Ideas wanted for coupon organization system

by | Mar 7, 2009 | Julie | 6 comments

I like to clip coupons. It feels very satisfying to find a coupon for a product we actually use. So I cut out the coupon, and I put it into a little bin in my kitchen. Sometimes, before I go shopping, I go through the bin to see if there are any coupons for the things on my list. That happens about once a month. When I do that, I also throw away the 25 expired coupons.

Sometimes I’m at the store buying something, ricotta cheese or chicken sausage, that I know I have a coupon for at home.

Something about this process tells me that it’s not the best way to go about this. I’ve considered some of the coupon holder things I saw on Etsy, but I can’t really get my head around how to make it work. I’d love to find something that organized the coupons by category and also fits into my purse, so I don’t have to remember to shlep some giant binder or box with me (or, also, so I don’t have to grocery shop with a mess of kids and a giant binder).

One of you must have some kind of better system. Right? Please?

Ok, well, I was pulling in a photo of one of the envelope-type coupon holders that I had seen, when I found Austin Artisan, who has dozens of coupon organizers which are exactly what I was looking for: compact, divided into sections, and cute. So I won’t feel like some crazy old lady pulling out a coupon organizer. As if I’m not already enough of a crazy old lady for thinking the thought: “Oh! I am so excited about this coupon organizer!”

I still want to hear about any of your coupon systems, though.


  1. Clog

    Good luck. I have tried for years and always end up doing what you do–forgetting I have them and then throwing them away when they expired. I notice people in the stores with little coupon organizers, but I notice they find a coupon and THEN buy the product vs. buying the product and looking for coupon. I don’t think there are many coupons out there for the type of food that I buy. I mean how often do you see a .30 off coupon for a bunch of broccoli?

  2. Julie

    I’m hoping I can tackle the coupon organization simply because I don’t carry a lot of coupons. It’s not like I’m buying prepared salad dressing or blue yogurt or the things that there are usually coupons for. It’s pretty much just toilet paper, cheese sticks, and sour cream. Cleaning products, occasionally. Or sometimes there are those Hannaford-specific ones that are for “$1 off two Nature’s Place items” or something like that.

  3. Aunt Sandra

    I just scotchtape a small envelope to the back of my spiral notebook with the shopping list and keep the coupons in it. It’s one less item in your purse, and everything is all together.

  4. Christina

    I have a coupon organizer binder (a plasticy one- not nice like the one you found) but I always a)somehow forget it or b) forget to pull out the coupon from it. What has worked for me is using a little binder clip and clipping all relevant coupons to my shopping list or to the inside pocket of my wallet. I even clip all my costco coupons to my costco credit card so I dont forget those when i go there. Binder clips are great- I find they work much better than paper clips.

  5. Kate

    I try to keep my little plastic accordion coupon file in my purse so it’s always handy (sometimes it sneaks its way out and hides in the car while I’m in the store – grrr). It’s a small file that I got at Target for a dollar and I use the different sections for baby stuff, food items, cleaning items and health care items. I usually scan the folder before going to the store, pull out what I need then tuck those coupons into the outside pocket of my wallet. I still carry the folder with me in case I see something on sale that I didn’t know about and want to check my coupon stock. I then periodically go through the folder (usually when I’m loading new coupons) to pull out the expired ones. It’s all kind of a half-baked system but it seems to work for me somehow.

  6. Julie

    Aunt Sandra, if I kept my list in a spiral notebook, I would totally do your system. And I like the binder clip ideas too. But I’m going with Kate’s system. Mostly because I already got the cute accordion file thing, but also because I think that will work best for my brain. It was satisfying to at least put all my coupons into their little categories and stick the file into my bag, so that’s like 18 steps closer to actually using the coupons than my old system was.


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