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Couponing 101: Part 2

Next, how to GET ORGANIZED!!   This part has TWO parts. Part 2a and part 2b, if you will.

Behold, part 2a - organizing.

There are 2 main ways to be organized with your coupons, and I'll show you mine second. The first one is to use file folders and a file box.

Like this:


This is where you keep the inserts whole and just file them by type and date. (the main inserts are smartsource, redplum, and proctor & gamble)

Pros:
  • No cutting!! YAY!
  • Easy to find a coupon that is listed by date on some coupon blogs.
Cons:
  • No last minute clearance deals.
  • Have to have a date listed to find a coupon you are looking for.
  • Hauling around a FILEBOX while shopping = Lame.
  • How do you file internet printed coupons, blinkies, etc?
Okay, now here is the method that I use - the coupon binder. For me it's an excellent method even though it does come with a little more upfront time.

Here's how you do the coupon binder. First, get a binder. (Oh, I crack myself up!) Then pick up some baseball card holders at your local Hades Walmart. Then you can either pick up some organizer labels or you can be ghetto like me and make your own with paper, tape, and a ballpoint pen.


See? Classy.


My categories are:
-cereal/breakfast
-snacks
-frozen food
-dairy
-canned food
-Beverages
-baking
-condiments
-meat
-sides/pasta
-candy
-baby
-paper products
-shaving
-dental
-girly (that would be tampons, pads)
-make-up
-soaps
-smelly (candles, air fresheners)
-misc.
And then I have separate envelopes with cleaning products and medications.

But you can do whatever categories you want. THEN, you take the coupons that you've collected and cut them out. If you have multiples of one insert, cut them like so:

Stack the same page, here are 4 of the same.


Then cut ONE time all 4 coupons.


Then file them in the appropriate file. The above Hefty would go in paper products.

Part 2b - Planning the trip

Now is when you plan your shopping trip. All your coupons are organized and filed away and now to search the deals. You can go to a blog (like mine) or a more local one for your area, or a HUGE one like hotcouponworld.com (I like that one since you can look at deals by store and that store's region). Or, you can pull up your store's weekly ad and look at it yourself. Write down some things that you would like to have or that look like a good price to you, then check out the appropriate "section" of your binder and see if you have a coupon that matches.

I like to use notecards for each store.

I then place the notecard and coupons I've pulled into one of these babies. (you can get it at any office section of any store.)


It is organized by store.


Since I live 15 minutes away from any of my stores, I have to be able to go to 3-5 stores at any given trip to save on gas. I file my Albertsons shopping trip. I file my Walgreens trip. And whatever other stores I've planned on going to. So when I shop, I "technically" only need my little shopping organizer. But I do like to have my binder with me in case I see some manager's clearance items or a non-advertised sale while I'm out.

Some Blogs I like:

Coming up - When to use the coupons!!


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