I mentioned in an earlier post that I've learned a lot of tricks for saving a lot of time on managing the organization of coupons.
In this post, I'll show you how I manage multiple coupon inserts, how to organize your coupons, and how do do all this in as little time as possible.
First, pull all the inserts from all the newspapers you bought, and separate them into like piles.
Pick one pile to begin with. Tear the inserts apart and stack all the like coupons together in piles.
Staple each coupon through the picture on the coupon. Don't staple through the writing or the bar code. The written information on the coupon is used by the store to get reimbursed for the coupon, and you need the bar code intact so it will scan at checkout.
Clip all those coupons at once. Don't cut off the expiration date or too close to the bar code. I tend to trim my coupons close so they fit into the inserts I use in my binder. Sometimes you have to fold them in half to get them into your binder, so don't worry about that.
As a coupon newbie, I cut out every coupon. Now there are some coupons that I know I'm not going to use, so I don't put them into my binder. I would suggest keeping all of your coupons, even if you don't think you'll use them.
Sometimes you'll find a great deal on an item that you will try if it's cheap or free. Other times, you'll be able to donate the item. Reserve your judgment about whether you'll use a coupon for now.
A lot of people are brand loyal when they start but find out that they like the products with coupons even better. If you don't like it, you can donate it, or hold onto it until your next garage sale.
I sort my clipped coupons into two piles.
One pile is for the coupons I file in my binder. The other is for the coupons that do not go into my binder.
The ones I don't think I will use go into a file folder until they expire, just in case there's a crazy sale or deal on the item.
The pile that I am filing in my binder go into a basket.
It takes me about two hours on Sundays to clip the newspaper coupons. Also, I don't file these coupons in my binder on Sunday.
There are almost always many new printable coupons that show up on Monday. I clip those out and throw them into the basket.
For that reason, I usually put my coupons in my binder on Tuesdays.
To save time on binder organization, I first sort all the coupons in into piles for each of the sections in my binder. I go through once and I'm done.
While you go through each section, be sure to pull out the expired coupons. This will keep your binder tidy and a manageable size.
Now your binder is ready for the week. Grab your shopping list and go!