The first thing I do is buy 10 Sunday papers at the Dollar Tree, making sure they all have coupon inserts. Its cheaper to buy the Sunday paper at the Dollar Tree because its only a dollar. Also a tip~~on weeks there is a holiday there will be NO coupon inserts
OK~ After I buy my papers and take the coupons out and try to give the rest of the papers away I bring them home and stack all like inserts together. First by sorting all the Red Plums together, etc. then I sort each like coupon.
See the stack to the right on the TV tray? Those are all pages from the inserts that don't have coupons on them. Get rid of them, that's just wasted weight in your folders.
This is the trash from just one kind of insert, IE Red Plum.
Then I pick up a stack of coupons and line them up and staple them together to make cutting them easier.
This blurry picture shows how I stapled front and back.
OK, now each set of like coupons are stapled together.
You can now file the pages of inserts into a file folder or you can go a step further.
This is how I organize the inserts. As you can see I was just sliding the whole sheets into the folders and this was still somewhat disorganized for me, even though I labeled the folder with the date I bought the papers. This is important because when I read the blogs about what sales are at which stores and coupon match ups they always say use the $2.00 Q from the RP from 6-5-11 and I need to know where my coupons from 6-5-11 are.
I decided to go one step further and staple and cut like coupons and save even more space and get rid of more paper. Now when I want a coupon from the RP insert from6-5-11 I can pull out all 10 of my coupons for that product because they are stapled together. If there is a whole row of toothbrush coupons for example I may just leave the row together but cut it from the rest of the page.
After the coupons are sorted, stapled and cut, I then file them in the folder marked for that week.
This is my shopping coupon folder, the one I take to the store with me. Its about 5X7 inches or so.
It is a smaller accordion type file.
I got that huge blister from weeding the garden with no gloves.
I always carry a copy of the stores coupon policies. Don't ever think that even the managers know their own store policies. Most do not. If you have your copy with you, you can show it to the checker who may still call over a manager but I have never had one argue with me after I showed them their own store coupon policy.
I also make a list on the computer of what I will be buying and any coupons I will be using. I have different stores on one list.
I then paper clip the coupons I will be using at each store. I have a paper clipped bunch for each store I will be shopping at. I then use a sticky note on the front of each bunch of coupons so I know which ones to grab out of my small file folder and hand to the cashier.
I love finding sales and matching up coupons. I love being a good steward of the money my husband works so hard for. I also love being able to give good things to those in need. Before I started using coupons it was hard for me to give quality products to those who needed them because I always had generic in my home. Now we have the opportunity to use more name brand items but spend less than we did when I only bought the cheapest, generic or otherwise.
I will try to post more about using your coupons as the days go by or if you have questions, please leave them in the comments so I can answer them as I am able.