Frugal Living

How to Organize Coupons

I’m sharing my grocery saving strategies that have saved us at least $1900 every year. Tip #2 is all about coupons, and today I’m sharing my coupon organization system.

saving money on groceries part 2

Successful couponing requires an organization system. You have to know what coupons you have in your stash in order to be able to use them!  There are three main ways that people choose to organize their coupons.

1. Canceled Check File

I think this is the best method for a beginner, and is the method I used for the first couple years I used coupons. You can find canceled check files in the dollar spot at Target, which makes it an inexpensive system. Simply divide the sections in the file according to whatever system is easiest for you (I separated them into sections in the store: canned goods, meat, paper products, dairy, etc.). Each week you’ll cut out the coupons you want from the paper and organize them according to the sections in your file. You can easily carry the coupons in your purse for easy access any time you’re in the store. This isn’t a great system if you use a high volume of coupons. It gets really messy. 

2. Accordion File 

This is a good method if you don’t want to clip very many coupons. Using this method, you only cut coupons right before you head to the store. I have never used this method (because I like to have all my coupons with me in the store) but it’s the favorite method of Jenny from Southern Savers. She has a great video explaining how to set it up – watch it here.

3. Baseball card holders in a 3 ring binder 

This is the method I’ve been using for the past year with great success. It saves me so much time in the store – when I see something unexpectedly on sale, I can flip through my coupons and quickly see if I have coupon for that item. I set up a three ring binder with baseball cards in similar categories like I used in my canceled check file. Click here for a list of my categories.

Here’s what I do once a week:

  1. Cut out the coupons I want from the Sunday paper, and gather any printables, catalinas or other loose coupons I’ve acquired over the week.
  2. File each coupon in a baseball card slot, making sure I can see the product name and expiration date on the front (or through the back side).
  3. As I’m doing that, I pull out any expired coupons I see.
  4. After I’ve made my shopping list for the week, I go through the categories and pull the coupons I need for the trip. Those are placed in a zippered envelope in the front of the binder.

Here’s what my binder looks like: 

coupon binder come home for comfort

coupon binder 4 come home for comfort

coupon binder 3 come home for comfort

coupon binder  2 come home for comfort

That’s it! If you have any questions about how the binder system works, I’d love to help! Leave a comment below or contact me directly.

Coming up next: how to use your coupons in the store! 

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