The key to being a successful couponer is to have a good source of coupons and good organization. In this week's tutorial, I'll walk you through one of the two coupon organization methods that I personally use. You can choose to use only one of them or both depending on your style.
I hope that by now you have at least one set of coupon inserts from last Sunday. If this is your first time reading about Couponing 101, read this previous to get you started couponing TODAY. Even if this is not your first time, it's still good to review the previous topic. Especially that this previous post will help you make your first shopping list and get you started saving real money TODAY.
Before we talk about how to organize coupons, let's first discuss where to find coupons. There are several ways to collect coupons.
- Sunday Inserts - They are called Red Plum (RP), Smart Source (SS), and Proctor & Gamble (PG). Sometimes, there would be loose flyers containing coupons (Target coupons, etc), so check your Sunday insert bag thoroughly before recycling. You can also get coupons from Parade Magazine which comes as one of the Sunday inserts.
- Internet. (www.coupons.com, www.redplum.com, www.smartsource.com, pgeveryday.com, just to name a few)
- Peelies (you see these attached to the products. Get them only AFTER you purchase the product or use it at the counter when buying the product) Do not ever get peelies from products on the shelf. In my personal opinion, that is not right. It's like stealing. Just keep it clean and decent.
- Blinkies - these are coupons in black boxes near the products they are for. Usually it says take 1. Follow the instructions as indicated. :D
- Catalinas - these are coupons that print out at the register and is handed to you at check out along with your receipt.
- Doctor's Office - specially pedia's office, they always have a number of coupons for their clients. Don't go home without asking for your sample & coupons. :)
Now to Coupon Organization:
The Filing-Box Method
What you'll need:
- Filing box (or just a regular filing drawer - empty one and use it for your coupons)
- 12 folders (regular or hanging)
- A Marker
- An index holder (or a small accordion type binder)
Step 1: Label your folders with the Sunday dates as you use them. For example, for your first folder put last Sunday's date if you have started collecting inserts then.
Step 2: Put the date on the cover of each of your coupon inserts. Check the back to see that you are not writing on the back of a coupon. You don't want to cut out the date on that insert.
Step 3: Put the inserts in the correct folder. File it in your filing box or cabinet. Do the same for the following weeks.
Step 4: Cut coupons only when you need them and you are getting ready to shop. Then put your inserts back in place.
Step 5: Organize loose coupons in an index folder, or a binder. Label each tab with your categories.
Stay tuned for the next method... The Binder Method.
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