Four levels of organization
There are four levels of organization Jenny from southernsavers.com recommends and go up in the order of time involved to organize but they also each make the time spent finding the coupon faster. So decide the system which works for you and the time trade off!
#1 “Not Cutting” Keeping your Inserts Whole
When you get your weekly inserts, write the date bigger on the front page of the insert. Then, get a large thirteen pocket accordion file system and put all the inserts from this week together in one pocket. Next week, put those inserts in the next pocket of the folder. As the weeks go on, you have all the inserts in the same pocket. When you use the Southern Savers website, you will use the SS dates that are next to coupon on the weekly deal posts to find each coupon and cut it out before going to the store.
#2 Canceled Check File
This is one small step towards organization. Get a small accordion file with thirteen pockets. These are $1.00 at Target normally. Leave the front pocket empty and as you plan your trip, you put the coupons there intended to use on that trip. In the remaining pockets, label the tabs according to the areas used the most. For example: Canned/Boxed Goods, Cereals, Desserts/Baking, Snacks/Drinks and so on.
It is not recommended organizing by alphabetical order or expiration date. If you choose alphabetical, then you are the only person in the world that knows where the coupon is. Expiration dates do not allow you to find the coupons you need for the shopping trip.
This system is fast on the time it takes to organize them. You cut and put them in twelve stacks and put them in the organizer. The amount of time it takes is a little longer while you are in the store because your stacks will be larger and will take a longer amount of time in the store.
#3 Make your Own Box
Yet another step closer to mastering organization and for this system, any box you like will work. Ones which fit in the top of a grocery cart are the best. You will take the box with the coupons separated by dividers and hit the store. It will take more time to cut and organize the coupons but less time in the store.
#4 Three Ring Binder
This system is for the truly serious and devoted. A 1.5 inch or larger three ring binder, baseball card organizing pages, and section divider tabs are required. Label the dividers by location in the store and then put coupons in the pockets one facing up and one facing down so both sides of the pages are maximized. A zipper binder is the best so coupons do not fall out.
(Article reprinted from Southernsavers.com, 2010)