INSIDE: Learn how to organize coupons. From a coupon binder to the clipless method, you can quickly find your coupons when you need them.
Using coupons is great, but you need to make sure they’re organized, so you can find a coupon when you need it. The most popular way to do this is by using a coupon binder. But that isn’t the only method of organizing coupons.
There’s nothing worse than getting home from a shopping trip to see that you forgot to use that coupon! UGH! When you organize your grocery coupons, it doesn’t mean they’re alphabetized. Instead, it just means they have order, so you can find them when you need them, thereby saving money.
Also see: Stop Losing Gift Cards
HOW DO YOU ORGANIZE COUPONS?
Here are some different coupon organizing systems, so you can use the one that works best for you. You may need to try a couple of ways to organize coupons before you find the right one for you.
Want to learn even more about coupons? Be sure you check out our How to Use Coupons page for the help you need to start learning to save more money!
CLIPLESS COUPON METHOD
One option for coupon organization is to purchase an accordion file (similar to the one shown below) and place your weekly coupon inserts into it, grouped by date. This is a popular method because it doesn’t require you to cut out your coupons until you need them.
Add tabs for each month of the year. Then clip together multiple inserts from the same date. Finally, write the date on the cover and file it away!
Before you shop, find the coupons you need and clip them only then. That way, you save lots of time by not trying to clip, sort and organize on a weekly basis. You might want to circle items on your shopping list that you have coupons for, so you don’t forget them.
SMALL COUPON ORGANIZER
These small organizers can be found for $1 to $2 at many stores, including Dollar General, Target and Walmart. A coupon wallet usually has six to 10 sections, so you can organize your coupons. There are also tabs where you can add labels to help you find the ones you need.
This system is best for someone who is new at using coupons or even a casual couponer. There are no labels on the tabs, so you’ll want to add your own. Here are some sample categories you may want to consider:
Retail (store coupons)
Add any additional sections or remove those you don’t need. The idea is to ensure that you can find the coupons you need when you’re ready to use them.
COUPON BINDER METHOD
Once you get more into couponing, you may have too many coupons to fit into a small folio. You might also want to see every coupon you have available, instead of clipping only when you need to use them.
If this describes you, it’s time to upgrade to a coupon binder. This is what I affectionately call the granddaddy of coupon organizing.
You’ll need to find a binder with both a handle and a strap, so you can easily carry it in and out of the store. In addition, you’ll want to ensure that it zips shut (that way, if it opens while you’re shopping, you can close it and keep your coupons from falling out).
I also recommend that your binder have an outside pocket, where you can store inserts and your calculator, pen and scissors. When you’re ready to clip, you’ll have everything right at your fingertips.
You can find binders on Amazon or at Target or Walmart. This is the binder I use, and you can see the features I mentioned.
Add baseball card sleeves and divider tabs. The sleeves are where you will place the coupons once you clip them.
Once your book is set up, add the sections. I don’t recommend that you use the tabs that slide into the divider tabs because they can easily fall out. Instead, pay a bit more and get labels you can either write on or place a sticker on. You can use your label maker to type all of the labels you’ll need.
The coupon binder categories you should consider include:
Bakery (I put all breads, rolls, etc. here)
Household (things such as batteries and bug spray)
Cleaning Products (anything except laundry or dishwashing detergent)
Paper/Plastic (includes disposable dinnerware and toilet tissue)
Retailer (includes coupons that print out of Catalina machines at participating stores)
You can find this list in a printable format here.
One thing you’ll want to add is a plastic sleeve or pocket. That way, if you have coupons you need to file, those you want to use or other items, you have a place to put them.
Now that you have a method to store the coupons, you’ll want to organize them quickly each week. This method will help you do so in no time at all.
To start, you need a coupon guide. You can make one out of poster board or cardboard by drawing lines and adding headings that relate to each section in your coupon binder. Or you can make one out of fabric. Sew two pieces together, then stitch in lines to divide each section and finish it by adding the category headings.
Look at your inserts and group like ones together. Then find each coupon inside and stack them and cut once. That way, rather than cutting each coupon individually, you save time by clipping them together. Once they’re cut out, place them together onto your coupon guide – under the correct category.
Continue to cut out all of the coupons you need, and add them to each category. The last step is to file the clipped coupons away. Because you’ve already put like coupons together, it’s easy to file them together in one of the baseball sleeves. Don’t put more than one type of coupon into a sleeve because you’ll forget you have it.
Always file like coupons together. For example, if you have Tylenol coupons in your binder, add the newest ones to the same section in the sleeve. That way, every Tylenol coupon you have is filed together, making it easy to find one when you need it.
Now you’ll have all of your coupons in one place, so you can find the ones you need when you’re ready to use them!