My grandmother is the one that first introduced me to the world of coupons when I was just a child. I would remember her planning her grocery trip on a Friday for the next morning. She would pull down her brown box full of coupons. They were just paper clipped by category and thrown in the box. But it worked for her. She would pick up the canned goods and look through them for what she needed and then on to health and beauty and so on. She wasn't power couponing but she was still able to attain savings that made a difference for her.
Today, couponing has exploded to new realms; one that my grandmother just would not believe if she were here today. The amount of coupons collected by our household alone would overwhelm her. The method she used just wouldn't work, at least not effectively. So how do you organize your coupons? Do you follow my grandmother's method or something similar? Or do file your coupons in file folders? Maybe you use a coupon binder? There are definitely several ways to organize your coupons and no one way is the RIGHT way. The RIGHT way is the way that works best for you. The key is to have a WAY and to BE ORGANIZED!
Basic Categorical Organization
We will first start these lessons on organization with the simplest and most basic way of coupon organizing. This method simply follows that of what my grandmother did so many years ago. Simply organize your coupons by the category they fit into. This method is a good choice for those simply beginning the couponing process. In fact, this was how it all began for us several years ago.
With this method, you clip the coupons from the insert and then categorize them. I recommend when you categorize them that you do so based on the store layout of the store you grocery shop at the most often. This way your coupons are organized to flow with your walk through your grocery store. Here are some suggested categories:
Once you have your coupons organized by category I would organize each category by expiration date. Put the coupons that will expire first at the top of the category stack and the latest expiration date last. This will help you to not miss the use of a coupon before it expires.
This way of organizing is very basic but it still works for many and the most important thing is it keeps your coupons organized and easy to find for use. In our next session we will step it up a bit and build off of this method and discuss the use of a coupon binder and the pros and cons of categorical organization of coupons.