How to Organize Coupons and Actually Use Them

Learn the secret to keeping coupons organized so that you can actually use them!  Save money and time and avoid frustration!

 

Do you like the idea of saving a little money, but the thought of dealing with coupons drives you a little batty?  This post is for you then!  I’m going to show you my system for quick and easy coupon organization.  Once you start using this system, you’ll find that you will actually use the coupons and you’ll stop just clipping and forgetting about them!

coupon-organizer

I used to be much more of a coupon and deal scouter.  I learned how to stack coupons, and source coupons like a pro!  Not like an extreme couponer though, this mama doesn’t have time for that.  I don’t even have time to stand behind an extreme couponer in line at Target again (true story – she spent $24 and saved $400!  Great for her, but not the other 5 people in line behind her who had to wait an extra 25 minutes!).

Here’s how I managed my totally realistic, but sometimes overwhelming stash of coupons: I kept them in a pocket envelope like the one above.  I sorted them with a simple system, by category: fresh, frozen, boxed, canned, pet, health & beauty, etc.  It worked pretty well, but took a bit of time.

{In case you are wondering, the pocket envelope above is from the Martha Stewart line that Staples used to carry.  I don’t believe it is available now.  🙁  One of the reasons I most liked this pocket envelope was because of the elastic band that helped to slim it down.  That feature made the envelope fit into my purse easily and didn’t take up too much room compared to other versions I used.}

But a few years ago, I started shopping at Whole Foods more.  Although Whole Foods accepts coupons, the products I was buying didn’t have as many coupons available.

When my buying habits changed, I just had less coupons to clip and sort.  At the same time, I also got busier, so finding time to source good coupons was harder to come by.

coupon-organization

Because of all of that, I found my coupon organizing system to be too complicated for my needs.  I needed something more simple.  And it didn’t take that long for me to see what I should do: Find a new streamlined system.

The new system is tons easier to maintain!  Not that the other system was overly time consuming, but I was at a point where simplicity was key.  The new system didn’t involve buying anything new.  Just changing up how I used the pocket envelope I already had.

 

coupon-organizer-open

Here’s what I changed:  Instead of sorting the coupons into different sections of the binder by item type, I simply sort my coupons by store.  Since I only clip coupons that I know I’ll actually use, there’s less to file.  I have a much more defined and narrow list of products that I buy, and I generally don’t clip that many coupons.

So when I come across a coupon that I think I’ll use, I just pop it into the store envelope where I usually buy it.  How simple is that?  This way, I can eliminate coupons randomly floating around my purse or house and contain them all in this pocket envelope.

Here’s how I maintain this system: I don’t do meal planning based on coupons anymore, so I generally flip through the coupons while I’m in line or as I’m shopping.  Close to the end of the month, I go through the pockets and see what coupons will be expiring soon and plan to use them.  Easy peasy!

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