Organizing Your Coupons Before Shopping

In order to be successful in couponing, you must stay organized. Knowing where to find one specific coupon out of 25 can be tricky, but it does not have to be.

 

Locate your coupons without putting in the unnecessary effort of rummaging through your bag. You will only grow tired of searching and realize that you’re taking too much time for a coupon that is not worth that much. There is little point in gathering coupons if you are not even using them to save you money. Keeping your coupons organized will save you both time and money. There are a variety of different methods and tips that you can use to organize your coupons. Find the one that works for you below.

Should you clip your coupons?

Clipping coupons is the process of cutting out coupons from a publication or flyer. Sometimes you end up clipping coupons you will not use. Other times will throw away coupons that you do not think you will need now but you might need later. There are individuals who carry around the entire flyer or insert with them, which contain a variety of coupons on one sheet of paper. While some may prefer this method, clipping coupons makes specific coupons easier to find without having to hold onto coupons you do not intend on using. Clipping allows you to better organize your coupons into specific categories. The practice also allows you to get rid of expired coupons faster. While many believe clipping takes up too much time, individuals who clip their coupons ahead of time actually save time later. These shoppers don’t have to scramble to find coupons or cut them out right before purchasing an item.

What are the best ways to store your coupons?

You may feel overwhelmed after you have gathered all your coupons. Do not let this stop you from acquiring as many coupon deals as you can. Eliminate clutter and the anxiety that comes with it by finding the best organization method suited for you.

Every organizational method has its advantages and disadvantages. Weigh out the pros and cons with the following ways to organize your coupons.

  • Coupon binders are ideal because they not only store your coupons but are portable enough to take with you to the grocery store. They keep your coupons neat and protect them from outside damage. The only drawback of this method is that it takes more time to clip and file them. You must also make sure to replace expired coupons regularly. Make your coupon binder using a large binder and plastic inserts. Buy plastic inserts with several pockets designed to provide archival storage. Buy a binder with extra pockets to store couponing necessities, like scissors, calculators and pens.
  • Accordion Files already provide individualized sections perfect for dividing coupons into categories. Some are flexible and are easier to transport in a bag, while others are more firm and take the form of a box. Simply place labels on the provided tabs to keep track of your coupons. The disadvantage of this storing method is that coupons tend to stick to each other and may be hard to see.
  • Couponizers are dynamic storage kits used for more than just storing coupons. They usually contain a coupon stacker with additional features like forms for shopping lists and coupon tracking, pre-printed labels, scissors and a carrying bag. However, kits do vary in size and the items they come with. Make sure you choose a couponizer suitable for your couponing needs.
  • Envelopes can be used to replace fancy folders and binders. Buy a box of envelopes and label each envelope with a coupon category. Store the envelopes in a shoe box, bag or folder. Before heading to the grocery store, take the envelopes you think you will need with you. The best part is that you do not have to take all the other coupons you do not need with you. The only disadvantage is that envelope paper can wear and tear faster than other protective materials. Make sure you handle these envelopes carefully.

What ways can you sort your coupons?

There is nothing worse than knowing you have a coupon for a specific product or store and not being able to find it. This is why sorting out coupons is important in making sure you utilize every deal. Consider the type of coupons you have. Are more of them store-specific or manufacturer-specific? If they are more store specific, like grocery coupons, then you may want to sort your coupons by store. Once you’ve sorted them by store, you may want to include subcategories within each store. You can be as extensive as you want to ensure a convenient shopping experience.

There are various ways you can sort coupons and how you choose to sort them is solely based on your preference. Choose from the following methods:

 

  • Sort by store if there are several stores that you shop at frequently. Make sure that the number of stores that you shop at exceed the number of coupons available for each store. If you have way too many coupons for each store, you will still have to scavenge through coupons just to find the one you want.
  • Sort by product type if you typically buy the same kinds of products. Examples of product types include cleaning supplies, frozen foods or pantry staples. This method is great for making trips to the store to only purchase a few items.
  • Sort by aisle to make your shopping trip more time efficient. This does require you to know where specific products are located throughout a store. If you’re shopping by aisle, you’re less likely to forget items.
  • Sort by expiration date to ensure that you utilize every coupon before it expires. If you have coupons for Kellogg products that are due to expire by the end of the week make sure to use them as soon as possible. You will want to keep these coupons towards the front of your binder so you remember to use them.

How do you take coupons on quick shopping trips?

If you are making a quick trip to Target to buy only kitchen supplies, you may not want to bring an entire coupon binder with you. However, there are other ways to store just a few coupons without carrying them in your purse or pocket. Invest in a portable zippered pouch and place index card dividers to separate your coupons by category. Buy a coupon organizer wallet that can be attached to your shopping cart handle and includes 24 tabbed paper dividers. Get creative and make your own portable coupon organizer by using a small photo brag book with post-it tabs and a label maker. If you are looking to shop in style, search for coupon organizer purses online.

How do you organize your digital coupons?

Having multiple coupon apps or just one with an array of coupons for different products and stores can be hard to keep track of. It can take up a lot of time looking for that one coupon you know you saved on your phone. If you use digital coupons, keep a paper or excel sheet that you can access by phone to keep records of your coupons. Record useful information like the coupon offer, expiration date, store or manufacturer and product type. This way, you can turn to the reference sheet and check if you have any useful digital coupons when shopping. In addition, you can take screenshots of your coupon offers and store them into digital folders. Simply create labeled folders on your smartphone’s photo album application. Label your folders by store, manufacturer or product type and reference these folders when you’re out shopping.

 

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