The following is a guest post by Outside the Box Mom:
Looking for the the easiest way to organize coupons? I would recommend the whole insert method.
What is the Whole Coupon Insert Filing Method?
A coupon insert includes all of the sheets of coupons contained within one booklet, found in the Sunday newspaper. With this filing method, coupons are filed by the whole insert, without clipping any coupons.
Is the Whole Coupon Insert Method for Me?
The advantages of using the whole coupon insert method are quick setup, no clipping coupons until you’re ready to use them, using a coupon database to find coupons, ease of tossing expired coupons, and low weekly maintenance. The disadvantages of the whole coupon insert method include not having an individual coupon clipped if you happen upon an unadvertised sale, and a bulky system that is hard to carry around. For my current season of life, the whole coupon insert filing method is my preference. The pro’s outweigh the con’s.
Supplies Needed to Make a Coupon Insert File
- File box (or other box)
- Hanging files (or folders or other divider)
- Labels or tabs
Step by Step Guide to Set Up a Whole Insert Coupon File
- Gather inserts each week.
- Use a marker to write the date on the front of the inserts.
- Create a file, folder, or divider for each week.
- Keep Smart Source (SS), Red Plum (RP), Proctor & Gamble (PG), etc. inserts together.
Preparing for a Shopping Trip Using the Whole Insert Coupon Method
When planning a shopping trip, look for deal match-ups online and use online coupon databases such as MoneySavingMom or CouponMom.
- Pull insert (see image above of how to read the date on a coupon insert).
- Clip desired coupons.
- File back.
Why I Love the Whole Insert Filing Method
Easy to maintain. It literally takes 5 minutes each week to maintain. My friends, co-workers, mother-in-law, and grandparents save their whole coupon inserts for me. In addition, there is a free local newspaper in my area that includes the Smart Source coupon inserts. Each week, I have at least 6-8 sets of whole coupon inserts. Coupons are only clipped as needed for a shopping trip.
Who The Whole Insert Filing Method Will Not Work For
Those who want to have all of their coupons with them at all times. Since you don’t clip individual coupons until needed, you won’t have an individual coupon if you happen upon an unadvertised sale. The file box of whole inserts is heavy and bulky, which makes it hard to transport.
How to Maintain Whole Coupon Inserts
Depending on the size of your file box, remove the oldest week, each week when you add a new week. Recycle or send inserts to military families who can use manufacturer coupons, up to 6 months past their expiration date.
Tips & Tricks on The Whole Coupon Insert Method
I file whole coupon inserts, check store deals blogs, make my list of best deals for the week, shop with that list, and skip some unadvertised deals I happen upon in the store (because I don’t carry all of my coupons with me). One hour a week could save you 50% on your grocery bill.
Free Resources to Help You Create a File for Whole Coupon Inserts
Submit your questions and challenges in the comments and they will be addressed in future posts.
If you missed any posts in this series:
- Goals when using coupons
- Common reasons why people don’t use coupons
- #1 obstacle in using coupons
- Types of coupons available and where you can get them
- Ways you can organize your coupon stash
- How to make a grocery list
- Shop at different stores to stretch your buck
- Know the sales cycle
- Start small
- I have no luck in couponing
- No coupons on products I buy
- Remembering to use your coupons
- Am I a casual couponer?
- Pro’s and Con’s of once-a-month shopping
- How to Setup a Coupon Binder