It does no good to have a coupon if you can’t find it! So, you have to keep your coupons organized in a way that works for you. Here are some options:
1. The Binder
One of the most popular ways to store coupons is in a three-ring binder using baseball card holders to hold the coupons.
Pros: Easy to see the coupons when they are stored in the card holders. Contents are secure.
Cons: Large, Heavy
2. A File Box
I use a 4″ x 6″ index card file box. I use dividers to divide my coupons into categories, such as pasta, soups, drinks, candy, etc.
Pros: Small enough to fit in a large purse for easy transporting. Fits beside a purse in the shopping cart.
Cons: The box can get too crowded if you buy multiple inserts. Contents may spill out if you drop it.
3. File by Insert Date
Some couponers do not clip and file coupons. Instead, they keep the inserts whole with the date clearly written on the front. If they are looking for a coupon that was in the 3/6 SmartSource insert, they pull that insert, locate the coupon, then clip it.
Pros: Saves time that would be spent clipping and filing.
Cons: As more and more coupons are clipped from an insert, it gets flimsier and harder to keep together. Pages get separated from the insert leaving you to wonder which insert it was from. You can do a lot of searching through an insert before finally finding the coupon.
My Advice to You:
Don’t put a lot of money into one system only to find out you don’t like it. Experiment to see what you like best before making a final decision.
I frequently am asked to share the categories that I use in my coupon box. After trial and error, here are the categories that seem to work for me:
At the front of my box, I have sections labeled with the names of the stores that I shop the most:
CVS – this is where I store my CVS shopping list, the coupons I plan to use, my Extra Care Card, my Green Bag Tag, and my Extra Bucks
Rite Aid – this is where I store my Rite Aid shopping list, the coupons I plan to use, my Wellness Card, and my UP Rewards
Kroger – this is where I store my Kroger shopping list, the coupons I plan to use, and any Kroger store coupons
Other Stores – this is where I keep shopping lists and coupons I plan to use for any stores besides the three listed above
Next, I have the following food categories:
Frozen (Pizza and Mexican)
Meals (meal kits or bagged/boxed meals)
Sandwiches/Sides (Hot Pockets, Lunchables, side dishes)
Pillsbury (this brand has so many coupons that I give it a whole category!)
Crackers/Popcorn/Chips (basically salty things)
Sweets (like cookies, Crunch-N-Munch, etc.)
Granola (granola bars)
Miscellaneous (restaurant coupons, etc.)
Use Soon (coupons about to expire that I want to use)
In a separate, smaller, expandable coupon file, I put non-food coupons in the following categories:
Dental (toothpaste, toothbrushes, mouthwash, etc.)
Hair (shampoo, styling products, etc.)
Hygiene – Men (men’s deodorants, men’s razors, men’s shaving cream)
Hygiene – Women (women’s deodorants, women’s razors, women’s shaving cream, make-up, feminine napkins, etc.)
Batteries, Dusting Products, Floor Care (I know these three products are not related, but each one produces a small number of coupons. So, I combined the three into one section of my organizer.)
Air Fresheners (Glade products, Air Wick products, Febreze, etc.)
Soaps (bar soaps, dishwashing detergent, dishwasher soap, etc.)
Baby (diapers, wipes, non-food baby products, etc.)
Paper (toilet paper, paper towels, trash bags, sandwich bags, foil)
Next, read about How To Shop the Drugstores.