Learn To Coupon | How to Organize Your Coupons Part II

learn to coupon


Yesterday,  we discussed the Binder Methods and Accordion Method of coupon organization.  Today we will look at a few more ways to organize your coupons.

Method C – File By Insert

The file by insert method is a quick way to organize your coupons.  To get started, you will need file folders, a marker/crayon, hanging folders and some sort of filing cabinet.

You can choose to use a portable filing box or a real filing cabinet. A box like the one above can be u

Step 1: Organize inserts into piles by type, i.e Smart Source, Red Plum, General Mills, Proctor & Gamble. If there are two inserts that week for each type, sort individually.


Click below to continue reading…

Step 2: Write on the front of the insert in crayon or other non permeable marker the date of the insert. (Note do not write in sharpie, because it will go through to the inserts)



Step 3: Write on the front of a file folder the number of inserts in the folder by type.

SS = Smart Source

RP= Red Plum

GM= General Mills

PG= Proctor  & Gamble


Step 4: Put sorted inserts in file and file away.



Once your inserts are filed away, you will be able to look by insert.  For example, this coupon says it is in the 6/19 RP – you would go to the file that is dated 6/19 RP and pull the coupon you need:

$1.50/2 Emerald Nuts Product, exp. 7/31/11 (RP 06/19/11)


:: You can quickly organize your inserts.

:: Doesn’t require clipping of all your coupons.

:: Makes it very easy to use blog coupon matchups.

:: Easily discard your coupons when they expire.

:: You can easily use the coupon database to locate coupons.


Disadvantages :

:: May not be able to bring coupons to the store with you.

:: You may not be as familiar with all the coupons you have.

:: You may miss out on unadvertised store deals.

:: Requires larger storage area if using a file cabinet.


Method D – Hybrid Method

Reader Kelly’s Hybrid Binder

This method combines the best of the Binder Method and File Method. I will warn you, it ends up being a very large binder, but does cut down on the time it takes to put organize the coupons.

For this method you will need a large binder and sheet protectors and tabs.

Step 1: Separate inserts by pages.  Put insert pages into individual sheet protectors. Note: Each page of the insert will have its own sheet protector.

Step 2: Put pages into the binder by insert.

Step 3: Add tabs to the binder with date and insert type.

This method will allow you to have the ability to flip through your coupons, but not spend as much time organizing them. You could take your  binder with you and keep it in the car. I leave mine in the car and use the coupon database on my phone to find a coupon if needed.


:: You can quickly organize your inserts.

:: Doesn’t require clipping of all your coupons.

:: Makes it very easy to use blog coupon matchups.

:: Easily discard your coupons when they expire.

:: You can easily use the coupon database to locate coupons.


Disadvantages :

:: May not be able to bring coupons to the store with you.

:: You may not be as familiar with all the coupons you have.

:: You may miss out on unadvertised store deals.

:: Can become big and bulky.

Other Methods

There are many other ways to organize your coupons.  Some people prefer an option that is already put together for them.  Some of those types of organizational methods are:

: CouponClutch

:: Coupon Organization: The Couponizer

:: Loaded Coupon Book

:: Many Coupon Organizers

Remember, there is NO wrong way to organize your coupons.

::  You may decide you like a method other than listed here.

::  It make take you several methods to find the one that works with you.

:: Start Organizing Your Coupons from Day #1 .

:: You may need to use two methods.

:: If you absolutely don’t know which method to choose, start with the accordion method.

The time investment will pay off – you will save even more money!

‘Til Tomorrow.

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

    I currently use the bag coupon purse. I love it and it works well for me at the time. Im thinking of buying the bigger bag for this lady on etsy heres a link in case others might be interested : https://www.etsy.com/listing/104780233/coupon-bag-coupon-organizer-blue-floral

  • Linda in Florida

    Nov 8, 2011

    I love your website! It is the best I have even seen on couponing.

    I have a problem. I am a disabled sensior citizen, 67 years old, and find it hard to print so many pages – and I have to be able to have printed pages because I can’t remember everything I read so I have to go back over things. I am very slow – very, very slow.

    I love the examples and pictures too. I even like the reader’s comments. You “guys” really have it together! I admire you so much.

    How much would you charge to mail the complete “Learn to Coupon” in 30 days?

    Anyway, I hope you write back to me at my email address: otis1902@embarqmail.com (my dog’s name is Otis) and will be able to help me at a reasonable price. (If you write a book, let me know, so I can purchase it.)

    God bless you for helping so many! May you reap much for your kindness.

    Thank you. Linda

  • beth

    Thank you for all the wonderful tips, and huge thanks for not pressuring to use your preferred method. I love my coupon binder and it’s what works best for me… however I have been pressured by a different coupon instructor to use the file method. So thank you for encouraging us to use what works best for us!

    • Shannon


      Glad you have a method you like! That is what is important!

  • Roxanne

    Just curious…if by chance I have printed a coupon by accident on the back of another sheet of coupons will this make those coupons invalid? Thanks.

  • http://neafrugalfriends.com Vonavie

    I use the file by insert method. But I file all my SS, RP and so on together in order by date. I organize my shopping trips and clip coupons before I go. But take all my coupons with me in case I find a clearance item or something. I have my own coupon database that I access from my iPhone if I want to look for a specific coupon while shopping.

    My printables are in a smaller accordian file, filed first by department, then alphabetically.

    One nice thing about my coupon database is that I can easily sort it by expiration date and watch for things I wanted to use before they expire. I also put in my database if the coupon is eligible for doubling so that I can sort on that if I know I’ll be shopping at a doubler store.

    Loving these online lessons. I’ve pointed several people in your direction. Thanks!

  • Jodi

    We use the file by insert method but we take it one step further. On the outside of the manilla envelope’s we take the time to list all of the items in the insert and their expiration date. It takes a little extra time but much easier to see what’s in the inserts if we need to look for a coupon.

  • Crystal

    I use a binder that has both 4 slot pages (from a currency collecting website) and baseball card pages. What ended up working best for me was numbering each different slot. I then enter my coupons into a database and note what number their filed under. That way i can easily tell where they are in the binder, when they expire, how many i have, and the value. Its also so much easier than constantly reorganizing each week when i have new one to put in, and expired ones to throw out.

    • http://Facebook Esma

      What kind of database do you use?

  • Shannon

    I’m probably still considered a beginner couponer and I use the accordion file to organize mine. I find it’s a great help, but I do have to frequently go through each section to remind myself what I have, and to weed out expired coupons. I hope to upgrade to a binder soon!

    Thanks for this series – love all the advice and can’t wait for each new post!

  • Kathie

    I tried the insert organization at first but I didn’t always know who had the best coupon for what. And I didn’t know what coupons I had that I could have used until I started cutting them out and putting them into a binder. Right now I have the coupons in categories and the categories arranged alphabetically. I am looking for a way to organize my coupons in each section. I was looking for coupons quickly tonight while at the store and had trouble seeing them immediately, eventhough I knew they were there!

  • Linda

    I keep my inserts in a big, long filing box I got at Office Depot with my Rewards gift certificate. I love having them all at my fingertips either next to my computer when I’m online, or out in my living room in front of a sports game on Sunday afternoon when I do most of my organizing. I then go on CouponTom.com, and check when most or all of the coupons have expired. Great resource.

    I have a purse sized coupon wallet that I carry with me to the stores.

    Thanks so much for your great site!!!