Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Organizing Coupons

While there are many ways to organize your coupons I decided to let you know what works best for me. When I first started using coupons I used a small accordion file. In the beginning this worked well. Once I got more involved in couponing, I soon found the accordion file hard to manage. While it was convenient, and it fit in my purse easily, it was time consuming flipping through to find a coupon quickly.

My sister introduced me to the binder method (or nerd book we like to call it). I soon upgraded my small accordion file to a 3 ring binder. I bought the binder on clearance at Target and I got my oldest son to donate some of his football card holders. I then began to work on the categories I wanted. I used stick tabs on each page to categorize the coupons for quick reference. After a few changes along the way, here are the tabs I have right now listed in alphabetical order.

*Baby Misc
*Baking Items
*Canned Goods and Condiments
*Cleaning Supplies
*Feminine Hygiene
*Gum and Candy
*Meat and Produce
*Oral Care
*Paper and Plastic
*Pasta and Rice
*Personal Care
*Pet Needs
*Soaps, Shampoos and Body Wash
*Misc Items

Having the binder has made it incredible easy to search for coupons quickly. It is bulky though so sometimes that can get in the way unless you have a purse big enough to carry it. And yes, sometimes you get strange looks. For the most part though it has been a good experience.

My most memorable moments have been the countless number of times I have entered Wal-Mart and the front door person chases me down to put a sticker on my return. Then I have to explain to them, "no, this isn't a return this is my coupon binder". This has happened more than once! Also another time at Wal-Mart I had this guy watching me in the cleaning isle thumb through pages in my binder. He came up to me and said "Wow, is that coupons? That is really a great idea". He stood and chit chatted with me for a couple minutes about how more people should use coupons. It was hilarious.

The hardest part of organizing my coupons is trying to find time each week to sit down and actually clip and file the coupons. But for the hour or so that it takes, it is well worth it to be organized.


  1. Do you find that you have to fold some of the coupons to fit in the card holders like this? I have to fold some. I have been looking everywhere trying to find the ones for photo sleeves that they sell, but I can't seem to find them anywhere!

  2. Yes, I do have to fold some of them. It is kind of annoying because it makes it harder to see the expiration date or the picture. The photo sleeves might work really well. In fact you could just use a small photo album, like a 4x6 one.

  3. Thanks for the tips...I really do need to start clipping more coupons!

  4. I'm stopping by for UBP 2009! What a great idea! I need to do this asap! Have a great party week

  5. I have been using the binder method for about a year and find that I am getting worse, rather than better at keeping it all organized. Maybe it's a sign to investigate a new method?????

  6. I'm glad baseball season has son will be so distracted with practice and games that he will never notice I've swiped some of his card holders!! Thanks for the great tip for the couponing newbie! Michelle

  7. i read this post this morning, and i am about to go through my coupons right now and do this. my hubby is going through his baseball cards right now and sorting out some so i can have some of his card holders. thank you thank you thank you from a new coupon clipper. :)

  8. I know a lot of older couponers love to keep their coupons in a binder but it can be intimidating to new couponers. For those people, an easy way to get into using coupons more is by using a coupon database like to look up coupons each week.

    Sara - you should write more on the different methods of keeping coupons!

  9. I found too that a coupon binder helps organize my coupons. After learning about coupon binders, I set out to create one of my own. I had an old zippered 3ring binder (great for coupons not falling out). I didn't have any baseball card holders but I did have some clear plastic sleeved in the 3 ring binder. So, I made my own sections by cutting the sleeve into thirds and then taping the bottoms to create a pocket. On some pages, I used staples. Then, put in some tabs to add section dividers. Definately works for me!