Lifestyles Of The Fabulessly Frugal…

June 10, 2011 28 Comments | Disclosure

The most important thing I’ve learned along the Fabulessly Frugal road to coupon clipping greatness has been to stay organized!  When I first began clipping coupons in earnest my first purchase was a coupon binder.

Followed by sheet protectors to hold my coupon insert lists…

I quickly found out that baseball or trading card pages to hold all my clipped coupons were a necessity.


As well as a  pencil pouch with pockets to hold my pens, sticky notes, and…

My favorite calculator to keep a tally of my groceries as I shopped.

Unfortunately there is always a learning curve we all have to go through at the beginning. But if you can find a coupon organization method that’s effective for you… you’ve already won half the battle. :)

How about YOU?  How do YOU stay organized? What’s your favorite organization method for storing all your coupons?

 

Comments

  1. I am needing to get myself one of the great binders that you sell. I have already out grown and broken my binder and I have only been doing this for a little over a month.

  2. Camille N says:

    I am just a beginner couponer, and am NOT organized!! I totally need help!! I currently only have my coupons separated into different categories and put in just letter envelopes. It’s HORRIBLE!! I have tried looking for sites that have these binders already made, because I seriously don’t have a lot of time in my life, but haven’t found any for sale yet. Do you have a site you would recommend?

    • I use envelopes and I love it!

      My suggestion for you, if the envelopes aren’t working for you, would to get a binder, sheet protectors (either baseball card holder type or photo album type), and some dividers. Then just take the categories that are on your envelopes and put them on the dividers. I don’t think you need a very fancy binder for holding your coupons! A friend once recommended getting a binder that zips around in case you drop it, so coupons don’t fly everywhere.

      No matter what organization method you choose, I recommend having all coupons you are using in hand before getting into the checkout line! Then you won’t be flustered trying to hunt for a coupon at the last minute. :)

      Good luck!

  3. Laurie Adams says:

    I need to get a binder (and all that goes with it). I am so new to this, that all my coupons are still in envelopes! AGH…CHAOS AT THE CHECKOUT!

    • Envelopes work awesome for me! My recommendation is to have an empty envelope on hand that you can stash all your coupons in that you’ll be using at checkout. Then when you checkout, you’ll have 1 envelope, not 20! That should help with the checkout chaos. :) Good luck!

  4. I am patiently awaiting for the day I have “extra” spending cash to buy a stylin binder! I have been clipping coupons for almost 2 months, have a 3″ hard binder that is completely organized…but a pain to lug around and scared to DEATH of dropping it and coupons flying out! Started couponing to save $$ and hubby would freak if I dropped $50 on a cool binder when he insists the “old school” method works just fine. (Maybe I should make HIM do a day in the life of a couponer!!!) LOL

    • FrugalMT says:

      Thrift stores are a good place to find binders – i found 2 zipper 3 ring binders with pencil pouches already included for less than $2 each. I need to go to Staples and use my rewards for some more sheet protectors and basball protectors.

    • Lisa L. says:

      I bought the pattern that is offered on the Stylin Binder site and used a JoAnne’s coupon and a binder I had – total for supplies was about $9.00. It turned out great!

  5. Love love love my stylin binder. It’s a MUST have and keeps all my coupons from spilling out of the binder.

  6. Angelic Buckley says:

    I LOVE the “clipless” method, but find that I need the baseball card holders to organize my printables and the odd coupon that I don’t get from an insert (magazines, boxes, etc.), so I have a binder for each (both with zippers) and that seems to work the best for me. I have to say, though, it is quite a pain to lug around two huge binders, so if I am just running to the store for a select few specific items, I usually clip the coupons I need, and put them in a little accordian file folder, and that works great too, cuz it fits right in my purse!!! :-)

  7. I use a Stanley tool box (it looks like a tacklebox) I made dividers by cutting file folders. I clip only the coupons I will use or think I will use. For example I never cut the make up coupons as I dont wear any. My question for the ones who use binders and the baseball card dividers, how do you know where to find a particular coupon? Are they grouped somehow? For example my dividers are organized to the aisles of my Winco because that is my main store.

    • Mine has dividers between the baseball card and receipt holders. My categories are the area’s of the store I shop. I like the binder method because I can see all the coupons as I flip the pages. I just flip to the category like ‘dairy’ and flip through the category until I find say the coffeemate coupons. I like it because there aren’t any lose coupons to fall out (and I’ve dropped the binder several time). I move my binder coupon’s to a small accordion file as I shop because it’s faster for me to pull them out at the register. (the accordion file fits in a pocket of the binder). My binder has straps like a bag so sometimes I put my cash/check book/driver license in the binder and leave my purse at home.

  8. Monica Flynn says:

    For the last two years, I have used two of the accordian style, smaller coupon holders, one for food, and the other for non-food. I always thought I would hate the binder system, but I just switched this weekend and moved everything over to a stylish zippered binder. I absolutely love it! Much faster to find my coupons instead of weeding through all the other coupons in the same category! I feel so much more organized!

  9. I bought a small calculator at the dollar store that has a clip on it. I have it attached to my purse I also have a small pair of scissors in my coupon binder (just in case I need to clip a store ad) they have come in handy many times. I have a small accordion file (purse sized from the dollar store) for weekly store coupons and I put the coupons of the products of I’m buying in the front file after I put the products in my cart. My system is complicated but it works best for me.

  10. I LOVE my binder!!!! I bought the pattern from Stylin’ Binders and made my bag for it…..in fact it is a black and white print pattern and looks almost like the one above.

  11. I prefer using photo page protectors .. there’s 4 slots to a page & easier to get coupons in & out (especially w/ odd sized coupons from mags & boxes)

  12. Shelley says:

    I’m just switching over to clipless. But i agree that pocketed sheet protectors are still necessary for printables. I gave up my baseball card ones for money protectors which are three pocket, but I put a piece of cardstock in each pocket, so i can use both sides for 6 pockets of coupons. I found that I couldn’t see the expiration date or the info on the coupon when they were folded in the nine-pocket sheets. Anyway, They work so great, no more missed dates and wasted coupons!! I also invested in a giant zippable binder after an unfortunate incident where I accidentally picked up my binder upside down, and coupons….well, you get the picture! It has 2 sets of rings in it and tons of pockets for calculator, lists, pens, envelopes. I LOVE the envelope system , by the way….for different store lista and coupons. I am NOT so fond of ecoupons….I am a visual person, and they are hard to keep track of, both before i buy and when i go through the checkstand.(I do print the lists, but still….)
    My new binder has a handle like a purse, which is very handy.
    How are you, Mavis? Hope all is well in your neck of the woods……!

  13. When I started couponing, I started with the binder system and clipless method and it was the best decision ever! I have transitioned to clipping all and storing in baseball card holders by date, but still use my binder and I wouldnt trade it for anything!! If you are able to buy one, the stylin binders make a huge difference. They are so much more convenient! Just my two cents..

  14. I only clip coupons that I am interested in using (rather than clipping everything). I sort them into envelopes labeled by category. I periodically go through the envelopes and toss out expired coupons… usually when I’m adding new ones in.

    When I go to the grocery store, I have a color coded shopping list that tells me which items I have coupons for and what envelope I need to pull them from. I pull out all the coupons that I need before even going into the store and stick them in an empty envelope. Then I just pull them out when it’s time to checkout!

    Today, I had a little time to spare, so I sorted my coupons into sheet protectors (the kind used for photo albums, 3 pockets on each) according to what store I was headed to. So when I got to that store… I took the coupons from the respective pocket and stuck them in my envelope!

  15. I like to clip all of my coupons and put them in baseball card holders. But even better, I use double sided baseball card holders, which are stronger and you can put coupons on both sides easily. Well worth the little extra they cost (which are easily paid for with the money I save couponing!).

    Good categories is the key to simplifying the clipping method. The Fab gals have a great list. Go to http://fabulesslyfrugal.com/2009/05/fabuless-coupon-tip-tuesday-binder.html

    If you haven’t gotten a zipper binder or Stylin Binder (or made one yet) then use a cute tote bag for your binder. Throw it over your shoulder and you are ready to go!

  16. Michele says:

    I work on more of a small scale. I don’t order multiple sunday papers…just receive extras from a couple neighbors. I seem to use printed online coupons more.

    So, I use a big pocket zippered organizer and inside I hold all inserts in order by date, then a pile of online printed coupons in no particular order (not cut) and an envelope for the random peelie coupon or loose coupons. Then in the side pocket is my sissors, calc, pen, Albies card etc….

    I always do my “List” and organize my coupons I will be using BEFORE I go into the store. I can’t recommend this enough. Then if I see a random item in the store I know I have a coupon for, I’ll either cut my online coupon or look up which insert it is in on the fabulesslyfrugal website on my iPhone.

    This method has worked great for me for about a year now! I say use whatever method you think you will genuinely use. For me I’m not clipping anything until I need it~

  17. Can I just say, I am in LOVE with the Stylin’ Binders?? I work for a local (Boise) news organization and we just had the lovely ladies who created Stylin’ Binders on our show this morning!, so I got see them up close and personal. I was drooling over the fabrics … and was totally wishing my birthday or Mother’s Day weren’t already past. ;) Worth every penny, in my book! And the women behind the product are awesome, too — thanks for featuring them on here!

  18. I have a zip up binder that has two sides(two rings set-ups) to it. I made my own divided sheet protectors by just buying regular sheet protectors and then cutting a slit horazontially in the middle on just one side and then sewing a “t” shape to give me 4 pockets on each side(8 total). I have my coupons divided into food on one ring and everything elsea on the other ring. I also then have dividers on each side and seperate the food further into things like: snacks, cereal, frozen foods, cooking/baking supplies, etc. and the same on the other ring, I have have dividers to seperate it more into things like cleaning supplies, toothpaste/brushes, soap/deoradent, make-up, etc.

  19. Carolyn H. says:

    I have each transaction planned out before walking into the store!! Plus I have all my coupons attached together with a paper clip and a sticky note on the front of each stack to tell me how many of each item plus how much it should be. That way there is no confusion and I don’t hold people up checking out! I also love to plan out my transactions in my cart! :) I don’t like to stack up my cart to the top! Keeps me organized and I don’t take forever to figure out check out! :)

  20. I love my zippered binder! I too pull out and organize my coupons before going to the store and I have a list with all the deal details so I know how much I want to pay.

    The best in-store method I’ve started using to stay organized is to bring lots of reusable bags when I’m doing multiple transactions. I group items together as I’m shopping so each transaction is in a bag. Saves lots of headaches!

  21. I was wondering if any one has one of the stylin binders that they use that would be willing to take pictures of it in action? I can’t seem to get a feel for it from the pictures on the website.

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