How to Organize Coupons

How to Organize Coupons: 3 Fool Proof Coupon Organization Methods

How To Organize Coupons

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In addition to How to Organize Coupons…be sure to check out my series on How To Use Coupons!

 How To Organize Coupons: 

There are many schools of thought on coupon organization. Some couponers believe that you have to keep every coupon until it’s expiration date without exception. Others advise just clipping the coupons for things  you know you’ll use and tossing the rest.

No matter what belief you end up subscribing too, you will eventually need to find some way to organize your coupons effectively. To be a strategic shopper, you need to hold onto your coupons until the right opportunity presents itself to really maximize it’s power. Over time, you’ll definitely realize that just throwing your coupons into your purse isn’t cutting it!

Here are 3 great ways to maybe organize your coupons (whatever works for you is what works best! Don’t feel boxed in by these ideas. Get creative!):

  1. The Coupon Binder: The coupon binder is for the hyper organized couponer. First you find a good sturdy binder (I like Case It) and you fill it with baseball card protectors (I like these). Then you can either separate it into sections alphabetically, by store aisle, by type, etc. Now, you’ll clip your coupons and place them in the appropriate spots. This is great for those who want to see what coupons they have at a glance at any given time. However, it can get time consuming! Clipping all the coupons and then fitting them into the baseball card slots is not quick work. This is the method I used to use, but I don’t anymore.

    My neglected binder

  2. The Coupon Box: This can be anything from a small recipe box to a huge photo box. You can either just throw all your coupons in, or use small dividers to keep things separated. These can get really heavy very fast! However, I’ve seen some that look really impressive.

    Not my thing!

  3. The Accordion File: This is my current system. I keep the entire insert and I just stick it in my file folder under the appropriate month! Yes it gets a bit heavy, but I do try and run through it on occasion to pull out pages of coupons that have expired or that I know I’ll have no use for. No clipping and all I have to do is look in my coupon database when making my grocery list, find the appropriate coupon insert in my file folder and clip it when I need it! From there, I have regular old white envelopes with the store name on the outside. I stick the appropriate coupons in each store envelope and off I go! I love this new system, and I’m not sure I’ll ever look back! You can purchase an accordion file like mine here.

    There we go…just right!

Do you know how to organize your coupons now? Did this spark an idea?

How do you organize your coupons?


Be sure to check out the ENTIRE Strategic Shopping Series today!

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Heather is the creator and owner of Family Friendly Frugality. She calls Texas home and is married to her best friend. With 2 children 22 months apart, she has her hands full. So full that she decided to start blogging as a hobby. That hobby blew up into a full time job. Now she's got the husband, the kids and the blog. We're not exactly sure what she was thinking, but she's too busy for us to ask. Find Me On Google +

27 thoughts on “How to Organize Coupons: 3 Fool Proof Coupon Organization Methods”

  1. I use a box that my mother got in the 90’s that was made to organize coupons. It’s a little smaller than a photo box, but bigger than a recipe box. The organization tabs have my mother’s writing on them and I can’t imagine using any other way.

    1. I’d love to see a picture of it! You could upload it to the facebook page or email it to me! (you don’t have to, but it sounds really neat!)

  2. I am the hyper organizer with everything, so I use the binder method, and I love it. I love being about to see my coupons without having to search. I take a half an hour on the weekend to clip/print, organize and throw out the expired. I also look through on ones that are about to expire so I know I need to use it or pitch it. I used to find expired coupons and get so mad because it is something we use all the time.

  3. I just started couponing about 2 weeks now:)) I am using the Binder Method…it works well with me…It is easy for me to just flip to the section im looking for:))..I’m still learning things but so far I have saved a bit:) so that is a good thing!!

  4. WAIT! I didn’t know there was a coupon database! I was just to the point of thinking I’m gonna have to go back to clipping again since Kroger quit doubling and I’ll be shopping at too many different stores.
    So can you tell me how to use it? If I need to buy Campbell’s soup, how do I find a coupon for that? Or if I just want soup of any kind, is it different?

    1. The Coupon Database is a super-master list of all coupons available at any given time. You type in “campbell’s soup”, and it will list for you any available (meaning, NOT expired) coupons, printable and paper copies. I believe you can filter to have it turn up printables only.

      And if you use Heather’s link to the coupon database, you help support FFF. :o)

      1. 😉 Love you Barbara!

        Yes I definitely have a coupon database! You can look up pretty much any product and see if there is currently a coupon available for it. It will even tell you if there is a facebook coupon available! It’s not cheap either, so every coupon print through it (for the most part) does support FFF! So use it and abuse it! LOL

        1. I am a newbie to couponing. I’ve done it here and there over the years but I’m a newbie to being so organized about it and hitting the stores with rewards. I’m loving it! I’m currently using the binder method. I find it relaxing to get really OCD about something so I actually enjoy doing it. I can see how it doesn’t work for some people though. I’m SO thrilled to hear about the coupon database. I’m going to check that out! 🙂 Thanks.

  5. And I never thought of the accordian file! I won’t even tell you what my ‘system’ looks like. But I just happen to have an accordian file, so my coupons are fixin’ to get transferred. YAY! Thanks Heather!!!!!!

  6. I’ve been using the “mini-binder” method, with a Day Planner. My husband and I had a few laying around, so I snagged all the zippered pouches, found a few more at Goodwill, along with some picture pages. It’s working, well, okay for now. But I know I do need to “upgrade” to the full-blown binder method…

    Perhaps my system would work better if I didn’t have a stack of coupon inserts from the last two weeks just SITTING on my kitchen table.

    Question: how do you organize your printables, and other miscellaneous coupons not found in the Sunday inserts? I truly love the accordian file method, I’m just afraid I’m too visual, and need to SEE the Qs, and remember the act of clipping them to help me remember I have them.

    1. For the most part I only print coupons that I know I will use right before I am about to go to the store. If I KNOW a coupon will hit print limits, I’ll print it right then and I leave it on top of my printer. I have a stack of uncut printables on my printer pretty much at all times, LOL.

      I live in my coupon database nowadays though. So the second I get the store ad I just look in there and it tells me if I have a coupon!

  7. I`ve just decided to start couponing. I watched the Extreme Couponing show and I cannot believe the amount these people save just by using coupons. I`d be happy to save some on the things my family uses regularly. I`m not sure any of these sites apply to me though because I`m in Canada but I have found some coupons that I am getting mailed to me. I`m not sure what organizing system to use but I guess I`ll figure out what works for me. Any tips would be great; I`m heading over to your new, start here section for some more reading. 🙂

    1. I’ve heard that it’s harder to coupon in Canada, but I know it’s possible! You might not be able to extreme coupon, but you can certainly save some money! I *think* there is a Canadian frugal blogger somewhere? I’ll try and find out for you. She might have some tips though!

      1. I don’t expect huge savings like that show; they are probably unique circumstances but if I save more than usual I’ll be happy. I’d appreciate you looking into the Canadian bloggers for me. I found a couple on Twitter, not sure if one is the same one you are thinking of or

  8. I’m so new to couponing (correctly). Before I would clip once in a while and either forget to keep them with me at all times or end up not using them because another brand was cheaper. I have SO much to learn. I just purchased a binder system (hope it works). I’m just trying to save money….hope I can 🙂 I’ve been reading your Strategic Shopping articles. Very useful, helpful info. Keep up the good work and thanks for thinking of us “not so skilled” coupon queens.

  9. I started couponing in May and use an accordion system, though I’m finding it gets really messy and can be hard to organize. I may try not clipping all the coupons and instead only keep the inserts. I will definitely use your coupon database; I saw it on the WUC site, but didn’t realize how helpful it will be. I really like your blog too!! Thanks for sharing. I’ve been reading as well.

    Another thought I had was getting a binder for the cut coupons then having my accordion for the inserts. That way the binder isn’t humungo 🙂

  10. Don’t you find it harder to find the coupon? I personal do not remember, what where an when for coupons, how do you?. Plus When I am at a store and see a item on sal/clearance I can flip right to the section to see the coupon.

  11. Don’t you find it harder to find the coupon? I personal do not remember, what where an when for coupons, how do you?. Plus When I am at a store and see a item on sal/clearance I can flip right to the section to see the coupon.

  12. I use the box method. I had an extra photo box so I created A-Z dividers out of cardstock and file my coupons alphabetically by brand. Every week I go through my coupon list that I downloaded to excel (which is sorted alphabetically) and pull out all the expired coupons. When I do the piggyback on sales, I download the store flyer in text format and line that up with my coupon list. Saves me time and I don’t have to fumble too much in the box.

  13. I tried the method of organizing by filing the inserts weekly using the accordian method and cutting them as I need them according to the coupon data base. What I found is the inserts became messy and sometimes the data base would send me to the wrong insert and/or the wrong week. I then would clean out the file and find coupons that I could of used and did not know I had them. I found there were so many sales, some not advertised and I lost the opportunity to use the coupon. So, I went to the binder. I have all my coupons with me everytime. It does take more time, but I find it worth it. I can cut several inserts at one time and have them together to file away. The binder stays organised, it is portable and I can see what I have at a glance. I save about $200 a week and spend about 4 hours cutting, filing, organizing my list. So I figure $50/hr is pretty good wages.

  14. I’m a newbie to couponing and run across your site. Thank You for so much information because I had no idea where to start..I love this site.

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