Looking for a way to efficiently organize your Sunday newspaper coupon inserts? File your inserts whole and only cut the coupons when you actually plan to use them!
The Whole Insert Filing Method takes minimal time and investment to set up and can be maintained in under 5 minutes per week! Here are the supplies you’ll need:
- File folders (20-ish)
- Hanging file folders (10-ish)
- Permanent marker
- File crate, file box, or space in an existing file cabinet
All of these items can be used. You will reuse the file folders when you no longer need that particular date, so some return address labels or masking tape will be helpful to cover up the old date.
The first step is to just grab all the manufacturer’s coupon inserts in the Sunday paper.
Next, write the date on the cover of each insert with your permanent marker. If you are unsure of which Sunday an insert was released, look for the date on the insert’s spine.
Date a folder with the insert’s release date (the year is not necessary) and stick all the inserts inside the folder.
Next, label a hanging file folder by month and stick all that month’s folders inside.
Stick the folders in a crate, file box, or a file cabinet.
Now your inserts are organized by date and can be easily located when you’re ready to do a deal. Every single deal we post on FrugalLivingNW.com tells you were the manufacturer’s coupon lives. All you have to do is find the coupon’s release dated folder, pull the indicated inserts, cut the coupon(s), and head off to do your deal!
Inserts are labeled by name:
- SS = SmartSource
- RP = Red Plum
- P&G = Proctor & Gamble
You can label your folders by date AND insert name to take your organization one step further. This is especially helpful when 3-5 inserts are released on a particular Sunday.
Once you have cut your coupons, you’ll need to organize them and other coupons you collect (internet printable coupons, coupons from the store, etc) in a small coupon organizer.
I found this organizer in Walmart’s office supply section for less than $10. I love that it zips up and also has a small notepad tucked in the back. You could also use a check organizer or a small accordion folder from an office supply store, Target, or the Dollar Tree. The key is to select one that fits in your handbag or in a compartment in your car.
Try to find an organizer that has 13+ divided sections so you can have general coupon categories as well as tabs devoted to the stores you shop. Cut the coupons for the deals you’re planning to do, then slip them in that store’s section. Now you’re totally organized for that particular shopping trip!
Here are the sections I suggest you start with (you’ll inevitably re-do them as you become more experienced as a couponer):
- Dairy & Refrigerated
- Grocery (canned, boxed)
- Meat & Produce
- Household (general)
- Paper Products
- Store #1
- Store #2
- Store #3
I’ve also used the (Amazon) and found it to be useful, especially for beginners.
Organizing your coupons doesn’t need to become a part-time job. It also doesn’t need to cost you an arm and a leg to get started. The Whole Insert Filing Method takes just minutes to maintain every week and allows quick access your coupons when you need them!
If you’re new to couponing, be sure to attend an upcoming beginning couponing web class. Participants in the Portland Metroa area will also be eligible to get an exclusive deal on multiple Sunday Oregonians subscriptions at a substantial discount! Find more details and how to register for an upcoming web class here.
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