How to Organize Coupons

Organizing coupons is the biggest challenges of using coupons. There are many ways to create a coupon organizer however I cannot recommend one over the other because it comes down to which method works best for you.

The important thing is that you do create a system and file coupons as you receive them, otherwise you will find it overwhelming and assume it takes too much time!

Coupon organizer

Creating a strategic system that works will save you a lot of time and money.

There are various systems that work, with advantages and disadvantages to each. Perhaps your current method is time consuming and you want to review and tweak your method.

There are some great ways to organize your coupons that I will share with you.

Ways to Organize coupons

Couponizer

This is an organizing and shopping system for coupons, discounts, store retail coupons, dining coupons and rebates. This is the system I currently use, after all it is just the two of us (for another couple months!). I keep all free product coupons, coupons for products I buy regularly and the coupons for my next shopping trip in the binder.

Pros with using the Couponizer system

  • Couponizer is a great system for moderate coupon users
  • Couponizer is best used for coupons that are used regularly
  • The couponizer also has front pockets for the shopping list along with a pocket for coupons you intend to use in your next shopping trip. I love this front pocket because when I’m shopping and come across a good in-store sale, I can easily pull out the coupon and place it into that front pocket. There is no need to dig through the couponizer at the checkout because all the coupons are in the front pocket to hand the cashiers at checkout. There is also a pocket for coupons due to expire within the next month.
  • It offers a wide range of categories including restaurant, entertainment coupons, rebates, and even a pocket for the and sleeves to store loyalty cards.

Cons with using the Couponizer system

  • It holds a lot of coupons, however, there is no way it can hold all your coupons in this small binder.

All my other coupons, are stored in envelopes in a box by the same categories as the couponizer for easy access when creating my shopping list.

For more information and pricing on the couponizer click here.

Envelopes to Organize Coupons

This is the combined system I currently use with the Couponizer. It is by far the easiest way to store and organize coupons as well as the cheapest.

This system is for moderate users or smaller families. Create a envelope for each category. (i.e. meat, dairy, breakfast, health, laundry etc. I use the same category on in my couponizer). Clip all coupons and file them according to category in each envelope so they can easily be pulled out when needed. Once all the coupons have been clipped and filed appropriately, store all the coupons in a plastic tub or shoe box.

There are people that sort their coupons by expiry date however I prefer to sort by category because this is the way I shop and create my shopping list.

Filing system to Organize Coupons

There are two methods to using this system, a file box or wallet/accordion system.

The File Box System:

This system is for moderate to heavy coupon users. Using cardboard dividers, separate each category by labeling each index divider. You can then easily clip each coupon and file them according to their category. This works like the envelope system only you are filing them into a filing box.  The dividers should stand out making it easy to search through. Use store bought dividers or make your own with cereal boxes. The box filing system provides a great storing method for coupons that can easily be found and will last longer than envelopes because it will not rip easily like envelopes.

To use this filing system for your shopping trip, create your grocery list for each store and remove the coupons that will be used and place in an envelope along with the list for each store. The other option is to bring the whole filing box with you on your shopping trip should the box be small enough to cart.

The Wallet/Accordion System

An alternative to the file box is the accordion type filing system that works in the same way. The difference is that it expands and can come in a range of sizes making it more portable than the file box. If you decide to use this system be sure that each divider can be labeled and seen easily. The size of wallet you purchase will depend on the how many coupons you intend to collect. The photo below is for beginners, however they come in all different sizes and can be bought to accommodate heavy coupon users.


The best wallet accordion systems are one that are portable with plastic dividers and have a fabric cover.

The Coupon Ring Binder to Organize Coupons:

The coupon ring binder is an effective tool for heavy coupon users. You can make these coupon ring binders fairly easily, although there are a lot of people out there selling specially designed coupon binders. I recommend making your own before investing $60 or more on one that is made for you, after all your aim is to save money.

A simple ring binder can be used or one that zips up is best. The binder should have pockets on the inside to sort and carry all your tools.  With a zipped up binder, you will not need to worry about coupons or supplies falling out or loosing anything. These binders can be setup to hold everything you need with coupons shopping lists and are portable.

This system works like trading hockey cards by using plastic sheets to store your coupons and keep them organized.

Suggested coupon categories

It is important to organize your coupons by categories to your individual needs. If you are a heavy coupon user it might be best to sub categorizes you coupons such as baby food, diapers under baby coupons. There will be some people that need specific categories such pet food while others do not. Here is a list of coupon categories and an idea of creating sub categories for heavy coupon users.

Baby Coupons Baking &
Staples
Beverages Baked Goods
  • Diapers
  • Formula
  • Wipes
  • Lotion
  • Cups
  • Spoons
  • Pacifiers
  • Baby Foods
  • Snacks
  • Brownies
  • Cake mix
  • Flour
  • Grains
  • Mixes
  • Frosting
  • Sugar
  • Spices
  • Oil
  • Coffee
  • Milk
  • Drink Boxes
  • Hot Chocolate
  • Juice
  • Powdered Mixes
  • Water
  • Wine
  • Pop
  • Bagels
  • Dinner
  • Bread
  • Dinner Rolls
  • Donuts
  • English Muffins
  • Hamburger Buns
  • Hot Dog Buns
  • Pita
  • Sandwich Bread
Breakfast Canned Goods Condiments Dairy
  • Bars
  • Cereals
  • Hot Cereals
  • Oatmeal
  • Pancake/Waffle Mix
  • Pastries
  • Syrup
  • Beans
  • Broth
  • Chilies
  • Fruits
  • Meats
  • Tomatoes
  • Tuna
  • Soup
  • Sauce
  • Vegetables
  • Ketchup
  • Mayonnaise
  • Mustard
  • Olives
  • Olive Oils
  • Peanut Butter
  • Pickles
  • Salad Dressing
  • Salsa
  • Sauce/Marinades
  • Vinegars
  • Biscuits
  • Butter/Margarine
  • Cheese
  • Cream Cheese
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Refrigerated Cookie
  • Sour Cream
  • Yogurt
Frozen Foods Hair Care Health &
Medicine
Household
Cleaning
  • Desserts
  • Dinners
  • Fish/Seafood
  • Fruits
  • Ice Cream
  • Meats
  • Pizza
  • Snack Items
  • Vegetables
  • Conditioner
  • Hair Color
  • Leave in Treatments
  • Shampoo
  • Style Aids
  • Band-aids/First Aid
  • Cold/Flu
  • Cough Drops
  • General
  • Pain Relievers
  • Vitamins
  • Air Fresheners
  • All Purpose Cleaner
  • Bathroom Cleaner
  • Candles
  • Dish Soap
  • Dishwasher Soap
  • Floor Cleaner
  • Mops/Brooms/Sponges
Laundry Make Up Meat Paper
Plastic
  • Bleach or Whiteners
  • Dryer Sheets
  • Fabric Softener
  • Laundry Soap
  • Stain Removers
  • Toner
  • Eye Make up Remover
  • Face Lotion/Moisturizer
  • Body Lotion
  • Make Up
  • Tools and Tweezers
  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Cold cuts/Deli
  • Pork Chops
  • Sausages
  • Seafood
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Batteries
  • Paper Napkins
  • Paper Towels
  • Plastic Wrap
  • Tissues, Kleenex
  • Toilet Paper
  • Wet Wipes
Pasta &
Quick Meals
Personal
Hygiene & Beauty
Pet Snacks
  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • All in one meals
  • Soup mixes
  • Taco shells
  • Quinoa
  • Soaps
  • Body Washes
  • Dental Floss
  • Deodorants
  • Feminine Products
  • Hand Soaps
  • Lotions
  • Razors
  • Shaving Cream
  • Tooth Paste
  • Tooth Brush
  • Cat Food
  • Cat Litter
  • Dog Food
  • Treats
  • Chips
  • Cookies
  • Candy
  • Puddings
  • Nuts
  • Dried Fruit
  • Popcorn
  • Pretzels
  • Chocolate

Now that all your coupons have been clipped and are now organized you can begin to prepare for your shopping trip. Remember to review your soon to expire coupons and purge regularly. You will find it much easier to save money on groceries knowing exactly where to look for a coupon when you need one.

Now, how do you organize your coupons?

 

Profile imageAuthor: Lina Zussino on August 31st, 2012. Lina Zussino, is a co-founder of Grocery Alerts Canada. GroceryAlerts.ca encourages real whole foods cooking while helping Canadians save money with grocery deals and coupons.

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