The very first thing you need to decide before you even print or clip a coupon is how you are going to keep them organized. Before getting started with coupon organizing, let me tell you no one way will work for everyone and just because it works for me doesn’t mean its the best way for you. I’m sure that you have already found a million articles that try to tell you how to organize coupons but, you never really get anywhere. That’s because they are just telling you what to do without giving you the option to find what works best for you. I personally have had to try multiple methods before finding what worked for me.
The first and most known method would obviously be the big coupon binder. The binder is a very good (but tedious) way of organizing coupons if you are up for the extra work that it takes to keep it up to date. You are also more likely to score a great unadvertised deal if you carry a binder.
How to start with the binder method:
1. Buy a sturdy 3 ring binder! I recommend buying one close to this or this. When shopping for your coupon binder it’s really important to find one that is going to be able to take a beating. The standard plastic ones just aren’t going to cut it. You are going to have to pay a little more but believe me its worth it. Nothing is more irritating then the cover of your binder falling of while grocery shopping, trust me I know.
2. Purchase a set of dividers. you can really purchase any dividers that would be easy for you to read and change at will. I purchased these off amazon and I absolutely love them. They were SOOO easy to set up categories with plus with the tables off contents right in the front everything is so easy to find.
3. Stock up on coupon insert pages. You can find these in Wal-Mart, but they were quite expensive for the pack of 10 I found in my area. You would do better purchasing them online. I am going to link you to a decent priced one on amazon but also check eBay. you might be able to fund a better deal there.
4. Buy yourself a pencil pouch that fits nicely into your 3 ring binder. This can come in handy for storing travel scissors a calculator and what ever else you might need. I actually use mine to hold my printed out transaction and coupons that go along with that. It a lot easier for me to keep them organized in the binder pouch then in the little travel coupon file that you carry.
Getting you binder organized:
The very first thing you are going to need to do for your binder is set up your coupon categories set up. This can be tricky because you don’t want to have to many or to few. You need to be able to find everything pretty quickly for the binder to be useful to you. If you are following me on Pinterest you will have noticed I pinned a couple really great coupon binder organizers that would really help you out with this task. This Coupon Binder Organizing Printable from Momsbyheart is my absolute favorite. They also have a Menu/Shopping List that is really convenient and both are here for you to print by clicking the links.
File system method:
(Before I even start to explain what I do I just want to let you know there are so many ways you can file your coupons away. Don’t make fun of my coupon box, I’m cheap if you can’t tell already 🙂 )
How to start you own coupon filing system :
As you can see the picture all you will need to start your own system is really a box and some grocery bags. All I do is
1. Separate the inserts from the newspaper
2. Throw them in a grocery bag and mark them with the date
3. Throw them in the box I dedicated for coupon and put it away
One of the main reason I started filling my whole inserts away is because when you read any coupon match up site (including mine) they refer to the date of the insert as 4/27 RP or 8/24 SS. It was so much more difficult for me to flip through my giant binder and look for a coupon that I may or may not have gotten. I feel like this way just saves me so much more time than any other method I tried and there are so many ways to file. Just for another one-off the top of my head would be to be to use an actual filing cabinet which I am to cheap to buy.
I am an exclusive shopping list planner so this method works for me. I have a list ready and typed up with my coupons cut and sorted for every item on my list. I keep both my list and my coupons in my little pencil pouch with a small calculator that I grab on the way out. If and when I didn’t do it like this, I would always forget something important I needed. I do miss out on some unadvertised deals but I am okay with that.
If the two methods don’t work for you, then I urge you to find one that you can stick with. It’s so important to have a solid system down before start cutting and sorting coupons. I hope this is helpful for you as you start your journey into couponing. Getting started with coupons part 3, will be coming in a few days. Make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss out. I will also be doing a live webinar at the end of this series to answer any questions you still have floating around. See you all soon.
(Please note this post may contain affiliate links, You can read more about this in my Disclosure Policy)