Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Works for Me Wednesday: Coupon Organizer

It's Wednesday again - time for another "Works for Me!" tip, inspired by the blog carnival/series at We are THAT Family. This week's special organizing-themed Works for Me Wednesday carnival/tips can be found here.

If you're a coupon user, you probably have an organizational system in place. Here's how we work our systems:

Mel: I use a 12-pocket coupon organizer found at Wal-Mart. It was easy to label the pockets according to the categories that work for me, and it's easy to change them if I need to. I sort the coupons within each category by expiration date, so cleaning out expired coupons is a snap. It is small enough to fit in my purse and large enough to store all my necessities. Total cost was around $5. Total convenience has been priceless!

A.: I also use one of these small organizers. As mentioned in last week's WFMW coupon clipping post, this is where you'll find my "definitely will use" coupons that I harvest in my initial go-through of the inserts - sorted by relevant-to-me store sections like "produce", "rice/pasta", "baking", "soups", "cereals/oatmeal/granola bars", etc. If I have multiple copies of an insert, I may only initially clip one or two copies of a given coupon that catch my eye, and come back to the other inserts later if I need additional copies.

I file the "harvested" inserts away in a portable file folder box - similar to this one. Inside it I have hanging files - each labeled with the date of a past set of inserts (08/02, 08/16, 08/23, 08/30, etc.). My "gone through" inserts are filed away by date, so that if I discover a great matchup later, I can easily find the relevant insert(s) and clip exactly what I need.

As you can see from this week's Giant run, having my smaller coupon envelope prepopulated with some "will use" and higher-value coupons enabled me to pick up some freebies and cheapies on the fly. Now that I know how cheaply I can get some of these items, I will go back through my filed inserts to find more copies of the same coupons that netted these deals in case I can squeeze another run in before the sale prices switch over on Friday.

What coupon organization systems or tools work for you? We'd love to hear your comments.
Works for Me Wednesday: Coupon OrganizerSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
Ebates and Swagbucks are both easy ways to earn rewards while doing what you normally do - web-searching through Google and shopping for bargains online!


Carissa Houston said...

I started alphabetizing my coupons within each category; it has saved me loads of time -- no more rifling through stacks looking for the right coupons.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing what works for you!
I have smaller fabric envelopes/pouches w/ dividers from my grandmother that I put my "plan-to-use-on-this-shopping-trip" coupons in and I have a big honkin' binder with a lot of my other coupons like the one pictured on this blog:
I also keep a hanging file of all my extra coupon inserts intact, and try to remember to write the date on the cover with a sharpie pen, so I can reference it later when other frugal bloggers post great coupon match-ups/deal scenarios.