How To Organize Coupons: Binder & Accordion Methods

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I really want to emphasize that there is not one perfect way to organize your coupons. Most people try one or more methods to find which works for them.   Do not get discourage if you are not successful on your first try.

When you are deciding which method you will use, think about how you shop:

:: Do you stick to a planned list?

:: Does your store have frequent clearance or unadvertised sales?

:: Do you have a strict budget that you must stick to?

:: How much time do you have to commit to organizing your coupons?

:: How many coupon inserts do you get each week?

Method A – Accordion File

If you are just starting out with coupons, you may want to give the accordion file method a try. This is a simple method to get started. You can find a cheap accordion file, under $10 to get started. This method is great for the beginning couponer. You won’t have many coupons and you won’t feel overwhelmed. Simply set up tabs dividing the file by product type and sort your coupons.  You may want to use your accordion file in conjunction with another method.


:: You will have all of your coupons with you at all times.

:: You will be able to take advantage of unadvertised store deals.

:: You “get to know” what coupons you have.

:: Easy to organize.

:: Small and easy to fit in purse.


:: It can hold only a few coupons.

::  Not easy to flip thru and see your coupons.

:: May take more time in stores to find the coupon.

:: May outgrow it quickly.


Method B – Coupon Binder

Photo Credit

The Coupon Binder Method is a very common method.

Here is how it works:

The idea behind this method is that you will always have all of your coupons with you.   Each week you cut your coupons out of the inserts. You will then organize your coupons by either item, section, store aisle, expiration date or by product type.

1. You will need to start with a 3 ring binder. I recommend using a zip binder, so that your coupons do not fall out. I recommend something like the Case-it Large Binder . I highly suggest buying a decent binder. They become quite heavy and can fall apart easily.

Baseball Inserts

2.  You will also want to pick up Baseball Card Inserts for smaller coupons and 3 Pocket Binders. You will also need tabs and dividers.  You will also need to cut paper inserts the size of of the baseball tab inserts. Recommendation: Choose a good divider.  You will be flipping thru these tabs on a regular basis. You will want to make sure they are large enough to write on.


3. Make your dividers based on how you shop, whether it be by category, alphabetical order or so forth.

4. You will put each coupon in a individual baseball tab. If you would like, you can put a colored piece of paper to fit behind it to act as a divider.

There are some variations on the coupon binder method:

Reader Chris D.’s Binder Method

Chris D uses little tabs to put the expiration date on the side of the pockets to easily tell when they expire.

Stephanie’s Coupon Binder

Stephanie uses a 3 ring photo book to organize hers.

To organize coupons in a photo binder:

photo album

Divide the photo album into sections using labels.



The coupons fit perfectly into the slots.




:: You will have all of your coupons with you at all times.

:: You will be able to take advantage of unadvertised store deals.

:: It is easy to remove expired coupons.

:: You “get to know” what coupons you have.


:: Can be bulky and awkward

:: Can be time consuming.

::  Have to pull out individual coupons when they expire.

::  Can be expensive to start – the cost of binders/inserts can run upwards of $35.00.

::  All coupons may not fit into one size pocket.


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