Coupon Conundrum

>> 11.18.2009

I have a little secret.

It was when a coupon question came up from The Brick Cottage (here), that the embarrassment of my situation really sunk in and I knew it was time for a little self-intervention. That's right, I'm a coupon crammer.

You see, I know how to use coupons (remember that amazing deal I scored at Restoration Hardware or how I stacked up the savings at Gap? ) and I’m usually really organized (I give my budget spreadsheet an A+)… I just can’t find an easy way to keep those little papers under control! As of now, my strategy is to hold on to the coupons that I believe that I’ll actually use and keep them (crammed) in my wallet until it’s time to whip one out. Usually, I’ll stick with this until I can no longer close the clasp and then purge the ones that are expired.

Do you have any secret tricks for organizing coupons? Please share (I’m drowning in paper over here)!!


Nicole November 18, 2009 at 10:31 AM  

I'm in the same conundrum as you right now! I was browsing Etsy the other day and came across some coupon organizers. I'm thinking I may invest in one of those soon.

Sara @ Russet Street Reno November 18, 2009 at 10:56 AM  

Ugh, I suck at coupons. I ALWAYS bring them with me and then check out without using them. Even if they are in my hand, I get 'register panic' and forget to hand the stupid things over. At least at the grocery store. If I'm shopping for clothes, you betcha I will used any coupon available! I just have an envelope in my purse for the grocery ones, the clothes ones I usually will hang on my fridge until the dates are right to use them and I make a special trip to do so. Although these days, I'm letting more and more expire unused.

Danielle and Clint November 18, 2009 at 11:16 AM  

My grandma gave me something like this quite awhile ago.

It has dividers which help me organize what types of stores I need the coupons for. But it is hard to keep up with the deals at times.

The Brick Cottage November 18, 2009 at 11:47 AM  

Ahh, that's too funny! Thanks for answering my question! I'm looking forward to your readers suggestions (as I cram mine in my wallet, too). I'm pretty good at using coupons if I'm going to a store specifically because of the coupon, but grocery coupons are another story all together. I hang onto the ones I think I'll use and then find them all expired months later when I'm frustrated by my over-crowded wallet.

Melissa {} November 18, 2009 at 12:00 PM  

I bought an inexpensive (it was $1!) coupon holder at Target a few months ago, and it came with labels that you write. So I came up with a list of the grocery and other types of coupons I usually use and wrote categories for those. The coupon holder is about the size of a wallet. I keep it in my purse at all times so I always have a coupon when I need it! My family laughs and says I'm too organized, but I always have my coupon deals with me. Oh, and those Bed Bath and Beyond coupons? They stay in my car so I always have one available!

SeeJaneGetRich November 18, 2009 at 2:44 PM  

I use an "accordion" like folder with multiple slots. These can be easily found at Target, Kmart, Walmart etc...

Katy Campbell @ A Starter House November 18, 2009 at 9:12 PM  

I guess it depends on how often you use them. My sister plans out how she uses coupons before going to the store. She keeps hers filed in a rather large recipe box. I on the other hand don't use them quite as diligently, but as a self-proclaimed CVS-aholic I must have all my coupons with me in case there is some deal I missed when planning my CVS trip. I have my coupons separated in a binder by category, like, "feminine products", "cleaning", "dairy", "clothing", "dog", etc... each in a see through paper cover labeled with a sticker indicating the category. I always find the coupons I need right away and its easy for me to grab and go.

Katy Campbell @ A Starter House November 18, 2009 at 9:13 PM  

To clarify, by paper cover I meant sheet protector...

Amanda November 19, 2009 at 9:10 AM  

I wish I was organized enough to use coupons. For big ones, like the Lowe's 10% off or Pier One, I just leave them laying around hoping I remember to use them. I reaaallly need a better system. I kinda gave up on grocery coupons, but maybe if I got one of those nifty organizers I might give them another chance.

Flavia @ Estilo Home November 19, 2009 at 12:00 PM  

Very timely post...I was just looking through my coupons and got frustrated when seeing so many had expired. I really need a better system. I appreciate everyone's suggestions!

ashley morgan November 19, 2009 at 12:30 PM  

I use a little accordion coupon folder. I have them organized by month of expiration, except for the Bed, Bath, and Beyond coupons which I just stuff into the last slot since they never really expire. It's the size of my wallet and I awlays keep it in my purse. The hard part is remembering to put the coupons in there in the first place!

WhimsAndInconsistencies November 19, 2009 at 7:05 PM  

I use an inexpensive mini-album. The 4x6 plastic ones you can get at Walmart or Target for about $1. It's small and you can flip through it like a book. I use address labels to label sections.

Kristin November 19, 2009 at 8:17 PM  

I am so terrible. I don't use them and my friends who do save so much money. Sigh.

Lauren November 19, 2009 at 8:32 PM  

I do the same thing.. and then I forget about them and they all expire!!

Emily @ Waldo Bungie November 21, 2009 at 4:40 PM  

I use an accordian file for my coupons - it's not exactly pretty, but I can organize my coupons by stores. :)

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