Monday, November 8, 2010

Homemade Coupon Organizer

Lately I've been dipping my toes in the murky water that is couponing. I'm still very much a "newbie" despite the fact that I've been reading coupon blogs for almost 3 years. I've learned so much, like it's very worth while, but I have yet to master deals and steals. My top 3 coupon blogs are:

1. Kingdom First Mom - Alyssa hosts the weekly $5.00 challenge. Teaching others how to shop with coupons, purchase many items and only spend $5.00 OOP (out of pocket). Love her.


2. Money Saving Mom - Crystal has a team of people sharing all the sales and deals with her to share with all of us! Sign up for the email for your local stores and you will be among the first to hear about what's on sale and what coupon to use. She will also list printables for your that go along with the ads to maximize your savings!

3. Consumer Queen - Melissa lists it all. No matter how big or small, if there is a deal out there she will find it and blog it. I love watching her YouTube channel. She always inspires me!


So that's where I began my journey. I've been collecting my coupons for about 6 weeks now and I have quite a growing stash. I had one of those store bought coupon organizers at home and tried to use it unsuccessfully. I found that it didn't have nearly enough categories for optimal sorting. I googled some homemade coupon organizers and found one I could do easily with the items I have at home. Here's how you do it:

1. Get a stack of plain envelopes and begin to label them in the categories you find helpful while couponing. Label the back top side with a large font and a dark visible color. Marker is a better choice over pen, believe me, I tried it first.
2. Line them up in some sort of order. Imagine walking through the store and place like categories together. Example, you will want body wash and hair care near each other. Chances are you will not want the dairy category next to the shaving category. Do a virtual walk-through in your mind of the store you are most likely to use your coupons, and stack your envelopes to match the way you walk through the store and isles. Then place the envelopes in order with the top envelope reflecting the shopping you'd do that's closest to the entrance of the store. Using the photo below as an example I want the Medicine & Vitamins envelope to be the top envelope, it will end up on the far left when I lay them vertically. The Toilet Paper & Paper Towels envelope needs to be on the far right, so start with that envelope for the next step.
3. Lay the envelopes out with your first envelope on the left and your last envelope on your right. Open all the flaps and lay the next envelope on top of the flap. You may need to make more than one coupon organizer. I have one for groceries only and the other is for heath & beauty type items.
4. If you're envelopes are new all you need to do is wet the seal to adhere it to the next envelope. Mine, however, are very old, so I had to revert to using my glue stick to get them to adhere properly.
5. Then lay down the next envelope on the sticky portion of the flap from the envelope next to it.
6. Press down firmly for a few seconds to ensure it will stay. Mine didn't stay well even with the glue stick, so I had to use some tape on the back sides to make sure it would not come apart.
7. When laid out in a line it will look like this
8. Then begin folding them accordion style
9. Your goal here is to get one nice and neat stack. Just keep folding.
10. It will end up looking like this
11. The finished product will be a nice and neat stack of coupon envelopes. Then all you have to do is hold them in your hand and flip through the categories to quickly locate the coupon needed to save you money! I have yet to unfold them completely again. I keep them in a stack while I sort through them. No need to find the space to lay it all out.
Final note: You could easily buy colored envelopes or for all your scrapbook savvy mom's you could decorate them very nice. A label maker would be nice for the category headings too! I keep my two coupon organizers tucked into my purse, but if you were worried about them coming apart you could keep them together with a rubber band or a pretty ribbon.

So there you go! A very frugal solution to organizing your coupons. What's so great about this solution is that it's very customizable. You can choose as many or as few categories that you may need.

Would you find this method useful? What do you use to organize your coupons?

4 comments:

  1. Awesome idea that is frugal and so useful!! Thank you for sharing the idea!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Works grest and it took less than 20 minutes to make it and load with coupons! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is the best idea ever!! I used purple envelopes and fancy letter stickouts to label everything.....everyody that sees it wants one! Thank you :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Shared with Moncton Coupon Lady. https://www.facebook.com/MonctonCouponLady
    Thanks so much for the great idea!

    ReplyDelete

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