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Monday, January 16, 2012

Grocery Saving Lesson 2 - Organize those Q's!

We started last week with the first installment of couponing tips.  You can see that post here.  I hope you bought your Sunday paper yesterday!  If not, you can probably still catch one today.

Now if you know me, you know I can do nothing until I am organized, and in the coupon world, organization is key! Here are a few ideas and tips on how to keep up with all of the coupons you will be accumulating.

* Tip #1 - Envelopes - I started 6 years ago with envelopes labeled for each month. In the envelope I put coupons expiring within the labeled month. Before you head out to the store, check through your coupons and take out those you need. You can also see if you want to use any that may expire that week. This is a great way to get your feet wet.

* Tip #2 - Accordion File - This was my next stage of organization. I kept a 13 pocket file in my purse, labeled with common grocery categories (cans, breakfast, baby, frozen , etc.). This was nice because I always had all my coupons with me.

* Tip #3 - Binder - I have graduated to a Big Mama Binder now, due to the abundance of coupons I collect.
-I bought a zippered binder with pockets on the inside to hold little scissors, a calculator, and a pen. The outside has a small accordion section I use to hold store fliers, meal planning calendars, etc. (we'll get to that fun later!). This was $10 at Target.
-Next, you get a bundle of baseball card holder pages in the sporting good section (also Target for $10).
-Organize your coupons into categories (like Tip #2) and use binder dividers to label them and pop those coupons into baseball card slots.
**Endurance my friends! Getting this set up is a bit of a chore, but I promise, once it is done, you will be a happy clipper!

* Tip #4 - Before you head out to the store, choose which coupons you will use and pull them out. I transfer coupons I plan to use to an envelope. You can also bring your extra labeled envelopes, file, or binder if you want, just in case!

* Tip #5 - I have recently reorganized my coupon organizing...again.  I still use the big binder, but I found the baseball card slots a bit time consuming for the amout of coupons I clip.  Instead, I have a clear, plastic paper sleeve for each category.  I just pile those q's in as I clip the.  For me, this is easier and takes way less time.  After I make my grocery list for the week, I pull out the coupons I need and slip them into an accordion file I keep in my purse.  This file is labeled by store "Target", "Kroger", etc.  I put the shopping list and coupons for each store I'm headed to in the appropriate file and I'm off!  This method has saved me tons of time tracking down coupons in the store.

As I've said before,  I'm not expert!  So please, if you have another method you love, share!  Happy clipping!

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