Maintaining Coupons

With all the methods for organizing your coupons, you'll probably still need a way to maintain an envelope, box, or binder that holds the coupons you cut.  (I don't have an easy way to do a binder since I've never used one and they're set up differently.)  The method below is what I do with my envelope, but it would also work for a box.

Once you have your coupon holder figured out, you’ll need to maintain it to keep you from going insane!  This is hard to explain in writing, but it’s quite simple, so stick with me . . .

I always file new coupons in the back of each section, not paying any attention to the expiration date. Every month I do something to clear old ones out.  I alternate months, only because I don’t want to invest the time it takes to do it well each month.  One month is easy, the next one takes awhile. On the first month, I clean out each section by pulling out all expired ones.

Next, I pull all the current month's coupons in front and the next month’s coupons behind it.  I don’t worry about specific dates, just the month.  After the those two months, I put everything else all scrambled up behind them.  (Don’t waste your time arranging them since by the time two months pass they will no longer be in order due to the new coupons you keep putting behind.)

The next month it's easier.  I just pull out all the ones in front of each section, that have expired.  I don’t get all the expired coupons since some have been filed in the back or get messed up along the way.  However, I call it close enough and can close my envelope again!

I rarely do this right at the perfect end of the month, though that would be ideal.  I wait until I have “car time.”  (No, not while I’m driving!)  I wait until my husband is driving us somewhere.  This is also the time I file most of my coupons, unless I get behind.  I don’t watch much TV, but that would be another great time to do it.  You could also hire your kids!  I haven’t tried that, but might in the future.

Of course, if you have a system that makes more sense or if you want to invest more time each month to keep them more current — all the better!

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