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Ask DSM Readers: How Do You Organize Your Coupons?

by Tara Kuczykowski on October 2, 2009 · 137 comments

Coupon Organization
I've had a number of readers write to me lately asking how I organize my coupons. To be quite honest, I don't think I've found my perfect coupon organization method.

I currently use the insert method where I label each insert with the date and only clip as I need. However, I worry about missing out on extra savings when I'm at the store and find a great unadvertised sale or clearance deals. I also still have a large quantity of loose coupons that I receive in the mail and print online, so it's difficult to keep track of those. I've often thought about switching to a binder method, but I'm just not sure where to start.

So I thought I'd put the question to my dear readers!

How do you organize your coupons? Do you use the binder method? Are there any drawbacks to it?

Do you have a better way of utilizing the insert method? How do you ensure that you don't miss out on unadvertised/clearance deals?

If you have links to posts you've written, feel free to include them in your comments.

If you have a question you'd like to ask fellow Deal Seeking Mom readers, please feel free to email me! I think having a variety of perspectives is really valuable, and I thank you all for your input.

{ 137 comments… read them below or add one }

1 debbi October 2, 2009 at 5:00 pm

I use the binder method. I just upgraded to a 4 inch zipper binder to accomodate all of my coupons! I have it organized into categories and I love it because I can just flip through and find what I need if im in the store and I find an unexpected deal.

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2 Nicole October 2, 2009 at 5:02 pm

I use a combined binder/insert method. I take each insert, separate the pages. I then cut the coupons out of as many pages as I can stand (my hands get tired after a little while) then I alphabetize the clipped coupons. The pages I don't clip, I put in document protectors in the back of my binder. I also have tabs on my baseball card sheets, so that its easier to get to the letter I need. I only put one page in the document protectors so that I can just flip through the sheets to find the coupon I want. Since I don't usually get the same coupons as others (mainly different amounts, but sometimes totally different coupons), I don't really bother labelling the pages. Plus I go through the pages 2-3 times a week, clipping a couple pages each time. This way, I never really have a ton of pages to clip.

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3 Diana October 2, 2009 at 5:02 pm

I use the coupon binder method and I love it! I put my coupons in trading card holderss and organize them by general categories. I got the idea from watching this you tube video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3byETfcMXc&feature=related

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4 Mary Martin October 2, 2009 at 5:02 pm

I use a combination of the binder and insert method. Typically, I buy 3-4 papers a week and clip all the coupons I know we will use out of just one of the inserts. I place those coupons along with my IPs and ones I get from friends and in the mail into my binder. By doing this, if I run across a deal at the store, I have at least one coupon for the item and it clues me in to the fact that I should have a few more. If it is a phenomenal deal, then it's probably worth the trip back to the store especially considering the two stores I generally shop at are only a few miles from home.

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5 MoneyMateKate October 2, 2009 at 5:04 pm

I just shifted from 2 stuffed-to-the-gills plastic accordian coupon folders to a box. Not sure if I like it yet though.

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6 Kelly October 2, 2009 at 5:06 pm

I started out using the shoebox method. I would cut out all my coupons and organize them into envelopes labeled "dairy", "breads", "cosmetics", etc. Now that I accumulate alot more inserts each week I've found that I spend too much time clipping. Now, I have switched to simply putting the date of the insert on the outside cover and stacking them in a drawer. Of course, you cannot bring that many inserts to the store with you, so you have to plan ahead to do this method. I agree that it is hard to find a method that is easy and also where you can have your coupons with you at all times. I've heard of people doing the binder method, but I think that would bring me back to clipping a whole bunch (since I get like 5 copies of newspapers each week). Lately I have simply cut out 1 copy of Smartsource, RP, and P & G (if there is one) from that Sunday's paper and put them into my shoe box. All the other copies of inserts I put labeled into my drawer. This way if I find an extra deal that I didn't see on a blog at the store, I do still have at least one coupon to use. If anyone has a better method, I'd love to hear about it!

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7 Tracie Merritt October 2, 2009 at 5:07 pm

What a great Idea ,Zipper Binder.I use a binder also I have upgraded from severals sizes of boxes but I would get so many coupons crammed in I would miss some. I love the Binder but always fearful it will get tipped upside down and I dont want to deal with that.I am trying to come up with some type of ledge that is lightweight and can hook to the cart.I am a hard core couponer.I never shop with out coupns unless I absolutley have to have it.I always save 80% or more .I do alot of free.I love it!! I love this site!!
Keep up all your hard work it is greatly appreciated!!

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8 Lori October 2, 2009 at 5:10 pm

I also use a binder with card holders and I sort by catagory for the coupons I'm pretty sure I will use. Theninthe back I file the inserts by dates for the items I don't think I will use. I can pull those and cut them out if I hear of a good deal that I can't pass up. I like to be able to flip through my book quickly when I'm at the store.

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9 Renee October 2, 2009 at 5:12 pm

I love coupons. I save probably about 50% on all of my grocery type shopping. I'm not a good organizer when it comes to coupons. What I tend to do is not cut them out until I need them. A lot of the websites I use when I coupon reference the flyer and date. It makes it easy to find the coupon I need.

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10 Tiffany October 2, 2009 at 5:13 pm

This is a little video I did explaining how I organize my coupons....
http://theivanovskys.blogspot.com/2009/05/how-i-organize-my-coupons_31.html

This is another video I have done explaining how I cut them all out!!!
http://theivanovskys.blogspot.com/2009/09/video-on-how-i-cut-my-coupons.html

Tiffany
mylitter.com

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11 Karen October 2, 2009 at 5:17 pm

I've been using a large index card box. It's worked pretty well so far. I always bring it with me. Lately, though, with the internet coupons, it seems to be maxing out. I think I'll investigate the zippered binder/trading card holder method.
But for someone just starting, it's been an excellent tool.

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12 sati October 2, 2009 at 5:19 pm

i use the binder method and i have 2 carry to store binders. they are case its. one is a dual ring binder as well. for me this is the perfect method. i organize by expiration not by type. i tried by type and expiration but it was too much for me . i only cut the coupons i strongly suspect i might need or want for say an unadvertised sale. the rest of the insert i put away till i either need it or mail it out to the military to use the expired coupons.

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13 Amy October 2, 2009 at 5:25 pm

I'm using a double accordian binder method. I have them alphabetized by brand. I'm not 100% happy though.

I tried making a spreadsheet so that they would be searchable and I could find coupons that were expiring faster. I think I'm giving that up. It just takes too long to enter everything. It has made knowing what coupons I have much easier though.

I only buy one or two papers a week. I pull the inserts and only clip the coupons we will use. For instance, we don't have a dog so anything for a dog isn't cut. I put my cut inserts into a binder and take them to church where we trade coupons.

I've been toying with the idea of the binder with trading card type pages, but I'm not sure how to organize it. Should I keep it by brand or should I sort it by type? I'm thinking type that way I can find, say, all the toilet paper coupons in a flash.

I like reading all the other entries and I'm learning lots from you Tara!

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14 Amy October 2, 2009 at 5:29 pm

I use the binder method, with a zipper binder I found on clearance last year at Office Max. I use plastic tab separators to divide my binder into categories (baby products, beverages, dairy, etc.) and then use the baseball card protectors to store the coupons. I try to organize the sheets so similar products are on each sheet within the categories, e.g. I have a "Health and Beauty" category but try to keep all of the toothpaste products together. If I have more than one of the same coupon I file them together in the same pocket. I only clip and "file" the coupons I think I am most likely to use, and then the inserts with remaining coupons get labeled with a sharpie marker and filed (the whole stack) by week in plastic sheet protectors which I store in the front of my binder, so I can easily find them if a super deal comes up on your blog for a coupon I didn't clip. I also have a tab for rebates that includes a sheet holding a special "rebate log" I made on my computer which allows me to keep track of all rebates as I submit them, so I can check them off when rebates are received and so I won't forget to follow-up on a lost rebate if I don't receive it when expected. I also have a page where I collect receipts for the Caregiver's Marketplace diaper rebates in the envelope, so I have everything in one place (including my running total) at the end of the year when I go to submit those. It took me a while to set it all up the first time, and I made the mistake of trying to clip and file EVERY coupon I got at first which was way too time consuming. But maintaining it now isn't that bad...every week I clip and file the new coupons and maybe every month I will go through and clear out expired coupons. The biggest drawbacks to this method are 1) initial time to set it all up, 2) clipping the coupons small enough to fit inside the baseball card pockets (some have to be folded to fit), and 3) some weeks when I don't feel like filing the coupons, they start to pile up and then it takes longer to catch up. Overall I think it is a great system, although I don't usually take the binder in the store with me (which some people recommend) since it's pretty heavy and bulky. (Sometimes I keep it in the car though, just in case I find a fabulous deal and then I can run out to the car to snag the coupons.) The biggest thing I would do differently is to buy a larger binder as mine is on the verge of no longer being zippable, with all the coupons I've collected! Now, for me the hardest part is deciding what deals to go after each week and then coordinating all my shopping trips, with 2 small kids!

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15 Debbie October 2, 2009 at 5:30 pm

I use the binder method and cut every coupon and file it in baseball card holders by category. One drawback is that I have TONS of coupons and one binder (currently using a 3") is packed to the gills. I think I have to go to two binders unless someone can tell me where to find a 5" binder. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE going to the store with my binder and knowing that I have every coupon I have with me and I never have to worry about "maybe I have a coupon for that at home". It is a little time consuming to cut coupons, but it is worth the peace of mind I get at the store.

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16 Katie October 2, 2009 at 5:32 pm

I use a plastic accordian holder. I have the sections labels by catagory, and it fits right in my purse. I feel a little weird carrying a big binder in the store. Sometimes I may just need to run in to grab one or two things, so having my coupons in my purse is easier to me. I go through them twice a week, and take out the expired and just seeing them over and over makes me remember the coupons I have. I cut ALL the coupons out in the paper, and magazines and keep the ones I get in the mail. I am in a coupon exchange group, so I send the soupons I dont need/want to the next person in my group.

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17 SuzyQ October 2, 2009 at 5:32 pm

I have just recently gone from box to binder and I love it. I carry 2 binders with me because I have too many coupons. I have one for food and the other for non food. Each are divided by category and I just go through them whenever I can to get rid of expired ones. I don't seem to understand why someone would file it by expiration dates though?!?!
It is so much easier to look in the category such as dairy, cosmetics, etc. and find the coupon. I use the zipper binders because I don't want my coupons all over the carriage or floor.

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18 Stephanie October 2, 2009 at 5:40 pm

I use the binder method with trading card inserts. I was only clipping what I know I would use, but have recently been trying to clip all my coupons so that I have them with me and don't miss out on any great deals. Plus by clipping them all (even if I don't use them) they will be ready for me to organize and send to the overseas coupon program which accepts expired mfg coupons for the military. I figure a little extra clipping is the least I can do to help support the people who serve our country!

Thanks for your wonderful website! I'm a huge fan and love telling people about it....

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19 Beeb October 2, 2009 at 5:40 pm

I do a combo of insert filing and the binder method. I wrote about it in detail here:

http://wontbesoonbeforelong.blogspot.com/2009/01/how-i-organize-my-coupons.html

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20 Stephanie October 2, 2009 at 5:43 pm

I use two small,floppy photo albums; one for food item & one for nonfood items. Then I cut whatever I'd typically buy & save the inserts. Works for me!

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21 chelsea October 2, 2009 at 5:46 pm

i use a combo of the inserts and binder. When i get my inserts for the week. i put them in a page protector labeled with the date with a printed "context" page that goes in front (that way if im in a store i can look my coupons up that way). For my IP's and clipped/mailed coupons i use the baseball card holders seperated by letters (in the same way i can look them up easily when finding unadvertised deals. I really have found this to be the least time consuming/and most effective way to organize and use my copons

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22 Stephanie October 2, 2009 at 5:48 pm

PS....don't feel weird about carying a binder into the store. I did at first, but then I saw 3 other people doing the same thing during a triple coupon week at Bloom.

Now almost every time I shop I hear comments about how well I'm organized, how much someone likes my binder, or even get asked where I bought my binder. So it's fun to explain to someone ele how easy this system is and how they can make one of their own!

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23 Rachel @ Surviving The Stores October 2, 2009 at 6:02 pm

Here is my binder system (with pictures):

http://www.survivingthestores.com/2009/03/how-i-organize-my-coupons.html

I've found that my brain likes things alphabetized instead of organizing them by category, but you could use the same method and just do it by category.

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24 Melinda M October 2, 2009 at 6:04 pm
25 Stacey October 2, 2009 at 6:19 pm

I use the box method. I have a huge box where I keep everything. I have many different categories so it's easy for me to find what I'm looking for fairly quickly.

I get 4 or 5 papers each week and I cut everything. To speed up this process I separate all the pages of each insert and match all the like pages up. I staple each coupon and either use an exacto knife or a paper cutter. The coupons come off in little stacks, nice and neat. When it's time to sort, it goes by quicker since there's just one set of every coupon (rather than a big cut up mess like it was before I started stapling).

As for what I take to the store, I have a small acordion file that fits in my purse. I have labeled the tabs according to the stores that I regularly shop at. I plan out my transactions for each store and put the coupons in the appropriate slots in the accordion file. I also keep coupons in there that I've picked up at the store (blinkies, tear pads) or coupons that I know expire soon, or that I want to price check, etc. I keep my Register Rewards and my ECBs in there too.

I always keep my HUGE box in the car, just in case I find a great deal that I don't want to miss out on. This system is what works best for me for right now. I really like my acordion file because it's small enough to fit in my purse, so I always have my coupons with me. But I like my box because it's big enough to hold everything!

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26 elizabeth October 2, 2009 at 6:21 pm

I have a wallet with plastic sleeves in it and I have labeled the file tabs in pencil: Freezer, dairy, box, can, paper, sauces, Jean Pierre (my puppy), retail, restaurant, rebate, free etc….
They are in the order of the isles at my most shopped at grocery store. I ran out of slots (the plastic sleeves are built into the wallet) so I just added index cards with file folder tabs on top. I keep this wallet in my purse all the time bc you never know when a deal will come up.
At the beginning of the week I staple my coupons to the product on sale in each of my sale ads, then I look at my date book for the week to see what days I will be driving past which stores and I stack those papers in that order and place them on the front seat of my car. Don’t forget always have the other coupons with you too for when you come across that irresistible deal!

Happy Couponing!

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27 patty October 2, 2009 at 6:24 pm

Thank you all for your great ideas, may have to change my way of doing coupons. I currently use envelopes to organize and then paperclip the coupons I am going to use by where they are located at my local Walmart. (always my 1st store when shopping)
I really appreciate this information from all of you.

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28 Robin October 2, 2009 at 6:27 pm

I have combined a couple of different methods and it seems to work really well for me. I personally buy several Sunday papers everyweek. Before I file the inserts, I cut out just one, sometimes two coupons for the items that I know I will use or for items that I know go on sale regularly. I then file the inserts and then place the cut coupons in my binder. This method helps my bider from getting to full and cumbersome. My unfiled coupons, I keep in an envelope and I file them on a weekly basis.

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29 Jennifer October 2, 2009 at 6:40 pm

I started by grouping them into categories in a scrapbook-style book. I got tired of flipping through a whole section while standing in the grocery store. So I switched to the binder method. I wasn't sure about it, but I'm hooked. Here's a link to my post about my binder organization method. http://savingandgiving.blogspot.com/2009/05/works-for-me-wednesday-my-new-coupon.html

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30 Nicole @ Being Frugal Is Fabulous October 2, 2009 at 6:45 pm

I liked the binder method, but the binder seemed like too much of a hassle to carry, so I decided to use a photo organizer that I have turned into a coupon organizer. I needed something that I could fit into my purse, but large enough to carry all the coupons I need and a photo organizer was just the right size. I keep all of the inserts that I don't use in a hanging folder. You can see my system here: http://www.beingfrugalisfabulous.com/2008/07/lets-talk-about-coupons-part-1.html

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31 Nena H. October 2, 2009 at 6:45 pm

For those who get more than one copy of the paper, I got this idea that saves me time on clipping. I take out each page from each pack of inserts and match them up. Once they are all stacked, I clip. This way, I am only cutting each coupon once even though I get 3 copies of the Sunday paper. I use the binder method with categories so then I group them by categories on my bar-height counter until all are clipped [which keeps my curious kids from coming by and mixing them all up!]. I then go category by category, putting my new coupons in the binder and taking out expired ones. This saves additional time since I don't have to set aside separate time to take out expired coupons.

I sometimes use the insert method for P&G coupons since they all expire at the end of each month and are mostly household and toiletry items. That way, if I see something on sale, I can usually remember that its a P&G product and go straight to the insert. Plus, after doing this for a few months, I have learned that I do not use many of the P&G coupons unless there is a sale that I just cannot pass up. I am so stockpiled with toothpaste, deodorant, etc. that it will be a while before I can justify getting more! There are also certain coupons that I do not clip [hair color, pet food, most cosmetics . . .] since I do not use these products.

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32 Jenn W October 2, 2009 at 6:46 pm

I use the binder (accordian folder) method. I browse all the coupon blogs before I go shopping and make my list. Then I use YOUR AWESOME coupon database to find the coupons I need. I don't have time or energy enough to clip every single coupon! This way works best for me now that you have that database. That is the best tool!!!

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33 Jennifer October 2, 2009 at 7:00 pm

Maybe I'm just weird but prefer unconventional. I use: Two Photo Boxes... one is food the other is everything else...these are all filed by expiration date....at the end of the month, I pull out the front most envelope and set it aside for military donation... this way I 'm not flipping through ALL of my coupons to pull expireds.... I also have a binder with all my odd one of a kind coupons in it....peelies,wintags,and home mailers... with a section in the back that has sections for rebates and a pocket for those reciepts. Then I have color coded go-to store coupon envelopes, which have the coupons I am going to use in that shopping trip... I shop at about six different stores...I leave my boxes and binder tucked in my trunk at the car...if Ineed something, I can go grab it.

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34 Renae October 2, 2009 at 7:02 pm

I use to use two accordian style organizers...one for food and one for non-food. When a friend using the binder system was quicker at finding coupons, I switched! I use a zipper binder with the baseball card sheets. I place coupons in categories and then put the categories in alphabetical order. I love that it is easy to find a coupon while at the store. It is also easy to pull out expired coupons as I can see the expiration dates quickly.

I do not cut every coupon. I use to but it is very time consuming. I keep a file box with the whole inserts organized by month. If I ever need a coupon I didn't cut, it is easy to find!

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35 brandy October 2, 2009 at 7:03 pm

I use this portable pocket case file to sort coupons I know I will use or IPs. It has a handle so that it's easy to carry into stores & it's nicer looking than most binders.

You can see it here: http://cravingsavings.blogspot.com/2009/01/i-finally-got-it-just-right.html

I keep the coupons I do not cut in order of date just in case a good deal comes up.

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36 katy October 2, 2009 at 7:05 pm

I do mostly the same as you, DSM. I keep the inserts in tact and label them by date. I also have a check folder (has 12 separate sections) that I have labeled by type of item and I put loose coupons in those.

One thing I do do -- I clip coupons that I KNOW I will use even if there is not a sale on that item. For example, Danimals and Activia yogurt -- we go through it like water at our house. I clip those and use them no matter what. There are also a few other items that I'll clip coupons for because I'll definitely use them. And I file those in the dividers. Otherwise, I leave them in the inserts. Makes them easier to find when I need to.

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37 Terri Peters October 2, 2009 at 7:23 pm

I took a photo storage box and turned it into a coupon organizer. I found that the organizers you could buy did not have enough compartments, or else did not allow me to break down my coupon categories as specifically as I'd like.

I used small envelopes, made tabs for each one with index cards, and now I have an envelope for each category I need. I even have envelopes for store coupons, restaurants, mail-in-offers, etc.

It has been the best solution I've found...and I can keep it in my car and it's not a big deal to take it into stores with me.

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38 couponchris October 2, 2009 at 7:39 pm

OK.. you may all think I am crazy but I made a spreadsheet. It is sorted by food, non-food and then a couple of stores I visit alot. I have columns for item name, coupon amt and exp date. I then sort them by name in abc order and print them out. So when I am shopping I can quickly look at the print-out to see if there is a coupon for what I am shopping for. The coupons are stored in accordian binder seperated by the food, non-food and store and then broken down by month they expire. I have been doing this for a couple of months and its has worked the best for me. Let me know if you are interested in a copy of the spreadsheet, I would be happy to share it.

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39 amy October 2, 2009 at 7:49 pm

I use the 3 ring binder with baseball card holders. It works alright but it is often difficult to get the coupons into the slots AND still see the exp. dates and adjacent coupons. I've been printing tons of coupons (my hubby thinks I'm nuts), and it takes forever to cut and sort them... any ideas? My biggest problem is at the actual store: with my children and now a newborn in tow, the binder doesn't have much of a space to sit on the cart. It slides around if it's up there by itself (and I'm wearing the baby), and of course it gets kicked off if I try to place it up there with the baby or kids. Any suggestions?

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40 Jamie @ I Am A Money Magnet! October 2, 2009 at 8:05 pm

I prefer to use the binder method w/ baseball card holders for organizing my coupons. I like that I'm able to flip open my binder and easily see all the coupons I have .

Check out my COUPON BINDER HERE

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41 jaimelynne October 2, 2009 at 8:14 pm

I just went to 2 systems...binder for things I will normally shop for, and a box for the rest. My binder is divvied up by aisles at my food store (Giant PA) and I use baseball card holders to separate. Each pocket is fairly item-specific (toothpastes, shampoos, paper towels, canned soups, etc.). Drawback is having to trim down the Q's to fit in the pockets, and not being able to see exp. dates well. The remainder of my coupons went recently into a photo box divided: food, paper, cleaning, toiletries, and dog. Each section I simply separated by exp. date (month) and put into envelopes. That way if I see a bargain listed on this blog or anywhere else, though I don't "normally" buy the product, I'll still have the coupon in a fairly accessible area. Several months ago I thought the binder people were a little obsessed, but I know better now! I am much more organized and save a lot more money this way!

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42 Sarah Scott October 2, 2009 at 8:16 pm

How funny that you would post this today because I just posted something about it on my blog!

I use the binder, baseball card holder like a lot of other people do.

Check It Out

I am also giving away a coupon organizer to one lucky reader, so make sure you enter!

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43 Faith October 2, 2009 at 8:20 pm

About 9 years ago, in the middle of a sleepless night, they had a coupon organizer on QVC called the Coup-O-Dex. It is a round case with a handle that slides open. The handle then fits on the shopping cart and it looks like a rolodex. The rolodex cards have a plastic flap at the top that will hold up to about 5-6 coupons each. They are then divided by categories. Coupons have to be folded or trimmed down to fit but I've loved it since day one. One problem: the glue is not holding the little plastic flaps much anymore and I think the company that made them (in California) has gone out of business. If anyone has heard of this product, please let me know! It even has a calculator and 2 slots to hold the coupons that are going to be used for that trip. Guess I'll either be re-gluing the cards or switching to the zipper binder!

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44 Jenn October 2, 2009 at 8:36 pm

I also use a binder. I find that while it takes a little time to organize, it makes my time spent in the store much faster which I prefer! I have all of my coupons at my fingertips and easily found. I have saved on some great clearance items this way!

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45 Samantha October 2, 2009 at 8:40 pm

I also use to use 2 accordion style coupon holders that were about as long as a busines sized envelope but fit in my purse. I used one for food and paper products and the other for drugstore items as well as assigning sections for each store where I frequently shop. About a month ago, I switched to a zippered binder; it is similar to the one in the video that Diana posted. I have the files on the outside that I use for each store and I keep the weekly ads and coupons that I am planning to use as well as any RRs or EBs in their respective files. I also keep a calculator, pen, notepad and small pair of scissors in the binder.

As far as the coupons go, I read on another blog that some had used the photo page inserts that are made like the baseball card inserts but with only 3 large pockets. I thought this would be ideal because I could get more coupons in each pocket, not really realizing how the baseball card thing worked!!

Currently, I have a LOT of categories and although this makes it easy to find coupons in the store, it is a pain to sort and weed out the expireds. Plus, by having more than 1 type of coupon in each pocket, I still have to pull out the whole stack and shuffle through them if I run across an item that I wasn't planning to purchase.

My plan is to use the same binder ( for awhile, at least) but use tab dividers, broader sections and go to using the baseball card holders for the coupons. I will hang onto the photo album sheets and maybe use some for store specific coupons or something like that, although so far it works well just to have those in the outside file section.

A few notes about me: I do shop with a 14 month old and discovered a long time ago that I would rather haul her and a coupon binder with ALL of my coupons instead of having to make a trip back out to the car or worse yet, have coupons at home! I also keep all restaurant and service coupons in a small accordion file in my car at all time.

Each week, I do sit down and make a "game plan" for each store, copying and pasting deals from this blog and a few others into a Word doc which I print and use as my list for each store. If you paste into a 2007 Word doc, the IP links can be clicked on,too so that's great if I need to go back and print a coupon and can't remember where I saw the deal posted!

I do not purchase the Sunday paper except for rare occasions when there are so many coupons out there that I can't stand myself. =) I take the leftovers from my mom and grandmother's inserts and also pick up a few extras from our offi ce swap box. It is sometimes frustrating to not have as many coupons as I would like, but that doesn't happen very often. I use a LOT of Internet Printables and also occasionally purchase coupons from the Coupon Clippers.

My family does not currently have a set grocery budget. I shop wisely and do not go "grocery shopping". I purchase food items around what is on sale and if I buy 20 jars of Ragu, we have pasta for awhile. =)

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46 Shar October 2, 2009 at 8:40 pm

Love, Love, Love the binder. Check out video it will show you how to organize it: http://www.savvyshopperdeals.com/component/option,com_videos/#vmix_media_id=3098344ahoo.com/

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47 Shar October 2, 2009 at 8:43 pm

Oops, I can't get it to link right, right website, wrong video, select part 2, it's about organization!

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48 nida October 2, 2009 at 8:59 pm

I use the binder method, with a zipper binder but i need to upgrade to at LEAST 5" now. I use plastic tab separators to divide my binder into categories (Paper products, dairy,baking, pasta etc) and then I either paper clip or binder clip all the coupons in one category. because grocery stores are also organized by categories, my shopping is a BREEZE

I only cut out the coupons I think I am most likely to use (based on the 2-3 sites i visit), and then the inserts with remaining coupons get dated and filed in a letter sized file holder box, that has a handle so i can leave it in my car in case i find a good deal and can run to my car. within the box, i just have all the inserts for one month per manilla folder.
also, i also keep all stores internet policies in my binder. VERY IMPORTANT! oh and also a price chart... just in case, along with a calculator and scissors.

i do not use baseball card inserts, they're a waste of time, as is preemptive clipping, and I find, that between dealseeking mom and couponmom, or even hotcouponworld, they're so well rounded, that I cant remember when i ever thought oh darn, i left my inserts at home....

While shopping, i take the coupons i will be using and put it into either a ziploc or envelope, before checking out, i make sure i have all the appropriate coupons and items, and then only hand out 5-7 q's at a time, so I can keep track. I then check the receipt before i leave the store.

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49 Nathalie October 2, 2009 at 9:17 pm

I have tried several methods and have settled on one that works for me. I cut my inserts as I get them, doing a couple a night. If I get tired of them sometimes my son likes to help. (He's also good at reminding me in the grocery store if there is something I missed he knows I have a coupon for!) Then I put the coupons for item we regularly buy/use in a small accordian file I keep in my purse. I have them sorted by general aisles in the grocery store. When sorting them into the accordian file I keep out any duplicates, and coupons that expire in the current month. I keep the coupons that expire in the current month in a section in the front. I always start with those when matching up my coupons to my grocery list. The duplicates and coupons for items we don't normally use go in my "extra box". This is a white baby wipes container that I made dividers for out of cereal box cardboard and cardstock. I wrote the same catergories as my accordian file. The "extra" coupons may be for items I won't normally purchase unless they are low cost, free, or a new item that the coupon would entice me to buy if it went on sale. I also sort out the coupons for the current month in the extra box too and keep them in a section up front. I carry my extra box with me (almost) every time I go shopping. It helps keep me organized and it's not too bulky or ugly.

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50 Tara October 2, 2009 at 9:20 pm

I use a binder with full size page protectors, that I write on the front with a sharpie the categories and stores.

The first section I have the various grocery stores (each one gets there own), cvs this week, cvs next week, target, wags this week, wags next week, trials, and freebies.

As I am going thru the ads I can pull the coupons for that store (or as I am cutting them) and put them in the proper store section. This makes it very easy when I want to make a target run for free trial stuff, it is already sorted and ready to go, I just grab that section.

The second section is for groceries and is sorted by the typical categories, and the third is for HBA and pet stuff.

I find that I can find everything easily and it doesn't take me long to file them... and I love that when I print coupons for a deal, I know where to find them!

I also have a flat type wallet that snaps that I keep my store cards and my RR and ecbs in, and what ever coupons I am using for that run. It makes it easier to keep track of them all and I typically put a set amount in there on sunday and it helps me know what my OOP is... when the cash is gone, I am done for the week!

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