Now that you know all the best places to find coupons from the previous lesson Where to find coupons lets start talking about how to organize them. Coupons are only valuable if you can find, match and use them before they expire and when items are on sale so organization is key. There are a few main methods people use to keep track of their coupons and we’ll walk through our favorites below.
The Binder Method
Before you start clipping and filling your binder with coupons think about how you want to organize it. Many people like to break up their binder based on common grocery store categories like beverages, canned, freezer, meat, pets, produce, etc. Another common organizational method is to sort coupons alphabetically.
Once you decide on your organizational approach you can start putting your binder together. Place dividers between every 2-3 pages of plastic inserts and label the dividers according to your system. Once this is complete you can start placing your coupons in pockets within their corresponding categories. Remember to keep similar coupons together in 1 pocket. Ex: if you have 4 Starkist Tuna coupons place them all within 1 pocket under “canned” if you’re using the category method or “S” if you are organizing your coupons alphabetically.
We also recommend putting a few extra plastic inserts in the front of your binder for coupons that offer great deals that you want to make sure you use on your next grocery run. It’s also helpful to keep a copy of your stores coupon policy in the binder to settle any misunderstanding at the register.
Now your coupon binder should be good to go, just make sure you spend a little bit of time each week keeping it up to date and also give it a quick one over before heading to the store so all of your coupons are fresh in your mind.
Coupon Box Method
This method is similar to the binder method in that you clip and organize all of your coupons by category or alphabetically but instead of using a binder, you’ll be using what is essentially a small portable filing cabinet. You can use a box made for couponing, a plastic storage box or even an old shoe box to get started. Instead of using plastic inserts, the box method gives you a few more options on how you would like to organize your coupons. Some popular options are envelopes, index cards and cut out file folders. This is the cheapest method to get started with coupon organizing and is great for beginners
Whole Insert Method
This method is unique compared to the previous two because instead of cutting out each coupon you’ll be filing the whole coupon insert and only clip individual coupons when you need them. Supplies for this method include file folders, a filing cabinet or a file box.
To organize your whole inserts start by sorting them into piles according to the date the inserts were issued (located on the spine of the insert) and by who the insert was issued by. We recommend writing the date of the insert on the front in marker because the font on the binding is very small. Once you have all your piles sorted, you can start organizing them in your cabinet/box with labels that show the date and issuer. Ex: All 3/15/15 RedPlum.
Quick Trip Organizer
If you don’t require a large binder or box for organizing your coupons or want something more portable and discreet for quick trips to the store, check out a few of these purse like organizers below. You can follow the same organizing logic as described above.