Coupon Organization: Whole Inserts

When you start to Super Coupon (as I like to call it), organization of coupons becomes essential. To stay SANE means you must stay organized, or at least attempt it. 

There are methods like the binder method (been there, done that) or big coupon box (been there, done that) which I won’t get into too much detail but basically both of those methods require you to cut out coupons.  Some people cut and file only the coupons they will use and then toss the rest of the inserts. 

And others cut out EVERY coupon and file it away, because sometimes you just never know what deal will pop up.  Even if its for a product you will never, ever use in a million years, a deal could appear that would make it free or better yet a money maker.  Plus you can always donate your extra stuff to friends, family or local food banks! 

I keep all Qs because I like to be ready for a killer deal!  However, I don’t have time to cut out and file all coupons, particularly when I get at least 7-10 inserts regularly and am now often getting  an extra 20 inserts from a smaller, free paper.  

Whole Insert File Cabinet Method

I file whole inserts by date in my file cabinet.  I generally only cut the coupons as I use them, unless its something we always buy and even then I will often wait until I need to cut them out.  I already have plenty of loose coupons that need to be organized and filed away without adding to it unnecessarily.

I simply label each folder with the date and slip the inserts in them.  I often write the date on the front of the insert so I can quickly glance at it and know the date.  The date is printed in the side/binding of each insert, but is quite small.  The folders are then just filed by date. 

It’s easy to find coupons by searching PYP AZ coupon list.  Keep in mind this list is based on the Phoenix paper, so often times I only have 5 copies of the “good” coupons because the Tucson paper didn’t have them. 

Once you start filing inserts your file cabinet will fill up rather quickly!  You need to constantly stay on top of getting rid of expired inserts.  My file cabinet is almost always stuffed to the gills!  I utilize the PYP When To Toss Insert List to get rid of expired inserts.  It is one of my favorite features of PYP.  

In fact here is the huge stack I removed last week! 

I sometimes assemble a Mega Insert (See Frugalsuz’s post here for more details) out of my Phoenix paper inserts.  However, I sometimes get too busy to do it.  I also hate the fact that I can’t make a Mega Insert out of all of my inserts because the coupons vary between the different newspapers.   I generally have 3 variations of each insert:  The Arizona Republic, The Tucson Citizen & The Northwest Explorer.  I do like Mega Inserts though, it makes the stack of inserts neater and easier to cut!

Anyway… so that has been my coupon organization method for several years now.  I do carry a little coupon organizer and also envelopes (separated by store) depending upon what sort of deal runs I am doing.

Comments

  1. This is the method I use — saves so much time rather than cutting. It’s a holdover from when I used a paid-list service about 10 years ago.
    I think the only downside is not having a binder with you in a store if you see a great deal. I’ve missed a few deals and had to go back with the coupons, but I think overall I’ve saved way more time not clipping than I’ve used going back to stores.

    • I agree Vikki, the binder method would help for last minute deals, but I just can’t invest in that much time. In fact I didn’t even have kids when I used that method and I didn’t have time for it. I would be bonkers right now if I was trying to maintain a binder!!

      In my little coupon binder I keep a few hot Qs that I have cut and my baby coupons, since I always look for baby clearance. Then IF i am on the ball, a few sections are being used for different stores. I don’t even bother to label categories, since I really use it mostly for keep store runs separate and that is a fluid system!

      Thanks for commenting!! :-)

  2. [...] sure what I am talking about?  Here is a LINK to how I organize my coupon [...]

  3. I started with a sorter, and couldn’t find the coupons I was looking for as they almost always stuck together. (Maybe a tucson heat/dry air thing.) I got a binder and Love it, I am a visual memory person, so having a binder means I can see what I am looking for. (I also have great photo memory.) I need to reorganize my binder, but right now its organized by date/ sub organized by type ie: food/non food etc. I also clip all the coupons I get, since I have 3 helpers that makes it much easier. (My 7 yr old is my best clipper, go figure!)

    • I just don’t use enough of the coupons to make cutting it out all of them worth it. And yet I still use enough of the random ones to make it worth it to save the inserts (vs. only cutting a few that look interesting each week). So for me the file method is best. I used to do the binder method… a long time ago and I do get the appeal, but it just doesn’t work for me. But thanks for sharing why it works for you! Everyone’s needs are different and it’s good to remind people about why the binder method works for some people!

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