It feels rather ironic to me to be typing this post. As I sit at my desk, my office is littered with papers, the laundry is overflowing in my bedroom, and there is a rather *funky* smell eminating from the kitchen. BUT my coupons are organized, I'll have you know! The rest of the house may be going to a hell in a handbasket, but darn it, I know where my $0.50 sour cream coupon is!
About a year ago, my method was to simply cut and file every coupon in my binder. And I do mean EVERY coupon. While most weeks I could manage this task, there were a few when life just added more important items on my to-do list. So for a few months, I was simply filing my inserts by date and trying to retrieve the coupons I needed using this handy online coupon database.
But this still wasn't working for me. I guess you could say I was Goldilocks looking for the proverbial chair that was "just right." So after months of tinkering, I have landed on a fairly simple, easy-to-manage system that works for me. I'll call it the Angela System of Couponing (patent to come later).
First, I cut the coupons I think I will want to use. For instance, these days I'm clipping those Lysol coupons, Celestial Seasonings, cereal coupons, cleaner coupons, etc. These go promptly into my binders. I have two – one for food and one for everything else. I personally think categories are a headache so I simply file alphabetically. (This way I'm not wondering if I put La Victoria salsa in the "ethnic" or "condiments" category – I know simply to head to my "L" section. This has worked beautifully for my brain.)
The rest of the inserts? They go into this lovely cardboard box. I write the date on the top part. Classy, huh?
And then at Target yesterday, I picked up this very stylish receipt organizer. I want to do a better job of keeping track of my receipts, and this fit the bill. It was a bit of a splurge at $8.99, but it if helps keep me on top of things, it should be $8.99 well spent. There is a tab for each month. Once I've noted the receipt on my Savings Tracker, I put a check on it and file it away. Genius, I tell you.
Here is the final piece to my organizational puzzle: my store file folder. I got this at Office Max last year. I had a $10 off a purchase of $10 or more, so I bought this and some flashcards for my son and ended up paying tax. Anyhow, I have a tab for each store and a tab for my favorite coupons. My calculator also fits nicely inside. I plan out my store trips, then clip and/or gather the coupons I need and place them in that section. This is also where I keep my store coupons. This has worked SO much better for me than lugging my binders around – especially since I'm usually also lugging around a preschooler and a toddler.
I know some of my readers like having their full binder coupon stash with – but seriously, try this. It's liberating! And if you must, you can always leave that binder in the car just in case.
Tomorrow I'm going to share more about how I'm doing with my Savings Tracker. A reader wanted me to actually show you one of my receipts to further illustrate. Sure – I'll do that. Stay tuned.
For more on this topic, you might want to read my Lesson "Let's get organized, organized…"