Sunday, July 20, 2008

Organizing your coupons

My friend Nancy did a post about her coupon binder and it reminded me I wanted to do a post on organizing coupons.
There are several ways you can do it. You can get an accordion coupon organizer. You can find them at the dollar store or in the dollar bins at Target. I found this one at Promopeddler:

I used to have this type, but when you accumulate a various amount of coupons, you may want to upgrade to the binder which is what I currently have:

OK actually I admit I have two binders, but I'm a tad OCD with coupons! I have one binder for food items, which I primarily take into grocery stores, and I have one binder for non-food that I primarily take into drug stores. Both binders are zippered and this is very important!

You can find binders everywhere since it's back to school time. If you can stand waiting until September you can probably find one on clearance somewhere at a good price. I decided to splurge and picked the one pictured above at Costco for 9.99.

Inside the binder are lots of baseball card holder inserts. You can get these at Wal-Mart or Target near where the baseball cards are sold. It looks something like this once you've set it up:

I have also seen shoe boxes, photo boxes, briefcases, recipe box holders, empty wipes containers, zippered CD cases and tote bags. You can get creative and use what works best for you. You will also need some type of diving system for your container. I use 3 ring hole punched dividers for my binder.

Once you have your container and dividers picked out. You need to come up with a method. I organize by category. Some people organize alphabetically by manufacturer name. For example Kraft, Kellogg's, etc. It is too hard for me to remember who makes what, so I chose to categorically organize.
Here is a list of my categories in my Food Binder:
Canned Goods
Frozen Foods

Here is a list in my Non-Food binder:
Bags, Plates, Cups
Cleaning Products
Feminine Hygiene
Foils Wraps
Hair Products
Paper Products
In my binder I also carry some essentials:

I can't tell you how much of a lifesaver it is to have a pen, calculator (that little pink calculator came from Staples and it is a clip and has a magnet on the back I use it to clip my coupons together while I'm at the store) and a pair of scissors with you in your binder. You never know when you may want to clip a coupon. I like to keep everything in my binder, even uncut coupons so when I have a minute waiting in carpool line or at the Dr's office I can clip or sort through my binder. I keep my binder in my car so I ALWAYS have my coupons.

I also have pockets that are divided for each store. In these I keep my list for that store, the sale ad and my rain checks for that store. I also have a pocket where I can hold any coupon inserts that I haven't cut yet.

You can also pull the coupons you plan to use for that store and put them in the stores folder then when you get to the store all you need is to pull your list and the coupons and you are ready to go.

I would love to hear what you use. Please comment on what works best for you!
See you at the sales!


Anonymous said...

Melissa, This is Shelly from MCA Karate class, you are so right I am hooked. The funny thing about this. I have the same binder from Costco and even the same color. You got me started and now great minds (I am no where near yours)think alike. I also have 2 zipper pouches in front of my Q's for to be filled Q's and the other I put my envelopes in. I also put my Bed bath and beyond Q's in the back where the mesh pockets are. I have page protectors where I keep my mailing lables (for coupons swaps) and that is where I keep my coupon store policy's also. Just in case cashiers need reminding. Thanks once again for getting me started.

Melissa said...


Great to hear from you! I am so glad you are having fun with this!

That is a great idea about the mailing labels and policies! I think I will use this tip!

Thanks for sharing.


Nancy said...

A tad OCD? Love it!

Your binders look great! Thanks for all of the inspiration.