There are many ways to organize your coupons out there. The method I have used this past year that has been wonderful + a huge time saver is the file folder method. It is a great way to start couponing the simple easy way.
But, I do love a change now and again and as I was looking at the massive pile of non-insert coupons I have accumulated, I thought to myself, its time to organize them. Now, there is no right or wrong way to organize your coupons, you just need to find the right way that works for you. Don’t get too caught up on making an elaborate system, just remember that you are doing this to save money.
I will be using my binder for my non-inserts/printables + favs, however all my inserts will still be in my file system of organization. Binders do take a while to get started, but once up and running they are great to have with you. There is a great video made by Penching Your Pennies on How To Create a Coupon Binder, which is fun and very informative to watch. I set up my binder in that fashion. If you dont have time to set up your own binder, you can order them pre-made up for you from from Prospering Families or Coupon Magic Organizer.
Things you will need:
A nice big sturdy binder. I like the zippered binders because I don’t have to worry about any coupons falling out. I found a fairly inexpensive one at Walmart (cost $9.99) that came with a zippered pouch inside it..bonus. You can just use any non-zippered binder as well. There are also lots of great options out there for cute binders like the coupon clutch or the stylin binder.
Insertable Tab Dividers (Mine currently use about 25 dividers)
Scissors, Calculator + Pen in a zippered pouch
Plastic Trading Card + other sized page protectors. I found a nice wide variety of different plastic sleeved pages and have tried them out. Here are my 3 favorites (but just know you can just by Trading Card Pages for your whole book, you will just be folding a lot of the bigger ones. )
You can buy the 8-Pocket ULTRA PRO Platinum Card Protector Pages – 100 count box on Amazon for $13.29 + shipping.
3 Wide pocket page protectors. I love these for the bigger coupons I have, or for putting together my doubler ideas (I just add the doublers + the coupons corresponding in one pocket.)
You can buy the Ultra-Pro 3-Pocket Pages (Landscape Style) – 100 Count at Amazon for $13.41 + shipping.
The 6 page protectors: These are great for internet printables, really long coupons, ect.
You can order as many as you could use here (25 is around $6.50 + shipping)
There is the traditional 9-pocket trading card pages. These are great, but most of the coupons I used in there needed to be folded..and I dont have too much time to be folding coupons. You can buy them atAmazon.com-100 count
for only $12.99.
And there is the 4-pocket trading card pages. This one I didnt order, but looks like it would be great to have in a binder, the bigger sized pockets would work for rainchecks, and square shaped coupons. You can order it here for .26 per sheet.
Once you have your supplies you can begin to put your Binder together. There are so many ways you can choose to organize your coupons in a binder, some people do it alphabetically, some clip every coupon and keep them in a binder. What I am doing is using my binder for my non-insert coupons (such as blinkies, home mailers, tearpads ect, and then adding any of my other insert favorites or coupons I love. Plus when I notice something might be great to double I might toss it in too. Do what works for you!
Here is how mine functions:
I add the Weekly Store Grocery & Drug Store Ads to the big pocket in mine. I have all my club cards and savings cards in a little key ring that I can take out when I go couponing. There is the zippered pouch that has scissors, a pen and a calculator in it.
Then when you go past the zippered pouch I have all my free coupons right in front. I had a tendency to wait to use my free coupons, and had let some expire (which totally kills me by the way). So now I wont forget to use them.
The next section is tabbed with store name categories.
I like to keep store specific coupons, policies (if I run into trouble and had to email Customer Service I will print out that email + keep it there in case the same problems arrive.) and rainchecks in this area.
Then Its all my Store Categories!
Here are the Categories I use for my non-inserts. If you are wanting to make a book for ALL your coupons you might need a few more categories than I have. (For example under Dairy you might want Cheese, Yogurt, Milk categories, ect)
Baking & Spices
Canned & Packaged Foods
Cereal + Fruit Snacks/Granola Bars
Chips, Nuts + Popcorn
As a busy mom I upkeep the coupons by going through the binder once per month, taking out all the expired ones. If I am waiting at the dr.’s office or at my kids sports practice that is a great time for me to add new ones, and remove the old ones too.
Have fun and above all else remember, that there is no right or wrong way to organize your coupons. Just do what works best for you!
How do you organize your coupons? Have a cool tip? Please share.
(P.S. I would totally love to have one of you do a guest post on the way you do it too…email me if you are interested!)