File Whole Insert

Eventually, you will have to cut the coupons you want, but you won’t cut them until you need them.  You’ll save time filing a bunch of extra coupons and cleaning out each expired coupon later.

If you are able to leave your home with an organized plan, this method might be for you.  The biggest drawback is that you won’t have your extra coupons with you for those surprise deals you stumble on or the item you forget to add to your list.  You might prefer the cutting method or the combo method if that bothers you.

The method is simple.  You write the date on the outside of each Sunday coupon insert, file the whole insert, and cut the coupon you want when you need it.

The lists we provide tell you which date and insert to get each coupon from.  (SS = Smart Source, RP = Red Plum, GM = General Mills, P&G = Proctor & Gamble)  The shopping list feature (click a green plus sign to start list) even allows you to organize your coupons by insert so you can cut everything you need out of it, at one time.

If you want something that’s not on our lists, you can find your coupon by using a coupon database.  (One of the tabs on the menu bar of the website too.)

If you get more than one set of coupons, I suggest creating a collated insert.  I do that by preserving one outer cover and back page to hold the other sheets inside.  I rip apart each page and stick identical sheets of coupons on top of each other.  When you need a coupons, you can cut more than one at at time.

You may get lucky and find these in the dollar section or at a dollar store.
Or, an office supply store should have them.
There is also a wide selection on Amazon here.
Make sure you get one with enough dividers.
This cheap one, above, only has 6, but you could use two.
I like 12 dividers.

You can use a file box, plastic tote-type box, file drawer, larger divided envelope style holder, or really any method of keeping your coupons organized.  The exact way you do that is up to you.  I prefer to have a rotating system and not waste a file folder for each date, though that is an option.

I have a file box that I’ve labeled with “Week 1” through “Week 12.”  I have a sticky note on the inside of the box that tells me which date goes with which letter.  Something like:
Week 1 = 8/14
Week 2 = 8/21
Week 3 = 8/29  etc.

* If you get behind or get confused, the date is printed very small on the binding of each coupon insert.

Twelve slots have worked well for me.  When I’m running out of slots, I flip through the oldest inserts and toss the expired ones, occasionally cutting one or two that haven’t expired.  Clearing out the old ones frees up the slots for the next sets that are coming.  I either cross off, the previous date (when I’m feeling lazy) or make a new sticky note for my key.

Note:  I still suggest you have an envelope or some other way to transport the coupons you end up taking to the store.  You will also find that you will cut coupons you don’t end up using (out of stock, change mind, etc.).  You might want to put them in the same envelope you carry to the store.  Or, just be diligent about putting them back with the proper insert, so you an locate them the next time you want them.  If you find you’re cutting a lot and need a separate coupon organization system, go here to see how I set mine up.

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