Stemming from those questions, I thought I would do a series (rather than one long mammoth post) that answers all those questions.
Sort of a Jennifer's Guide to Saving Money 101 =)
1st Question: How Do I Keep My Coupons Organized?
I have tried 3 different organizational systems and returned to my original plan every time. It just seems to work best for me.
I use a divided binder that I bought from Staples:
I organize all my coupons into the following alphabetical envelope categories:
- Baby: Diapers/Wipes/Lotions/etc.
- Box Goods: Cereal/Pasta/Rice/etc
- Can Goods
- Dairy Aisle: Yogurt/Cheese/Butter/Refrigerated cookies & biscuits/etc.
- Entertainment: Restaurant coupons/etc.
- Frozen Aisle - Sweet
- Frozen Aisle - Other
- Misc: Batteries/etc.
- Paper Goods
- Snacks - Salty
- Snacks - Sweet
- Toiletries - Hair/Bath & Body/Deoderant
- Toiletries - Teeth/Feminine
- Toiletries - Make-Up/Shaving/Misc.
When I actually go shopping I usually have pulled all the coupons I know for sure I'll be using and set them inside a folded up piece of paper that has all my list items written on front. I also bring my binder with me just in case. The only exception to that is CVS. I usually just pull my CVS envelope out and take only that in with me. I'll leave the binder in the car just in case.
I typically weed through all my coupons about every 6 weeks and throw away all expired ones. I usually do this at the same time I am filing new ones. I never (knowingly) use expired coupons. As a Christian I strive to show integrity at all times, even in the smallest of issues. Even if the stores don't notice.
I spent a lot of time those first few weeks getting things into a system that actually worked for me. I won't lie...it does take a pretty big time commitment when first starting. However, I now have a system that typically takes me about an hour a week (give or take a little) to do everything I need to do.
Click here to read a good article on all the organizational methods out there. I read it when I was first starting and it was a great resource!