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Friday, September 11, 2009

Ask Me Anything: Organizing your Coupons

I get so many questions from readers - both beginner and novice couponers. I thought it would be most productive and helpful to all the readers if I start answering some of the most common questions publicly.

Each week I'll feature a new question (or two), and I'll answer as best as I can. Of course, I am just one coupon gal, so additional feedback from readers is always welcomed and appreciated!

This week I'll be covering some of the most frequent questions I've had...

* What does SS, RP, P&G mean?

- Those abbreviations will be seen when referring to a coupon's source: Smart source insert, Red Plum insert, and Procter & Gamble insert. You can check out my past post about the Coupon Lingo if you want to see what all the abbreviations stand for.

* Why can't I print some of the coupons?

- When I first began using Internet printable coupons, I had issues getting some Bricks coupons to print. It would usually say "Please wait...." forever! What I soon discovered was that the coupon link is set-up differently in Internet Explorer and Firefox. A slight change in the URL can make the coupon print. Of course, make sure you have the appropriate downloads needed to print off coupons from Coupons.com, etc.

Here's an example of how to make a little change to allow this Bricks coupon to print:


- This is the URL (link) for the coupon. See the 'wi' (in red)? Sometimes it might say "wg" instead. Look for these two letters -- if it begins with a "w" then you should have no problems printing it in Firefox.

- If you use Internet Explorer, just change the "wi" to "vi" -- the "vi" means you can print it in Internet Explorer.
Hope that helps! :)

* How do you organize your coupons?

- A while ago I posted an entry about getting started titled Couponing 101: Getting Started. I'll try to explain in further detail the binder method I use... (you can click on the images to enlarge.)

I have a zippered 3-ring binder that I take to the stores with me. It has zippered pockets inside and an accordian filing system up front for my "to be cut/filed" coupons. I also keep a pair of scissors, a calculator, my store cards, index cards and my shopping list inside.

TIP: Use the $2 off mead Five Star coupon from RedPlum to score one for cheap! I am sure they are clearanced by now.)

Inside my binder, I use cheap dividers to separate my coupons by the aisle of my most frequented store. (See this post for more details.) Then, I invested in some baseball card sheet protectors (there are 9 pockets on each page) -- I believe it cost me around $15 shipped for 100 pages and then I spotted some extras at Walmart.

I fold my coupons (or try to) so that I can easily see the expiration date when I flip through the book. Since the pockets are clear, you can use both sides by sliding a coupon in behind another.

Although my binder is heavy, it has been a HUGE timesaver so I don't have to sift through envelopes at the store. I can easily see what I have at a glance!

I really try to keep up with clipping coupons just because, for me, it's harder to keep the inserts together and sort through them while I'm juggling a toddler in a busy store. I don't like to be clipping coupons out in the mmiddle of the store and, often times, I'll see unadvertised sales or Manager's specials. If I can find a coupon for it quickly then I've scored. If I have to spend too much time sifting through coupons then I'll probably pass on the deal.

Currently, I am backlogged on clipping my inserts so I've just been taking the coupons I need in a small envelope. Some times you just have to give yourself a break! :)

Hope that answered your questions!


Do you have a question about couponing, shopping, saving, meal planning, homeschooling, or even about me? No matter how big, small, or trivial it seems, someone else probably has the same question, so ask away! As long as it's respectful, I'm an open book so "Ask Me {almost} Anything!"

Just drop me a line and I'll do my best to get back to you as soon as possible.


  1. Thanks for this and all your great deals! Do you know of a dollar store in AZ that accepts coupons?
    Thanks, Edith

  2. Hi Edith,

    Sorry for the delayed response! I believe Family Dollar, Dollar General and Save-A-lot stores are the only ones that accepts coupons. Here in AZ, I know Family Dollar does (I am not positive about Internet Qs though) and I just called and Dollar General does as well. Hope that helps!! You can go to those websites to find a location near you! :)