Couponing

I am not an extreme couponer, however I would like to be able to make use of the coupons that I do use and naturally looked in this planner design forum to see if there are any planner assistance forms already made.

I am trying to organize mine and looking at some of the extreme couponing sites to try to get an idea of how to effectively manage my coupons.

As I am working on mine I am thinking that I need to divide my coupons into categories and have separate holders for each on of these categories.

I am thinking I could use one of the standard classic franklin planner holders I have that zip up to start my organization attempts. I know most of the extreme couponers use the big binders but I am not wanting to be that involved in the couponing.

My idea is to have a shopping list in the front with what I am wanting to purchase. Then behind that have some holders behind them separated into the categories I find to be important for me for the coupons that I have clipped. It is my hope that I will have the discipline to go through the coupons before I go shopping and pull the ones I think I will need and put them in a "to use" folder. I am thinking of making the folders out of manila file folders cut down for use in the classic and possibly clear sleeves to be able to see the coupons.

Has anyone done some thinking on how to effectively use a planner for couponing without being too involved in the extreme couponing craze? Any suggestions would be welcomed.

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Organising coupons

5x7 pocket photo albums have been one of the things recommended by other posters for coupons.

With index cards in the album for notes.

I can't comment more than that as we generally don't have coupons for shops in Australia to the same extent you do.

Edit - the topic I was thinking of is here http://www.diyplanner.com/node/6056

A DIY Pocket for coupons

Here's an idea I have tinkered with that should help in this:

I started with some scrapbooking paper that is 12 inches square.
Make a fold along one side to make the paper 8.5 inches wide (that makes a 3.5 inch flap).
Next, fold the paper in half the other way so that you should now have a pair of pockets on a page that is 8.5 by 6 inches.
Punch binder holes on the 8.5 inch side opposite the fold.
This should fit in a classic/junior size planner with no problem.
At your option, trim the page opposite the fold down to 5.5 inches so that it does not stick out so far, but it makes a nice divider if your binder can handle the extra width.
If you plan to put tiny paper bits in the pockets, you may wish to glue or tape the non-folded side so that things do not fall out, but for larger coupons, I have found this not to be a problem.
I use this idea with a disc bound notebook (Levenger Circa/Rollabind) and it works great.

Enjoy !
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"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson) ***

I'm going to suggest "finding your style" first

I, like you, am not an extreme couponer, but I do like to have easy access to the ones I think I will use. I have tried about a dozen different ways but I will name the most recent few.

1) I have a 4x6 plastic photo holder which I actually take to the store. It's labelled by aisle. By the way, I have two of these - one I use for grocery store, target, etc. The other, which lives in my car, has store coupons in it. This is incredibly handy. No more pulling into Bed Bath and Beyond only to realize I have no coupons. I also store gift cards in it. It lives in the door pocket of my car. Whenever I get Ann Taylor or Kohls flyers I just rip off the cards and stick them in that album.

2) I saw a lady once use an acrylic photo box with twelve separate mini photobox inserts. So, I bought it. I labelled the photobox inserts by category (grocery, superdoubles/triples, retail, etc). This box is not working for me at all. It takes way too much time for me to go through it and I don't take it with me.

3) I have tried binders of various sorts. I wasn't fully committed ( I didn't buy the baseball sleeves) and I simply don't have that kind of time, so I gave it up.

So here is what I do now. I sort through the sunday paper and keep whole pages of coupons I may use and chuck the inserts or coupons I won't use. Then each Sunday I cut only what I'm going to use on that trip. I have a cute little gizmo - it's about 4X8 (give or take, it's not in front of me) that has a little accordian file on one side and a pad of paper on the other and a pen loop in the middle. I jot down the list on the pad and stick the coupons I plan to use in the accordian folder. That is working well. Everything else I clip and plan to use I stick in the photo album, but that system seems to be dying. This system is not perfect for me. I do return from Target only to realize I had coupons for some of what I used, but my goal is simply to use more coupons than the paper costs.

One additional tip - if you have a BJs club in your area where you can use the coupons in the book they send plus manufacturer's coupons - I sit down with the book and all of my circulars once a month. I clip the coupons that match the book of coupons and I staple them together inside the book. I rip of the pair of coupons as I pick up the items and then unstaple while waiting to check out. This is saving me an average of $30-50 per trip on stuff I already intend to buy.

Good luck and let us know if you find something that works! I don't know how the extreme couponers do it.

PS =

PS - if you go the Covey route you are contemplating, be sure to have a space for coupons you are actually going to use - i.e. as you pick up an item you have a coupon for, actually move the coupon to a holding place so you don't forget it when you check out. I leave an empty sleeve or accordion pocket for that purpose.

Thanks

All are good suggestions.

I just want to be a bit more organized so I know what I have and actually use my coupons. I find that I cut the coupons but I often have many coupons that go unused because I forget that I have them. I will try your suggestions.