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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

WFMW - Coupon Organization Part 1

I love coupons!  With a little effort, I'm able to save quite a bit... well I don't save any money, I get more food than I would with my food budget otherwise.  With that thought, maybe I need to stop couponing so we have less food in the house so I eat less.  Hmm, have to think on that one.

Thinking is done.  Nope!  Going to keep on couponing!

Finding the coupons I need to match up with a sale could be quite difficult with my coupon stash if they weren't organized.  There are several options for organizing coupons.  One is to immediately cut out the ones you will use and discard the rest.  Another filing system using baseball card organizers in a binder - you cut out ALL the coupons and put them in the binder and take it with you shopping.  Neither of those work for me.  So here's my system.

First, I sort my coupons.  Since I usually have 5-6 sets of each insert (coupon insert sources is another topic), I take each insert and put all identical pages together and staple it.  I go through each stapled group and cut out the coupons I know I'll use and set them aside to put in my coupon pouch that goes to the store with me.

The stapled groups are then filed in a file folder with the date on the tab (in pencil because I reuse the folders over and over).  The file folder is then put in a hanging file with all the other coupon insert files.

Why do I do these steps?

So many of the blogs that I follow will give coupon match ups for items on sale, listing the coupons by date and insert.  For example $1/2 Peter Pan Peanut Butter 8/1 SS (Smart Source).  If I like the final price, I then go to my coupon file and pull out that date. I flip through the stapled groups until I find the peanut butter coupon.  Sometimes, though, that coupon wasn't put in my paper (it's done by regions).  Fortunately, by having them organized by date, I'm not looking through the entire 3 inch stack.  (Yes it's probably that big but no, I haven't measured it.  Okay, okay, now you've got me curious.  I'm getting the ruler....  Well, what do you know?  It was 2 1/2 inches.)

If I'm looking for a coupon on a specific product, there are several free coupon databases out there.  I've used Coupon Mom and I believe Stretching a Buck now has one too.

Hope that gives you an idea for how to organize your coupon stash.  This method definitely works for me!  For more Works for Me Wednesday, check out We Are THAT Family.

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