How To Organize Your Coupons
Organizing your coupons is absolutely necessary in order to maximize your couponing skills. Organizing means not missing any deals because you couldn’t find or didn’t know you had a certain coupon. It also means you won’t let coupons expire before you can use them.
Some people hang on to every coupon they can get, while others only keep certain coupons for the products they would typically purchase anyway.
When you go to organize your coupons, you can compare them to both wallet contents and collectables; some people will have many coupons of all kinds, while others like to pick and choose.
What can I use to organize coupons?
Choosing what to organize coupons in requires you to think of how you want to use your coupons. Do you want to have them close by so that you don’t miss an opportunity to use them, such as during a surprise in-store sale? Do you prefer to stick to a grocery list and use your coupons on only the items that you intend to buy? Do you carry a purse when you shop?
Coupons can be organized using a variety of different ‘containment’ products such as: sports card collection books, photo albums (which come in a variety of sizes and page numbers), specialty sorting pouches from an office supply store, boxes, even plastic bags or envelopes. You can pick up such materials at Walmart, the Dollar Store, office supplies stores or Michaels (they carry some very cute photo albums).
I have seen other coupon users in action with large binders containing plastic sheet organizers that are divided into several pouches per page, but a large binder may not be convenient to tote around for everyone. You can buy money or collector card sleeves and add them to a 3 ring binder if you want to go that route.
Baggies and small pouches work great if you’re planning to head out for specific items but don’t have a large variety of coupons. Containers without dividers (such as boxes or baggies) come in handy for those coupons that you want to hang onto for friends, trading or just as extras.
And never underestimate a paperclip; these come in handy if you want to separate a small group of coupons.
You can buy the 3 pocket sleeves for binders here.
How should I organize coupons inside of my book/container?
The easiest way to organize your coupons is by category (such as dairy, cereals, cleaning supplies, baby supplies, pets etc.) But you can also choose alphabetical order or by date (such as each month that they expire). Make sure that you take time every month to discard the expired ones and add in all of your new coupons so that you don’t miss out on a deal.
You may also want to keep the first compartment/page empty and use that space for the coupons that will soon expire or to put the coupons you will use during each shopping trip there.
You can label the categories with a permanent marker or you can create tabs that are easy to eyeball.
From my personal experience, I’ve found that a small hard-cover photo album (about 4”x6” in size) tucked into my purse works well. I make a point to plan ahead with my coupons (to use in conjunction with sales) but I also don’t want to miss out on getting my favourite items if I come across an unadvertised sale. This system allows me to have a reasonable amount of coupons on hand during every outing and I can easily find what I need by having the pages labeled by category.
Written by Holly S. exclusively for E.C.C.