Couponers R Us (Organizing Coupons)

CouponClipping

Our family has been using coupons as a means to save money for over five years, yet we are still learning different ways to help us organize our coupons and stockpile, including what method we use to transport our coupons to the store. I guess you could say it is like everything else that we do, we try out different techniques that we have heard from other people we know, what we have read on the internet, or an idea that we have created on our own. Today we wanted to discuss two different methods of clipping and filing coupons. We have tried both so we know both the advantages and disadvantages of each way.

The first method that we tried was clipping all of our coupons. For this method we chose to use a coupon binder although some couponers use anything from shoe boxes to a 31 bag. We also purchased plastic sleeves and dividers. One of the great aspects to using this method is that our coupons were very portable so we always had our coupons with us. This really helped when we were at a store and found items on clearance or unadvertised sales and we had all of our coupons close by. What we found to be daunting was the task of doing the clipping. Since we have multiples of each coupon insert the required time to cut coupons out was enormous.  We could have used that time for other much more useful activities such as lesson planning, working out, or actually shopping. We also found that we never used all of our coupons that we had clipped so they were just disposed of and we wasted time cutting them.  We quickly came to the conclusion that this method did not work for us even though it has for many others.

So for our second and current method… we started filing our coupons.  We made A-Z folders and purchased plastic file boxes, and we first started out with two and waited until we found some on sale during school supply season and purchased three more. For this method we take the multiple coupon inserts and put all like pages together, write the date on the outside cover and file them in one of our A-Z folders until we need them. We create a calendar at the beginning of each year that correlates each week of the year with a letter so half way through the year we are back to A again and majority of those coupons are usually expired therefore able to disposed of.  We only clip the coupons we’re about to use at the store and we can look up where they are later.  It wasn’t long that we outgrew the file boxes and had to move to a larger filing cabinet, but we still had to have a smaller expanding file coupon organizer for the coupons that we clipped to use at the store. Filing the coupons really helped to save time, although we have found that there are unadvertised deals that we unable to take advantage of. We still find it to be more beneficial to our family to save the time.

Every couponer has to decide what the best fit for their family is. For those of you who are beginners or are thinking about couponing, we feel it is well worth it. Not only has our family reaped the benefits of using coupons, so has our extended family, friends and our local food banks. In our “Couponing Makes Cents” post we have books that we recommend not only for a novice but also for the more experienced couponers to reach even bigger savings. Coupons are definitely a way of life in our household, we have saved money on food, toiletries, cleaning supplies, automobile maintenance, restaurants, clothes, make up and fragrances. This has allowed us to live off of one income and spend more time with the family, which we never take for granted.

A fool’s money is not long in his pocket”~Irish Proverb

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