Friday, May 7, 2010

My Organization Strategy

I am often asked how I keep up-to-date and organized with so many little pieces of paper to keep tabs on... here is my strategy!

The above picture is exactly how I am organizing every last detail of my saving strategy. Here's an in-depth look:

First of all, I need to mention that I don't clip every single coupon! I clip the coupons that I think I am likely to spend, and then I file the rest of the insert away... just in case a deal pops up using a coupon that I didn't clip! Watch this short video to learn how to clip quickly!

For my clipped coupons, I have three little boxes for organization. I have them labeled as FOOD, HOUSEHOLD & HYGIENE.

FOOD: This one's pretty self explanatory.

HOUSEHOLD: Cleaning supplies, paper products, storage containers and laundry.

HYGIENE: Baby care, medications, hair/body products and make up.

My personal style of spending coupons is that I prepare myself for what I want to purchase before I even step foot into the store. I read the sales flyer for the store, online, and I check the appropriate blog (whether I'm shopping a grocery store or a drug store) for the best deals of the week, and then I take only the coupons that I intend to spend!

Using the three mini box system allows me some flexibility in bringing my coupons with me if I choose to (which is very rare!). I can grab just the HYGIENE box if I'm heading to CVS and looking to roll some of my store rewards. Often, I find that the products that I want to purchase are sold out and having more coupons with me, I can easily switch up my purchase. Plus, my three mini boxes can fit together nicely in the shoe box size plastic box that I had previously been using if I plan to shop a spur of the moment shopping trip!

The mini boxes that I purchased also happened to come with tabbed dividers (just flip them all over and use the blank back side!), which would make an easy starter box for someone who is just beginning to spend coupons!

My box tabs are the following:

AIR FRESHENERS, BABY, BAKING, BEVERAGES-COLD, BEVERAGES-SHELF, BOXED FOODS, BODY WASH, BREAD, BREAKFAST FOODS, BREAKFAST CEREAL, CANDY, CANNED FOODS, CLEANING-BATHROOM, CLEANING-HOUSEHOLD, CLEANING-KITCHEN, CONDIMENTS, DAIRY, DEODORANT, FRESH FOODS, FRIDGE FOODS, FROZEN FOODS, FROZEN TREATS, HAIR-SHAMPOO/CONDITIONER, HAIR PRODUCTS, HEALTH CARE-MEDICATION, HEALTH CARE-WOMEN, HOUSEHOLD, JAR FOODS, KIDS, LAUNDRY, MAKE-UP, MEAT, MISCELLANEOUS, PAPER PRODUCTS, SHAVING-HIS, SHAVING-HERS, SKIN-BODY, SKIN-FACE, SNACKS, SPICES, STORAGE CONTAINERS, TOOTH CARE, TREATS, YOGURT, REFILE.

I also like to save my receipts... I'm not too sure why, but sometimes I find out that I've qualified for a rebate without an intentional purchase, and so I've made money doing this. Also, keeping track of your receipts helps for easy returns, exchanges or damaged products.

I made these dividers by using 9 file folders. I cut them down to 6 inches tall and 10.5 inches wide, the perfect size to fit into a shoe box size container. I cut the divider tabs off of the tops and reattached them with double stick tape.

My tabs are as follows:

MEIJER, KROGER, GROCERY (for Costco and the other little/local grocery store I sometimes shop), CVS, WALGREENS, RITE AID, TARGET, REBATE & OTHER (for non-grocery spending).

I also keep this mini binder (13 pockets) in my purse.

Here is a list of what I keep in my mini binder:

Store rewards by store section
Rain checks (according to the store) with coupons paper clipped to the rain check
Store coupons (like Bed, Bath & Beyond)
Restaurant coupons (for drop in meals)
FREE item coupons
Store membership cards (like my Extra Care Card for CVS)

Lastly, after I make sure to carry a single gift card per store that I typically shop (Target, CVS...) and I file the rest of my gift cards (several of them are earned by transferring prescriptions, or are received as gifts) in a business card binder (thanks for this idea Jolyn!).

PS: If you'd like to watch all THIRTY-ONE short video tips, you may learn a new strategy for saving!

5 comments:

Christine

Great tips! I miss your 31 days of tips in January, that was so fun!

Ellen

Wow! Just last night I was trying to reassess my method. I have a binder for toiletries, cleaning & paper and a box for all food stuffs. I prefer the box, but right now it's not big enough (since I clip almost everything). I've wondered about just clipping what we definitely use (in all categories) & placing those in the box and then keeping other inserts together like you've suggested. Just don't know...it's really nice to have all my coupons with me, but this job is turning into something that takes an awful lot of time.

I like your breakdown of various things & the pics - really helps.

Julie

Wow! Your system has a lot more components than mine. I clip practically everything. The ones I will or might use go in my binder. I also keep loyalty cards and rainchecks there, too. Gift cards are in a closed compartment.
The coupons go in an alphabetically arranged diaper wipes box. I use these mainly for trading and sharing, but there have been a few occasions where I needed some for an unexpected deal.
I, too, keep receipts. I store them in my household planner notebook that stays in the kitchen.

I think it's so funny when people advise beginners to "do it just like I do." There are so many variations on coupon organization that would work for some of us but would be burdensome for others.

Amanda

Thanks for posting this. The business card binder is exactly what I need! The Bath & Body Works, Express, Macy's coupons, etc come in the size of a giftcard and it's a pain to try to keep up with them. I am heading out in a little while to buy one of these. This was the last thing I needed to feel totally organized!

Zheng junxai5

zhengjx20160328
oakley outlet store
coach outlet
cartier
asics running shoes
ralph lauren outlet
marc jacobs handbags
cheap oakley sunglasses
michael kors outlet online
ralph lauren
michael kors bags
reebok shoes
ed hardy uk
fitflops
kate spade outlet
converse outlet
ray ban outlet
air max 90
omega speedmaster
michael kors watches
instyler max
burberry outlet canada
michael kors bags
calvin klein outlet stores
michael kors outlet
coach outlet online
true religion
chaussure louboutin
ray bans
michael kors outlet
cartier love ring
polo outlet
stephen curry shoes
coach outlet online
longchamp uk
true religion jeans
ed hardy
burberry sale
ralph lauren outlet
ugg outlet
nike roshe run