September 09. 2013 4:39PM

Time2Save: Organize coupons to get money savings in order

Scripps Howard News Service

You don't want to get overrun by coupons. Instead, experiment with a few options for getting organized and decide which one is best for you. (SHNS courtesy Kasey Trenum)

EDITOR'S NOTE: A new couponing column makes its debut today. The author, Kasey Trenum of Chattanooga, Tenn., is the co-founder and editor of the blog

Q: What is the best way to organize my coupons?

A: One of the trickiest parts about couponing is finding a system to stay organized. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to go about this.

First, you have to find a system that is efficient for you. It may look different from someone else's, but it should suit your needs. You don't want to get overrun by coupons because that's an easy way to get discouraged from saving money. Instead, experiment with a few options for getting organized and decide which one is best for you.

Here are a few examples of organization solutions:

• The binder method: You will need a 2-inch binder, plastic sheet protectors and labels. When you clip coupons, place them in the plastic inserts by categories and label them. Use categories such as "breakfast," "frozen foods," "canned and boxed items," "refrigerated foods" and "personal items."

Pick categories that work for you. The labels and clear sheets will make your coupons easy to see and keep them protected. The binder is also a cinch to store in your car.

• The file-box method: Using a small box such as a recipe box, keep coupons organized by category.

Use labeled tabs to keep categories separated and to make it easier to find coupons. The file-box method is convenient, compact and easy. However, with this method you only see one coupon at a time.

• The whole-insert method: All you need is a box, such as a file box, and folders.

When circulars arrive each week, simply place them in a dated folder and place the folder in the box. You can then easily locate coupons by date as you need them.

Give these systems a try and find one that works for you. Then, start saving money!

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