How Do You Organize Your Coupons?

The biggest struggle with coupons, is keeping them organized. This question comes up just about daily.”What is the best way to organize your coupons?”  I posed this question to all of you and got many different answers.

My answer is this:

Find a way that works best for you.  There are so many different options. You can see my File By Insert Method post here and small Binder Method here.  If you are looking for how fellow FTM readers are organizing their coupons, check out this thread here.

Here are some ways that readers are organizing their coupons:

Josie: I use a large make/up pouch with colored envelopes and colored index cards. The index cards separate each section (household,grocery, baby..etc) then I use the envelopes to go into smaller sections.  It allows me to be quick and not have to lug a binder around. It’s way more discreet as well!

Carol K:  I do File Whole Insert method until the insert starts getting hard to keep the pages folded neatly. Then I go through, clip everything, keep the ones I think I might use, and put the ones I know I won’t into an envelope to pass at church.

Raina K: I use a 13 pocket organizer (the kind you get near the file folders or whatever) and have categories for cold, frozen, canned, ect. I love it because the caddy is small enough to toss in my purse, yet large enough to carry everything.

Allyson T.: I use a dollar store coupon organizer..its held up good so far and has 20 pockets to insert.. it sort of fans out when i open it

Stephanie: I use the Binder Method.

Reader Stephanie B's Coupon Binder Method

Reader Chris D. uses a binder with trading card pockets sectioned by category. Then use little white stickers to place the expiration date on the trading card pocket.

Reader Chris D.'s Binder Method

This is the most inexpensive coupon system I have seen.  Reader Jennifer C. has an  inexpensive way of keeping track of her coupons. She uses an old bank statement envelope with the edges slit open and duct tape to convert it to an expandable mini envelope.

Reader Jennifer C.'s Coupon Envelopes

I use colored construction paper to sort my coupons by category: dairy, freezer, canned goods, baking supplies, paper, beauty, first aid, deli, meat, cereal/breakfast, & misc.

Do you have a unique way of organizing your coupons?   Please share with us!


This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here
  • Jeanette

    I’ve been couponing for about two years now. I’m using the whole insert method. We use “milk crates” purchased at Staples and plain old manilla and file folders. I put the date on the file folders and then the name of the insert on each manilla folder. My only problem was when to pull out the expired ones. I found a site in a google search called Coupon Cleanout (www.CouponCleanout.com) and its been very helpful in that last respect. I select my state and it shows me what inserts are safe to pull out. Thought I’d pass it along for any other “whole insert” filers.

  • Adrienne

    I bought a portable hanging file folder case at Target for $8.00 (on sale of course!) to hold all my whole coupon inserts. I file the inserts in sections based on the type of insert (P&G, Smartsource, Red Plum, GM .,etc), and then in date order with the newest insert in the front of the section going back to the oldest. I used to use the whole insert binder method but found it cumbersome. I go through the oldest inserts maybe once a month, and if most coupons are expired I clip the ones the aren’t and place them into my smaller coupon accordion files. Wherever I go the system is easily portable, or can be left in my car. The flip up top has sections to keep some pens, my sharpies, and a scissor too! Love it!

  • Ruth

    I use a photo box that has 10 small individuals plastic boxes. I labeled each box and labeled the box itself with my name and phone number and a reward if found. I left it once at Acme. it is a very sturdy box and I can place it on the shopping cart, open it up and pick the coupon out of the boxes and place them on the lid of the box as I shop. It is easy to carry and it is the best method that I found to keep myself organize. I have between 50-70 inserts each week so I can’t cut all the coupons. I check the deals each week and cut the coupons for those deals. When the sales week is over, I leave the coupons in the boxes so that’s how a build my inventory of coupons. In case, I find something on clearance, I know if I have the coupon for it. I basically have all the coupons in my boxes memorized.

    • http://pinchoftimephotographyonfacebook Judy

      I like your idea, where did you find the best price on a box of photo boxes? I have a 50% of coupon for any one non sale item at Joanne Fabrics and crafts and that might do it but gosh when I go in there it’s hard to come out with only what I went in for.

  • http://www.mommysaidno.blogspot.com Jenn

    I made one using an old organizer, and some small envelopes. It works great, and I can add and take away as I need to.

    http://mommysaidno.blogspot.com/2010/10/how-to-make-coupon-holder.html

  • Audrey

    I started with the envelopes, moved to the accordion files, and upgraded yet again to another bigger accordion. This didn’t work either.

    I bought a clearance $3 zipper binder from Walmart and a pack of 5×7 photo album inserts for around $2. I made general labels. As I’ve couponed, I’ve gotten more specific as to how I group my coupons due to need and if there are usually a large quantity from the manufacturers.

    My 1 binder has grown into 2: 1 for all my grocery and house needs, and the 2nd for any beauty/ body/ pharmacy coupons.

    I LOVE this system…. it’s actually the only thing in my life that’s really organized like this! It is a little time consuming, but it’s actually more therapeutic for me!

    Here’s the link to my photos. Enjoy!

    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=191433&id=511077567#!/album.php?aid=191433&id=511077567&ref=mf

  • Donna Conzett

    I use around 10 regular legal sized white envelopes which I have written on the front and back, “Frozen, meat, snacks. etc.” I clip all of the coupons I think I might use and place them in these envelopes and I carry them to the store in a large ziploc bag. I also write each store on an envelope and print out a list of the deals for each store and before I go to the store, I load that unique stores coupons into its envelope. It saves a lot of time standing in the aisle looking for a coupon. When the envelopes get tattered, I just replace them with another envelope. This method is cheap and convenient. :)

  • http://www.acrystalgarden.com Kelly W

    “2. I use the database to see if there are any left since you can search by insert and see whats still valid”

    How do you do this? I just checked out the database (actually I have used it a few times searching) but didn’t see how to tell if all the coupons in an insert are expired. What do you put in the description? I know I must be missing something.

    Kelly

    • Shannon

      @Kelly W,

      Go to advanced search.
      Choose source and then the insert you are looking for. and then click the search button (make sure it says any words)

      It should list the valid coupons.

  • Julie N

    I used to use an accordion file coupon sorter until I started blog shopping with all the match-ups.
    Now I use free business reply envelopes to sort my coupons into the following batches: Red Plum Food, RP non-food, Smart Source Food, SS non-food, P&G, current food and current non-food (for coupons that will expire in the current month or shortly thereafter.) I also have an envelope marked ‘unlikely’ for coupons I clipped for those awesome ‘pay you to buy it’ deals on items I would never buy otherwise.
    Next I have envelopes labeled with my favorite stores. I keep my store-specific catalina coupons in them plus the coupons I plan to use there on my next shopping trip.
    So, when I want to go to Walgreens, I’ll copy the blog shopping list into a new document, edit out the items I want to skip and print it. I file it in my Walgreen’s envelope with their store coupons and all the coupons I’ll be using there that week. I can always grab my other envelopes, too if I have time to bargain hunt. They store conveniently in a drawer and are easy to sort. I file the RP, SS and P&G envelopes by date with the oldest in the front and sort the current envelopes by expiration date.

  • kimberly

    I used to be a coupon-clipper,with an expandable holder and sections as well,until I really got into all the deals out there,I found that method was not working for me,it would take too long to find what I need for all the sales.
    The new method that now works for me:I bought plain,2-pocket folders(on sale now for back to school),keep the inserts WHOLE,attach a sticky note on the cover with the insert date,then I keep my red plums on one side and the smart source on the other.I keep a folder for each month.
    Since most deals ususally list which insert and date of the coupon,I just get the folder month I need and find the insert I’m looking for. I also keep a seperate folder for any internet printables and one for rebates coming/going as well!!

  • Amy

    I just use a gallon size bag, and I order the coupons based on where the product is located in the store. I separate drug store coupons from food coupons, and I live pretty far away from most other stores, so I don’t have much of an issue.

    I also keep all the sale/coupon/rebate stuff in a basket by the door. That keeps it from getting overwhelming. We’re lazy, so I also sometimes toss in items we run out of or use up (light bulbs, cereal box top, etc.) That way I have it all together when I make my list.

  • Karen

    I clip the high value and ones I know I will use and file by coupon type. I recently started to save the rest by saving the whole insert and dating it.

    My QUESTION for those that use the ‘save whole insert method’:

    How do you know when to toss your inserts then? Do you go back a certain number of months or look at each coupon’s exp date (time consuming!) ? Thanks~

    (OFF TOPIC:
    there is a good $2 off one Red Baron ‘Pizza By The Slice’ coupon up today on SmartSource. Last month I saw these on sale for 2.50 a lot so it makes for cheap pizza.)

    • Shannon

      @Karen,

      1. Thanks for the coupon.. I posted.
      2. I use the database to see if there are any left since you can search by insert and see whats still valid.

  • http://www.acrystalgarden.com Kelly W

    Sent a few pictures over. :)

  • Kathleen

    I made my own coupon wallet and I organize it by stores each week. I keep my excess coupons or “random” coupons in envelopes in the car in case I find a clearance item I have a coupon for.

    Here is a picture of it:

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Katies-Diaper-Bag/124726710876210#!/album.php?aid=29196&id=124726710876210&ref=mf

  • Susan

    I use a a lunch tote( the size the holds a six pack of soda).

  • Katie W.

    I use the coupon binder method. I bought everything on sale , the binder, the dividers and the baseball card holder sheets. It works great for me, since having to take kids with me it keeps me a little more organized :)

    I even got my parents using this method :) haha

  • http://www.acrystalgarden.com Kelly W

    I have tried at least three different methods and found this one to work best for me.

    I purchased (using points of course) from Staples two 5″ binders and a couple of boxes of 8.5×11 sheet protectors. Each Sunday night I separate all the coupons and match up pages from multiple copies then file the whole page without clipping into the sheet protectors. The binders are kept by insert date.

    Then when I see a match up on a site I just flip easily to that date and through the insert to find all my copies in one place. The sheet protectors allow for fast easy flip through.

    I started out by filing by date but found it a pain to look through the insert for each coupon as the pages slide all over – (the answer to that – sheet protectors)

    Then since I didn’t like that method I began clipping all the coupons and using the baseball card holders and sorting by category – WAY!!! to time consuming and boring!

    Went back to filing by date in binders with the sheet protectors and works perfect for me! I use little sticky tags to label each week so that I can easily find the date and the right insert.

    If there is a coupon I know for sure I will use (high dollar or kids love it) I will clip them and keep them in a separate smaller binder which uses the baseball card holders and also put the home mailers and rebates in that one. That way I am sure to remember to use them.

    Kelly

    • Shannon

      @Kelly W,

      Kelly would you be willing to share with us photos.. this may work for me!

  • Sarah

    I use The Couponizer! It is so awesome that I became a dealer of them. Check it out at http://www.thecouponizer.com

    Very cool!

  • Katherine

    I use a photo album. My collection is really too big for that (it is supposed to hold 200 photos) but I wanted something small enough to carry in a bag so that I can capitalize on clearance finds. Now, if I could find smaller trading card sheet protectors, I would rather carry around that in a short fat binder becuase it would probably hold up better, but this works for now.

  • Holly G

    I use and regular size expandable file folder for the whole inserts. I use the post-it tabs to put the dates of the inserts on to the tab of each section. I clip what I think I might need & then do the rest if/when it is needed for which I keep 2 coupons sized expandable file folders in my purse, one is just for Rite Aid & CVS, I keep the UPR, ECB, cards, VV & such & the coupons for upcoming deals. The other has my grocery type coupons in it for Kroger or Walmart.