One way to ensure that you use coupons is by being organized. There is nothing worse than getting home to see that you forgot to use that coupon! UGH!
Organized coupons does not mean they have to be alphabetized. What it means is that they have some semblance of order. You can actually keep your coupons organized in a few ways. There are different coupon organizing systems you can try, so you can use the one that works best for you.
Make sure you check out our How to Use Coupons page for the help you need to start learning to save more money!
SMALL AND SIMPLE
These small organizers can be found for $1 – $2 at many stores, including Dollar General, Target and Walmart. There are usually anywhere from 6 – 10 sections within the case, 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 the best one for someone who is new at using coupons or even a casual couponer. There are no labels on the tabs, so you will want to add your own. Here are some sample categories you may want to consider.
Add in any additional sections, or remove those that you do not need. The idea is to ensure you can find the coupons you need when you are ready to use them.
Another option is to purchase an accordion file (similar to the one below) and place your weekly inserts into it, grouped by date.
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!
Then, before you shop, you find the coupon you need and clip it only then and use it. That way, you save lots of time trying to clip, sort and organize on a weekly basis.
You can then access the coupon database to find the coupons you need to clip before you shop.
NOTE BOOK OR 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, without clipping only when you need to use them.
If this is you, then it is time to upgrade to the coupon binder. This is what I affectionately call the Grand Daddy of coupon organizing.
You will need to find a binder. Make sure it has both a handle and strap so you can easily carry it in and out of the store. In addition, you will want to ensure that it zips shut (that way, if it opens while you are shopping, you can close it and keep your coupons from falling out).
I also recommend your binder have an outside pocket where you can store inserts and your calculator, pen and scissors. When you are ready to clip, you will have everything right at your fingertips.
Add baseball card sleeves and divider tabs. The sleeves are where you will place the coupons once they are clipped.
Once your book is set up, next comes adding the sections! I recommend that you do not use the tabs that slide into the divider tabs (as they can easily fall out). Instead, pay a bit more and get those that you can either write on or place a sticker on. You can use your label maker to type all of the labels you will need.
Categories to add include:
Bakery (I put all breads, rolls, etc here)
Household (things such as batteries, bug spray)
Cleaning Products (anything but laundry or dishwashing)
Paper/Plastic (includes disposable dinnerware to toilet tissue)
Retailer (includes coupons and Catalina’s)
You can find this list in a printable format here.
One find thing you will 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 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.
Alternatively, make one out of fabric. Sew two pieces together and 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. This way, rather than cutting each coupon individually, you save time by clipping them together. Once they are 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 coupons away. Since you already clipped like coupons, it makes it easy to file them together into one of the baseball sleeves. Do not put more than one type of coupon into a sleeve as you will forget you have it. However, file like coupons together.
For example, if you have Tylenol coupons in your binder, add the newest ones into the same section in the sleeve. This way, every Tylenol coupon you have is filed together, making it easy to find when you need to.
Now, you’ll have all of your coupons in one place so you can find the ones you need, when you are ready to use them!