Organizing coupons

Has anyone come up with a good DIY way to organize coupons? I clip from the sunday paper but I find that if I don't use them on the very next trip to Target or the grocery store the coupons get lost or thrown away. Also I hate standing in an aisle flipping through the pile. The accordian deals they sell don't really work for me - anyone have other ideas? thanks!

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coupon organising?

How about a file card for each store with a thin strip of blu-tack down the centre of it?

Then you could stick the coupons to the card and have your grocery list on the back of it

1.99 photo album

Hi.

I found an extra cheap, 4x6 plastic photo album for 1.99 (they have them at target and walmart with a printed piece of paper in the front and back pockets). I stuck a tab on each page and made my own categories. I stuff the clipped coupons in the pockets by category while I'm clipping.

I do mostly once-a-month shopping, so before I go I take inventory, make the list, and review the coupons. I have a spot on my pre-printed list where I indicate whether there's a coupon for that item or not.

Anyway, it makes fussing with coupons a little easier--there's a place for them to go while they're being collected, as well as a convenient receptacle while I'm shopping. Since I've reviewed them right before I go shopping, I generally know without looking in the store whether I have a coupon for something (though perhaps not the value of it). And since the photo album has so many pockets, the categories are small enough that there's generally not that many items to paw through in the store when it's time to take them back out.

shris

This is great

I was leaning the cheap photo album way, (also thought about business card holder) so glad to hear it works for you. I'm going to try this. and maybe make a DIY pocket on the front so as I find the items i'm going to use the coupons for stick them in that pocket. I like this idea, not having to paw through. Thanks! Good idea to mark on the list too. That I definitely haven't been doing.

Another item

Hi.

I grabbed some self-adhesive business card pockets and stuck one on the front of my coupon holder for one of those teeny calculators, too. That way there's always one handy. The one I have is solar, and the pocket is clear, so I don't even have to take it out to use it.

The clear plastic photo album I grabbed has a big pocket for a front cover and another one in back. They put a photo of flowers in it to make the album 'pretty' but I pulled it out. You can trim the 'flap' a bit so it's easier to slide coupons in there quickly--a crescent shape is fairly convenient.

--edit
Almost forgot--The trickiest part of the photo album thing is to find one where the open side is toward the spine of the book. Open top, bottom, or side just tempts all the coupons to jump out when it's sitting the wrong way in the cart or purse, or when the kids grab it to play with it. But when the pocket opens to the spine, the coupons aren't going to fall out by themselves.

shris

Great info

I think I'll hit the Dollar Spot at Target tomorrow and see what I can find. I took a ton of coupons with me today with no new system and found myself with the usual mashed up handful. Looking forward to implementing your ideas! Thanks!

Shris - Thanks.

It's been a month or two since I implemented the 4x6 photo album idea. It's working great. My goal was to save monthly at least the $8-10 that I spend on the newspaper. I now save more than twice that PER WEEK between Target and the grocery store - our local grocery store doubles all coupons under $1, so that helps too. I used a label maker and labeled the pockets in order of the grocery store aisles. It's working great. All for the .48 the album cost me. I also stash my shopping list in the front clear pocket so I can easily flip back and forth. I may switch to the thumb-ring idea in the other post but so far this is working great.

I wanted to share though, I bought a second album too - I use it for store coupon cards - Macy's, Kohls, Toys R Us, etc. always send those credit card sized coupons and I can never find them when I need them or they take up a ton of space in my wallet. Now I stick them all in the second album, no particular order, and then I have them in the door of my car in case I have time to run in and grab something from any of those places. I usually have to run errands on the way home from work so before the coupons were never where I needed them, now they always are. I also stick things like the credits that Off-Broadway allows you to earn in there. The last 3-4 pockets are devoted to restaurant coupons.

Thank you!

Cool. :)

Hi.

Glad that suggestion is working for you. I know there are some folks who get big albums for baseball cards and use that for coupons--but those are for *serious* clippers. I won't ever graduate to that. :)

The 2nd album idea is nice. That would keep the paper 'buyer club' cards clean and neat, which the notebook ring won't do.

The anal-retentive part of me would want to alphabetize the cards or something stupid like that, but I didn't do that on my notebook ring. :)

Keeping stuff in the car door is an interesting idea too. Mostly I keep trash there until it's time to fill up the gas and empty it out. :) Your idea is better. :)

shris