EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

October 11, 2013

An organized wallet is key to couponing success

Dear Jill,

I’ve followed your blog for several years now, and do quite well with couponing. However, lately, I seem to be unorganized! I follow your clipless method and only clip what I am going to use that day, then carry an envelope with the clipped coupons. Sometimes the items are sold out, so I am left with extras. I then put those in another envelope labeled ‘extra’ and try to remember to check this first. Also, I have an accordion file next to my computer into which I put peelies, printed coupons, mailed coupons, etc., but almost never know or remember what’s in there. Do you keep a written list of these? I would love to know how you organize those, so I’m not constantly throwing out great coupons.

Janet H.

Help is here. You’re not the only one who uses an envelope to hold coupons. Next to an actual coupon wallet, it seems to be the most popular container in which to carry them. And why not? Envelopes are plentiful and inexpensive. (Quite a few readers have shared that they even recycle envelopes from a utility bill or junk mail to hold their coupons.) But I use a coupon wallet to carry my coupons around, as I’ve found it helps me stay more organized.

Coupon wallets are very inexpensive - look for them at your favorite dollar store. Office supply stores carry them, too, for a few dollars more. I’ll explain how I have my wallet set up, as it’s a method that I’ve found works well for me.

Grab your new coupon wallet (hopefully you only spent $1 on it!) and open it up. Most wallets have tabs along the top of each pocket and adhesive stickers to label each pocket. Instead of labeling your pockets by product type, I prefer to label each pocket by store name. Choose a few stores that you shop frequently and label one tab for each pocket. Leave the front pocket in the wallet blank - we’ll come back to that one in a moment. Once you’re done labeling your stores, you can label the remaining pockets however you like. Behind my frequent stores, I have a pocket labeled ‘Other’ for trips to stores I don’t visit often.

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