My Precious Pennies

I will be AWAY until late February as we do this moving thing...again.

Ginger from Attention Target Shoppers & Tricia from 1stopmom
will be holding down the fort in the meantime - thank you so much, ladies!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Declutter Challenge Day 14: Coupon system

On Monday, I showed off my coupon album as part of the Coupon Binder Show & Tell over at Keeping the Kingdom First, and today I will be decluttering my coupon album.

I am still using the album, but have just reorganized it. I created categories for the front, and my loose coupons I now put at the back of the album. The categories are as needed...I have ones like "Laundry", "Huggies", "Drinks", "Snacks", "Make-up"...etc. The categories are as general as "Laundry" for all laundry-related items, and as specific as brand ("Huggies" and "Pampers"). I create categories as I need them due to the number of coupons I have.

I've found that this method of organization works best for me. All dishwasher/dish-soap coupons go into the two pages, and although I won't see all of my coupons, I'll know where to look when I'm looking for a dish soap coupon. This is much better than just throwing the coupon randomly into the album and having to flip through the whole thing. And all my loose coupons that don't really need a category are filed starting back to front, so I have adequate room to expand my categories if I need to. Yes, it's true I could make categories for those loose coupons too, but that will create too much empty space in my album because I might not have a coupon for "canned foods" or "ice cream" for a while.

I also separated my commissary-only coupons into another album. I've got way too many coupons these days to be keeping everything in the same album - not to mention it's so easy to get confused between a manufacturer's coupon and a military coupon. The commissary-only album is separated in a similar way my regular album, except for the fact that there aren't as many categories.

The smaller purple one is my commissary album, and the hardcover red one is my regular album. I originally wanted to get transfer everything into the purple ones (I've got two of them), but the main difficulty is that they are side loading and makes the coupons that much harder to put in and remove, whereas the red hardcover is top loading, which is easier by far. I'm willing to put up with the side loading for the commissary album since I really only use it once a week.

For now, this system along with my store envelope system works. However, I'm on the look-out for something even better. I don't want to use a binder, simply because toting around a binder along with the carseat is just impossible. At least I can fit these albums into my little tote and put it around my wrist. Maybe when the baby becomes a toddler, I'll give the binder a try, but for the next 3 years, anything that's too big to fit into my little tote is really not an option.

So, I'm basically looking for a better 4 x 6 album. I'm hoping to find one that is a refill/binder version, where I can buy 4 x 6 pocket refills and rearrange the pages however I want. Another option is to use a day-planner as the holder, and just punch holes into my coupons, but I'm not sure how well that will do seeing as how the paper coupons are printed on are rather weak and flimsy. Another obstacle is that most day-planner supplies tend to be on the expensive side.

I'm pretty happy with my system for now, but as with anything else, I'm constantly looking for a way to improve. I will keep you posted if I happen to find anything...


steph said...

HI, I recently changed my coupon holder and I love my new one. Its like a day planner so it's not as big and bulky as the binder system. Once I removed alot of the paper with the tips on the inside it holds tons of coupons and the clear holders are very durable unlike some others! Just thought I would share. check it out here.
also you could do it cheaper if you just ordered the clear inserts!

forgetfulone said...

Wow! You are way more organized than I am! My coupons used to be organized, but now that I'm remarried, and my husband is one of those "quick trip to the grocery store every other day" kind of people (I'm not), it is much harder to keep up with. I'm going to make it a goal to do better in that area.

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