Most people get started organizing their coupons in an envelope or an accordion folder, but as your collection of coupons grows so does the need to organize and categorize to make sure you can find and use what you need and want to use. A good coupon organizing system also facilitates trading and stacking.
The right system of storing and organizing coupons will depend on how aggressively you are involved in the hobby as well as personal preferences. There is no one size fits all solution.
I've scoured YouTube for the best examples of organizing systems. There are lessons to be learned from each video, and if you apply the lessons to your own system the result will be something that works great for your personal style and needs.
Highly Organized Binder
The woman is not the most confident presenter but she has a fantastic binder. Key ideas include:
- A page for store loyalty/discount cards. Great idea.
- Organized by category - cereals, breads, dairy, hygiene and so on.Store policies collection for showing to cashiers.
- Binder pouches for storing gift cards, receipts, grocery lists, and loose coupons on a store by store basis.
- Pouch for tools including calculator, pen, and paperclips.
- A specific place for placing coupons that will be used immediately when checking out. This saves time at checkout and maximizes savings.
She uses baseball card inserts and inserts that have three slots per page (originally designed for people who collect paper money). She is using inserts designed for displaying photos (9 to a page) as well. Very unusually she also sometimes makes her own plastic inserts for odd sized items using a plastic sealer machine.
Super Coupon Organizer
soft-sided box with pre-made tabs
This stylish decorated box is packaged with a bunch of extras like pre-made and blank card dividers. A lot of thought went into this coupon box. She tells you how to buy this box on ebay later in the video.
How to Create a Plastic Coupon Box
This lady has some really good ideas.
- Put a "this box belongs to" label. She does not show a place for a phone number - but including your phone number is even more important for the safe return of your box than including your name is. While she shows a card for contact info, I'd put my name and number right on the box with a Sharpe.
- Include scissors, Sharpie and pen. You might also want a mini stapler.
- Laminating envelopes so they last much longer.
- Color coding dividers
- Breaking categories into sub-categories as you fill up general categories
- Store specific folders for each store
Her box does not lock, so it could spill open easier. See the locking shoe box in another video for a better container.
Plastic Locking Shoe box with Folders
After destroying her clear insert coupon binder, this couponer upgraded from the binder to a very sturdy plastic shoe box. She uses manila folders with tabs to categorize her coupons.
A great tip from this presenter is to staple small and/or multiple coupons to an index card so that the multiples stay together properly and you don't end up missing and wasting a copy when you find a great deal.
The addition of a calculator in the back, inserts along the side, and a pen complete the organizer box.
I trust these videos will help you get organized to save money on your shopping and have fun doing it. If you spot another good video, please post a link in the comments.