Now that you are collecting coupons you need somewhere to put them. There are lots of different coupon organization methods, but in order to be a successful couponer you need to be able to find a coupon when it’s time to use it for a good deal.
Print and Cut
Leave the coupon booklets intact, write the date you received it on the front page. The coupon match-ups will refer to the date you received the insert and name, for example, 8/7/10 RP. All blog ad match-ups and coupon databases refer to the insert Sunday delivery date. Clip when you are ready to use a coupon. See an example here.
I used this method for a few months as I started couponing, along with the accordion file to keep my shopping trips organized.
These can usually be found at Wal-Mart and Target for a few dollars. Label each file alphabetically, by expiration date, or by product category. You could also use the print and cut method and use the accordion file for your weekly shopping store stash. See an example here.
Get a box of some sort: shoe box, Rubbermaid container, or a recipe box. Use envelopes or recipe cards to label each section by product categories, by expiration date, alphabetically, and store name. As you collect coupons cut and file. See an example here.
This is what I do and I love it. The biggest pro I noticed when I started this method was I had ALL of my coupons right in front of me when I shopped. So many times when I’m at the store, I find something on clearance or an unadvertised sale. I can quickly look through my book pull out the coupon that matches the sale and get a steal!
I bought a 3” binder from Target, with the accordion folder on the front. The very front zipper pocket, I use to put coupons that need to be filed.
I keep pens, a pair of scissors, highlighters, and a calculator inside the front pockets. The blue pencil pouch in the front is for coupons expiring that week. This helps me keep my binder up to date-it does get behind sometimes!
In the 3 ring binder my coupons are organized in 3×5 picture protectors by product categories. Baseball card holders work well too. I used the picture protectors because it’s what I had around the house. The Categories I use are; Baby, Cereal, Snacks, Cleaning, Medicine, Food, Fridge/Freezer, Drinks, Household, Toiletries, and store coupons. The coupons in each category are alphabetized by the product name so I can quickly find a coupon if needed.
In the very back I have page protectors that I fill with coupons I will most likely never use, restaurant coupons, receipts, and rebates.
The one complaint I have with my binder is there is no strap to make carrying it easier. As I usually have two kids with me when I shop it can be difficult getting this into the store.
If you are new to couponing keep it simple until you know what you want. If you’ve organized your coupons efficiently you will maximize savings by using the coupons before they expire and you will be able to find a coupon when you’re looking for it. Who knows maybe you’ll invent a new trend in coupon organization!