Coupon Organization: The Master Coupon List

Amber and I have converted many of you into using the fab fruGAL combo method of organizing your coupons (Monica still prefers her own method). In short, you simply:

  • File your coupon inserts in sheet protectors (one sheet protector per set of inserts)
  • Place an alphabetized list of all the coupons contained in that insert in the front
  • Put all the sheet protectors in a 3-4″ binder. (You can view the full tutorial here).

Well, fab fruGAL Stephanie emailed us with her own spin on this method and I wanted to share it with you!

I have an idea concerning the combo method and the weekly lists of coupons provided by Sophie. I also use Excel extensively.

The combo method suggests bringing your binders to the store and finding the additional matchups based on the insert lists. This would involve extensive time looking through each individual insert listing. What is needed to pull this all together is a master listing of all unexpired coupons, such that you can put this list first in your binder, find what you want and go directly to the insert. This would also really help at home to find the items that you are looking for before going to the store. Looking through 12-20 inserts to find this info is way too time consuming.

Another idea. Yesterday was my birthday and I went to the office store, with my husband in tow, to get my combo method started. What I found was page protector sheets that hold 50 – 100 sheets each. These are called expandable page protectors. They are heavy duty and much wider than the standard. I can easily pull out the 6 sets of coupon inserts that I receive each week in these compared to the standard protector. A set of 25 is about $7.50.

So of course, being the fab gal that she is, after getting all the original files created by Sophie, Stephanie created a master list of all the unexpired Idaho coupons (  found in the coupon inserts since the beginning of February!  Thanks Stephanie!!!

Comments

  • Pat

    Love it! Love it! Love it! Wow, what a great help.
    I started using your method of organizing some months ago and it has worked very well. This excel list is an excellent addtion.

    Thank you!.

  • me and my gang

    Wow, thank you!

  • Coupon Fanatic

    Awesome!!! We need to get this Stephanie and Sophie on Opra and/or the today’s show!

  • suzy

    Yes, thank you Stephanie and Sophie – I so appreciate an organized mind:D

  • Susan

    I LOVE this! I totally love it!

    I’ve been doing something very similar. Instead of just printing off each week’s insert list, I paste it into an ongoing spreadsheet so that it’s all in one list, which I then re-sort and print. But I haven’t been diligent about maintaining it and deleting the expired ones.

    I also include the coupons in the “All You” and “First for Women” magazines in my Excel file. If you would like, I would be happy to provide Stephanie a list of those coupons in the same format so that she can include them in the master list. Would that be helpful for others?

    Susan

  • I love you girl. You are superb.

  • I was unable to open it… can you advise?

  • Jennifer

    Do you know if anyone has done these insert lists for Washington? I can use some of the ID ones, but not all.

    • Monica

      Washington is not too different that ID. This ID list would give you a great place to start if you wanted to customize it for WA.

  • Ami

    WOW- very impressive. Thank you so much for sharing your hard work and efforts. So helpful!

  • Meridian Mama

    That’s an awesome idea – Sophie & Stephanie you gals rock!!!

  • Sophie

    I love the master list idea!! In the past when I know I had a coupon but couldnt find it ( your eyes never find what you are looking for on a list) I have always just searched each weeks excel file to find it, which is fine but a bit time consuming. This will make it easy to see if our region even got the coupon and then you can go right to it! Thanks Stephanie!

  • Tara Balcom

    I started doing a similar spreadsheet with the excel files from Sophie. (I’m kind of an excel junkie and love using it for everything!). I had been wanting something like that for a while but wasn’t sure where to get the info, so thank you to all the people behind these lists!!!

    What I’m running into is that my WA paper has a LOT of coupons that aren’t on the ID list. So I am taking the time to go through and add the coupons that I have and deleting the ones – or at least making note – of the ones we don’t get. Is that what Sophie is doing to create her ID list? I’m wondering if there’s some “master list” somewhere of all the coupons that could be in an insert each week?? It would save a ton of time manually inputting all the data if there was a “master list”. I’d be happy to share the files once I got them updated for my area. I’m not as quick as the other gals getting things updated however. (not to mention I’m expecting a baby in 6 weeks and won’t be doing a whole lot of excel-ing :)) Or is there someone already creating a list for the various areas and the differences there are in each paper?

    On the same topic, I’m wondering how to keep up with all the printables?? I have a huge pile of them that I am wondering how to make a master list of as well – without having to manually do them. I’m wasting a ton of money just printing them and not knowing how to keep track of them – I hate throwing them away or giving them to my daughter as scratch paper! Would love your ideas!

    Thanks!
    Tara

  • Stephanie

    THIS IS ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT! Thank you so much!!!

  • Boonie

    Thank u sooo much for doing this. It will save me soooo much time to just check out this master list for a certain Q and to see if it has expired or can be doubled! Thank u thank u thank u!!!

  • Wow…this is really cool!

  • Stephanie

    Thank you all for your kind words and appreciation.

    As a data specialist by profession, I loved putting the list together. Thanks again for Sophie doing the data entry. The maintenance each week is small compared to the benefits received by all!

    One other idea, I mark the coupons used on the individual insert listing. That way, I can quickly assess the number of coupons that I actually have without looking through the inserts.

    Thanks Again,
    Stephanie

  • Shelley W

    Thank you so much for this list. Absolutely amazing!! We are so blessed to have such amazing friends in the blogshere to help all the rest of us! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!! You ladies just saved me hours hours of work. 🙂

  • Melanie

    Wow!!! Thank you! Thank you!!!

  • TYree

    Thank you so much for sharing!!!!! THank YOu! THank YOu!!

  • Hi — My wife is using your method for organizing coupons. This post seems to not have been updated in a bit, but I am trying to streamline the initial cataloging of coupons so it doesn’t take as much time. I think this can be automated. Please contact me so we can discuss.

    Thanks

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