Organizing Your Coupons

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:clip: Are you new to Coupon Clipping? Over the years our readers have offered lots of tips and suggestions for organizing those coupons to you can maximize your savings.

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What do you Need to get Started ?

1. 3 Ring Binder ( available at Wal-Mart for $1.96 – often even cheaper)
2. Trading Card Pocket pages – these are in the office supply aisle and are 9 pocket poly/laminate full size pages (Wal-Mart 1.44 per pkg regular price)
3. Coupons- from the Sunday paper or printed from your computer, etc.
4. Optional- full size poly pages

Even if you are not an avid coupon clipper, I highly suggest starting with the items listed above.

Why?
1. It will save you time
2. You’ll find more deals
3. You’ll be more likely to use your coupons rather than having them get lost in the bottom of your pocketbook/purse or forgotten at home.
4. It helps keep your barcodes clean and easier for the cashier to scan
5. Its easier to see what you have for coupons- rather than flipping through an accordion style coupon book.

organizing-your-coupons-2

How to get started . . .

1. Place your Trading card pages into your binder and divide into as many sections as you need (Refrigerated, Cleaners & Detergents, Baking Goods, Frozen items, Personal Care, Pets etc)

These sections will be personalized to fit your own family.

2. As you begin clipping your coupons, slide them into your binder in the correct section. organizing-your-coupons-2

I usually do this as I’m watching a favorite TV show in the evening, or catching the latest news.

3. If you’re really organized you can insert them according to the savings, for example, all the .25er’s on 1 page, or at the top of each page. Generally speaking, I don’t do this!

4. Each week double check the expiring coupons as you’re adding to the binder. You can use colored dot stickers to alert you to hurry up and use the coupon or to be looking for that item on sale that week.

Various Tips

1. Keep the Binder in your car. That way, no matter when you run into the store, you’ll have the deals at your fingertips.

2. Find out whether your favorite grocery store accepts coupons. Since most stores Corporate policies allow coupons, most store managers are able to set their own standards as to what they will or wont accept.

I’ve added a few photos here and there so you can get the idea of how our coupon binder looks.

© Liss Burnell – the Owner & Editor of Budget101.com Your #1 Penny Pinching Resource
“Digging yourself out of debt when all you have is a spoon”

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. SEE OUR DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

49 Comments

  1. i know this is kinda old, but i’m extremely new, and would also love to see a picture demo of your coupon book. i always used to use the accordion thingies and lost patience fairly quickly.

    thanks! :worthy:

    • I know this is kinda old, but I’m extremely new, and would also love to see a picture demo of your coupon book. I always used to use the accordion thingies and lost patience fairly quickly.

      Thanks! :worthy:

      Hi there! Thanks for your post, I’ve added some photos to the article of our binder so you can check it out. Welcome to the site and feel free to jump in anytime!

    • This is how I do mine, except I can’t find the baseball card insert pages at my walmart, only full size.

      Staples carries the baseball trading card sheets. usually for under $4 for 10 sheets.

    • This is how I do mine, except I can’t find the baseball card insert pages at my walmart, only full size.

      i found the baseball card inserts at walmart in the as seen on tv section, by the cash registers. i found them on a rack that is usually used for candy bars, etc., i paid aproximately $4.50–price vary from store to store. If you cannot find at your Walmart, try a store that sells baseball cards, etc.

      Or go to amazon.com.

  2. the office supply area would have the plastic sheets. mine was called a business card organizer; but i’ve had them for years. maybe theyre obsolete.

  3. thank you ladies, i finally found some @ walmart, also some for pictures work well too!so how do you ladies go about which coupons to clip? do you clip them all or just the ones you know you’ll use? :coffeebath:

    • Hi, I live in Flowery Branch, Ga. I thought I’d share a “keeping coupons” hint I got online somewhere. Sorry, it’s been too long and I don’t remember who to give credit to.

      o:(

      Get an expanding file with lots of slots. I got a brown on that had10 slots and an elastic band attached to keep the flap closed when not in use. They sell them in office supply sections most everywhere.

      Label each slot with a “month”. If you have 12 slots, that’s great, but if there are less, just double up on a few months. Then, all you have to do is put the whole coupon flyer(s) from the Sunday paper into the slot.

      I take a sharpie and write the name & date of the flyer on the top edge (rp for red plum ss for smart source and the date 1/29) for ease in finding the right one. That way you ever have to clip any coupons until you need one of them. I use a web site http://www.southernshopper.com to check the sales at the various stores and they list which coupons can be used on the different sale items. they tell you a coupon from rp 12/14 is good on xxxx item.

      all i have to do is go to my file, find the coupon booklet from that week and clip it. no more hunting through a hundred different coupons to find the one i maybe remembered to clip!

      i’ve been using this system for about 1 1/2 years and it works great for me.

  4. i am a newbie at the whole clipping coupons thing. i went to the grocery store last night and i was able to save almost 50.00 using coupons. I only clip the coupons that I know I am going to use.

    Otherwise I feel that there will be so many ones that I wont use that it will fill up too much space.

    I have been looking around on this webste about coupons. I have found many great resources like the page that lists all of the grocery stores and the sales that are availiable. Also the one that lists all of the weekly sale ads.

  5. i just up graded my coupon note books with tabs and it was the best thing i have ever done. i don’t mind cutting out the coupons but i use to hate trying to put them in the notebooks, but now i dont mind it abit and it save lots of time plus i had a coupon for the tabs!!! gota love it.


  6. You can get 100 pages at Amazon for $15.(Shipping is free if you have amazon prime). I found more inserts the other day at walmart in the office supply isle (near the notebooks/binders). Usually they have so much stuff stacked on top of them that you have to dig for them.

  7. i would like grocery coupons mostly, i don’t really need or want resturant, shows or odd coupons of the things i will never use. i find the things i need never have coupons. i don’t use prepared food or mixes.

    i want staples. most of the things i cook are from scratch. i do occasionally use cake mixes, but never by tv dinner type food.

    i really like the would like to find more coupons for staples. lindak

  8. this article makes me happy. i was thinking i was a coupon “failure” because i don’t normally use coupons but i want to. however, if i can’t save $100.00 on a grocery trip, I felt like it was a stupid effort.

    This article has helped me see that its NOT the norm to get a refund at the end, or have your $250.00 grocery bill cost you only $5.00 or whatever.

    Thanks so much!

  9. i am new to this site but am not new to couponing. i’ve had my binder for about a year now and found my card holders at the dollar store. my problem (well, one of them…) is finding enough coupons!

    i get the local paper and print coupons online, but i still don’t feel like i am “finding” them all. i am moving to the atl area in january and hoping that i can connect with a couponing group!

  10. i am going to start couponing! i bought two sunday papers yesterday and now…let the journey begin! i am open to all that i can learn about saving money!

    thanks for all the helpful suggestions on this website.

  11. i have always used the accordian style and mutter under my breath contantly in frustration of losing my “place” with it. :dash1: So switching to the 3 ring binder seems attractive, but as a (tongue in cheek) adhd ocd person….a person who can get hung up on the organization part to the point of distraction…..squirrel!!!!

    anywho, its a stupid question, but each “slot” in the organizer is designated for a certain type of item or is it one slot per name brand item. just seems like that system would be inherent to “holes” riddled throughout organizer and then requiring a ba-jillion more clear pages which is counter intuitive to saving money by having to buy more. (sorry, but my head just isn’t wrapping around this at the moment….someone throw me a line???) :dontknow:

  12. i was going strong for a while, but life got overwhelming. i kept telling my self that this was money and to be more diligent, but it just got to be too much. i have a nice zipper binder and need to start again.

    really need some motivation to start again – even though i paid $1.25 for maxi pads today. LOL. I also paid 2.29 for a $6 bag of coffee.

    It’s just so much work to get going and keep it up:-)

    I see the picture has it separate by aisle. Do you use just one store then? I usually go to one, but I was curious.

  13. i use a 3 ring binder for my coupons…you can find the plastic card holder sheets at Target, also….I try to put only one coupon in a card sleeve….I’m already needing to buy more card holder sheets….might have alot of sheets but it’s easier to see the coupons when there’s only one in a sleeve…I love my coupon binder…:loveshower:

  14. i am a new coupon user. i have always love finding a bargain or getting things on sale (just makes me excited). i have tried to coupon but it seem like when i have a coupon that item is not on sale and when it does go on sale my coupon is out of date.

    what am i doing wrong?

    • I am a new coupon user. I have always love finding a bargain or getting things on sale (just makes me excited). I have tried to coupon but it seem like when I have a coupon that item is not on sale and when it does go on sale my coupon is out of date.

      what am I doing wrong?

      just be patient….i usually go to either southernsavers.com or couponmom.com to see what sales my stores are having for the week….i make my list according to the sale items and match them up with my coupons…on these sites, they tell you what coupon and where you can find it for the item…..rp(redplum), ss(smartsource), pg(proctor and gamble)and what date the item was in the paper….eg:rp 2/21…..stick with it and you will get hooked…your addrenaline will flow and you will get excited every time you go to the store and know you will be coming out saving more than you spent….

  15. i have been couponing for awhile and aim for 50 to 60% off on a trip. My problem is the baseball card pockets. These pockets are too small for most of the coupons I get.

    Putting one per pocket takes a huge amount of time and if one has a lot of coupons then many, many pages are needed. I find the 3 1/2 X5 or even the 4×6 works much better.
    Seriously, how are you fitting any but the smallest coupons in those tiny pockets? And, don’t tell me you are folding them.

    That takes even more time and then you can’t see what the coupon is for!

  16. being new to couponing, i have a couple of questions. i saw that you can go to coupon sites to see what stores in you area have on sale so i was wondering if stores like walmart, who do price matching, will match the price and allow you to use a coupon on top of that? also, do you think that photo albums would work for sorting coupons since they have larger pockets?

    has anyone tried? thanks!

  17. this is a really awesome idea. i too am a coupon failure. those accordion things are terrible and i can never find what i am looking for.

    the only issue with the baseball card holders is my 10 year old might hijack them…lol.:-D

  18. when i was younger i used the accordion style and was also frustrated with it. i’ve stopped using coupons for quite a while now because of it. i’m gonna try this and get back into it.:money1:

  19. i’m a coupon failure also. i think i would do better using the binder and dividers though. i’ve got to try it.

    i’ll also have to change stores because the grocery store i shop at quit taking computer printed coupons because of the coupon scams. they said they got burned to many times and now will only take company printed ones.

  20. i have a large binder, but for months now i am not keeping up with keeping them cut and organized.
    i rarely pay attention to what the deals are.
    christmas gifts suffered this year—or i should say that i a suffering as i have spent and spent on things that i normally would have had in my stockpile.
    the food stockpiles are also getting slim.

  21. i use the acordian type. fits in my purse better but i made my own and made my own dividers like what a notebook would be like. i usually can save about $50 to $100 per trip between coupons and my store card.

    It is worth it.

  22. thank goodness for this information. i’ve been clipping coupons but have them in envelopes which is sort of a pain. this is a great idea.

    i am definitely going to try it. do you take the binder and all into the store when shopping?

  23. i am back to the accordion check file using legal sized envelopes for sub-categories. it’s lighter and less bulky than the binder method. the most important part is to find a file that expands at the bottom as well as at the top.

    office max carries one that is about six dollars.:beaverhug:

  24. this idea helped me greatly. the accordion file never worked for me.
    i added a clipboard to the setup, (inside the front ‘cover’), to hold my printed list form. i use a couple of binder clips to make sure it doesn’t slip out.
    i am alone, and i buy mostly store brands, even so, on average, i save at least as much as the tax.

  25. thank you for the wonderful posts and pictures on how to get organized! i so want to do coupons, however, i’m one of those who can never figure out how to organize. i’m chomping at the bit to get going now!

  26. i love using coupons, it really helps my budget when i compare the savings of using them along with my grocery store bonus card. the one thing i slack on is leaving the binder in my car, i have to remember to place it back into the car on sunday nights, which is when i clip new ones.
    also, just wanted to add that some grocery stores have the online “browse our isles” list so you can easily know the isle you will need to get the product from…which, if your like me, getting in and out of there fast is also a good thing!

  27. i have found that buying the sunday paper and putting wants sales and coupons together is great. but buying more newspapers, more ink and all that clipping sometimes a clipping service is cheaper and easier.

  28. how do you manage expiration dates? this is one of the biggest hassles with coupon clipping. i hate to try to buy something and use a coupon only to find it’s expired.

  29. I dont no how I did so many years with a plastic accordian file type coupon holder
    I 3 month ago was in good will with my friend and found notebook with zippers on them
    so I started with a 1.99-2.99 use 3 ring binder (notebook) with zippers only. clean them
    bought the trading cards inserts at dollar tree 10 sheets for a 1.00 or my walmart does have
    them 25 inserts for 3.49,they also have a new insert there for photo books that I have bought too.
    then I place coupons in the sections they go in. I place them according to dates so I dont miss out on a good coupon.

    i find this much better when I get to store I open it up and im ready I pull them out as i buy the item.
    so much better get better sales and turn around on coupons and I know have people who ask me to make the notebooks. Ilove the zipper ones as I can keep my pen and pad of paper

  30. I tried the binder method but after I had my twins I became overwhelmed with the great size of my binder and just didn’t have the space in my cart to use it so I ended up purchasing a small make-up bag with a zip top, made my own labeled separators on my laptop and then just put my coupons behind its designated tab in alphabetical order! Wish I could upload a pic, but theres plenty of room inside for a TON of coupons, the bag is easy to theow in my purse, and the top zip makes it easy and quick to access!

  31. Wow!!! Thank You!!! i have been wanting to start Couponing but i am soo not organized in most areas…

    ok i can be but some times i just dont care but the whole keep it in your car is a great idea
    Just wantedto say thank you very MUCH!!!

  32. I use coupons and this has some good advise. I am still confused how to do all this? I tried the notebook idea and still had trouble.

    Tried to organize it and still confusing. Help please!!!

    Help please!

  33. Is there a way to print coupons like RedPlum or Smart Source without having to download any extra software or “printing package”? Maybe different websites? Thanks for any help and suggestions!!

    • Is there a way to print coupons like RedPlum or Smart Source without having to download any extra software or “printing package”? Maybe different websites? Thanks for any help and suggestions!!

      No each company that puts out coupons, SmartSource, RedPlum, & CouponNetwork each have their OWN Required software in order to prevent coupon fraud. It’s how they control how many coupons are printed overall and to prevent people from being able to print multiples.

    • I use a plastic shoe box with a locking lid for my coupon box. so much easier than a binder.

      Okay, so how do you organize the coupons in the box so when you’re shopping you can just pull them out & know exactly what you have?? When I shop I flip through the pages of my binder by grocery store section so I never get home and say, “oh shoot, I forgot to use ___ coupon”. I understand it easy to just dump them into a shoe box, but I don’t understand how it’s convenient to walk around the grocery store with a shoebox full of unorganized coupons.
      :confused:
      Can you explain your system a little more??

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