Thursday, April 22, 2010

Coupon Box Revealed

Once upon a time, I was very organized. This was when I only had 1 child to attend to. When child # 2 entered the mix my very organized coupon notebook (pictured above) went out the window along with much of my clear thinking abilities.

This notebook was probably one of my most prized possessions, I am not kidding. I was very proud that all my coupons were so neatly organized in little baseball card holders. I had a calculator and pen holder. This thing even zipped up and had handles to carry it by. I could find any coupon I needed in 2 seconds. The only problem with this lovely notebook of mine is that it took FOREVER to organize all my coupons in those TINY little baseball card holders. I would clip my coupons, sort them and then for weeks they would sit in neat little piles all over my house because I didn't want to take the time to neatly shove them into those little holders.

One day I simply melted down. I couldn't handle the pressure that my notebook was causing me. It was like a 3rd child the way it required is so much attention. I started saying irrational things like, "I think will just give this whole coupon thing up." So I gave it the boot and went to a much more simple version. Here it is:

Not glamorous at all, but it works. I simply took envelopes and labeled them to match what categories were in my notebook. I alphabetized them and then sorted my coupons by category and just shoved them all in the corresponding envelope. There is nothing nice or neat about this thing and it requires very little time and attention. I just clip my coupons, sort them into categories and shove them in the envelope. So easy, and I have not had a breakdown about coupons since:)

You are probably wondering what categories are in my box. Here goes:
  • Bags (like ziplocks)
  • Baby
  • Baking
  • Beverage
  • Bread
  • Breakfast
  • Candy
  • Canned
  • Cleaning
  • Condiments
  • Dairy
  • Frozen
  • Household (light bulbs, batteries, etc.)
  • Laundry
  • Meat
  • Medicine
  • Paper
  • Pasta
  • Pet
  • Mexican
  • Rice
  • Snacks
  • Toiletries
  • Toothpaste
You could just put all your coupons in one big envelope but then it is much more time consuming to try and find what you are looking for. Having a lot of different sub categories makes it much more time efficient to locate a coupon.

How about you? Do you have a particular coupon organization system that works well for you?


Ashlea said...

I use the folder method! :)

Nicole said...

I have 2 plastic coupon organizers-different colors-1 for food items, 1 for non food items.
Food item categories: Dairy, Breakfast, Snacks, Lunch, Soup, Dinner, Fruit/Veges, Meat/Protein, Desert, Candy, Food Storage

Non Food Item categories: Hair, Teeth, Bodywash/lotion, Face, Paper, Air Freshners, Laundry, Cleaning, Medicine, Dishes, Restaurants/Stores, Misc.

Anonymous said...

I did mine just the same Shannon!!! The day after you left, I got after it! Sooooo easy to put together too! - Terri

blaireruch said...

I have used this system ever since I started couponing. I have 30 categories in a plastic Gladware container. My hubby laminated my numbered category dividers for me as a surprise one day. Works for me! :)

House of Brungardt said...

What I want to know is, how do the brain cells get sucked out with the baby when he/she is born? :) I just had baby #5, so I'm operating on the pretense of brain cells!

I use a plastic accordion coupon thing and have them divided up into categories sort of like yours, but not so many. I have them arranged according to the layout of the main store I shop at. But, when I actually shop, I pull out the coupons I'll be using and stash them in an envelope, even though I take the coupon thing with me.


Everyday Realities said...

I tried the little sleeves for only one day shannon, you lasted a lot longer that me! I use one of those plastic organizers now with many categories like yours.

Josh and Sarah said...

Thanks Shannon for this post! I currently use the baseball card/3-ring binder method... and today I'm going to free myself from it!!! You inspired me to try the envelope in the rubbermaid container way. It just seems so much less time consuming. I got so behind on my couponing that I wanted to cry when I thought about stuffing my hundreds of coupons into tiny baseball card inserts... so we'll see how the envelopes work out :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this. I was coming "this close" to shutting down couponing. I have a 4 and 3 year old and just the thought of sitting down for hours shoving more coupons in little baseball card inserts was enough to make be batty. I already had one meltdown 2 months ago while working on it-- tears and all. So I am now going back to the plastic shoe box!! And I don't feel guilty! :) Freedom...