How To Organize Coupons

How to Organize Coupons

Organizing coupons is one of the biggest challenges of couponing. I frequently get emails asking how to do it.

There are so many methods to organizing coupons.  I honestly feel like I cannot recommend one over another.

What is comes down to, you have to try different methods and see what works best for you.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

:: Coupon Organization: File/Binder Hybrid Method

:: Coupon Organization: How FTM Readers Organize Their Coupons

:: Coupon Organization: File Method

:: Coupon Organization: CouponClutch

:: Coupon Organization: Binder/Photo Album Method

If you decide to go the Binder Method, I recommend a binder similar to Case-it Large Binder . You will also want to pick up Baseball Card Inserts for smaller coupons and 3 Pocket Binders.

:: Coupon Organization: The Couponizer: Save More Than Money

How are do you organize coupons? Do you have any tips for new couponers?

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

    what is a hybid

  • Amy

    any couponing tips out there? I am just starting out with my coupon’s and need lots of help

  • Lara

    Hi! If anyone wants some of these baseball card sleeves (9 pockets), I just bought some at he Dollar Tree.

  • melinda

    i am just starting to clip coupons and need help in organizing. And how do you find so many of one particular item? I had to buy things I dont’ need or use or maybe I am missing it. Do you usually buy regular size items or the travel items? Do I need to keep my sunday inserts for weeks on end and how do I organize them to know if there is a deal a few weeks down the road?

    sorry for so many questions…..I am truly lost but wan tto be able to benefit from clipping coupons.

  • Albe

    I’m a first-time couponer and I want o ask if anyone has subscribed to any of the free coupon website and has had any problems with receiving unwanted ads from various websites. I’ve read one of the agreement statements at one site and it looked to me that this site would and could share my email address with anyone. I don’t want to be bomb-barded with emails.

    Anyone good site I can start with?

  • saraya

    Hello, I’ve used coupons in the past and wondered how my life could have been financially better if I had used coupons. Now I realize the impact of using coupons and instore match-ups. My first conquer was at walgreens, on my lunch hr. I came out of Walgreens happy. I showed my husband everything I bought and how much I paid for each item. I even bought him his body soap that was buy 1 get 1 free. Yes I’m a cool wife. I admit it was items I didn’t need right away but eventually we will. It’s going towards our stockpile. I’m already thinking about where in my house its all going to be stored at. I just bought a coupon accordian that has 14 slots. I labeled each tab according to wear I shop (target, kmart, hyvee, hobbylobby, kirklands, michaels. etc these last 3 i think take each other’s coupons). then i labeled as “grocery, beauty, household” for manufacterers”, then a “mall/online”, “restaurants”, and then more specific retail stores. dates don’t concern me that much since i review them daily. I write my shopping list of things to buy at what stores and a deadline for me to shop. my next step is to review stores coupon policy and subscribe to sunday papers.

  • Jennifer N

    I love the hybrid method. I do not have time to clip every coupon and file them individually in a binder. (I started this way, but found it too time consuming). I prefer the hybrid method to the filing method for 2 reasons. 1. I am very visual and I can see all coupons in the sheet protectors. and 2. I can cut all copies of the same coupons in one clip. Saves me time!

    The disadvantage is that I don’t have all my coupons with me when I shop. However, I am very much a list shopper, so many times I am so focused on my list that I forget to watch for other deals anyway! LOL

    Oone other thing that I do is carry a mini sized accordian file in my purse at all times. It has one tab for each of the stores I shop at and then a tab for restaurants, retail stores, etc.

    On Sundays (or Mondays) I print lists for each store I shop at and clip all coupons I plan to use for each store and put them in the appropriate section. Then, whenever I am out and about during that week, I can pop into a store and get what I need. This works well for me and my schedule. Plus, if I make an unplanned stop at the mall or out to eat, I have all those coupons too!! :-)

  • Amanda H

    Thanks for all the great ideas! I’ve been trying to figure out a better way to organize my Qs. I use a large Case-It binder and sort the inserts by date, but that doesn’t help when I find an unadvertised or clearance deal. I think I will have ot use my Staples rewards to get some of the baseball card and dollar organizers!

  • Amy

    I clip and file in a small accordion coupon organizer. I can take it with me in a decent size handbag, but I usually just leave it at home or in the car. I plan out my shopping trips pretty extensively at home, so I don’t want to be adding too much in the store. I know what I am planning to spend and I usually stick to it.

  • Maria

    I use an accordion folder and keep the whole inserts by date – I cut only the coupons that I need and watch out for your great posts, once I have my deals I put them in envelpoes and head out the door :-)

  • Tiffany

    I’m not sure what you call my method, but I have a plastic box that’s the size of a shoebox (and it has a lid, learned that lesson) with envelopes, sorted into categories with color-coded tabs, along with whole inserts… I keep all the inserts stacked together in a reusable CVS shopping bag and then put the container on top. I sit down every few weeks and clip all of the coupons from “last month” (so everything from Feb is clipped, about to clip what’s left of March) and file those away in the box. I follow several blogs so depending on the insert date, I go to either the box or the stack of inserts. I pull out the coupons I need for a trip, paperclip them together and put them into an envelope. All of the day’s trip goes into one envelope (unless it’s a big one that needs its own envie). The whole bag goes with me and goes under the cart, where you’d put the bigger items like toilet paper or soda, since I have two little ones taking up the seat and sometimes the cart itself. I have my list and I know what I’m on the lookout for, but if I come across something on clearance I can easily bend down and thumb through my box to see if I have a coupon. The only time I go through an insert at the store is if it’s P&G item (because they’re usually all in the same insert) or if I KNOW I’ve seen a coupon for the item. Having only a month of inserts to thumb through makes this process take less than a minute.

  • I think people should look at where they want to spend their time, in the store or at home. I prefer to spend my time at home while my kids are napping or sleeping at night, cutting and organizing my shopping trips. Then my time out of the house is less. I tried so many different methods and the only one that works for me is the binder method. If I don’t cut my coupons I have no idea what I have. It just depends on what you like I guess….

  • I tried the binder, but with little ones with me in the front seat, it just didn’t work for me. So I file by date and then take all the coupons I need and place them in an envelope. I have an envelope for each store with my coupons in order, ready to go. It has really helped at check-out time. It has also almost gotten rid of my kids being crazy as mommy looks for a coupon.

  • Lori

    I use the binder. I finally broke down and bought a case it 3 inch binder. I use tab dividers and organize them according to the section of a store they are in, for example, frozen, refrigerated, snacks, pasta, etc. I also have stores that I frequent the most like Target Web coupons, Meijer mealbox, and those types. What I do is print them out, three hole punch them and then put them behind the tab that divides them from the rest without cutting them. It is easier because I do not have to flip through a bunch of plastic dividers to see the coupons I have. I am also like Rhonda. I do not take my whole entire binder to the store. I use a medium size expandable plastic divider type thing to put the coupons in the store I will be using them at. I do not want to take my whole binder to the store because I do not like gaining attention. I am there to shop, not be in the spotlight. I have always felt if I bring something into a store, they may mistake it for their product and accuse me of shoplifting. Just a fear of mine. I definetly recommend a case-it 3 inch binder if using the binder method. I have also bought dollar and coin inserts so I can keep the long coupons neat. I have thought about filing them according to the date. I would rather take a Sunday morning to clip , sort, and file rather than leaf through inserts each week when match-ups come out. I also recommend a coupon cutter. I bought a gift wrap cutter and it works just as good. I found it on Amazon for $3. It has saved me a lot of time. All of this works for me, but I am willing to test other methods or maybe come up with my own system using all of the different methods.

    Thanks for this post, Shannon!! Very helpful!


  • Veronica

    I use the file by date method. It really works great for me! I tried the baseball card holder type method and it was way too time consuming for me. I do all my matchups at home then and spend less time in the store too. I don’t find I miss many deals because I follow several blogs that usually even list the clearance items or unadvertised specials.

    • Terri

      I am so new at the couponing….what does matchups mean?? Thanks for all your shared info. Very helpful.

  • Vicky Campbell

    I love the binder method, but I do have to clean the old coupons out at the end of the month (when they expire). I have them tabbed A-Z and file them by manufacturer. I keep them in the baseball card holders. I like it because if I see a deal online or when I am at the store, I just flip to the letter that I need. I also have a section for each store (i.e., Giant catalinas, Target coupons, etc.) and a separate one for restaurants.

  • Susan

    Great ideas for the coupon organization, but I have one question…how in the heck does everyone get so many coupons of the same item?
    Help please!!!!!

    • Vicky Campbell

      If you have a local paper (usually a Times or Weekly…Pulse) made by your city or county, they might have circulars and are usually free. I pick up about 5 copies of these papers every Thursday they come out. They might have them at a local high school (where I get mine), library, restaurant, or store.

  • Rhonda

    I was doing the file method. Clipping only what I needed for my shopping trip. I just now changed over to the binder method because I have been missing out on unadvertised deals and clearance items. I worked on my binder for 4 days to get it put together. I need more baseball card sheets because I only purchased 1 pack of 30 and have a total of 68 sheets in my binder so far. I have not taken my Binder along on a shopping trip yet and now I kinda don’t want to because of that coupon show. I feel like if the cashiers see me walk in with it they will have it in there minds that I am going to need 4 shopping carts. Or it will give the cashier plenty of time to come up with why I can’t use a coupon! I have allready heard so many times “You can’t use this coupon because the item is on sale” and ” You can’t use this coupon because they are on sale BOGO and this coupon is for BOGO” I can also imagine the cashiers following me and my binder around the store and every time I reach for something the cashier snatches it off the shelf because a customer just called and wants her to hold it for them. lol

    • Rachel

      I totally hear what you are saying! I just recently started to use coupons and I do get the “looks”!! But I am happy that I have been saving money!!

  • Laura C

    LOVE LOVE LOVE the hybid method…i too can’t see spending all my time clipping and filing until I need that coupon…for mow they are in a pile and I search for hte date and coupon sourse when i find the deal…and I have the binder…wahoo…thanks so much for sharing this easy to do method!