When I first started I was a total mess. I would clip the coupons for the brands I liked and throw the rest away. UGH I cringe typing this. I kept them in my wallet, and rarely knew what I had. Not very organized, and not efficient at all!
There are tons of different organization techniques out there.
* Binder Method: You need a 3-ring Binder (at least 1 inch or bigger depending on your coupon stash), Plastic Tab Dividers, Baseball Card inserts. I found Baseball card inserts at Walmart, Target, And Kmart. Divide your coupons into categories that work for you. Heres what I have:
Health & Beauty
Cleaning & Paper Goods
I really need to break down my categories more, but it works for now. You could also do this Alphabetically if that works for you better. I go through my binder every Sunday and remove expired coupons. Then I clip the new inserts and insert them into their categories. I only keep coupons for products I use or would use if I can get it cheap enough. This is the method that works for me.
* Filing Whole Inserts: With this system you clip your coupons as needed. The easiest way to do this is to have a big folder for each insert provider (Smart Source, Red Plum, and PG). Use post-its to make tabs to mark the date of the insert on. Then they will be easy to access when needed. Theres also no missing a deal because you didn't save the coupon.
* Index Card Box: This Method is similar to the binder method. Cut the coupons that you think you will use or products you may be willing to try. Then organize them by category or alphabetically. I can see where this method could be problematic with coupons sticking together or being passed over. But it works for some.
If you have another coupon storage method let me know and I'll add it to the list. :)
Now lets fill you up with coupons!! The internet has coupons at your finger tips. Theres Coupons.com, Red Plum, and Smart Source. Also if you are a member of Facebook, often companies have coupons or giveaways on their page. Visit your favorite companies websites as well, alot of times there are coupon links on their websites. While your there send them a quick email about how much you love their products, I've received many free product coupons this way.
Then theres the good old fashioned Sunday News Paper. I recommend getting the largest paper you can buy in your area. Alot of time the small town papers don't receive all of the inserts. Mine doesn't, so I buy the Detroit Free Press. Sometime the USA today or the Parade magazines in the Sunday paper also have coupons, so make sure you always give it a look.
Look around your grocery store. Some stores have coupon books near their entrances. Theres also a little Machine called a "Blinkie", these have little red lights that blink and they give out coupons. This is a fun game for the kids, or husbands if you have a kid-like one like mine. Also sometimes there are tear pads, these are usually located near large sign age or product displays.
Walmart has a magazine they put out monthly called All You. This magazine is filled with coupons! Usually pretty high value ones. Also has money saving tips, recipes, and everything that a good magazine should. Check the magazine you already read too. I have found many coupons in Parents, Real Simple, and Family Circle.
Alot of stores are also going to mobile coupons. Target, JC Pennys, Old Navy, and Meijer all have some form of savings through text message. Plus it makes me feel loved to get a text, I know I'm a dork.
I know this is alot of information to take in all at once. But please bookmark this page and come back to it as needed. The most important thing to do when starting out is to take things slow. Its going to take a while to build up your coupon stash and its going to take a while to get in the groove. Just remember, any coupons you use is less money than you would have spent before.
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