When couponing, organization is KEY! Without organization, you will most likely struggle to know where coupons are and will not use them. I have used (3) different coupon methods and I would like to share those with you.
1) Whole Insert Method
This method is highly recommended among many bloggers and YouTubers. This method is no doubt the least time consuming when you get your papers. You simply just put the insert in a file-folder system and separate them by the week.
For instance, each insert that you get in the 1/28 Sunday Paper gets filed into its own folder for 1/28.
In this method, before you shop, you find out what insert the coupon you need is in and cut that one coupon out and take it to the store.
I have tried this method and can honestly say it did not work for me. I was always missing out on using coupons because I had no idea that I had them. I have come up with a list of pros and cons for this method.
Pros and Cons:
Less time consuming up front
Easy to store
Not easy to take to the store
Hard to know what coupons that you have
If you just cut out coupons for what you think you will buy, it results in not having coupons for unadvertised sales
2) The Coupon Binder Method
This is probably the most well-known method among couponers–the coupon binder. This method is a GREAT way to be organized with your coupons.
You can break them down into specific categories so that it is easy to find them when shopping.
Plus, it is easy to take with you the store. The main perk for me was that I had all my coupons with me–all in one place! Plus, if I didn’t have the chance to cut out all of my inserts, I just put them in one of the pockets in the front of my binder.
As much as I loved (and still do love) the coupon binder method, it does come with some downsides.
With this method, you cut out your coupons and fold them to fit inside of baseball card holders. In my experience of this, the majority of coupons do not fit inside of the holders–so you must fold them perfectly to fit inside of the binder. In my opinion, it takes just as much time (if not more) to fold all of your coupons than it does to clip your coupons.
If you have a few hours a week to do this, then I would recommend it. I used this method for years and loved it. If you would like to see some of the categories I used in my binder, they will be at the end of this post.
I made this video sharing my binder:
However, after starting college and not having as much time to clip every single coupon, I figured out there still had to be an easier way to have all of my coupons with me without having to use the binder method. I feel that I have found the right method for me.
3) The Coupon Box Method *WINNER!*
I started using this method in 2017 and absolutely love it. I get the same flexibility as my binder and it cuts down the time majorly.
I keep a clipboard in my box to use as a shopping list. I oftentimes place coupons at the top of the clipboard that I need to remember to use (such as freebie coupons).
I also have a coupon organizer pocket (the black coupon holder pictured) to place coupons that I would like to use and receipts from my shopping trips.
I use basic mini file folders (and cut those in half) to create these folders. I use a basic Sterlite box that was in the storage section at Walmart.
I get very specific with my categories. When I used the binder, I used very general categories and struggled to find exactly what I was looking for–which caused me to overlook coupons that I had.
I cut out all of my coupons and place the coupons for that category in the folder. That is it. No folding coupons to fit perfectly. It is that simple. I don’t even have to cut my coupons perfectly. They all just fit in the folder.
If you would like to see a video about my box, check this out:
My number one tip to you would be to find a method that works best for you and stick with it. As long as you have a system that works for you, you will be able to keep your coupons organized.
Categories for Binder/Coupon Box:
Nutritional Drinks (Ensure, Glucerna)
Energy Drinks and Water
Spreads (Nutella, Etc)
Candy & Gum
Crackers and Snacks
Refrigerated Doughs (Cookie Dough, Pillsbury)
Refrigerated Soups/Side Dishes
Frozen Breads/Side Dishes
Frozen Prepared Meals