Organize Coupons and Paper

I often get asked about organizing coupons. People seem to feel that coupons are a big part of their paper clutter, although I find that to not usually be the case in reality. When it comes to organizing coupons, simple is better.

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organize coupons to reduce paper clutter

First of all, I don’t even recommend keeping coupons unless they are high value. A $10 coupon? Yes, keep it. It has to be at least $1 in value for me to even want it, and preferably for an item I buy All The Time! And, of course, those Bed Bath and Beyond coupons are the best. Not only are they relatively high value, usually worth at least $5, but they never expire (even though they have an expiration date on them).

how to organize coupons and elminate paper clutter

True story, as I was organizing my office earlier this month, I pulled out a newspaper page from an ad that my company ran back in 2005, and it had a Bed Bath and Beyond 20% coupon on it! I clipped it and put it with my stash. They’ll take it, no fuss.

Before you ask, I am not a huge fan of online coupons. I’m just not. I do not need to spend my time one more place online to save $.50.

organize coupons and paper clutter

Anyway, you saw me profess my disdain for accordion file folders earlier this month. They are AWFUL for paper files, but GREAT for coupons. You’ve probably seen the mini-accordion folders, but I like the mid-sized ones. Just $1 in the Target Dollar Spot. They are big enough to hold my BBB coupons, and still small enough to fit in the car, either in the glove compartment or in between the front seat and the middle console. And they are convenient to carry into the story with me.

how to organize coupons to eliminate clutter

What I don’t love is that if you open them carelessly from the lid, all of your goodies fall out. You’ve been warned.

When I go through my mail, I pull coupons out and place them on my counter, and take them out to the car the next day. They are always actually with me when I’m headed into the store. And I often quickly clean out expired coupons while waiting to pick up kids or at long lights.

Are you on the path of Clutter-Free Living? Are coupons a real challenge for you? What’s your solution?

New Year's resolutions, organizing goals, 31 day organizing plan

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Anne Meibohm

    In BBB recently, one of my coupons was initially rejected as ‘expired’ (and it was a fairly recent one). The customer service person was able to override it, but it surprised me that it even happened.

    1. Darla

      Hmmm. I hope they don’t change that policy any time soon.

  2. Cheryl

    Last time at BB&B, I was told the online coupons (the ones from their website and emails) expire but the paper ones, from their mailings, do not. I’ve never had problems with the paper coupons…agree, hope they don’t change their policy!

    1. Darla

      Oh, that totally has been true forever. You had me worried, for a minute.

  3. Mary Ann Mallory

    So Darla are you saying that you do not do the grocery store coupons (many of which are 50 cents or so)? If you do save these coupons how do you file them? Just curious. I have been doing them in a clump by month of but not sure that is the best way to continue. Any thoughts? Thank you.

    1. Darla

      Yes, by golly, I don’t save grocery store coupons. I found long ago that they were not worth my time, and often just lead to me buying unhealthy packaged foods just because I had a coupon. Instead, I shop at Aldi, which is a small store with the lowest prices I’ve found, and they generally don’t take coupons. I also stick mostly to fresh foods and staples. It works for me. If you are saving grocery store coupons, I would really challenge you to use a timer each month to calculate how much time you spend reading, clipping, redeeming, and purging those tiny pieces of paper. Then multiply your time spent by your hourly wage. Most times, we find that the savings isn’t anywhere close to the effort, but if it is in your case, then saving coupons in a small accordion folder might be the way to go.

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