Hands down, one of the best ways to shave money off of your grocery bill and other shopping is to use coupons wherever you can. However, even if you are collecting coupons, your strategy won’t be overly effective if you don’t have a system in place for how to organize coupons.
Here are some tips on how to organize coupons for maximum savings.
What is your couponing personality?
For a system to be effective, it needs to match your personality, goals, comfort level and organization style. If a system isn’t convenient or isn’t intuitive to you, you may not commit to it in the way that you need to save money.
Set up a binder
A very popular method of organizing coupons is to set up a binder. To start, make sure that you have a sturdy binder that is thick (3 inches at least). You need storage space. Ideally, having a binder that closes with a zipper is a good idea, because you can keep coupons from falling out.
Divide your binder with dividers labelled with your various categories (produce, meats, toiletries). Use sheets for photo albums or sheet protectors to store coupons. These are good because they are clear, and you can see what you need without rifling through. Consider using baseball trading card sleeves. They work well, too.
The folder method
If using a binder isn’t for you, an accordion file box works also. Simply label the tabs with the various categories and file coupons appropriately.
No matter what method you choose, make sure that you set aside time every week to do two things: source out new coupons and go through your stash to get rid of expired coupons.
Read the fine print to make sure that you are getting the deal that you think you are. When you are making up your shopping list for the week, make notations for coupon use, so that you don’t forget at the checkout.