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How do you organize your coupons?

I've struggled with finding a system for organizing coupons that I like and that is quick and easy.

I've went from the plastic coupon organizers ($1 each) to a recipe file box ($2 each)to a zippered binder system, which was considerably more expensive. I paid approximately $25 for the binder, baseball pages and dividers.

I've tried filing the inserts by date and only clipping the coupons when needed. For me, that was VERY time consuming. Say I'm going to the store and need coupons for 6 different items. You pull the insert(s), thumb through them, clip the coupons, and REFILE the whole insert. When you have 4-10 inserts of the same week, think about how much time I spent clipping each individual coupon out, and then refiling inserts that I would be pulling again when needed. Too much time for me.

On the binder system I found the baseball card pages difficult and time consuming to fold coupons to fit. I put off filing my clipped coupons in the binder because of how much time it consumed getting them filed. Then I was always searching for a coupon.

I've now went to a photo box with A-Z divider cards. The cost was less than $8 at Walmart. 4"x6" Photo Storage Box was $2.77 and 1 set 4"x6" A-Z dividers was $3.99. Filing is so much quicker for me.

The time of actually clipping the coupons is the same no matter what system you use if you stack your insert pages or make monster inserts. Check out the tutorial by Erica from i heart cvs.

To clip coupons, I stack my inserts, staple and use a rotary cutter to cut them. For me this seems to go a whole lot quicker than cutting out each individual coupon from each insert. Erica at i heart cvs has wrote a wonderful piece on how to stack inserts into monster inserts. She has great photos also. Be sure to read her article. She supports the 'file the whole insert' method in the end.

I want to know what type of system you use. Are you happy with it? Would you like to go to a zippered binder but have been putting it off due to the cost? If so, check out Mrs A's Coupon Organizer. IF, I were to decide to go to a binder system again, I would order my pocket pages from her. I've never seen pocket pages like hers.

Other bloggers' coupon systems:
The Homespun Heart: Saving in Style
Laura Williams Musings: How To Make A Coupon Binder


  1. I just went to a coupon class last Saturday (I thought I could learn a way to work some local deals which I did) and the lady who taught it said she only clips when she needs the coupon. That doesn't work for me because I never know when I'm going to need more coupons to back up my shop.. especially when I do so much clearance shopping and I have one store that DOES NOT advertise sales.

  2. I have two plastic coupon organizers...one for the grocery store and one for everything else (usuallyg drugstore-ing). I keep both in the car, just in case.

    I've stopped clipping every week because it was driving me insane and cluttering my organizers to where I couldn't find anything. I really like the way Erica at Iheartcvs does hers, keeping unclipped inserts organizing by date and referencing using a database (http://iheartcvs.com/2008/09/collecting-organizing-coupons.html). Of course, it makes shopping clearance and unexpected sales, like Melissa says, tough.

  3. I have all my food and pet coupons that are $$/1 in a binder: http://mrsascouponorganizer.com/products.php

    All non-grocery are filed in a coupon box by category.

    Any food or pet coupon that is $$ off 2 or more are filed in a small box by category. I very rarely use any in this box.

  4. I keep two accordion folders. One for food types and another for everything else. It's not perfect and I often forget that I have some coupons and let them expire but it works overall. As I don't use many coupons it really doesn't take that much space so I keep both folders with me in my purse.

  5. I just got the baseball card thing...I sort them alphabetically in there (Almay, Bic, etc). It was not that hard for me, and it makes shopping clearance a cinch! I clip out the coupons I think I will use (brands I am familiar with, items I use). The rest of the inserts I keep until they expire, just in case. I also have an accordian file folder (small, check size) that I keep my ECB in. I will put the coupons I KNOW I need for CVS in there, and I usually only take the big binder into WM or Target since I go in just to clearance hunt.

  6. melissa I also tried just clipping what I knew I would use, filing the rest of the inserts by date and using a couple databases, but my problem with that is... sometimes we will get certain coupons a couple of weeks before and/or after what databases predict they will be coming out... so, I would be off to search again.

    So I have found that the quickest/easiest for me is to stack my inserts, staple and cut everything out and then file them a-z in the box. I then only have one place to search for a coupon. I then pull what coupons I need according to sales flyers, but I keep the box in my car. My stores are small stores and if you take a binder or box in you get labeled a "coupon queen" and they hassle you and scrutinize your coupons with a fine tooth comb.

    jvay I started out with two of the plastic/accordian/check size organizers and I still use them since they fit in my purse.

    precious where do you get the most of your coupons? Do you purchase multiple papers? Trading with friends? From the store displays? etc

    jenny letting a good coupon (that I forgot I had) expire is aggravating for me too.

    sarah I've use to be brand loyal, I seen a lot of deals pass by and decided that for a few months I would try the other brands (using coupons) and see if in the end it really mattered. I have found a few things I like the brand that always has a coupon and very few that werent worth it. To name just a few... dishwashing soap, toilet paper, shampoo, toothpaste, etc. Yeah we still have our favorites on some things, but for the most part I will buy any brand for anything if I can save money doing it.

  7. Lisa B,

    I do all of those things to get coupons but most of them come from multiple papers(when the coupons are really good and ones I would use) which I try to purchase with ECB's.

  8. Hi Lisa -
    I struggle with this as well! I have a plastic coupon organizer that is so stuffed that I can't even close it (with all my coupons) and then I keep an individual (paper) envelope for each store. Like Melissa, I do alot of clearance shopping and like to have my coupons close! Let me know if you find a better way!!! :)

  9. I like seeing other ideas on how to organize things.
    Would you consider posting this on my blog as a guest blogger post? I had someone this week show her coupon notebook, I think this would be good follow up blog on another week.

  10. i would like to know more about the rotary cutter you use and how you cut multiple inserts at once.