the date of the mailer on it, and place it in the plastic sleeve. Since I use your site and Money Saving Mom and the Grocery Game for couponing, this has been the easiest and most time-saving way for me to access coupons. I then just clip what I need for my trip, though I also take it with me and have sissors in the pocket, in case I need one while I'm in the store.

I am much better about getting rid of expired coupons this way. But if y'all ever stop referencing the insert, I'm going to be in trouble, but til then, this is working well!

Would you mind sharing the address of the military coupon service? I'd like to utilize that.

Thanks for your great website!!

mandymomof2 said...

I use to have a method like that. I found that while in the store I would get frazzled.Then I wouldn't be able to find what I was looking for. Therefore, I wasn't saving any money.My friend bought a binder thing off of E-bay and I loved it. But I don't shop E-bay so I made one just like it. Now I can look at everything and I am saving money.

loving green said...

This is great, I LOVE it... mine are just tossed in a ziploc bag!!! Thanks for this posting!!!

Deal Mama Belle said...

Ouu ouu I want the military info too!! Thanks for your Wondahful post!!

Lisa said...

I love the idea about the envelope per store. That would really help me out in my shopping list process. I would also love to have the military coupon program info. What a great way to help out.

Thanks for all you do - Lisa

Alicia said...

I'm wondering how you send the coupons to military, is there a special address to send them to?

Anonymous said...

Hi, Denise:

Thanks for letting me link my blog with yours. I enjoy saving money in any way possible.

Karen said...

Yes, please let us know how to send expireds to the military. I just threw away a HUGE stack and would have kept them if I'd known.