This article is on how to organize coupons. This will help you find the coupons when you need them so that you can save money on groceries and other household items.
Gather all your coupons and divide them into categories such as produce, dairy, meat, breakfast, baking supplies, condiments, pre-cooked items, canned food, frozen foods/vegetables, pasta, sauces, snacks, spices, beverages, baby needs, paper products, bags/wraps, cleaning supplies, laundry needs, toiletries, oral hygiene, medicine, vitamins, pet supplies and so on. Create categories that are simple and easy for you to use according to your shopping habit or your favorite store.
Organize further alphabetically by product type or brand name within each category. For example, cheese, eggs, milk, yogurt etc. under “Dairy” category; ketchup, mustard, pickle, relish etc. under “condiments”; bleach, detergent, stain remover etc. under “laundry supplies” and so on.
You can organize coupons in envelopes, plastic food storage bag or box, coupon wallet, photo album or a binder.
If you are a beginner learning how to organize coupons, I suggest you use envelopes or plastic food storage bag or container to sort and store your coupons.
You can cut divider tabs, manilla folders, notebook covers, card stock or any kind of thick paper a bit higher than the coupons to use as dividers. With the divided categories it is fast to file, find and use each coupon when needed.
Another option if you're just getting started is a coupon organizer wallet. They come in 13 or 24 file tabs and labels making your coupons easy to file and find. Some of these organizers can be attached to the shopping cart. If you don’t want to use the labels that come with the organizer, create your own using a label maker, divider/index tab labels or just write on the tabs using a pen.
Small (4"x6") photo albums with plastic pages available at dollar stores and supermarkets are also good to organize coupons. You can use index tabs that are write-on or with printable inserts to create labels for each category and stick to the edge of the album pages.
All the above options are small enough to carry in a handbag or tote while shopping.
For advanced coupon clippers, a three-ring binder is a good option to organize coupons. Use divider tabs to separate and label each category. Use clear baseball card holder sheets to store coupons.
You can use sheet protectors in your binder to hold large store ads or manufacturers coupons you print.
For large coupons which you don't want to fold, you can get plastic photo pages with larger pockets to put them in your binder.
No matter what type of organizer you use, first arrange categories in alphabetical order. Then put each coupon in its own pocket/slot. If you have two or more identical coupons, stack them according to expiration date with the earliest expiration date in front so that you will use that first.
Also, place coupons in such a way that you can clearly see the product and also expiration date (if possible) at a glance.
If a coupon is too large to fit in a slot, fold it in such a way that you can see the product name. Make sure that the bar code does not have too many creases.
Leave a slot empty in your organizer to put the coupons as you buy the items, so that they are all available at once to hand over to the clerk at checkout.
Keep the organizer next to your shopping list or in your shopping bag so that you will remember to take it with you when you go shopping. This is as important as figuring out how to organize coupons!
Once you have figured out how to organize coupons and have all your coupons neatly arranged, maintain them on a weekly/monthly basis. At the end of each week/month, remove any expired coupons. Most importantly, only clip coupons for items that you buy. Otherwise you will end up buying things you don't need, just because you have a coupon. This may be the most important thing to remember when you decide how to organize coupons.
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