It’s been a few months since I started getting serious about coupons. While I am still excited about my shopping adventures, saving 45% weekly, and stockpiling; coupon organizing is biting me in the butt.
I started out with my small stack of coupons loosely sorted & filed in a plastic, expandable, 13-pocket, canceled check file that I obtained from Staples on Teacher Appreciation Day a few year ago.
Next, I added category cards to 11 of the 13 pockets & sorted the coupons by category & date. The very front pocket I used for the coupons I pulled with the intention of using. The very back pocket was used to store my CVS ECBs & general grocery receipts. Some pockets had more than one card in them since some categories aren’t monster coupon categories.
As my coupon stack grew, I added two smaller 1-pocket plastic thingies very similar to the 13-pocket thingy. (Sorry for the high-tech terminology) I had had them for years & one of them already had an old label that read: COUPONS. Imagine that. In one I put the coupons pulled for my grocery trip. In the other one I put coupons that had potential for being used. The front pocket of the 13-pocket thingy now held all of the coupons I had clipped, printed, or acquired elsewhere that I hadn’t had time to sort & file.
Then one day it happened. My organization skills failed me miserably. I live about 2.5 miles from the grocery store. Well, I was about a 1/4 mile from home (on Old Kings Rd by the AME church, right before the speed limit goes from pokey to yeah baby!). I’m sure I screamed! And I almost cried. Panic welled up in my chest. I had forgotten about some serious couponage that I had taped to my clipboard.
At some point after the panic sub-sided & my head was clear enough to think, I developed a plan to return those items the next day & have them re-rung with my coupons. Turns out, I didn’t need to do that much work. All I needed was my receipt & my coupons. The crisis was over…for that time.
But I had come face-to-face with my desperation. I was in desperate need of a better way to manage my coupons. So, to the internet I went.
I came across a blog where a woman described her coupon disaster where all her coupons, stored similar to mine, ended up on the floor of the grocery store. She then developed her own method where she used a 3-ring binder, sheet protectors & card stock…then taped the coupons to the sheet protectors.
Having all those supplies on hand, I made my own. It was a lot of work! And yet again, it became really hard for me to keep up with.
Then I came across another blog where two women talked of buying multiple newspapers, sorting the inserts & storing them in sheet protectors in a 3-ring binder without cutting them up. It worked!…until the week I decided to buy two different newspapers. My inserts didn’t match each other. And try as I might, it was a big mess! And yet something else I could not keep up with.
So, this week, I pulled ALL of my coupons out of the binder, clipping everything that had not been clipped & throwing them into a shoe box. I still have two other stacks of coupons…this past Sunday’s which I clipped & sorted into piles by category & a stack I had sorted by date while watching Fireproof with dh.
I just purchased a 1-year subscription to Aisle-by-Aisle (sorry had to disable my link for now) where I can (and am working on) create an aisle-by-aisle shopping guide & list. This is how I shop & this is how I instinctively how I think my coupons should be organized.
Seeking a better list of categories than I currently had, I wound up at MomSaves.com.
And I finally picked up another aisle list from my Publix store. I had acquired one a few months ago, but discarded it foolishly thinking I didn’t really need it.
But I still don’t know how/where I am going to store my coupons. MomSaves.com uses another binder idea, but I’m just not sure if it’s for me.
So, I would love to know: How Do You Organize & Store Your Coupons?