There are a lot of different ways to organize your coupons. I have tried to cut my coupons all out and put them in a binder, or arrange them into little organizers. I have clipped, and alphabatized and my biggest complaint I had was the TIME it took to do all these things. Cutting out every coupon alone took me about 30 minutes and organizing them took even longer. As a busy mom of 4 kids I needed something quick and easy.
So here is a wonderful method I use that will take you less than 2 minutes each week!! It is the hanging file method and it is what I would recommend doing above all else for beginners. It saves so much time. First purchase a hanging file box or drawer system. I found this one at Walmart for around $4 and a pack of hanging file folders there as well for around $5. You will only need 4 folders to begin! Have the tabs on them say: (1) SmartSource (2) Red Plum (3) P & G (Procter & Gamble) and (4) Misc.
Then you will want to take the inserts out of the Sunday paper and stack “like” inserts together. Make a pile of all the SmartSource inserts. Then a pile of the Red Plum ones. And then P&G ones once a month. Take a thick marker and write the date on the front cover of each insert.
Take the stack and place into its folder. Place the newest stack of inserts on the top, close the folder and file them away. After about 5 months, the majority of coupons in the insert will be expired, so at that point you would take the coupons and recycle them. Then once you reach 5 mos, every week you add a new stack of inserts, you throw out a stack of old ones at the same time.
Use the Misc. folder for things like Internet Printables, Fast food coupons, or other great coupons you find.
And that is it! It takes hardly any time at all to file away your inserts. So now you ask, “Well how will I know when to use the coupons in them? I cant see them!” You can go to my store lists and the list will tell you what coupons you will need that week and what date they are at. You can make yourself a personalized shopping list by clicking on each item you would like from each store.
For example the list will say I need to get some Quaker granola bars coupons that were in the 3/17 SS (SmartSource). So I will go to my file system, open it up to that date and cut out my coupons. Its so easy and saves tons of time!
Food is my love language. But so is saving money. So I like to combine the two a lot and make thrifty make ahead and freeze meals to save time. Because life is busy, and freezer meals can come to the rescue for all of us. And yes, they actually CAN taste good. Read more...