Friday, February 12, 2010

"Clean Me Up Spotty:" Coupon Box Filing Edition

As promised, here is my personal coupon filing system! After nearly two years of clipping the coupons that I think that I'll spend and tossing (OK, recycling) the rest of the inserts, I have decided to significantly streamline my clipping, but still have the best of two coupon spending styles.

I'll elaborate:

Clipping Style, pictured above, is where the coupon spender takes time each week to clip the coupons that (s)he thinks that they will use. Each week more coupon are added to the filing box to create a 'nice stash' of coupons.

Filing Style, pictured below, is where the coupon spender creates one giant insert by stacking all identical pages together and recreates a single (very thick) insert. This type of coupon spender relies heavily on blog authors to share the week/insert that the coupon is found in, and then the coupon spender will track down the coupons that they are interested in spending that week, and clip only those coupons.

In mid January, I decided to mix up my current clipping strategy to see if I could lessen my clipping time without sacrificing some last minute deals that always seem to pop up after my recycling has gone curbside!

My box-only method limited my last minute deals for products that I would not normally have purchased- because once my coupons had been curbsided- I was out of luck!

I also feel that the filing only system takes much to much time to hunt down specific coupons when I'm ready to head out to the stores!

So my new plan of attack has been to clip the coupons that I think I will use, and to file away (writing the date of the insert in Sharpie) the remaining (sometimes pretty chopped up) inserts until later, if necessary!

After I have accumulated about 3 months worth of inserts, when I add new inserts to my 'file pile' I will take out the oldest week's inserts and do a quick flip through to see if there are any unexpired coupons worth clipping, otherwise I will just recycle the three month old inserts!

Keep in mind that if you are unsure of when your insert was published... the date is printed in fine print along the spine of the insert!



Great system! The laminated cards are a nice touch.

I love the idea of stacking all like pages from the insert together, I never thought of that. I have a new project for this weekend!


glad to see you are doing it this way! I found the same issues with my previous "coupon clipping/storing"

Julie Davis

This is my system exactly...even down to the sharpie and three month supply! I also added the binder divided by store for coupons i know i'll only use at a certain store!

Laura Webber

That's hilarious Julie!


Laura - this is what I've switched to in the last couple months. I realized that I was clipping way more coupons then I really would use, "just in case" there was a great deal, and it was taking too long.

So I switched to the filing-whole-insert system...but then spent more time hunting down coupons and I forgot about some that I would definitely use, because they weren't clipped.

So I landed at this method. I have a small box of clipped coupons that I'm very likely to use, and filed inserts. (Of course, I have a special envelope of coupons just for Super Kroger!)

I did lose my Sharpie, though. I hope the kids don't "find" it, yikes!


Thanks for the great ideas!! Just wanted to throw something else out there. I follow pretty much the same idea... cut only the coupons I think I will use and save the rest of the inserts for a 'good deal'. But then after a couple of months rather than throwing out the insert... I pop in a movie (or set up my DVR) and cut out all of the remaining expired coupons and send them to military families serving in foreign countries. There are a bunch of websites that can help set up a connection... and I've found that an hour or so of my time will make a huge impact on the lives our service men and women. Just thought I would throw another idea out there.


What do they do with "expired" coupons in the military?? I have heard of sending them the inserts, but am not clear how this helps them??


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