How Do You Organize Your Coupons?
Along with changing my grocery shopping routine and method comes, of course, a change in the way I organize coupons.
For the past eight years, I have followed websites that ‘tell’ me, by way of posts, which items are at their lowest price, what coupon is available for the item, and where I can locate the coupon (or coupons, if there are more than one).
Since I have done my shopping using this method, I have not had to clip or organize coupons. Instead, I have kept the coupon booklets in an accordion file and when I find out what I want to buy I go to that particular week’s flyer, find the coupon, clip, and place with my list. Then I have carried this to the store when I shop, leaving the accordion binder at home. During my trip, I place the coupons I plan to use in a folded slip of paper or an envelope on top of my purse. Those I take but don’t use get shoved into my purse until I get home and can organize things back into the accordion file.
Not really an organized method for shopping.
Then I realized several months ago that I was over-buying. So I made some changes, which I’ve blogged about a few times. And one major change that I’m still working on is switching out that old accordion folder for a new (and very attractive looking!) coupon binder.
(Guess you are certifiably a coupon geek when you get excited about an attractive coupon binder!)
Why the switch? I’ve found when using the coupon sites that pair sales with available coupons I don’t always catch all of the sales. Maybe it’s because these sites don’t feel the item is at its rock bottom price and so they don’t list it. Maybe they don’t see the product in the flyer to match it up. Or maybe I overlook it as I create my list.
Whatever the reason, almost each time I shop I find some deals in the store that are not on my list. In the past my accordion folder has remained at home; hence, the need for a new coupon binder (and a pretty one at that!) that I can carry into the store for those ‘surprise’ deals.
There are pros and cons to carrying the new binder, of course.
Always have coupons on hand for surprise deals
If I forget to clip something at home I can do it when I get to the store
Bulky. This is much easier now that my kids are older and no longer sit in the seat of the cart. Not sure how this would work if they did!
Another thing to keep track of while in the grocery store
In the past I used a small coupon holder when I went shopping. I purchased the kind that fits in your purse and costs a dollar or two in the bargain bin at Target. It was a great way to keep my coupons with me while in the store, so they didn’t fall all over when I was shopping, but as an organizational tool it didn’t work. It was too small to hold all of my coupons. And it was too difficult to try to organize the coupons in the small holder (by date, like item, etc) because I have so many coupons.
We will see how the new system works.
In the meantime, how do you organize your coupons? How do you carry them with you when you grocery shop? Do you take along a large binder, or does the binder stay at home while you carry only the coupons you plan to use during your trip?
Image via iStock