Coupon Organization – Making it Work for YOU {Part 1}

There is no proven method when it comes to organizing your coupons. The only thing that IS proven is that you’re more likely to USE them if they are ORGANIZED!

Organization can be the wall that stops a newbie couponer from couponing! It’s overwhelming to find a new place for all this new “clutter”! I have a sister that is THE MOST organized person I know, but she was overwhelmed with the whole coupon organization thing, she finally bagged it and {gasp!} tossed all of her coupons she had been collecting.

Lucky for us – there is more than one way to do it. And if you’re like me, you’ll change methods a few times, trying to find what works for you.

Just starting out? Not quite sure you want to commit? You can go to the dollar store and purchase a small photo book to organize your coupons in. Investment – $1.00. This is what Monica did to start out. She’ll tell you that it only lasted a few weeks before she moved on to something bigger.

As for me, there are three main methods of coupon organizing that I have tried. Each have their pros and cons… again, you just do what works for you! And it may take a little time to figure that out, and that is OK!!!
Here is my own coupon organization metamorphosis!

#1 – Filing Method

This is pretty basic. You simply find a way to file your coupons! I’ve seen some use a mini filing box, or a filing crate. Personally, I wanted something a little more portable, so I purchased an accordion binder on clearance.

It had 13 slots – which would hold about 3 months of coupons. Perfect! I put the oldest coupons in the back, and the newer ones in the front. It certainly wasn’t anything fancy! I used sticky notes and wrote the date of each coupon week on it and then filed all coupons from that date in that slot.

Then when it came time to plan my shopping trips, I could easily find on a *certain fabulous blog* which coupons I would need for what deal. (ie: $1/8 Yoplait Yogurt from 1/3 SS told me that if I pulled out my Jan 3rd Smart Source insert, I would find a great Yopait Yogurt coupon!). I’d pull the insert, clip out the coupons, and file it away again. When I got to the point where I had my 14th week of inserts to file, I simply looked at my oldest insert, and most often, every single coupon had expired, so I could recycle it!

* Quick way to organize – no cutting!
* Simple to use for a busy mom
* Very small investment for the system

* Takes more time to prepare for shopping trip because you have to find and clip the coupons
* Although it is portable, it’s not user friendly when in the store. Example: If I ran into a great clearance deal (let’s say I found Secret Deodorant on clearance), I may or may not even remember that I have a great coupon to use, let alone know where in the heck to find it!
* Often times I didn’t even look through the inserts. Just filed them away, so I’m sure there were some fabulous coupons I missed out on!

I used this method for the first 9 months of couponing. Stay tuned for stage two of my metamorphosis in coupon organization! The Binder Method! The most commonly used method that I’ve seen in these parts. 🙂 We’ll have a list of all the sections we have in our binders. ALSO, we’ll show you our super fast way of cutting coupons! The last post, I’ll show you what I’m doing NOW (yep, I’m no longer doing the binder method either!).

SO – are you using this method? What do you like? What don’t you like?

{Return to series index}

You can watch us first hand and how we organize our coupons (plus a whole lot of other great tips and secrets) in our NEW 90 Minute DVD – Seven Secrets to Successful Couponing!

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  • Julie

    I just wanted to add a suggetion to the NO CLIPPING method. I clip in the store and before a big shopping trip…What I do is file all my coupons in a big box filer which fits in the cart seat. I then print off the alphabetical list of what coupons are in each page. I use a separate duo-tang and label them 1- whatever and match them with the coupons…so page 1 matches page 1 in the file folder….If I see a good deal I open my DUO-TANG and look for that product and then I look in my big file folder and pull the coupon out~!! YOu will NEVER miss a coupon or a deal..This works so well for me and I thought I would share!!! I hope you understand and my description wasnt too confusing!!! ahah Thank-you for your site I love it and it has changed my life! Julie

    • Monica

      I had to google search DUO-TANG. I think I found them on amazon. Is that what you use? Thanks for sharing your tips! And thank you for your sweet comments about the site.

      • Julie

        Haahha Monica I am Canadian and that is what we call it although I live in California…That is a Duo-tang and what I use and my method works like a charm! My file folder on the other hand isn’t so easy to carry and weighs more than my kids put together!!I used to clip but with 2 kids under 3 it was a COUPON nightmare!!! If you ever need any help please let me know. I can research the california stores for good deals…I am pretty good at couponing and get rock bottom deals!! Again I love what you guys do for us!!

    • zara

      Hi Julie, I don’t understand what you mean when you say: ” I then print off the alphabetical list of what coupons are in each page. I use a separate duo-tang and label them 1- whatever and match them with the coupons…so page 1 matches page 1 in the file folder…”. The alphabetical list (as I know it) is usually 1-2 pages and lists all coupons. How do you separate and label in your duo-tang folders? Thanks!

  • Laura

    I tried the binder method first but I was clipping alot of coupons that weren’t being used. I then started filing them in my filing cabinet by week. I write on the folder when the last coupon expires for that week so its easy to clean out. As I plan my shopping lists, the websites state the location of the coupons so I find them and cut them out as needed. Then I place them in my little coupon holder by store. If I see a deal at the store that I don’t have a coupon for, I look up on websites to see if there is a coupon out there for the item, purchase it and go back later with the coupon and receipt.

  • Billie

    I clip mine, and store them in a binder with baseball pages by expiration date. Then when I want to go in the store, I pull up my match lists and I pull them by expiration date. This seems to work for me. If I need the item then I pull it and put it in my small accordion file, if I dont, I leave it in my binder til the end of the month and put them all together. This seems to work best for me instead of by different “aisles” in the stores. I will forget what is expiring and what isnt or i forget i have it at all…

    • I’m glad you found a system that works for you!! That’s 100% the most important thing. If you don’t do anything with your inserts, they’ll just end up making a huge mess and being a waste of money! Thanks for sharing this great tip!

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