First we need to get some coupons. There are many places to get coupons. The Sunday paper, product inserts, printing online, hang tags on products, peelies on products, blinkies at stores, in with free samples and more. We will start with the basics, and the foundation of your coupon collection, the Sunday newspaper. You will want to grab two or four papers. Some of the best deals are on BOGO’s (buy 1 get 1 free) and in most stores we can use TWO coupons. So always start with at least two and build from there.
Choose how you want to organize your coupons.
There are several methods available for organizing your coupons, I will highlight each one below with its pros and cons, and you can choose which method you would like to start with.
- Clip and sort by category with one of those cute little dollar tree holder.
Binder Clip and Organize Method:
- Use a 3 ring binder, with baseball card sleeves. You will need at least 30 pages of sleeves to get started. As your collection of coupons grows, you will regularly use between 90 and 120 pages of sleeves. (Here is a link to the most commonly used binder.)
- Maintaining the binder method requires clipping all your coupons weekly.
- It is suggested that everyone start with and learn this method, no matter which method you use regularly, you will always keep a binder for clipped coupons.
- Organization is the key, here is a list of categories you can use in your binder. Print this list twice. One set you will cut, and insert into the top corner of the first page in each category in your binder. This will help you organize your coupons. The second set you will use to organize your coupons as you clip them. CATEGORY LABELS . Some may prefer to use tabbed dividers for their categories, if you choose this method, you should still print the category labels and use 1 set for organizing your coupons as you clip them.
- Kim has a tutorial that will get your started with the Binder Method here.
Accordion File NO-CLIP Method:
- This method is ideal if you are purchasing between 6 – 10 newspapers weekly
- This is one way to organize your coupons with the NO-CLIP Method. No-Clip Method is when you clip your coupons as you need them.
- Coupon inserts are organized by date and labeled, then use our coupon database to locate available coupons, and simply go to your file and clip.
- The downside to this is when you see a sale or clearance in the store and you don’t have your coupon collection with you. So you will need to make a second trip to get the deal, and hope it is still in stock.
- Upside is that you will save time clipping coupons. You can check, while in the store, if a coupon is available for a specific product using our database on your smartphone.
- As with any method, organization is the key. You will write the date on each insert so you know exactly where to refile after clipping a coupon.
- I would also keep a slot for store coupons and booklets.
Magazine Holder No-Clip Method:
- This method is ideal if you are purchasing more than 10 newspapers
- Each week you will separate your inserts, staple like pages together and label with the date. 12/1/13 SS (would be the Smart Source that came out on December 1st) I also put a page number on mine, so after I clip a coupon, I can put my pages back in the correct order.
- You will use our 6000+ Coupon database to locate your desired coupons.
Coupons usually have at least 30 days till they expire. Some coupons will have longer expiration dates, and others will have a shorter expiration date. Obviously we will not use all coupons the first week.
The other thing to help you save time and energy, and maybe even your sanity, is to look up the store match-ups for the stores near you.