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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Extreme Couponing: Organization

There are many ways to organize coupons, but the important thing is to have them organized. Planning out shopping trips is a much quicker process when you know exactly where your coupons are and can easily find the ones you want.
There’s no right or wrong way to organize, but here are my top picks:
1) Three-Ring Binder: This is a great way to organize whole coupon inserts. I keep all of my inserts intact until I am ready to use the coupon. This is perfect for those of you who follow the drugstore and grocery match ups which list coupons from specific inserts; keeping the coupons unclipped makes it easier to find a coupon listed in a match up.
There are a few ways to store your whole inserts in a binder. One easy way is to use a hole punch so that the binder rings can go directly through the inserts. However, this has the potential to damage coupons so my preferred method is to place the inserts in clear plastic sheet protectors. You can also keep clipped coupons (such as online coupons) in your binder by using trading/baseball card sheets.
To create your own coupon binder, you’ll need to organize the coupon inserts by date. You can find the date in very small print along the spine of the insert cover. I like to write the date across the front of the insert for easy reference later.
You can also use the 3 ring binder for your clipped coupons. You can quickly make your own binder by using a 3 ring binder I suggest 3inch rings, baseball card holders, and insertable tab dividers. Label your dividers by product category or store i.e. Baby, Baking, Frozen, Walgreens, CVS, etc. and you have your own coupon binder.
2) Accordion Folder: A large accordion folder is a good choice for those who clip all of their coupons in advance. You can use the various pockets to divide coupons up by category and keep them sorted by expiration date.
A small accordion folder is nice to use to actually bring into the store. It can also double as a great place to store ExtraCare Bucks and Register Rewards earned from CVS and Walgreens, as well as receipts.
Tip: look for accordion folders in the dollar section at Target toward the end of the summer.
3) The Couponizer: This is a fantastic organizer especially for the beginning couponer. The Couponizer is a complete set of tools designed to make saving money easy. It is made up of 18 category pockets for grocery coupons and other coupon and discount category pockets. The Couponizer includes a section for store loyalty cards, a shopping list, a CoupTracker (to keep track of your fabulous coupon savings!), and a pair of scissors. It also comes with a CoupStacker to store coupons that don’t fit into the Couponizer.
There are many options on how to keep your coupons separate and organized. I suggest that you do what feels and works best for you. Be sure to leave a comment below letting us know what you are currently using.

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