Organizing your Grocery Coupons

So this week I had planned to talk about preparing for each week’s shopping trip. Then I realized it would be more helpful to talk about getting yourself and your coupons organized. This way when you’re ready to plan your trips, you’ll have your coupons ready too!

Find a way that works for you

There are several ways to have your coupons organized, but you need to find out what works best for you. Since I started couponing, I’ve gone from having a simple white envelope, to a small photo sized divider, to my 3 ringed binder that I now use.

Yes, I am indeed one of those shoppers with the big binders that you may see while out shopping! It seems to work best for me. That way I always have all of my coupons with me, and they are organized how I want them.

Each week after I receive my coupon inserts from my paper, I cut out the coupons I think I will use before they expire. Then I organize them in my binder. The rest of the inserts I place in an accordion file. That way if I’ve missed a coupon along the way or I find a great deal on a coupon I know I didn’t clip, I still have it on hand in my inserts.

If you do choose to use a binder, I find it’s easiest to organize it by how your grocery store is laid out. Use tab dividers and separate sections for products such as dairy, produce, meats, frozen foods, snacks etc.

The “Clip Less” System

Now, some people will argue that it’s not necessary to waste time clipping coupons each week. They prefer a “clip less” system. When their inserts come each week, they simply write the date on the front of them, and file them in an accordion file. Then each week when they’ve planned their shopping trip, they simply pull the inserts out and clip the coupons they need for that week. (The sites like www.coupontom.com and www.couponmom.com will tell you which inserts have the coupons you need that week). With this system of coupon shopping, you’re only taking the coupons you need for that trip with you instead of hauling around a binder.

Again, the “clip less” system works for some people, but not all (like me!) Since I live at least 30 minutes from the stores where I coupon shop, I like to have everything with me. That way if I get to the store, and see something that is on sale or realize there is something I need while I’m there, I have all my coupons with me. I don’t have time to be making several trips out of town each week!

Bargain Buys

I’m not sure if it’s just my area, or if it’s all over, but there just haven’t been a lot of good deals out there lately! I’m hoping they start picking up, because I’m starting to run low on several items, and I’d hate to have to pay full price for something! If you’re in need of baby supplies, Target has some gift card promotions available this week. They also have cheap Kraft Velveeta Skillets (use 8/21 SS and a coupon from Target to get them as low as 50 cents!). At Walgreens you may find “free” Mitchum deodorant, cheap Colgate tooth paste, cheap Aussie or Herbal Essence Products, and cheap Sundown and Nature Made Vitamins. The sales at Target and Walgreens are both good through Saturday September 10th.

FatWallet tip: This post is part of an ongoing series of posts for the couponers and those who wanna be couponers! You may access all the posts on Shannen’s author page. Please be sure to check out the grocery coupons and deals forum here on FatWallet to get great deals and connect with other couponers!

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