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Back to Basics: How to Organize Your Coupons!

Back to Basics: How to Organize Your Coupons

There are 3 Different Ways to Organize Your coupons. I have talked about them extensively in the video below. Feel free to watch that, or you can read some of the bullet points below.

(If you are reading this post in your email updates, go here to watch the How to Organize Your Coupons Video)

Binder Method:

This is my personal favorite way to organize coupons. And this method works best for people who always want to have their coupons on hand, and never miss a deal. The only con is that you need to cut your coupons each week.

You will need:
3 Ring Zippered Binder (you can choose to get one with a strap for easy carrying)
9 Pocket Baseball Card Holder Inserts
3 Pocket Photo Page Inserts
A package of Dividers

My Categories are:

Paper Goods
Personal Hygiene

You can choose whichever categories work the best for you! But mine should give you a starting off point!

File Folder Method

If you are one of those people who want to do as little cutting as possible, or just want the least amount of hassle, this is the way for you!

Whenever you get the coupon inserts from the Sunday Paper, just write in Black Marker the date of the Sunday paper you got it from. Then, store them away in a file folder, cabinet or something similar. Then, when I post the deals, I ALWAYS give you a date. So, if I say “Use the $1.00/1 coupon from the 12/3 SS”, you know that you can go to your 12/3 Smart Source Insert and cut out just the coupon you need. It is a time saver! The only negative to this method is that you don’t always have your coupons on you when you are at the store. So, if you happen to find something on clearance, you won’t have your coupons to grab the deal.

Accordian Folder Method:

This works best for someone who is new to using coupons or doesn’t want to lug around a huge coupon binder at the store. You can choose to organize your coupons for each shopping trip if you want. The folders are small enough to fit in your purse. **The accordian folders also work well just for Restaurant Coupons and Retail Coupons to just always keep in your car!

Figure out which method works the best for you! One is bound to be a perfect fit! Hope that helps you guys out 🙂

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  1. I do kind of a combination of the first two. I have a 3-ring binder, and when I get the coupon inserts, I simply punch it with a 3-hole punch, write the date with a Sharpie in the top right hand corner and stick it in the binder by date in the appropriate section i.e. Red Plum, Smart Source, etc. That way, I don't have to cut anything out until I'm ready to go shopping, and I can find the coupons that Melea lists by code i.e. SS 7/11, etc.

  2. Thanks for the tips! Your site is the best. I do the file folder system and it works for me but i have trouble with having the coupons expire and i dont realize it till i want to use it. Any tips?

  3. Great info! Thanks!!! I like to use photo albums instead of binders.

  4. I use a combo of the binder and accordian file. I take my binder with me, but before I head out I put the coupons I plan to use in the accordian file under the store name I'm going to. That way I have my binder if I missed something, but I have exactly what I need under that store name. (as I read the blogs I get the coupons out that I need and file them away so I'm ready to go!) It helps me to do most of the work before I go to the store, so I can get my shopping done as fast as possible when my kids are with me.

  5. If you use the binder method what would be the best way to find the coupons you suggest to use on the blog because when they are all cut up you don't have the mail date to refer to….confused 🙁

  6. Liz-I post the date for those people who aren't using the binder method. If I tell you which coupon, you can search by category in your binder to find the coupon. It is usually pretty easy to find, Especially if you fold the coupon so the pictures show. Then, you can just look for the Post Cereal Coupon- if that is what I list. Should only take a few flips of your category page!

  7. I purchased 3 metal-rings and baseball card holders, so it's a binder without the zip up bulkness – and this fits very easily inside my slim storage clipboard (with a calculator!). I sort my coupons by aisle because I mostly just go to Kroger, and occasionally walmart if there are more than a couple deals to be done 🙂

  8. I've Decided To Start Coupons Again. UGH! I Loved The Deals But After I Had My Daughter I Stopped. Now I HAve My Daughter And 10month Old Twins. The Deals Are Too Good To Pass Up So I've Gotta Find A Way To MAke It Work With Kids. Any Tips?…

  9. I need to know where to find baseball card holders. Anybody know?

    • Wal-Mart. They are by the check out registers.

  10. Pingback: FAQ Section

  11. I have used all the different types of organizing and find that the binder is best for me. I am switching from sorting into categories to alpabetical this week. I think that will work better for me because I always look for the coupons based on the brand name on sale.

  12. I find that the coupons have a limit on them. How do you use the same coup0n from two or three Sunday papers? Am I missing something here?

  13. Hi Melea,

    I was in your last ‘coupon class’ and you had mentioned that you had changed your categories in your binder. You mentioned you’d post it on your website but I must be missing it. Could you direct me to the list of updated categories please? 🙂 Thanks!

  14. I use the file folder method and it works great for me!! Part of what I do (which only takes only a small amount of time and I email it to my friends/family) is I put the coupons into a excel file ever Sunday by category with their details. When I get my sunday ads I then find the good deals, search out for coupons and do my own matching. Saves money from the matching websites and is very efficient 🙂

  15. I do the binder system and I love it, I can’t relate to the accordian or the filing system because I can’t see my coupons when I shop. My binder has 16 sections and as I go down the aisles I go to that section without any problems at all. I’ve done binders for my daughter, my sisters and my niece and they like the binder system even though they get tired of cutting.

  16. The binder method works for me. I was very self conscious when I started using coupons, so I tried to avoid the big bulky binder, and started off with a mini binder (8.5″ x 5″) and am still using this binder but I now carry it with pride. Staples carries coupon pocket pages in both full size and half. They have 3 pockets to a page. The printable coupons have to be trimmed a little on the sides to lie flat in the smaller-sized pages but all the necessary info is still there and, for the target coupons, I just fold in the middle so the value and date show. The pages are reasonably priced and, if you cannot find them in the store, they can be shipped free to the store.


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