How to Set-up and Organize your Coupons
September 14, 2012, Posted By Erin
Congratulations! You’ve already begun your first step on your couponing journey; you’ve clipped, printed, torn and ordered online every coupon that grabbed your interested. Now, it’s time to embark on your epic adventure into the world of savings and to become an advanced couponer to whichever degree you’d like. If someone asks you where to find coupons you’ll be able to tell them with ease since a part of your study material included this guide on where to find coupons.
Except, how do you make any sense of the now huge pile of coupons you have? It’s absurd to just let them collect dust in a corner somewhere!
I had this problem myself when I first started couponing; I would receive them and just shove them away in a folder or drawer somewhere for a rainy day. When I finally got around to sorting them, I had to toss out a bunch of good coupons that had expired so I missed a bunch of great offers. After that I said no more and decided it was time to get my coupons organized.
After some trial and error and some research I learned some useful skills, so this is what I wanted to share with you today. I’ll break it down into 3 methods that I know that work, but their usefulness will vary from person to person.
The Envelope Method
One of the simplest, cheapest and most basic ways is to use envelopes. You can sort them however many ways you’d like and have as many as you’d like. Mark the envelopes with the category name to keep them all in order, and to not lose track of them a shoebox is handy, some people even go a step further and decorated them.
I sorted mine into these categories:
- Health and Beauty
You can also class them even further into sub-categories, like “Household-Towel Paper” or “Health-Tooth Paste” or whatever you desire.
And when you are ready to use the coupons envelopes make a great way to save space and to have your coupons fit easily into your purse or bag, and it’s not as bulky as a binder.
The Accordion File Method
A more long-lasting, yet still cheap option is the accordion file method. These handy things can be found in any local dollar store or Wal-Mart and range in price, depending on which size and the quality. Instead of a bunch of envelopes, all you’re coupons are sorted into one central location for easy access.
The tabs make it easy to label your sections, and you can make as many as you’d like; depending on the size of course. A fellow couponer I know who started with this method, bought one of these that had an extra tab on the front of it so, when she’s shopping, she can easily stick coupons she’s using there for easy access.
Remember this is a slightly bulkier option when walking through the stores however.
The Binder Method
Now for the mack daddy of them all–as well as my preferred method–is the binder method. It doesn’t take long to set up, depending on how intense you’d like to sort them. To start, I sorted my coupons into separate piles according to their category. For example I put all the food coupons into one pile, the health ones in another, etc. Then I sorted them all into my binder and stood back to admire my handy work.
The binders can be picked up at most stationary stores, just like the accordion files, as well as the insert sheets. Plastic, clear trading card or business sheets work best as you can easily sort them and see clearly what you have. I bought a pack of business card sheets that had 9 pockets on each sheet because they were the cheapest option; gauge the prices for each and go with the one you feel most comfortable with.
I also added a separate zippered bag into my binder so I can store the coupons I plan on using into it to simplify the checkout process. Once a week, minimum, I go through my binder and check the expiry dates and add any coupons I may have. It doesn’t take long to do, and I usually do it while catching up on TV shows, as it doesn’t require much concentration.
If you’d like to go the extra mile, you can even class them alphabetically, by expiry date, by company….the combinations are endless! Find a way that best suits your style and that will make you’re couponing adventure the easiest.
Share your method of organizing your coupons with us in the comment section below! We’d love to see and hear about them!