Organizing your Coupons with Confidants

 

Whether you have just started out, or have been at it for some time, coupon organization is one of the most important parts of couponing.  Knowing where to find the coupons you need for a particular deal is crucial and will save you time along with money! Tried more than one method? Don’t sweat it.  Most of us have tried numerous ways.  Here we are going to discuss a few popular methods out there for organizing your coupons.  Keep in mind, these can be tweaked to best fit your needs.  It’s best to play with a couple methods and see what fits you best. So, let’s get started!

The Binder Method

the binder for coupon confidants

This is by far one of the most popular ways to organize out there.  You would get your weekly newspapers, tear the pages and matchup all of the same ones, and clip your duplicates at the same time.  (Stapling them helps to keep them from shifting while you are cutting to avoid those disastrous accidental cutting of barcodes or expiration dates, GASP)  Once you have done this, you would then file them into your binder which you can categorize by products, I.E. laundry, canned foods, pets, hair & soap, personal care, etc. Some also choose to organize alphabetically by name brand, like we said before, this is your chance to do it just how you want.

PROS

  • Very easy to find all your coupons instantly while at home doing a deal or even in the store for those spur of the moment clearance racks!
  • Very portable to have with you on every trip.

CONS

  • This is very time-consuming, especially if you are getting a lot of coupons weekly.
  • Getting them to fit into the baseball card holders can be a pain, although there are other sizes out there to order.

 In the beginning, the binder method may work out like a gem, because when you are first starting out, you don’t have an abundance of coupons….yet. As weeks go on, the inserts will start piling up.  This is when some newbies get frustrated and start to become overwhelmed.  At this point, it might be time to try our second method.

Filing Inserts whole

filing inserts method coupon confidants

Filing is one of the fastest ways to get your weekly coupons put away.  You get your weekly inserts and place them in hanging file folders and label.  Boom! Done! Sounds great right?  Well, now it’s time to pull out your coupons to get ready for that big trip you’ve been planning.  This where the frustration and overwhelming feelings come into play with this method.  Some coupons are regional, so you pull out I.E. Smart Source 3/29/2015 for your ABC laundry coupon and it’s not there, because it didn’t come in the inserts you received.  Also, sometimes the coupon you are looking for is only in SOME of your weekly inserts that week, which is actually more common than you think.  I’ve been on a hunt for one specific coupon and it not be in the first three inserts I’ve scanned through, and then find it    in the fourth.  This is where your time is consumed instead of in the clipping and organizing portion of couponing.

PROS

  • Very quick and easy way to get your coupons organized and put away.
  • Easy to find the weeks you are looking for quickly and efficiently.

CONS

  • This is no way portable.  It’s heavy!
  • You would be missing out on clearance and spur of the moment deals.
  • A little heart break every time you realize you don’t have that regional coupon.

Photo albums Method

photo album method confidants

 

      This is a new method becoming very popular and I have to admit, I am tempted to try it.  You would be cutting all coupons just like you would with the binder method.  Instead of squeezing and folding them into those pesky little baseball card holders, you would have a number of different photo albums, (which you can score really cheap at any dollar store) and placing them into the sleeves of each album.  On the spine you can organize by categories.  I.E., Personal care, canned goods, laundry, frozen, etc.  With this method, you can usually fit two different coupons per page.  You still have the portability as you do with a binder, but you get a discreetness with this method.  You won’t be getting as many, look at the crazy coupon lady, looks.

PROS

  • Portability for those clearance deals we keep mentioning.
  • Easy to find what you are looking for when planning a deal or spur of the moment.
  • All coupons are clipped and ready to go.

CONS

  • Time consuming as you are still clipping ALL of your coupons.

The hybrid binder

hybrid binder coupon confidants

This method has become one of my favorites.  Starting with your weekly inserts, you would separate every page and match them up.  (Having a big surface area helps with this)  Tearing apart and matching all pages in piles.  Now, instead of stapling and cutting all coupons, you will just staple alike pages and place them in full sheet protectors in your binder.  If there is a “junk page” (non coupon page) on one side, then you can put additional like pages on the reversed side, saving space.  These are filed by SS, PG, or RP and by date.  With this method, you can flip through like reading a book and see all the coupons you have available at all times.  This cuts the organizing time down and it also does the same for the finding deals part.  I have come to love this method as it is still somewhat portable.  It might not be something you would like to be seen in the store with, but it is something you can have in your car, so when you are in the store and see that awesome clearance deal, you have the option of going out to the car and quickly clipping what is needed, as you will already have them stapled together.

PROS

  • Organization time has been brought down significantly
  • Pulling and find specific coupons time has also been brought down
  • Some what portable for keeping in the car or if your lucky like me and get to coupon at work.

CONS

  • This is still heavy if you get a lot of coupons like myself

These are just some of the many methods out there.  Who knows, you may come up with one that you find fit just for you.  That is what this is about.  Finding a method that works for you and makes this enjoyable.  Remember, this is supposed to be a fun AND save you money.  If it becomes too overwhelming, it may start to seem like work.  Not getting discouraged is what is important to keep you looking forward to new deals and starting a stockpile for your family.  Any of these methods can be tweaked and tinkered with to fit your lifestyle.  So get out there and try some of these methods and let us know what your favorite is.  Sharing our ideas is what makes our couponing community so fun!