How To Organize Coupons

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Okie dokie guys, in the last few days of this 25 Days to a More Organized You series, we’re finally going to talk about how to organize coupons. (EEK!)  While I love clipping coupons, adore saving money, and penny pinching is undoubtedly one of my favorite hobbies, I really don’t like spending hours organizing coupons all that much ~ I just don’t have time for it!  Because of that, I’ve personally tried just about every method of organizing coupons on the planet, and will share the good, the bad, and the ugly of a few different methods with you.

 

Most importantly though, there is no one right way to organize coupons, and you may switch quite a bit as you go! This first post is a video that I shared of my coupon binder a little over a year ago, and while it worked for quite awhile, I’ve switched methods again (I’m just fickle that way!)  See below to watch the video (please be patient with this penny-pinchin’ nerd as you watch!), and then I’ll share my thoughts at the end. . .

 

The good:

  •  I love my coupon binder when couponing at stores that don’t keep a very detailed sales ad up each week. If you regularly shop Walmart, Kroger, Target or another store that frequently has “extra” deals in their stores that aren’t included in the weekly ad, you’ll be able to score extra deals because all of your coupons will be with you when you shop, and hopefully you can easily find what you’re looking for.
  • It’s easy to sort out which coupons are expired by keeping the expiration dates folded towards the front of each baseball card holder. It usually took me about ten minutes to quickly get rid of expired coupons at the end of each month. 
  • If you clip multiples of the same coupon (approximately more than 4), it’s very easy to keep them all managed here together so that you won’t lose track of what you have on hand.

 

The bad:

  • It’s time-consuming, and if you don’t manage your coupons very regularly, it very quickly becomes overwhelming. If you can dedicate 1-2 hours per week to this method, I’m betting you can keep it up, but for me it just got to be more than I could handle on a regular basis.
  • If you don’t get lots of multiples of each coupon (and consider yourself more of a “strategic shopper” rather than “extreme couponer”), your binder may be full of places for every coupon, but you may have a single coupon in each tiny slot. Filling those slots can take quite a bit of time, and gets to be frustrating for just one or two coupons.

 

The ugly:

  • Not everyone will agree with me (and that’s totally okay!), but for some of us not-always-so-organized penny pinchers this can become more work than it’s worth. For me, I constantly felt behind, and because I rely so much on a store’s sales ad to show me what deals are available, I even felt like I missed deals in that big ole’ binder because I wasn’t as focused on the sales ad.  While this method is definitely a favorite of many folks, at least at this point in my life I’m taking a break and trying to use only printable coupons. (I’ll share how I’m organizing those tomorrow.) So far, I’m loving it, and am probably happier right now with how my coupons are managed than I’ve ever been. It may not work for everyone, but it’s been a great happy medium for me!

 

Soooooo . . . how do you organize coupons and what tips do you have for any new couponers out there? I’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions, as I am definitely always looking to learn a few new tricks!

 

 

 

 

Looking for more tips on organizing? Check these out. . .

 

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Comments

  1. Lori M says:

    Laurie,
    So fun to finally see you in person via the video. I have been couponing seriously little more than a year now. I started by using a small plastic pouch w/dividers that you can get anywhere. Then discovered that one wasn’t enough so had food in one and hygiene/household in another. That system worked fine for about 4 months until I dropped one in a busy Publix store and coupons went everywhere. GGRRR. After that episode, the Lord reminded me that I had a beautiful handled binder that I had purchased years ago collecting dust in the basement (it was so expensive I could never part with it) so I turned that into my coupon binder. I set mine up similar to yours; I have 3 designated pouches (publix, cvs and target), a pouch for sissors, sharpie, post it and dividers for food groups, household and hygiene. Yes, it takes time BUT in the long run saves me so much time when organizing my shopping list. I have taken it with me and did filing when waiting for my car to get an oil change at the dealer.

    I try to never leave it at home because I never know when the impulse may hit me to stop and take a look at a clearance section; I have found many a great bargin in one of the Kroger stores which is about 8 miles from my home. If I am over that way I stop but don’t usually make a special trip to visit persa.

    One thing that I learned from another video is to write the expiraton (month/day) on the part of the coupon that shows through the window. Expecially helpful for the ip’s. And some print is so small it’s hard to read. That way its is quick to remove the expired q’s which helps me in mantaining my binder.

    This also allows me to be the “coupon fairy” which is fun too. I get so many comments on my binder (rarely negative) so I know that God had a better purpose for this peice of equipement for sure. I really enjoy your site Laurie and appreicate all of the hard work that goes into its operation. You have a gift that God is using greatly to help others in their savings journey. My motivation for accumulation is distribution! I love to give and couponing allows me to keep our household well stocked and that of others. God bless you and your family!

    • Laurie says:

      I love that Lori ~ thank you so much for sharing! It is definitely some work, but undoubtedly pays off if you can keep up with it (I wish I could keep up with it!) Adding the expiration on the part of the coupon is a great idea … I always felt like I was trying to figure out how to make sure to fold it so that it would fit in and still show the date, so that’s such a great tip!

      I love that you’re able to give abundantly, and being the “coupon fairy” is the best (I love it when I see people leave coupons for others throughout the store as I shop!) Thanks also for your encouragement ~ how wonderful that you’ve been able to stock up for your own family and give generously. Love that!!!

  2. faith says:

    I, too hate clipping coupons. Over the four+ years I have been couponing, I have developed my own system that is a combination of several different systems. I only purchase two papers a week for our family of four, and I have them delivered to my door.

    Every Sunday, I sit down and go through the new inserts. I take out all of the ad only pages so they will not be as thick, and I clip any coupons that will result in free or nearly free items without being on sale (such as Maruchan noodles). These clipped coupons immediately go into my zippered pouch that I keep with me at all times. This pouch also includes a pen, pencil, calculator, scissors, and a pencil sharpener.

    The remainder of the insert is kept whole. I have a large binder that has pockets. In the left pocket, I keep my pricing lists and restaurant coupons. I also have a spiral bound notebook with pockets and meal planner sheets fastened in the binder. My inserts are kept in the back of the binder in date order.

    Since I only do two large trips a month when I get paid, I go through my coupons each week and clean them out, taking out any expired coupons. I plan my meals two weeks at a time and shop on the first and the 15th of each month. I clip the coupons I need for that sale/pay cycle, and they go into my zippered pouch sorted by store. I take my binder with me on my large shops and if I spot a deal on an item that is not advertised or is on clearance, I use my smartphone to look up the item in the PPP coupon database and clip the coupon in store. I work off a list in my spiral notebook where I have figured each item’s price by store. When I put the item in my cart, I mark it off and put the coupon for that item in the spiral notebook pocket. This keeps my coupons together so if they are out of an item, I’m not pulling that coupon out at the register, and I can hand my coupons over to the cashier easier.

    This is just the method I have found works best for me. Thank you Laurie for all you do! You have been both an inspiration and blessing to me!

  3. factord_agin says:

    Bleh. I tried the baseball card binder and could not keep up with it. So stressful. Now I just keep the inserts whole and use printables along with the occasional e coupon. And if I didn’t like reading my local paper online (subscription required), I wouldn’t have inserts at all, just printables. Sometimes I order coupons from a reputable seller, but that’s only for a special occasion, like Kroger’s big sale right now!

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