Sunday, January 3, 2010

My coupon organizer

   If you read any number of coupon blogs, you will see many different ways people organize their coupons. If you are going to use coupons every week and aim to save more than you spend, you will need some kind of system that works for you.

   Here is what I was using:

It worked for a while until I started getting doubles of each's weeks coupons and made couponing more of a lifestyle change than an occassional habit. I got frustrated because there was no way to organize the coupons within each section. Once I got frustrated, it was over. If I don't enjoy what I'm doing and it becomes a chore, then I need to step back because a frustrated mommy makes everyone's lives miserable.

I knew I needed something so I could see what I had. I liked the idea of a binder and was thinking I wanted to use something like what baseball card collectors use. So, I took a trip to Office Depot to see what I could find.

Here's what I created: (And, no, it's not new, many people use this and you can even buy them premade online but it was easy to just do it myself.)
I started with a 1 inch 3-ring binder since I had an empty one laying around. I ended up going back to Office Depot to get a 1.5 inch binder because it's roomier. I bought pages for business cards and 3.5x5 photos. each slot is for one item but not neccesarily the same coupon. For example, right now, I have 8 coupon for Glade candles. Some are BOGO, some are save $2 when you buy 2, ect but they are all for Glade candles. They are all in one slot. It makes stacking and stocking up so easy!

   Another reason you need to make something that works for you is so you can seperate the coupons into groups you will use. The small organizer only had 13 sections which, I learned, wasn't enough for me.

My tabs are labeled as follows
  • Baby
  • Baking/Cooking
  • Beauty (This is for lotion, makeup, ect, not bath stuff)
  • Bread
  • Breakfast
  • Cleaning
  • Dairy
  • Dessert
  • Drinks
  • Fruit
  • Meat
  • Medicine - Adult
  • Medicine - Child
  • Paper Products
  • Pasta/Rice
  • Pizza
  • Snacks
  • Soup/Sauce
  • Toiletries
  • Veggies
  • Non-grocery/Misc
Within each section, I can organize further since everything has a page. Within toiletries, I can keep toothbrushes, toothpaste, ect on one page. Deodarant on another and so on and so forth. I work better with over the top organization so if that doesn't work for you, find something that does. My brain works logically and methodically so I needed something that required little thought.

Good luck on a new year of saving money!!!