Monday, January 10, 2011

Messy Monday: Organizing Coupons

Since we've been getting the Sunday paper on a special for $10 for 10 weeks, I've collected quite a few more coupons than usual. (Normally, without the paper, I just check what's on before heading to the store). I browse through them when they first come so that I can get a general idea of what's in each insert, save the whole insert without clipping coupons from it, and tuck them in my purse when I go to the store, along with any printouts from online coupon sources.

The problem with this is that the more you get, the messier it gets. Plus, I waste time at the store shuffling through the inserts, trying to find that one coupon I just know I have and want to use (or I forget about specific coupons altogether). Then at home, if the boys go digging through my purse in search of gum, there are coupon inserts everywhere, with the inevitable question from my husband, "Can we just throw these away?" (To which I answer, "Just put them back in my purse, please, honey.")

In an effort to get my coupons more organized, I bought a 5x7 plastic index card/recipe box at the Dollar Tree a bit ago. Unfortunately, the store only sold alphabetized tabs for the 3x5 boxes, so I have to figure out a categorizing system of my own. I'm thinking of just using large index cards, which I'll label by category.

Which brings me to today's question:

If you coupon, how do you organize your coupons?


  1. I organize them by the month they expire.

  2. I organize mine in a baseball card organizer (Walmart carries them). I do clip them once a week before I plan my grocery list. I use tabbed dividers for the different sections. When they're cut out, it's easier for me to see if I have a coupon when I do "need" a particular item. After making my grocery list on an envelope, I put my coupons in the envelope (because I buy only what's on my list). Additionally, I like to use Southern Savers (I believe it's good for the Midwest as well) because it matches deals with coupons at my grocery store AND provides links to printable coupons.

  3. I used the same 3x5 card holder and alphabetized dividers that you mentioned. I divided mine by type of item (frozen, dairy, baking items, etc.), then assigned letters to each. I went in the order of the aisles in the grocery store I visited most often. I kept a few cards in the front as a key for what kind of item was with each letter, and after a couple visits of tweaking the set-up, it was really easy to use. I liked always having all of my coupons with me so that I could take advantage of unadvertised specials and clearance items.