Organization is the key to being a successful coupon shopper. If you can’t find the coupon you need it does you no good!
The biggest tip I can offer to couponers is DON’T CLIP coupons until you need them! I recommend getting multiple Sunday papers. .which means you could spend hours clipping coupons every Sunday! You’ll waste a lot of time and probably end up with carpal tunnel. . .so instead, I recommend just filing your newspaper coupon inserts by date, so you can find them easily when you need them!
Here’s how to organize your inserts
The first thing I do is take a marker and put the date on the front cover of the insert. For example, these inserts were from the July 11 newspaper, so I put a big 7/11 on the front cover. This makes it easier when you are trying to find a specific insert.
If you are not sure which newspaper a coupon insert came from, check the binding/edge of the insert. In TINY, TINY print you’ll find the date and even the newspaper it came in. For example, Tacoma News Tribune, 7/11/10. So now you know when my blog says, “Use $1/1 coupon from 7/11 Red Plum” that you would grab this insert to find the coupon you need!
Then file them by date! You can use a portable file cabinet like this, a regular file cabinet with hanging folders or even magazine holders (see photo below). Have them labeled by date. (I’m lazy, so my hanging folders don’t have dates on them in this picture – but you can use post-it notes to easily label the folders. I file mine with the newest ones in front, but you can do it however it works for you.)
It doesn’t have to be fancy!!! Use whatever you have on hand to organize your inserts so you can find them by date. That way, when I list a deal and I say, “Use the $1/1 coupon from the 8/2 P&G insert” you know where that insert is and you can go and clip the coupon when you need it!!
Now, you can’t obviously carry all your Sunday inserts around, so there are a couple schools of thought in “mobile” coupon organization. Pick the one that works best for you.
These are a few examples: