Tips to Help You Manage and Organize Your Coupons
The more you get into couponing, the more you may have discovered that your clippings can quickly pile up and make a mess of your home. And unless you want to end up on an episode of Hoarders, you need to get your new found hobby more organized! So here are a few ways to to help you and get organized for good.
Everyone is Different. Some ways may help some be organized, and different ones for others. Find what works for you! 🙂
1. Filing cabinets / boxes.
If your coupon clipping is getting more advanced, then you likely have a ton coupon inserts (I highly suggest keeping them). So get organized by creating a system of file folders that will allow you to remove the clutter from your home and centralize your new money-saving hobby to one small area. Or you can do like me and just pile them up in old shoe box or container big enough to hold them.
2. Binders/Coupon Clutch.
You can’t cart a huge box of coupon inserts to the grocery store. Binders or coupon clutches make for an excellent way of organizing all of your coupons. Most people use baseball card inserts or photo holding inserts for the coupons. I suggest having a list with coupons already taken out and ready when you go to the store though! Being prepared is a key point.
File folders or shoe boxes are great for the whole pages, but coupons are often small squares that can easily get out of order when piled into one large folder or box. So think about using envelopes to help organize your coupons as well. This is a very easy system to use!
4. By store.
Once you have a storage system worked out, you have to decide how to arrange your coupons. The best place to start is also the most general. Break your filing system into large sections by type of store (grocery, department, and store name). This way you can quickly go to the section for food, clothing, electronics, or whatever you happen to be buying on any given day. [ This is one way of organizing- I don’t do this]
5. By item.
You can further break down your coupons by items featured. So within the grocery section, you might have categories such as cereal, canned goods, frozen items, and so on. If your freezer is full this week, you can skip that section and move on to cereal. [ This is one way of organizing- I don’t do this]
6. By expiration date.
Finally, you can get even more organized by filling coupons chronologically, with those set to expire first in the front. This way you can see what needs to be used immediately and quickly toss coupons that are no longer of use. [ This is one way of organizing- I don’t do this]
It can also be broken down alphabetically. Files by store should be listed alphabetically. And within each store section, items can be arranged alphabetically as well. [ This is one way of organizing- I don’t do this]
8. Cut back.
Organization is not just about squeezing everything you can into a small space! You also need to cut back on the items that aren’t needed. So rather than clipping every coupon because you “might” use it, just clip the ones that you will really use! This is what I do!
9. Clean up.
Your turnover is going to be high, which means you need to keep up with cleaning out the old. Making way for new coupons by tossing those that have expired is necessary to ensure that your pile of coupons doesn’t get out of hand. This also insures you not accidentally trying to use expired coupons.
10. My Last Tip.
I cannot stress enough how important staying organized and being prepared is!! It not only makes your shopping trips easier, but makes it easier for the cashiers and others waiting behind you as well.
What the front of my binder has in it – a zippered pouch (kind of a catch – all) Also behind that is a folder that holds our local store coupon policies.
I keep all the HOT/BEST Coupons in the front so I do not forget about them! I use special coupon inserts inside my binder that I purchased online. You can go here and look through all they have to offer, and maybe even go in on them with a friend (that’s what I did).
Keeping your coupons organized is very important. That way if you happen to be out and see a clearance item you know you have a coupon for, it is easy to find. Ans makes your trips less stressful too!
This is how I organize mine into categories:
(I organize according to aisles in the grocery stores, or at least what seems to be grouped for me 🙂 )
(which all could be sub categorized even more if wanted)
* When I go into a store I always have a list of what I am buying, how many, how much it is on Sale for, and what price Coupon I am using. This helps me stay focused and organized. I fold that list and put my coupons that I am using inside of it. Of course everyone is different. You will eventually come upon the best way that will work for you!
Check out in more detail how I make my Lists here.
I do not cut out all the coupons from the inserts. I save the inserts in a bin in case I may need a coupon later on. I also write the date on front of all inserts to help me go back and find something when needed.
*Newbies I recommend using envelopes+labeling them:
Cold Food – Dry Food – Bath and Body – Misc.
Simple Enough Right?!