Organizing Your Coupons
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Organizing Your Coupons
Keeping your coupons organized is crucial to shopping shop the deals and getting the best bargain. There is nothing worse than going in to the store, seeing a sale and having no idea where that coupon is. You KNOW you have it but it’s buried somewhere amongst the mess. Maybe you have tried the binder method and hate it so gave up. There is a method for everyone. Let’s take a look.
The Binder Method
When you use the binder method you need a couple of things to get started. You will need a large 3 inch binder, you can find ones specially designed for this on Amazon, page dividers and baseball card sleeves. You can find pages with different size pockets as well.
The pockets hold your coupons. You can divide your binder up into two main sections – food and non-food and break it down from there or simply go alphabetical. Some like to divide their binders by the aisles in their favorite store. Totally up to you. You can have as few, or as many, divisions as you like. You may have to fold your coupons so they will fit into the pockets.
Make sure you get a notebook that zips so if you drop it everything stays intact. Put a 3 ring pencil holder in the front for your scissors, calculator and pens.
The Scrapbook Album Method
Scrapbooking albums have nice big picture pockets. You can use post it note tab labels to divide them up. The pockets are bigger but there are less to a page. You can add sleeve protectors to this, or your binder, to hold ads or shopping lists.
The Photo Album Method
One method that seems to be quite popular is the photo album. You purchase the small individual photo albums like you can find at the dollar store. It’s a hybrid of the binder method. Each album is its own category. These little albums then get tucked into a shoebox type organizer or coupon bag and you pull them out as needed, grab your coupon from the pocket and pop it back in. You avoid flipping through tons of pages in a binder this way.
The Filing Method
This is a favorite for those who dislike the binder method. You can buy file boxes designed for couponing or make your own. The square, shallow plastic totes with a locking lid and handle work very nicely for this type of filling method. You then set it up as above with whatever categories you like. Make your own dividers, or cut file folders to the height you need for dividers. Long business envelopes are nice in between the dividers to help keep coupons from slipping under the dividers. The nice thing about this method is you have a good many coupons on hand.
The coupon clutch would fall under this category as well. It’s an accordion type folder designed with couponing in mind. There are large sizes which can hold a good many coupons, and the smaller purse size clutch. The small clutch is nice for when you pull the coupons you are going to use. You can just pop them in there and there are ready for checkout. This is nice no matter which method you are using.
The File Box Method
With this method you simply purchase a file folder holder with a lid and handle, like you would use in an office. Folks who use this method file their coupons by insert. They cut what they need as they go or as they shop for a sale. The only problem with this method is it limits you when you are in the store and you see a deal and your files are at home. A milk crate and hanging file folders are great for this too.
The Combo Method
This works nicely if you get large quantities of inserts. You can use a notebook, filing system or basically whatever is your favorite. You use that for a certain amount of coupons, hot ones, expiring soon, printables, etc. You then file extra whole inserts by date in the larger file folder holder. You can pop it into the car, and if you need too, cut out more.
The Mega Coupon Bag
These are seriously cool. They involve the file method but are bags that are roomy inside for file folders. You can get them for full size file folders or shallower ones for cut coupons. They are pretty and often attach to the cart so no slipping and a strap for carrying. You may have to do a search for these on some place like Etsy if you want to purchase one. These are for the die-hard couponer on the go!
Filing Whole inserts
The filing box method above works nicely but there are a lot of other options as well. Hanging wall pockets work great if you are limited on space. Purchase at any office store and most retail stores have them. The office organizers with a lot of spaces are perfect as well. You can also create your own filing boxes out of diaper boxes. They are nice and sturdy. If you want them pretty cover them with Contact paper.
Clip & Go Method
This is my personal favorite. I just use binder clips to clip my inserts together by date. I clip my printable coupons together as well. When I do my planning I cut out what I need and clip those together.
Just because something is the latest rage doesn’t mean it will work for you. If you want to try out the binder method then start small and try it for a few weeks. Don’t invest a bunch of money into something that may not work for you. If you love the filing system and know it works then go all out and buy the mega bag. The goal is a successful, well organized shopping trip that allows you to bring home the most savings possible.
New to Couponing?
We have a guide here that will help you start saving tons of money at Publix!