How to organize your coupons is probably one of the most common questions I am asked, but for me the hardest to answer. I think you have to find the way that works for you in order to make couponing work. What works for one person may not work for another. It wasn’t until recently (and I have been couponing for a few years now) that I found my perfect way. I invited some Coupon Connections readers over for an organizing party and my dear reader Sarah started filing her coupons away using envelopes and a box. I was instantly intrigued and asked her all kinds of questions. Well guess what…she was the first one done with all her sorting and cutting. I was sold!
1. She was done quickly. She did not have to flip the pages of a binder to find the correct category and everything was neat and tidy.
2. Envelopes hold all different sized coupons
3. The box she had has a lid and a handle; so nice and convenient to carry in the store
4. It fits perfectly in the front of the cart (your new baby if you will) and if you have to put it in the main cart area it hardly takes up space.
5. Envelopes, index cards and box are CHEAP!
1. I could no longer SEE the coupons. I am visually oriented and like being able to see them through the baseball card holders
2. Possible box FAIL. My box could very well fall on the ground and I’d have a big coupon “yard sale.”
In my case, the pros outweigh the cons, so the next day I hopped into my Eurovan and dashed to Big Lots. The total cost for envelopes and index cards was about $3. I couldn’t find the Sterlite container, but luckily I ended up finding one at Rite Aid and I was able to use my + Up Rewards. Bonus!
Are you ready? How to make a coupon box:
::First you need the Sterlite container. Here is one on Amazon, but this is pretty pricey. Hopefully you can get a deal at Rite Aid or Target. If you are not ready to invest, use a shoe box.
::Next, you will need several envelopes. Get enough to cover A-Z (Size depends on your box) and cut the flaps off the envelopes like so:
::Decide on your categories. Personally I sort mine by manufacturer. This just makes sense to me. Do what works for you. I also have additional envelopes for store coupons: Target, Albertsons, Safeway etc.
::Write your categories on Index Cards and slip them inside the envelopes with the labels facing you.
::Decide if you are going to cut EVERY coupon or just the ones you think you will use. Hard question to answer? Ask yourself this: If it was free would I use it? If the answer is yes, cut the coupon. Any coupons I don’t think I will use just go into a box. Don’t throw them away until they expire.
::BONUS ROUND! Fast way of cutting up inserts- I personally receive 8 delivered papers. So I will cut through the seams and stack the like pages. I staple the coupons together and cut. Much faster than one at a time. And vwa-lah! In a perfect world I would do this every Sunday to stay caught up.