Money: Organize coupons according to your lifestyle

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COUPON TIME: Organize your coupons in a way that makes using them easy, so you can reap the money-saving rewards.

Now that you have your Sunday coupons comes the hard part! Which organizing system will you use? The good thing is that there are so many great organizing options out there to match anyone’s busy lifestyle. Following are a couple of the most popular methods.

Using an accordion file or a wallet
When I first started clipping coupons, I started out with a small accordion file system. You can find these at your local pharmacy or grocery store in the paper product aisle. You can choose to have a small portable file system or a larger one to carry with you. I would recommend that you purchase a plastic one, which is much more durable than the paper ones. Use each pocket to store your coupons and divide them up into categories such as:




Health and beauty

Baby products


Baking needs


Cleaning aides

Frozen foods











Paper products

Now, on the top of each divider tab mark your categories in dark, easy-to-read font so when you are in a hurry in the grocery store you will know exactly what each category says. I also tend to keep the front pocket free to store a pair of scissors, my shopping lists and a highlighter to mark off what I have already purchased.

Envelope method
A lot of people in my area use this system. To organize your coupons this way, simply take as many envelopes as you need for the categories you want. On the front of the envelope in black, bold marker you mark the category that envelope is to be used for. Then store your coupons inside the envelopes in the proper categories. These then can be easily stored in an old shoe box, a Rubbermaid tub or an accordion file folder. The one downfall I have personally run into is that it’s easy to accidentally misplace an envelope, and then you are out all those wonderful coupons you clipped.

Binder method
This is my preferred choice for organizing and storing coupons. I went to the office supply store and purchased a cheap 1½-inch-wide binder. Then I purchased plastic baseball card holders and a child’s fabric pencil holder with a zipper. I put this at the front of my binder and added scissors, pens, highlighters, a calculator and my rebate forms inside for easy location.

You may also want to purchase a zipper binder to help make sure you don’t lose anything! I also purchased plastic divider pages for the binder, and that is how I marked off my baseball pages. Simply mark on each tab for each category you need, and then allow a page or two per category. Now what I do is write on each section of the baseball card pages A-C, D-G and so on, so that I am marking off my pages by the alphabet. So when I need to find a coupon for Dawn detergent I would go to the “Cleaning Supplies” tab and look under the D-G tab for my Dawn coupon. Another popular way of sorting your pages rather than alphabetic is by expiration date.

Recipe box
This is a good standard way of organizing your coupons. Use a simple plastic recipe card file box or even a small shoe box, and add the tabbed dividers. On the dividers, clearly mark in bold your categories, and then just sort the coupons that way. Buy a large enough box that will allow you to store scissors, pens and a calculator.

Angie Wenke is the owner of Frugal WAHMs Talk Radio and Heartland Graphics. She is also a work-from-home mom of two beautiful girls in the St. Louis area.

Article source: www.LadyPens.com.