Storing & Organizing Your Coupons – The Evolution of My Coupon Organization

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Many of you have asked me how I store and haul my coupons.  I’m not going to lie: I have yet to  perfect my system(s), but with each attempt, it seems to be getting easier as I go!  I’ll take you through my coupon storage evolution, and perhaps you will find a system that meets your needs along the way.

Particularly if you are a couponing newbie, I know storing and organizing your coupons can be quite daunting and prove to be an overwhelming task, to say the least.  I’ll confess that I still find the process a bit too much at times, and I’ve been couponing my entire adult life.  Truth be told, most Sundays, I dread the task of clipping and organizing; sometimes it drags in to Mondays as well.  (Does that make anyone feel better???)

Please keep in mind that you will need to create your own system that works for you.  Feel free to borrow these ideas, but you’ll need to make your own tweaks to make it your own.  :o)

The Envelope – For years, I carried a small, laminated envelope around in my purse.  (I believe it was an extra “thank you note”-sized one.)  This worked fine for my needs at the time: it fit in my purse (which was exponentially smaller in my younger, pre-mommy days!), and held about two or three dozen coupons.  Being the hyper-organized person, I still had them in a categorized order, even within the small envelope.

NOTE: Some people use a more complex “envelope system” to store and organize their coupons.  Most will keep a set of envelopes in a shoe box, or similar sized container.  Each envelope will hold a category of coupons.

The Expanding Coupon File/Accordian – I found a plastic  expanding coupon accordian holder for about $3 at Big Lots a few years ago, and happily used this for quite a while.  Even with the small(er) pre-mommy purse, the coupon file was portable enough to fit in my purse.  It had about 13 sections, which I labeled based on categories that made sense to me.  This worked when I was still heavily buying store brand items, but occasionally kept my eye open for deals on select other products.  You can pick one up at Target for under $5.

The Petite Coupon Binder – Once my coupon file literally started bursting at the seems, I knew it was time to upgrade.  The need for something more occurred around the time I started picking up my parents coupons, and occasionally my mother-in-laws.  Also, around this time, I began to understand how to play the drugstore games, read the sales cycles at grocery stores, and exploring the blogosphere for deeper savings.  I found myself no longer boxed in to store brand versions, and in order to maximize savings, clipped coupons for multiple brands for the same product.  Oh, and I discovered the delectable joys of printable coupons!
The petite coupon binder was a find from Target.  (I know, I’m like a walking Target ad!)  Initially, I took some Ziplock freezer bags (because I thought they’d be the most durable), hole punched them, and made these my zipper pouches for each coupon category.  What I quickly discovered, however, was how darn THICK this system became: the bags filled with coupons, and the zippers themselves proved to be just too bulky for my needs.  I started searching around the house for old Day Runner-type planners, and found a handful.  Thus, I was able to replace the bulky Ziplocks with the zippered pouches that come with the planners.
But I still had a darn rubber-band holding it all together.  I reluctantly realized I needed something more….
The Full-Fledged Coupon Binder –  Equipped with some business card holder pages, baseball card holder pages, sheet protectors, and photo pages – all from Goodwill!- I stepped up to the Big Leagues!  As I said before, my organizational style requires that I categorize, and then subcategorize.  Plus, I’m highly visual.  Thus, having a page per subcategory (or a few subs per page) allowed me to better SEE my coupons.  I will post specifically about my coupon binder, complete with photos later and a category list.  :o)I digress.   If you do the bulk of your shopping with coupons, including restaraunts, general store coupons, and use printables, OR if you collect multiple copies of coupons, I highly recommend the coupon binder system.  With a coupon binder, you put your coupons in either picture sheets (wallet size, 4×6 size, or 3×5) or baseball card holders.  Each sheet comes three-hole punched and is a standard “sheet” size.  You can use dividers to tab off each category.  Again, there are several ways to categorize your coupons — some categorize by the isles in the grocery store, some go in alplabetic order.  You must find a way that makes sense to YOU.

If you haven’t the time, desire, or resources to create your own coupon binder, OR if you wish to surprise a couponing friend with a gift,  I suggest The Coupon Clutch.  It’s a super cute, highly fashionable binder, and available in various styles.  It remains on my wish list.

Another option is the Coupon Magic Organizer.  This is a system, including a 2″ zippered 3-ring binder, comes equipped with all the materials you’ll need to get started.   You can buy individual pieces for an existing coupon binder you may have, or purchase the entire system — all in one place.  With both The Coupon Clutch and the Coupon Magic Organizer, there are almost always coupon codes floating around — I suggest trying Retail Me Not, or a good ol’ Google search.

There are, of course, many other ways to organize your coupons.  Some use an envelope and box system, as I mentioned earlier.  This is a modified version of the coupon binder, in my eyes; it just uses envelopes instead of binder pages to hold the coupons.  My friend Heather, over at Family Friendly Frugality, uses a large accordian folder to hold entire inserts — she eliminates the clipping all together by keeping track of her coupons on the Coupon Database!

Whichever way you choose,  you need to make it a system that works for you.  Don’t make it more work than it needs to be for you.  Most importantly, keep your eyes on the prize: having a method in which to store and organize your coupons, to help you save more money each and every time you shop!  :o)

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**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**


  1. […] will meet your individual needs. If this system isn’t for you, peruse through and find a coupon organization style that meets your needs. P.S.  Special thanks to the kind people at My Coupon Keeper, who endured […]

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