Monday, December 15, 2008

Having a System of Couponing

Many of you have asked me how I organize my coupons.
I keep my weekly fliers (Red Plum, Proctor & Gamble, Smart Source) in a binder (I DO NOT cut the coupons from my fliers UNLESS they are needed.) My fliers are organized from newest to oldest.
On each flier, I write the date on the top (this is important because when you refer back to coupons, you do not want to have to search for the flier that came out November 23.)
All the coupons that I cut (internet, mailers, etc.) I put in an accordian organizer (thank you Rachel for telling me where to locate this cute folder-Walmart.)
Inside my accordian organizer, I have an envelope for each store. I place coupons I need for that week in that store's envelope. For example, if I need a Revlon coupon at CVS that week, I put it in the CVS envelope. My ECBS, RRs, giftcards all stay with in their stores envelope.
I also have a binder for Publix fliers. Always get more than one when you see Publix advertise one of these fliers. These fliers are usually found in the front of the store on a card board stand (special season offer) or on the rotating stand found in the middle of the foyer at Publix.

Lastly, I keep all of my stuff organized in a bag. This bag stays in my car so I have access to coupons if needed.

30 comments:

brittany, steve, and gabe said...

i just organized my coupons in a new very large folder, and i am already out of space. how long do you keep your inserts before throwing them out? i would like to keep everything in one giant folder if i can, but i dont know how many more weeks will fit in the one i have.

Frugal Coupon Mom - frugalcouponmom@gmail.com said...

I usually keep them for 2-3 months in the folder. I notice many coupons start expiring at that time. It is then that I transfer my coupons to my coupon folder (acordian folder.) I only transfer the good ones, the rest I throw-away or donate (military families can take expired coupons - up to 6 months expired.)

capemom said...

where can we find free printable coupons other than the weekly flyers

Frugal Coupon Mom - frugalcouponmom@gmail.com said...

Capemom, my website has all of the printable coupons available for coupons.com. My shopping lists have all of the printable coupons linked. You also can find printables at the Manufacturer websites, Smartsource, Eat Better America, Betty Crocker, etc. I often places posts as to where the most recent coupons for printing are. I hope this helps.

Kate said...

I just saw you on Dr. Phil and thought this was a great idea. I'm a stay at home mom and like to be organized. I think it might be a bit of work in the beginning but I'm sure it becomes routine after a while. My only problem is we don't currently have a printer to print the online coupons. Any ideas where to find a coupon for printers? :-)

Kate

Frugal Coupon Mom - frugalcouponmom@gmail.com said...

Kate, I don't know of any right now. My advice, try promo codes (do a search on google), buy on amazon, or even better buy on craig's list. I have become a big fan. I am glad you are getting involved. You will wonder how your family ever did it!

Erin said...

Just saw you on Dr. Phil as well and love your strategy. I know I haven't mastered the art of couponing yet, but I'm hoping your site helps!

Can I ask why you use a binder and an accordion folder? I guess I don't understand the need to keep the pages in tact instead of immediately sorting them by store.

Kate, you might find good deals at stores that are going out of business, but be careful because some have hiked their prices before the big markdowns. My parents just bought a computer for a good deal at amazon.com and got free shipping because it was over $25. Until then, your local library has free computer access and free or cheap (approx. 10 cents/copy) printer access. Hope that helps!

miss merri said...

I am watching Dr. Phil now and finding that many of the suggestions are ones I am using already. I also like all the things that Frugal Coupon Mom has come up with. I also check out other freebie sites and am always sending away for things. Wal*Mart and many major companies offer free products. When the product come there is a coupon included as well.

So far the best I have done was to save $25 on what I buy using coupons. I will be doing some investing in the ideas from here as well as planning more. I work full time, school full time, am involved in Boy Scouting with my son and on the District level and am always looking for ways to get more bang for my buck. I guess that is part of the single parent that I have been as long as I have had my son.

I also like making saving money a game or challenge. Makes it less work and more fun.

Merri

Danielle said...

How do you know when to use what coupon and where the coupon is that you need? So you look through all the stores flyers weekly and see an item for sale and then search through the binder until you find that coupon or do you have some sort of index that tells you the date that the coupon is filed under in your binder?

brittany, steve, and gabe said...

kate, you might also see if your area has a freecycle group go to (freecycle.org). this is a website where people give away items that they no longer have need for. i have seen several printers come and go in our area.

Lyndsey Borden said...

hello like other i also seen you on DR. Phil and i already clip coupons but i really need help i have a baby on the way and i seen you in action and was tryin to figure out how this works i have my little organizor and i have it organized from breakfast to dinner with snacks and bathroom stuff then fast food. well i need to save money to hap with the baby on the way. i have no problem with brands either i just need HELP lol please help
Lyndsey mommy to be

maru046 said...

I was wondering, does hole punches in the codes effect the coupons validity. I started hole punching the ads and later reailzed that quite a few had hole punches right in the upc symbol... i hope that doesnt ruin them!

ycartw said...

i also need help! I save the coupons in the paper but its never what i shop for any anyway its mostly advertisement. What paper can i get the has the best coupons in? I too am a stay home mom Please Help!!

Debora said...

Hi,

I was wondering about the same thing, about the hole punched in the coupons. Does it effect the barcodes on the coupons?

Also, do you clip all printed coupons or only the ones you know you will use?

Debora

Frugal Coupon Mom - frugalcouponmom@gmail.com said...

The hole punch does not affect it, if it does, they type in the bar code, if that doesn't work, they subtract the amount.

Michelle said...

what are the labels in your accordion folder.

miss merri said...

I have found that coupons.com works best for me. I can click on the coupons I need or use and print them that way. Hope that helps

Frugal Coupon Mom - frugalcouponmom@gmail.com said...

My Labels (in my accordian folder) are CVS, Walgreens, Publix, Walmart, Target, Baby, Beauty, Medicine, Food, Cleaning, Misc.

ladyturtle2 said...

I know someone already asked, but I didnt see the answer. Do you have to just look through your whole binder when you find something on sale and you are looking for a coupon?

Frugal Coupon Mom - frugalcouponmom@gmail.com said...

Lady Turtle, When I need a coupon, I got to Hot Coupon World or A Full Cup and type the brand, or do a search of hte brand, of item I need. This tells me where the coupon is. For example it might say Smart Source January 4th. Then I go there and cut my coupon. I hope this makes sense.

happyretiree said...

Thanks Frugal Mom,
I'm just getting started and appreciate your help. I will be visiting your site regularly for tips.
Happy Retiree

Briana said...

Is there a way to have people send me there expired coupons? My family is military and would love to have them! Thanks.

Frugal Coupon Mom - frugalcouponmom@gmail.com said...

Briana, I have had a couple requests for this. To be fair I am just listing the APO addresses. It is my understanding that the bases have a place they distribute these coupons.

Michelle said...

I went to walmart and found the same exact accordian file folder that you are pictured with. So cute! I am on my way to being organized. I am just starting and I laugh cause I only have 1 week of coupons inside and well I started using some of them so it looks nothing like yours and others that I have seen. I am not able to get all the fab deals cause I don't have all the coupon you post but I am sure I will get there. I learned to pick up more than 1 copy of the Sunday paper. I screwed up with that one. lesson learned Anyone have any advice that can be helpful to a 1 week old newbie. anything will be helpful. Thanks

Meg said...

I just started couponing this week and found a letter sized accordian file on sale at container store but your colorful envelopes are so cute! Would you mind sharing how you made them?

Frugal Coupon Mom - frugalcouponmom@gmail.com said...

Meg, think scrapbook supplies. I am sure your can be just a cute. I laminated the envelopes so they don't tear and used scrapbook paper and letters to label them.

mariah said...

I am a working mom of 2 and am exhausted by shopping all the time! I would prefer to play at the park! I have always used coupons and have been even more so lately. I have no brand loyalty, except for diapers. I make a weekly menu and my shopping list from there, I have even tried to make a 2 week menu and list, but find myself at the store anyway, does anyone have anymore ideas for me? I can't stockpile from the sales due to lack of room to store it, so I have almost all but given up on shoppong the sales and combining the coupons. Help! Any ideas?

cassidy3801 said...

I just started this and I am confused why do we use a binder? dont the coupons go in each individual envelope per store?

Frugal Coupon Mom - frugalcouponmom@gmail.com said...

Cassidy, the binder is for storage...you will want it. i promise. the envelopes are for when you cut coupons from the binder because they match your shopping list for the week. i hope this clears it up.

WentzKidz said...

I am a stay at home mom of 3, I babysit 3, and we homeschool too. I have to be organized. How do you make your shopping list? I don't have time to sit down and write everyting out. Thanks!