Thursday, November 11, 2010
How I Orangize Coupons
I have been trying to get into couponing for the last year. It has been fun, a struggle, and not as rewarding as I thought it might.
But, I realized that even though NONE of my area stores double coupons (I have called every store within a 100 mile ratius), I am saving money. Just not as much as some of the "coupon goddesses" can. :)
So, over the last year I have tried several ways of keeping my coupons organized. I hate when things aren't organized, it just drives me nuts.
I used to have our dvds organized in alphabetical order, and I loved it! The compulsion to organize the dvds went out the window, though, when I was doing it 3-4 times a day after Jack learned to crawl. Not fun.
Anway, so I will share with you the methods of organization I have tried over the last year and my thoughts on its effectiveness.
First, a ziploc bag. No good. I spent so much time trying to find the coupon I needed that I got tired of it, real quick.
Second, a binder with baseball card pages. Eh, not a fan. Like I said before, I like things in order and it was SO difficult to keep this organized. Every time I used a coupon I would have to adjust the others so I could maintain order. Don't even get me started on adding coupons. Talk about a nightmare. Plus, it is such a big thing to cart around with you. Having 2 babies, plus the binder, didn't leave much room for the items I wanted to purchase.
Third, a small blue organizer. It was alright. I organized the coupons by department, and that just doesn't work (at least for me). I would still spend a lot of time searching for a coupon because I found an unadvertised sale.
And finally, my favorite (so far), a index card box! I made my own "file" because I didn't have the insert you can buy (when I get an idea, I just run with it...and waiting for a trip to the store just didn't sit well with me. HAHA!).
Success! I get my coupons alphabetized. Failure, I still didn't know what coupons I had. :(
At this point I realized I needed to create a spread sheet of all my coupons. That way, when I am at the store, I can simply look at my spread sheet (on my phone....or in print. It just depends on if my husband used all the ink, again.) and know, at a glance, whether I had a coupon. :)
It works like a charm.
Yes, I know what you might be thinking....that is a lot of work. But, it only took me about 2 hours of interrupted work to organize all 175 coupons I currently have on hand. You could even make quicker work of the spread sheet by finding a web-site that "previews" the upcoming weeks ad. Simply copy and paste, and you have your coupons updated. (Here is a great web-site!)
So, that's how I organized my coupons. How do you? Do you have any tips for me?