Saving money with coupons is very difficult, until you learn how to organize coupons. There are several different tools to help you, such as pre-made coupon organizers, coupon boxes, and coupon binders. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages. Therefore it is important to discover, which method of organizing coupons is best for you.
The simplest tool to use is a small pre-made coupon organizer, which can be purchased at most office supply stores. Such organizers contain dividers for different categories of groceries. The advantage of this tool is that it is small enough to fit in a purse. However, the size can also be a disadvantage. If you are a serious couponer, you may need something larger to store and organize coupons most effectively.
Some coupon gurus prefer to use a coupon box to organize coupons. You can make a coupon box from an ordinary shoe box. Choose a box that is wide enough for a standard, small, letter-sized envelope, yet small enough to fit in the seat of a grocery cart. Cut the flaps off of several envelopes. Place an index card inside each envelope. It should be standing up, so the top is sticking out of the envelope. Staple the card inside the envelope. Make one for each grocery category you wish to include in your coupon box. Write a different category on each index card. Place coupons for each category inside each envelope. The advantages of a coupon box are that it is large enough to accommodate a lot of coupons, and it is easy to quickly categorize coupons and place them in the envelopes. Also, a coupon box will conveniently fit in the seat of the grocery cart, allowing you to quickly find coupons while you are in the store. One disadvantage of a coupon box is that a lid typically will not fit on the box. If the box falls over, it could be disastrous. Additionally, there is no convenient way to carry a coupon box, if your hands are full of groceries. It is also hard to see each individual coupon within each category, unless you leaf through each individual coupon.
My preferred technique to organize coupons is to use a coupon binder. To make a coupon binder you will need to purchase a three-ring binder. A large zippered, binder with a strap makes the best coupon organizer. The zipper will help you to avoid losing any coupons that may fall out. A strap will make it easy to carry in and out of the grocery store, when your hands are full of groceries. You will also need to purchase tabbed dividers that will allow to you categorize different kinds of groceries. Baseball card sleeves make the best coupon holders. These sleeves are divided into 9 pockets on each page, and are generally loaded from the top. Insert a coupon into each pocket. I insert one in the front and one in the back. This doubles up on the amount of coupons that can be placed in each insert. I also place multiple copies of the same coupon in the same pocket. I try and place each coupon, so the identity of the product, the amount of savings, and the expiration date is easily visible. The advantages of using a binder to organize coupons are that it is large enough to hold a lot of coupons, and it is convenient to transport. Coupon binders also make it very easy to locate individual coupons quickly, while you are shopping.
There are many different tools and techniques available to organize coupons. If you are serious about saving money, it is important to find a method of organization that will work for you.