Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Coupon organization

Some people have asked about getting started with couponing.  It's so simple to do and really requires such little time when compared to how much you can save.  The first step, for sure, is getting organized!
I have included some photos of my binder... I know, you're thinking "I have to carry around this big binder into the store while I shop?!'  No, you don't have to, but it's so worth it!  And it's fun to count the looks you get, haha.

This is my second binder, my first one busted at the seams.  I am looking for a good one with some good pockets and holders on the inside now that I've gotten so into this.
If I know I am going to be stopping by a store, I load my binder up with me and the kiddos.
Right on the inside you will find my ads and some clear pockets.  The first thing I do when I read an ad is circle with my black sharpie all the good deals, later it's easier to see what coupons to match from my binder.  In the clear pockets I have some envelopes.  One for each store I frequent and one for coupons that need to be filed away.  This helps me to be able to see everything right away.  In each store envelope I include a shopping list along with the corresponding coupons.

In a separate clear folder I keep all my CVS coupons from their "special" machine and my ECBs.  If your unfamiliar with the ECB concept check out this post from a fellow couponer.  I have to say this is my favoritest way to save money... almost always guarantees some free products!

Then you get to the meat of the binder... the coupons!  I use baseball card pages.  You can get them almost anywhere now.  I think I got mine at Target and WalMart... had to restock.
After you cut the coupons out, they fit pretty nicely, although you can tell from this picture some need to be folded.  That's fine, the important thing it that you can tell what product it is, the value, and the expiration.  I have seen some binders that put cut index cards so you can use both sides of the page.  Great idea, I just don't do that.

When organizing your tabs, do what works for you.  I use categories.  So, I have cleaning items as you see in the picture, baby items, cold foods, meat, condiments, canned goods, bake goods, Target... and it goes on for a while.  I read where one lady did hers alphabetically.  The key is you know your mind and what works for you.  There's no right or wrong way.

So, that's it, in a nut shell.  So simple.  The most important thing to remember is to do what works for you.  No one told me to use the clear folders in the front, but I do it because it helps me to organize everything.
I hope this helps with any questions you have about getting started.  Gotta start somewhere... so go get a binder and some card holders and start clipping already!
A friend of mine has a great blog where she posts her great deals... Here is a post that will help you get started.

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