3 Options for Coupon Organization – Expandable Folder, Binder, and Full-Insert Filing System!
There are so many ways to go about organizing your coupons. I’m going to give you three different options for coupon organization in this post, but know that what works for one person may not work for another. And, you may change your mind or strategy as I did over time. 🙂
When I was younger and my mom used coupons, she carried them in a small expandable folder like this one:
Of course, I’m certain it wasn’t as cute as this, but this is a great option if you want to carry coupons with you, but not a lot. You simply cut coupons and organize them by category – dairy, meat, breads, cereal, etc. Then, stick this in your purse and head off to the store.
- The advantage to this system is that it’s small and compact so you can take it with you easily.
- The disadvantage is that you can’t get a lot of coupons in it and you will be sorting through coupons to find the one(s) you want to use.
If you prefer this method, there are a variety of styles. Go here to see the options available on Amazon.
When I started couponing, I dove right into using a 3-ring binder:
That is actually my second binder because my first one got so beat up, it came apart. 😉 My binder went with me everywhere. I carried the Thirty-One Cindy Tote. It fit perfectly in there, and I always had my coupons with me.
- The advantage to this system is that you can easily see your coupons (separated by category) and you have them with you when you are shopping. So, if you spot a clearance item or a deep discount and you have your coupon, you don’t have to make a note to come back to the store if it’s still there – you have your coupons with you. The binder also sits really nicely on a shopping cart.
- The disadvantage to this system is that I spent a lot of time cutting each coupon that I might use and filing it away in the correct category. This also means that you have to go through and clear out expired coupons regularly. I also found that some coupons were too big and had to be folded or put somewhere else. These usually got dropped in a protective sleeve in my binder that I had to dig through later.
If you like this method, you can get 25 – 9-pocket sleeves to hold coupons on Amazon. The size of binder you will need depends on the amount of coupons you want to have in it. You can get this Wilson Jones 362 Basic Round Ring View Binder, 2 Inch, White on Amazon.
Now, I use the full-insert hanging file folder system:
I love this method, and never thought I would. I get 3 papers each week (one local and 2 national) and file the inserts by month as you see above – the date it was in the paper is printed on the binding of each insert. Depending on the number of papers you get, you may want to break this down even further by week. I’m actually thinking I may divide my months down more – January Red Plum, January Smart Source, January Extra (This is where the P&G, General Mills or any additional insert would go.). Then, when I get ready to go shopping, I pull the insert(s) and clip the coupon(s).
- The advantage to this system is the time saver! It’s so quick because I don’t clip any coupons until I am ready to use them.
- The disadvantage is that sometimes I’ll see something on a big price drop or clearance when I am out shopping, and I don’t have my coupons with me. The other thing I see is that I’m not sure when the coupons expire, but I’m working on a system for that and will keep you posted. 🙂
I bought my hanging file system at IKEA years ago, but you can find it online at Amazon, office supply stores, or mass merchandisers like Walmart and Target. There is such a huge variety available. You will need something at least 12 inches deep – depending on the number of papers you get each week.
Coupon organization is important because it can overwhelm you if you don’t have a system. Find a method you like, try it, and then decide if it’s for you. If you don’t like it or it isn’t working, try something else.
So, how do you organize your coupons? What do you like best or least about your system?