Here are some common household items you can use to help keep your coupons organized.
Highlight the expiration date with yellow marker.
Alekscat the frugal feline in Richmond,VA
I have any envelope for each month and sort by expiration date. This way I can use them before they expire.
I make my own zipper pouch (fake leather vinyl) for my coupons, I punched two holes, inserted a gromet and used a leather thong so I can slip it over my shoulder if I want to. I do not carry a purse. Determine the size that best works for you! Save the envelopes that you get with bills, seal the flap inside the envelope, and label the type of coupon you put in it. Then put the envelope into your coupon pouch, with the address facing the back. You can use these to section your coupon pouch. You can also reuse some of your incoming mail envelopes too! Add some scotch tape at the top edges for stability, since you will be thumbing through them often. Keep the labeling simple" i.e. Candy, Beverage, Bakery Items, Canned and Jar Items, Frozen Food, Meat & Cold Products, Ice Cream, Miscellaneous and boxed items, Soap and Household items, Paper Goods, Personal Items, and FREE Coupons. Don't worry about expiration dates because you always get new ones. Once a month while watching TV, sort your coupons and discard the expired ones.
Most Important: Be sure to keep your coupon pouch under the front seat of your car (or in your glove box), so you will "always" have the coupons with you. You never know when you might need them!
I use a kangaroo ziploc bag. It hold my coupons in one pouch, frequent shopper cards in another and receipts in another. It is stuck to my fridge with a magnet!
A way I save time and keep from wasting coupons is to scour the grocery ads as soon as they come in. I have a list that I keep with different stores' names listed in different sections (only ones that aren't too far). When I see an item on sale that I use, I go through my coupons and hopefully find one, then paperclip the coupon on the paper under the store's name. I make a grocery run once a week and hit all of the stores close by and save lots of money.
Always leave your clipped coupons in the car. This way you will always have them on hand when you need them, not at home.
I keep my coupons in a coupon divider (small accordion). I label specific foods/areas under their section, dairy, cleaning, pet, etc... When I first cut them out, I write the expiration date with a flair pen on the coupon so I can readily see it when in a hurry. Then I divide and file in specific area in my case, Then in each section, I paper clip the coupons expiring in the current month. I like having the coupons in section, so I don't have to constantly go through the whole batch. I can then take my coupon case to the store, in case something I use often is on sale, I can go ahead and cash it in and get two bargains in one, if I have a coupon for it. I have lost out so many times that this seems to work for the whole family.
By Karen -N.C.
A great tip to help sort through your coupons and compare to the store sales flyer, check out the website, http://www.cutouthunger.org/. Through this web site at no cost, you can browse a listing of your local coupons as well as a local grocery store and see what savings you can find. It really cuts out a lot of time of sorting and comparing.
Buy a coupon organizer and keep coupons organized by product and date. Go through it weekly when you add new coupons so that you can use the ones that will expire soon.
Need a place to put store coupons until you get them separated and filed? Take the bottom cardboard portion from a loaf of Velveeta Cheese, and glue expired coupons until all surfaces are covered on all sides, overlapping them at angles to cover. Use household glue. When thoroughly dried, keep this easy to locate box somewhere in your kitchen. You'll never again have to hunt for where those loose coupons are, it lasts for years and will accommodate even those extra long coupons. Even someone who doesn't read well will recognize this box for what its intended purpose is!
Organize coupons by date in their separate compartments. This will help you keep from missing expiring ones.
I use a baby wipes box with alphabet dividers. I've used the same box for 12 yrs and the lid is just about ready to leave the box. I don't have any more babies so I don't what I will use next. I'm not sure the wipe boxes come with the full lid anymore - I think they just have the cut out center.
Alphabetically file food categories in a small index card size box, using color tabbed dividers. Example/Breads, Beverages, Canned Goods, Dairy. I also store store coupons in back and clean out the expired coupons once every month.
I keep all of my coupons in a folding wallet and have them in alphabetical order as to what type of product they are ex: cereal, condiment, meat, pasta. This way whatever store I go into I have my products in some sort of order for quickness.
I finally found a coupon system that works for me. I put sheet protectors in a 3 ring binder, after clipping open the sealed edges of the protector. I separate these into sections as they are in the grocery store: Produce, canned items, prepared foods, breakfast foods, etc. (Use what works for you). Then I cut out coupons every week and tape them onto the sheet proctors. I can easily see which coupons I have and don't have to flip through them one at a time as they are on an 8 1/2 x 11 inch sheet and I can see many at once. For some reason, I use many, many more coupons this way and often save 50% off of my grocery bill.
If you get the sheets used for baseball cards, you can just fold the coupon and slip it into a pocket - you won't have to tape the coupons to sheet protectors. The baseball card sheets are already hole- punched so you can fit them in a notebook. Then you can use tabbed dividers to separate the sheets into categories. (11/14/2006)
I use a thin photo album for 4 x 6 prints; the ones that hold about 20 prints. I slip the coupons that I want to use into each page as though they were in page protectors. I keep this little album in my purse and can easily flip through it at the store as I shop and find the coupons that I need. Now I don't forget the coupons at home anymore and I can keep coupons of different sizes all organized in one album. (02/20/2008)
I just use regular long envelopes, (like what you mail your bills off in). I've cut off the tops of these, and labeled them alphabetically, I purchased a plastic box about the size of a shoe box, and I keep them in there. I also have sub-categories in some of the letters that have many coupons (I organize by brand name, not category) My subcategories are, Food, Medicine, Beauty, Dog Food, Cleaning. I buy several papers, the coupons I'll make multiple purchases on, I cut out several and file, the other inserts, I just keep whole. (08/15/2008)
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