Couponing 101: Coupon Organization

January 25, 2010 · 6 comments

by Jennie
The links in the post below may be affiliate links. Read the full disclosure.

coupon-organization

After you start gathering your coupons the very next thing you'll want to do is to find a coupon organization method. I cannot stress enough how important this step is. It will help keep you sane throughout your couponing journey! There are lots of different methods that can be used. First, I'm going to introduce you to the method that  I use.

You might be a little shocked by this next statement, but here it goes...

I hate clipping coupons!

I know what you're thinking....How in the world can you be a couponer and not clip coupons?!?! Let me tell you.

Newspaper Inserts

Newspaper inserts are typically our #1 source for coupons. Many couponers spend a lot of time clipping out the coupons they need.

All I do when I get my newspaper insert is write the date on the front and file it by date. It is that simple! No clipping, no sorting, no nothing! When I need to find a particular coupon all I need to do is search for it in the Bargain Blessings Coupon database. I also use the by store coupon match-ups that you can find under the "Deals by Store" tab above. This tells me exactly which insert I need to pull the coupon from to get in on a deal. It's so simple!



Printables, Blinkies, and Peelies...Oh My!
In addition to the newspaper inserts there are lots of other coupons out there. This is where my coupon binder comes into play.  All of my non-insert coupons get put into my coupon binder. I have my binder organized in alphabetical sections. I use baseball card inserts to keep all of the coupons in place. The best price that I've been able to find on these was through Amazon.

My Little Blue Guy
While I'm preparing for a shopping trip I pull the coupons that I plan on using and then put them into this little blue guy which is organized by store. I also keep Free item coupons in here, and my register rewards/gift cards. I bring this little organizer everywhere with me, that way if I happen to be driving by a store, I have those coupons with me and I can make a quick trip in and out.

Update: I now use my Couponizer system instead of this "little blue guy" to keep me organized while I'm in the store. I sell these at most of my Couponing Workshops for $20, to save you on shipping, so come join us and you can pick one up too.

Other Coupon Organization Options

Baseball Card Holders in a Binder

Another popular organization method is organizing your coupons in a binder that is separated by department (Dairy, Canned Goods, Household etc.). In this case you would place all of your coupons in the binder, including insert coupons.

For this method you will need a sturdy binder and the plastic sheets that are intended to hold baseball cards. next, separate your binder by department (canned good, dairy, frozen, household etc.) For this method, I suggest finding a good balance between complicated and simple categories. You want to make sure your coupons are easy to find for you, so you don't want too many or too little.

Box Method

The Box method is just like the above method except your coupons are held in a little box instead of a binder.

I have tried many different methods before I settled on the one I use currently. There is no right or wrong when it comes to coupon organization. Regardless of what method you use, just make sure it works for you!

For more experienced readers, please feel free to leave a comment if you have a suggestion on another coupon organization method that you use!

reduce-frustration-while-couponing

Moving right along…Check out the next section of my Getting Started with Couponing guide: Reduce Frustration While Using Coupons.

*Find a couponing workshop in your area! They are fun, very inexpensive and being taught all over the US! If you are a local reader, check out this page for Colorado couponing classes.




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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Christin March 19, 2013 at 10:54 AM

My biggest concern with not clipping coupons is I often find deals in the clearance sections of stores and have a coupon to match up with it. I hate clipping coupons and would love to just let my inserts sit in a filing cabinet, but I always have that “fear” I will miss out on an amazing clearance deal. Has anyone else had this problem/concern? Any solutions?

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2 Andrea May 24, 2011 at 1:34 PM

PLEASE HELP!!!

What are the best stores to shop at in Colorado Springs??? I want to be able to get the best deals and it sure isn’t from King Soppers. You can only use one coupon pur merchandise and limited to only 3 at a time.

Thanks :)
Andrea’

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3 Heather June 12, 2011 at 1:37 PM

I am from Colordo Springs as well. I shop multiple stores. All three of the grocery chains we have (King Soopers, Safeway, Albertsons) limit you to 3 coupons when doubling. I just plan for that in my shopping. It still enables me to stock up, but not in mass quantities. You may also try 2 transactions, if they don’t have a limit. Or if I am out and about and near one of the stores that has a good deal that week, I may stop in a certain store a few times over the course of a week to stock up. Just have to make sure you stick to your list. :)
But all three of the grocery chains have great deals(I have sound myself shopping at Safeway alot lately and never used to, but thier deals lately have been great!), just depends on what you need and which has the best sales that week. Target and Walmart also have great deals and Walmart will price match sales ads from other stores too.
I hope that helps you a bit.

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4 JSD February 16, 2010 at 1:25 PM

What do the numbers in the green folder refer to? Personal, Grocery??
Not sure how to use this part of the system.
Thanks so much!! I love your grading of items!
Julie

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5 Lisa December 27, 2011 at 9:35 AM

The numbers on the hanging green file folders have the date the insert came in the newspaper. That way when you need a coupon that came out November 15th in the SmartSource insert, you just grab that whole insert and find the coupon. It saves time trying to clip and file every single coupon in a binder. There’s a tab at the top of her page called “coupon database” you can search for a particular coupon and then find the one you need.

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6 Katie January 25, 2010 at 10:47 AM

Wow – thank you SO MUCH!!! I've been couponing for over a year now, and your site has become my favorite place on my Google Reader. I thank you not only for the wonderful money-saving tips, but also for the wonderful positive attitude you have. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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