There are as many ways to organize as there are people who have a philosophy of organizing. Exclusively using the envelope system, one envelope per category, didn’t work for me. I could never remember what I had and when they expired.
After watching Extreme Couponing on TV, I started using the binders. I vowed to use what I had laying around the house. I wasn’t going to put money into something that didn’t work! I found an unused binder and started there. I pulled all the kids’ Pokemon cards out of their sleeves and put them in a box and used those. I punched holes in colored cardstock and taped on tabs for the categories.
The categories are pretty much up to you. I label them as Health and Beauty, Make-Up, Cleaning, household, Snacks, Frozen and refrigerated foods, Breakfast, etc. Once I started getting a good supply, I subcategorized each section. For example, Health and Beauty had these subcategories, skin care, dental, medicine, eye care, hair care, etc. I understand what goes under each category. At some point, you have to get to where you know what you want and categorize accordingly.
A friend of mine showed me that she then used envelopes labeled with the store’s name on them to place the coupons I would use for that week. That way, when I get to the store, I pull out my list I printed from couponmom.com and have all those coupons in it for the week.
It is best to cut, and organize coupons once a week. Then leave the binder in the car so that it is available for those last minute trips to the store.
If you have your own story and want to share or just want to share a suggestion, I’d love to hear it!