January 6, 2013

4 easy ways to organize your coupons! No-Clip, Binder, Box, Envelopes (pin to win)

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Let’s start 2013 off with some real coupon savings. The best couponers, the ones who save the most, are organized. Sorry, but it’s true. A coupon does you no good if you can’t find it, right?

But don’t worry – I’m going to help you organize all those coupons!

Here are some resources for getting your coupons organized:

1.) First, I recommend NOT clipping all your coupons. This is called the No-Clip Method for coupons. I recommend clipping the high-value coupons or ones you really think you’ll use. Then filing the rest by date. Right the date on the cover with a big marker so you can easily find certain dates. I currently do this in addition to the box method. . .

2.) The Box Method – This is is the method I’m currently using to organize my coupons. For the coupons that I do clip or for tearpads or blinkie coupons – they go in the box. I organize by manufacturer/product name. I have a type-A personality and by organizing by brand name – like Kellogg’s or Pantene – I’m able to find them easily. You can also organize by product type – cereal, frozen, toiletries, etc. – but I always forgot where I’d put something.  I have a video and detailed tutorial about my box organization method here.

3.) The Binder Method – I have done this method before and it has it’s pros and cons, too. The binder is great because it’s easier to lug around then the box, you can just toss it into a big purse. It’s also better because you can see all the coupons at a glance. But folding and putting the coupons into the baseball card pages can be time intensive and the initial cost is often more. I walk you through creating a coupon binder here.

4.) Envelope Method – This method is really inexpensive to set up and you can start really small. You can just have a few envelopes in your purse for specific stores. Or you can get a sturdy photo box and put envelopes – organizing products by type (cereal, toiletries) or by product name, whatever makes the most sense for you. The box pictured above has envelopes A through Z organized by product name, plus store specific envelopes in the front. Read my tips on envelope organization here.

If you want to organize your coupons by type (not brand) here’s a good list to start with:

  • Free – for all those FREE coupons that you want to use before they expire! Put this in the front – so they don’t get forgotten.
  • Produce – Fruits, veggies and things found in the produce section (croutons, refrigerated salad dressings, tofu, etc.)
  • Condiments & Sauces – Pickles, mustard, peanut butter etc.
  • Beverages – Anything you can drink!
  • Packaged and Canned Goods – Most of the stuff that is in the center aisles of a grocery store. Soups, dry pastas, tuna, canned veggies, crackers, rice, bread products, etc.
  • Baking – Anything found in the baking aisle, including spices, parchment paper, brownie/cake mixes, etc.
  • Cereal & Breakfast – Cereals, oatmeal, pancake mix, syrup,
  • Snacks & Candy – Snack foods such as pretzels, popcorn, chips, gum, candy, etc.
  • Dairy – All things found in the dairy section – cheese, milk, sour cream, yogurt, and things like eggs, refrigerated cookie dough, etc.
  • Meats – All meat products
  • Frozen – All products in the frozen food aisle, including frozen entrees, desserts, etc.
  • Cosmetics – Make-up and cosmetics products
  • Oral Care – Toothbrushes, mouth wash, dental floss, etc.
  • Personal Care – This is a big category for coupons – hygiene products, eye drops, deodorant, face wash, body wash, lotions, shampoo/conditioner, hair stylers, etc.
  • Cleaning – All cleaning products and fragrance products (such as Glade candles, etc.)
  • Paper Goods – Napkins, toilet paper, paper towels, ziploc bags, tin foil, plastic wrap, etc.
  • Medicine – All medicines, first aid items, vitamins, etc.
  • Baby & Kids – Diapers, wipes, kid’s foods, etc.
  • Pets – All things pets
  • Office & Misc. – Office supply coupons and other items that you don’t have categories for.

How do you organize your coupons? Do you have tips or tricks to share with beginning couponers?

PIN it to WIN it
Head over here and repin this post or click any image in this post and pin it. Then leave a comment on this post and you’ll be entered to win a $25 Amazon.com gift card! One comment (or entry) per person. I’ll pick one random winner January 12 at 8 p.m. PST.


    Leave your comments here...


  1. Elizabeth Castillo says

    Repinned! Thank you!

  2. annetteflynn says

    please send your expired coupons to the miltary its coups for troops

  3. Thanks for the post… Re-pinning!

  4. I pinned your article. I am a former binder girl who’s converted to the box method. I found a great little box at Staples that has built in dividers. I purchased it with reward dollars I earned from empty ink cartridges. 🙂

  5. I pinned this! Thank you!

  6. After almost a year I have finally found a method that works best for me. I don’t have time to sit and clip and organize coupons so I made my own way to organize them.

    I melded 2 methods to make my own.

    I separate the pages of the insert so that all of the identical pages are together. Then I put them in separate document protector. It may take me 15 mins to put away an entire insert and I am done. I can just flip through my binder to see what I have and clip what I need. Grated I dont have categories but I would rather get my coupons put in a binder that I can see than them sitting in a huge pile on the table for weeks since I dont have the extra time to clip and file.

  7. I love the binder, I can see each one and I know what I have when Im in the store for those unadvertived sales

  8. Re-pinned and so happy to have this post. I have to get couponing back under my belt in a real way.


  9. Christine P says

    Thank you! I’m currently using the binder method but planning on switching to the no-clip method. Looking forward to it!

  10. Pinned – so I can read it later, once I find my coupons!

  11. I think i will go back to the box method and just clip out the ones I know I’ll use. i just hate missed opportunities.But at least this way Ill find the ones I need and have them in the store instead of flipping through. I noticed it wouldn’t work today because of that 6 insert paper…my hand almost fell ott.

  12. Repinned . I organize coupons by date (clipped)

  13. Re pinned. I use the file folders and go by date of insert! Has worked very well for me. I tried the binder at first, but was not my thing.

  14. Heidi Gore says

    I pinned. I really need to revamp my coupon strategy so I can actually find them when I want to use them.

  15. Repinned. Used the binder method until this year when I switched to a no-clip method. Doesn’t matter how you do it, just do it.

  16. Anna Williamson says

    I have question about the no-clip method, and it may be a rather dumb one. How do you cycle them out? In others words, when do you know when to toss?

    • I usually pull the ones that are about 3 months old. I’ll flip through one to see if all the coupons have in fact expired, pull out the few that haven’t, and toss the rest. It’s not fancy, but it works. 😉 Most all inserts have completely expired after 3 months, but sometimes there is one or two coupons inside that is dated farther out.

  17. I am so inspired to organize to the envelope method. Right now I keep all of my printables and inserts in a tote bag, when I plan a shopping trip I take out the q’s I’m using and put them in one envelope, but I bring the bag as a “just in case”. And I usually end up flipping thru that bag quite a few times which is WAY too time consuming in the store! Thanks for the advice!

  18. I pinned post.

  19. I repinned this post and I’m inspired to get back into couponing (why did I ever stop?). I really like your No-clip or box methods… I agree with an earlier post that the binders are time consuming. Thanks for inspiring us to be organized and thrifty in 2013!

  20. Pinned it! What a great idea

  21. You have been pinned !!

  22. Repinned your awesome post! Thanks for the great information!

  23. Kim Chapman says

    pinned … now to give it a try! thanks for the tips.

  24. Pinned! I just switched from box category to alphabetical…hope it works!

  25. Pinned…love your site!

  26. I re-pinned this post! I’ve been needing a new method for organizing, now’s the perfect time to start. Thank you!

  27. I just pinned this, now I’m inspired to reorganize my inserts! 🙂

  28. I use the envelope method. After holidays, stores that have greeting card sections take down their unsold cards and put up the next holiday. If you see them doing this while you are in the stores, ask for their envelopes, they just hit the recycled bin, and the store clerks normally would be happy to pass a few your way!

  29. Re-pinned- I’ve used binder method in the past but am considering switching to a box /envelope combo.

  30. Heather J. says

    I repinned! Loving all your soup and salads, btw!

  31. happysmasher says

    Pinned! Love this idea.. way to go!

  32. Repinned!

  33. Totes re-pinned! Using binder method but thinking about the no-clip + box method to save time!

  34. Pinned it! I use accordion folders that I bought on clearance. I use envelopes inside them.

  35. Thank you!! I’m currently using the binder method and find that it is way too time intensive for my schedule. I’m going to try the box and your category suggestions. And, of course, I repinned this!

    • Victoria – I found the box makes it so much faster when I’m clipping and sorting. I just make piles for each letter in the alphabet. When you’re in the store it can be a bit more time intensive because you have to flip through the section for the coupon, but I usually know what I want before I go into the store and I’ll pull the coupons before hand. Hope that helps!

  36. Eileenkbooth says

    Re-pinned it

  37. Rep inning done thanks

  38. Alicia Adams says

    I re-pinned this 🙂

  39. Sylver Hinton says

    Repinned in my organization boards. Love your site.

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