Wednesday, March 21, 2012

How do you store your coupons?

Couponing has come a long way from the days when from my mom had a little booklet type file with pockets labeled "Dairy", "Health and Beauty", "Frozen Foods", etc. There are so many more coupons today in the inserts and there are other ways to get coupons now, like the internet! A small file like that might be good to use for 1 shopping trip, but the question remains, "How do I store all these coupons?"

Lately, it's become popular to use the Binder Method. You get a binder and some baseball card sheets. Then, you clip and sort all your coupons and put them in slots. The pros of this method is that you can carry all your coupons to the store with you, so if you find a clearanced item or an unadvertised sale, you have your coupon with you to score a great deal you weren't expecting! The cons of this method is that your larger coupons have to be folded to fit, so you can't always easily see what coupons you have or when they expire! It can get tedious to cut all the coupons and then go back to pull the expired ones.

Other people use a file box method. You clip your coupons and then file them by department or alphabetically. The pros are that you can carry all the coupons to the store with you. The cons are that if you drop your box, you will have a huge mess on your hands! And there is still the issue with cleaning out the expired ones.

The method I use is the "no clip" method. I get at least 4 inserts every week. Cutting all those coupons makes my hand hurt. So, I don't cut any of them until I need them. Instead, I type this Insert Coupon Spreadsheet to keep track of what is in them and then I only cut out what I need for the store. I write on the front of the insert the paper and the date. Then, I file them in hanging file folders in my file crate by date. The pros of this method is that there isn't any unnecessary cutting, and there are less loose coupons on my desk. The cons are that if I come across a clearance or unadvertised sale, I don't have all my coupons with me. I also keep a small alphabetized file box for those internet coupons or other non-insert coupons I get. 

With the "no clip" method, I also have developed a tool to use, so when an entire insert is expired, I can get rid of it. I never toss a valid coupon! Because you never know when that coupon for a product you don't use will become a money maker. I see this happen all the time with coupons for health products I have never heard of! 

I have made new pages on the site today that have the last expiration date marked for the inserts. HERE is the list of these expiration dates for the York Daily Record. HERE is the list for the Baltimore Sun inserts. You can also write the latest expiration date on the front of the insert! 

I've used several different methods, and I like the "no clip" one the best. But I still want to know, how do you store your coupons? Leave me a comment and tell me what you like best about your method! 

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