A common question I I hear from my readers is “How do you personally organize your coupons?” And the answer is…I use the Coupon Box Method. Being organized makes coupon shopping more enjoyable as I can find my coupons quickly when I am out at the stores.
I have tried quite a few different methods to organize my coupons including the coupon binder method, which is a huge favorite of many coupon shoppers out there. And there is no right or wrong way to organize your coupons, you just find what works out best for you! It has been about a year now that I have been organizing coupons into a Coupon Box and it is by far my favorite way of all time!
I was introduced to this method at the first coupon class I ever taught. A very sweet girl named Tracie whipped out her coupon box and told me it was her favorite way to organize her coupons. I was intrigued and so I tried it out. I LOVED it and have been using ever since. (Thanks Tracie!!)
How to make a Quick $5.00 Coupon Box
The first thing I wanted to mention is that to make a Coupon Box you can pay as little as $5.00 for everything!! Yes, you heard me right, only $5 bucks for everything at Walmart. All you need is a plastic box with a lid – make sure and pick a lid that has latches, so that if your box gets dropped, your coupons will not spill out all over. You will also need some 3 5/8 by 6 1/2 inch envelopes and some index cards.
Here is my Walmart receipt for all three of these items. Final price = $5.00!
Next thing you want to do is to cut off the top adhesive strip area of your envelopes. I just used some scissors and cut, cut, cut!
Then you will add an index card to the inside of each envelope. Staple it inside ( I just used one staple. )
And finally you can take a sharpie and write each of your coupon categories on the envelopes. If you want it to look a little more professional you can also print off your categories onto address labels and stick those on the index cards instead of writing too.
You can do as many or as few categories as you like. Here are the current categories I am using:
Cereal (I separate my cereal into 3 envelopes – One GM, One Kellogg’s, One Quaker. Or you can just put all your cereal into one.)
You can also add these ones too if you like:
You can separate the Frozen into sections (Ice Cream, Meat, Veg., Fruit/Potatoes, Beverages, Breads, Pizza)
You can separate the Cleaners into sections (All Purpose, Glass, Laundry, Dish, Furniture, Bathroom)
Another way to categorize it it is by alphabetizing it. Each envelope is a letter. The great thing about alphabetizing is you dont have to think about which category you placed something in, so if you are looking for Skippy Peanut Butter you would just go right to your “S” category.
And that’s it. Add your coupons and you are good to go! The Coupon Box is nice because you don’t have to fold your coupons like you do sometimes in the coupon binder, plus it fits nicely in the child seat at the grocery store. You can thumb quickly through to get the coupons you need.
Now – I just shared with you the inexpensive $5.00 easy beginner way to make a coupon box. I used that method for over a year, but wanted something a bit sturdier. So I upgraded my coupon box by using some plastic tab dividers and thicker paper.
How to make a STURDY Longer Lasting Coupon Box
This is my soup’ed up version of my coupon box. If you have tried out the Coupon Box Method and realized it’s for you, consider making a sturdy version that will last a long time like this one. I had some leftover file folders hanging around so I used those to make new coupon box (or you can get some strong cardstock too).
Step 1 – Take a hanging file folder and spread it open. Take one of your envelopes to use as a width measurement.
Then cut out a peice of the hanging file folder about double to triple the heighth of the envelope (depending on how big you want your folders.) Fold it in half using a bone folder on the bottom or wooden spoon to make the edge straight.
Step 2 – Double check that the template you have cut out fits just how you want it in your coupon box.
Step 3 – Using that one as a template cut out as many mini-folders as you will need for the number of categories you will have. I cut out 3 at once to save time. You can get 2 mini-folders out of each File Folder.
Step 4 – Once all your folders are cut out cut two slits using an exacto knife for the tabs. Then enter your tabs onto each mini-folder.
Step 5 – Fill out the labels for your categories or print off address style labels for your tabs.
Step 6 – Add your coupons! I also added a small box at the back of My Coupon Box to hold my calculator, my scissors, my sharpie, pen and clips.
This version of My Coupon Box is so much sturdier! I clip all my coupons and store them in this box. When I go coupon shopping I prepare in advance and add my coupons I plan on using to the box at the back. When I am at the store and I find coupons I just add them to the front of my box until I get home and have time to organize them.
I go through my box about once every month (usually at the end when a bunch of coupons expire) and clean out the expireds to send to the military overseas. I love my Coupon Box organization method, it works great for me!
Anyone else out there use a coupon box too? How many of you use the binder method or another method?