Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Organizing your Coupons

Although this blog was made for a way to help everyone find all sorts of deals, couponing is probably going to be the main focus of the blog. I will try to point out any good deals I find in any way of saving money but for the most part it will be about couponing.

So, with that in mind, once you start accumulating coupons, you'll quickly find out that you are going to need to come up with something to organize your coupons with. There are all sorts of ways to go about organizing them and the most important thing is that you do what works for you. For me I feel a little funny carrying around a great big binder with all of my coupons in it so I wanted to use something that I could fit in my big diaper bag and then pull out just the store envelope while in the store. That way I always have all my coupons with me but I'm not flashing it to the world.

Money Saving mom has a great way of organizing coupons that I have been working on for my own organizing of coupons. She has individual envelopes for each store and each category she wants to use and then organizes them alphabetically in a container. I have done this same thing and used categories as well as a few subcategories as she describes. For instance, Money Saving Mom has a "Baby" category and then within that category she has: Diapers, Products, wipes. I have a "Cleaning" category and then within that category I have: Bathroom, Kitchen, All-purpose cleaners.

Below is a list of some of the categories that I use for my own organizing system. For more categories there is a fuller list you can see by clicking Here to see Money Saving Mom's elaborate list.

Baking (flour/sugar, Oil, premade mixes)
Baby (wipes/wash, Diapers)
Body (Wash, Spray, Cleanser, soap)
Cleaning (Bathroom, Kitchen, All-purpose)
Clothing Stores
Craft/Fabric Stores
Dairy (beverage, cheese, butter, yogurt)
Hair (shampoo/conditioner, stylers)
Medicine (medications, first aid)
Jelly, Peanut Butter
Office Supplies
Paper Products (facial tissue, cups/plates, toilet paper, towels/napkins)
Salad Dressing/Sauce
Oral- (Toothpaste, Toothbrush, Mouth wash)

Pick and choose whatever categories work for you. When I first started out I only picked about 6 categories so it wasn't so overwhelming and then the more I get into couponing the more categories I am picking up. Use whatever works for you and don't get overwhelmed.

Now, when I make out my grocery lists for the week I divide my list for each store I will be going to to get the food/products I need. I put the coupons I'll be using in each of the store envelopes (Walmart, Smith, Albertsons, Walgreens, Riteaid) along with a list of what I will be getting at each store. I also always bring a calculator or use my cell phone calculator and a pen with me to keep track of what is going into my cart.

Having a list of items to purchase will save you money and time when going to the store and then combined with using your coupons you will see very quickly how much your grocery bill can go down. Because of couponing we are now able to get our toothpaste, shampoo, toilet paper, cleaners, deodorant, razors, and many more food items and baby items for FREE or almost free just by using a little planning before heading out to the store.

For more ideas on organizing coupons you can find a really good Binder system from Here or if you don't have time to make your own coupon organizer you can order a container from by clicking Here for a pretty reasonable price.

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