Organize your coupons
If you are new to coupons, don’t feel the need to create an elaborate system for organizing them. Start out small and keep it simple. The goal is to save money with your coupons and do what works for you, not to get hung up in the details.
Here are a few basic ways to organize your coupons:
1) Start off with envelopes
Clip coupons and put them all in an envelope or check file. But, after you’ve been couponing for a few weeks, you will probably need multiple envelopes or something bigger (see below).
2) Use an index box or small accordion file
Sort your coupons into general categories and use dividers to keep them separated. Examples of categories might be Baby, Paper Products, Cleaning Supplies, etc. (You can also buy a coupon wallet, like the one shown to the right.)
3) Save whole inserts
File the entire newspaper insert by date in a large box or in file folders and use a coupon and sale match-up website to find the coupon you need. This way, you take only the coupons you plan to use to the store. But you might miss out on a great clearance sale or unadvertised deal by not having all of your coupons with you at the store. (Find the latest grocery store flyers online by checking here.)
4) Make a coupon binder
Clip all your coupons and file them in the plastic sleeves of baseball card holders in a three-ring binder. (You could also use a photo album.) With this method, you can carry your binder to the store and have all your coupons with you while you shop. Place the coupons you are planning to use in the pockets inside the binder before you go to the store.
5) Create a coupon box
This method is similar to an index box, only on a larger scale. Sort your coupons into more detailed categories (instead of just Baby, you would include Baby Diapers, Baby Food, Baby Wipes, etc.). This does require a bit of filing, but makes finding coupons much easier when you need them.
Tips from Jamie Rathbun, Family and Consumer Sciences Agent at Kansas State University Cooperative Extension Service