Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Change The Way You Shop In One Week! - Day Three

Ok, we have thrown everything we know about grocery shopping out the window. We have researched coupon resources. Now that we have a massive stack of coupon, we need to organize!
The only way to take advantage of the smoking deals out there is to be organized.

Do your coupons look like this?
It is time to get organized! There are a few different ways you can do this. There is no right way - it all depends on what works for you.

Here are the main ways I've seen coupons organized...

The Super Organized, Time Consuming Way
This method is where you sit down each week with your inserts and clip and file each one.


  • It takes you 10 seconds to find a coupon.

  • You can walk to the clearance section and flip right to the coupon you need.

  • I just LOVE the feeling of a fully organized coupon binder.

  • This method will take you HOURS, depending on how many inserts you have.

  • On average, a couponer only uses about 50% of their coupons, so you clip coupons you won't use

  • Binders only get so big ... and do you want to haul in a 5 inch binder?
When I started couponing, this was my organization method. I clipped every single coupon and filed it away under it's appropriate category. As you can imagine, this literally took hours. It started causing tension in my home because my life was being taken over with clipping coupons. I was spending ALL DAY Saturday clipping coupons. Loose coupons were stacked everywhere! And I couldn't go grocery shopping until the coupons were organized. It was a problem. It may work for you, but it didn't work for me.

Let's look at some more options...

The Less Involved Binder Way
This method is where you seperate your coupon inserts by page and put each stack of pages in sheet protectors, organized by date. While shopping, you reference a master coupon list (my favorite one is here at Pinching Your Pennies) to match up deals.


  • This is much less time consuming than Binder Method #2.

  • You still have the security of taking all your coupons into the store with you.

  • Depending on how many inserts you have, this is still time consuming.

  • You have to print a new master coupon list each week, which is usually around 20 pages long.

  • Again, binders only get so big ... and do you want to haul in a 5 inch binder?

The No Prep Time Way
This method requires about one minute of organization each week. Each insert is filed into a file folder by date and type of insert (Smart Source, Red Plum, P&G, etc.). I cannpt take credit for this method ... I stumbled upon it on Saving With Shellie's blog - click here for the entire description. I don't follow it exactly. For example, I don't highlight and attach the master coupon list to each folder. But this works for me!


  • This takes literally NO TIME each week.

  • You aren't wasting time clipping coupons you won't use.

  • You don't have the coupons in the store with you, unless you drag your file box along with you. (I leave all my coupons in my car, so if there is something I absolutely HAVE to have, I can run out to my car and grab the coupon.)

  • You have to print a new master coupon list each week, which is usually around 20 pages long.
You still have to have a seperate accordian file for your loose coupons like internet printables, tearpads, blinkies, etc. I absolutely recommend this coupon organization method. I have tried them all and this way works for me. But, as I said before, everyone has their own preferences and that is perfectly okay!

So, which method is for you?

Check back tomorrow for day #4 in this series … “Learn About Your Stores!"


  1. I actually use a different method and it really works for me. It's almost like binder method #2, except I punch 3 holes right in my coupon inserts and put them directly in the binder. They're easy to flip through that way. I also have internet on my phone, so I just pull up a coupon database on my phone, so I never have to print a coupon list.


  2. OH how I WISH I had an internet phone and could pull up lists while at the store! My savings would be thru the ROOF! Or atleast I choose to believe it would.

    Great tips Kim!


  3. Janae...
    Between my added savings at the store, and having GPS, (because I'm the most directionally challenged person EVER,) I feel I can justify the cost of a phone with internet! Or at least I choose to believe it!! ;)



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