Friday, May 8, 2009

How to Organize Coupons and Grocery Lists

SO many of you have asked me how I organize all my coupons.

I started out by getting the Sunday paper and only cutting out the coupons that I knew that I would use. (I had no idea that I could free items or even make $$ off of coupons then so I had no need for extra coupons) I filed my chosen few into an accordion file folder like this one...

I took this to the grocery store with me and that was that.

Then I started reading money saving blogs with these crazy lists of how you could match up store deals with coupons and get insane deals and even free stuff!! (Who knew that I would end up being one of those blogs! :) I was so mad at myself for throwing out all those old coupon inserts that I didn't think I needed!! So, I then moved on to a system like this one so I would have access to all the coupons from the Sunday paper...

great system, I know!

I would label each Sunday paper insert with the date. When I would make my weekly shopping lists (that I would get from other blogs and websites), I would see 4/05 RP for Kraft coupon and I would search through trying to find the Red Plum insert that had the 4/05 date on it. Then, I would look for the coupon in the insert and then cut it out. This took me hours!! So, I moved on to a system like this one...

I filed the coupon inserts according to type and date. This was easier and less time consuming but wasn't quite good enough for me. If I was going to the store and needed to buy cat litter, I didn't really feel like looking through an online coupon database like this one and then searching for the coupon through my files.... so this is what I do now....

I bought a photo box at Target for $2.50 and then used scrap scrapbooking paper...because it is pretty thick.... and some old label tabs that I had from teaching. I glued the tabs to the scrapbook paper and then added my categories. So, my coupons are no longer labeled by date or insert but they are so easy for me to use when I am not getting something that came off of a list like this one... And yes... I have been known to bring my box into a grocery store! I get some looks for sure :)

I'm Organized, Now what?

I take a look through the grocery deals from the weekly store I go to and I copy and paste the deals that I am planning on using into a Word doc. and label it by store name. I them print out my lists and cut them so I have a small sheet for each store that I am planning on visiting that week. I then find the coupons that I need that matches the list and add them to an envelop for that store with the list.

My envelops look lovely I know but if I am couponing to save money... I didn't see any reason in spending $$ on the envelops that were going to go in!!

Coupon Binder-
Another way of organizing coupons is the coupon binder. This uses baseball card inserts and this way each coupon is easy to see when you are flipping through the binder.

Here are some other great resources about organizing coupons....

Bargain Briana- Mega File Box

Coupon Organization by clipping from Canned Laughter

Sisterly Savings uses the Couponizer.

My Good Cents uses an envelope system.

Laura, the Organizing Junkie discusses how she organizes by using a coupon organizer.

Rachel utilizes the coupon binder.

The Simple Dollar also utilizes the coupon binder.

Keren uses a coupon binder.

Mommy Snacks use a file box.

The Centsible Shopper uses a small file box.

Do you have any other way of organizing coupons? Leave a comment and let us know about it! Thanks :)