Organized Living

The Quick Start Guide to Coupon Organization

 This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

The Quick Start Guide to Coupon Organization

People either love coupons, or they hate ’em. I’m the sort that floats around in the middle.

But no matter how much you actually use coupons, you still have to keep all those little pieces of paper somewhat organized. Not to mention a way to quickly access printable coupon sites and codes.

Without a coupon organization system in place, you could potentially be missing out on quite a bit of savings, and if you’re on a small grocery budget, every little bit helps!

1. Keep a coupon folder on your internet toolbar

The amount of coupon sites can be really overwhelming, so I like to have a designated section for coupon blogs and sites I visit the most. 

I’m not spending a ton of time searching for the right blog address, and I don’t have to try and remember which site I found what.  It’s all stored away in the upper right-hand corner of my screen!

coupon bookmarks

When it comes time to make my grocery list, or run to a store, I just browse through this list super fast. That way, I know I’m not missing any essential coupons or deals.

2. Store physical coupons in a coupon organizer

Online coupons are one thing, but physical coupons are another. You have to clip, cut, and sort through your stack before you even step foot in the grocery store. Sometimes I’m still stressed out at that point!

Investing in a coupon organizer really helps.

I’m not talking those huge binders that extreme couponers use, but you do need to get something that lets you divide each of your coupons into specific categories.

You can use either a mini notebook, an accordion file, or a coupon box, but try to think what will work best for your current situation.

For a little over a year, I used a small notebook organizer from Current, and it was enough for what I needed at the time. However, I soon outgrew it, and knew I needed something a little bit bigger, and more organized.

Right now, I’m using a Glowgirl Fibers coupon organizer, and I really love it.

Glowgirl Fibers Coupon Organizer

It’s a stylish, yet durable solution to organizing my coupons, and stays in my purse…permanently. It seriously looks like another pouch or clutch!

At first, I wasn’t sure how everything was going to work, as it seemed really big compared to how little coupons I owned, but I had absolutely no problems. Nothing fell out when I went to the store, and it was super easy to hold as I was shopping. 

Each organizer comes with a stack of file dividers, and literally a ton, of labels to choose how you want to organize your coupons. One thing I’ve noticed is that everyone’s brain works differently, so it’s nice to create a system that works for you.

Coupon Labels | Creative Savings

Depending on how much couponing you do, I would suggest keeping the categories as broad as you can, and maybe go into more specifics if you always have a lot of one type of coupon.

Here are the categories I used:

Coupon Categories | Creative Savings

Even though pre-categorized labels come with the organizer, you aren’t limited to using them if they don’t fit.

For example, there wasn’t a label for Rewards, and I really wanted a place to store my CVS extra bucks. So I used a small set of return address labels to make my own. You could also cut a larger label down to size.

3. Weed out expired coupons

Coupons expire, and it’s frustrating to find a coupon that goes perfectly with a sale, but expired a week ago. 

Set aside a time each week, or every few weeks, to go through your coupon organizer and throw away all the expired coupons. 

This not only keeps your organizer up to date, but you also have a chance to look through coupons you may have missed, and you don’t want to lose those savings!

Are you ready to get organized?

Start creating that bookmark folder on your tool bar, and if you need a coupon organizer, I have a special offer, just for you!

Glowgirl fibers is graciously giving readers a 10% discount off any purchase in their online store, so if you need a coupon organizer, now’s your chance. They have various sizes, colors, and patterns available. Just make sure you use code CREATIVESAVINGS to get the discount!

And if you’re all set with coupon organization, you can still use the promo code on Glowgirl’s lovely line of checkbook covers, gift card holders, and tote bags.

How do you organize your coupons?

Disclosure: Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. Read my full disclosure policy here.

This post was sponsored by Glowgirl Fibers. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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28 Comments

  1. I love keeping my coupons in the small binder from the Martha Stewart line at Staples. I have each of the sizes of page protectors available as well as a ziplock pouch for each category: food items, non-food items (toiletries, batteries, tissue paper, make up, etc.), store-specific coupons and/or membership cards (i.e. JoAnn fabrics, Michaels, etc.), restaurant/event coupons, and gift cards/store credit cards that I don’t use on a regular basis. The tiny binder fits right next to the driver’s seat in my car so I always have my coupons wherever I go. I think I’ve seen similar small binders at Target too.

    When I’m combing through my coupons and creating my shopping list, I write what I need on old envelopes (return envelopes from bills I pay online, junk mail, etc.) and then tuck the coupons inside. Then I place that in my little purse so I don’t have to lug the entire binder around with me in the store.

    1. Oh, I LOVE the Martha Stewart line at Staples! That’s such a good idea to keep your membership cards handy with your coupons. I still haven’t figured out a way to organize mine without them taking over my wallet. 🙂

      Thanks for sharing your tips, Brie!

      1. I keep all my membership cards that have a small, keyfob size on a keychain, which has a lock to unhook instead of the standard ring. That way it’s easy for me to add and remove them – and keep them in alphabetical order. (Yes, I know, I know… but it makes life so much easier.) My clutch purse has a pouch that’s too small for my glasses or phone, so I keep them all in there. I keep the few remaining cards and loyalty punch cards in one of those snapping metal wallets I got as a gift.

  2. This is a timely post for me. I’m just getting into couponing (the last few months), and I’m always having trouble organizing. I wanted to make sure I’d use coupons before I put money into it. 🙂 I need to think through my category organizing and go from there. I love that idea of just pulling what is needed for a store and just take that in.

    1. Don’t be afraid to change up your system as it evolves either {And it will!}. An organization system should always work for you, not just what someone says will work. Take ideas, and tweak them for your family/lifestyle. 🙂

  3. When it comes to couponing, I love getting organized, but I hate staying organized. I think a cute organizer like the one you have would help 🙂

  4. I use to coupon all the time. I shop very thrifty so I haven’t used my coupons in a while. I had a large binder but find that the smaller organizer might work better now. Especially, since there aren’t as many great coupons as there use to be.

    1. Large binders seem like they would be more efficient, but I haven’t found that to be the case. It’s also really nice when you’re making a shopping list, and can put all the coupons you’re going to use right in the front section. So easy to grab!

  5. I love your coupon organizer. Right now I am using a binder and it so bulky and very time consuming to put coupons away and to go through and pull expired coupons out. Not to mention heavy and I have two kid’s hands to hold going through the parking lot plus toting along the binder.I am going to checkout more about the organizer you use. Thanks

    1. I don’t believe it does. I just went through a mock order to see if it was still working, and looks like you are all set to go ahead and use it! Just be aware that the discount doesn’t appear until you calculate your shipping costs.

  6. Don’t throw away your expired coupons. Send them for our troops to use. I think they are able to use them up to 90 days after they expire. Check out CouponCabin.com for info. Thanks!

  7. Coupons aren’t quite as prevalent where I live (the coast of BC) as they were when I was growing up (in Ohio), so I usually just have a small stack to contend with, and I keep them (or try to) in an inside pocket in my purse to make them easy to grab. I also know a lot of people who have to work very hard to make ends meet (sometimes my family can be counted amongst them) and so I also keep a separate stack of coupons that I personally won’t use but if I have a bit of spare time (or a cranky kidlet who’s enjoying some cart time), I’ll walk around the store I’m in and leave them on the shelf in front of the relevant products. I keep my stacks organized (loosely) by the sections I’ll find them in. My mom used to keep an old rectangular margarine tub full of coupons, and every now & then, she’d sit us down in front of a cartoon or PBS documentary and say, “Here, get rid of the expired ones,” or “Here’s the grocery list, see if we have any coupons.” Or, of course, sometimes she’d hand us a stack of flyers and scissors and we’d cut and sort. I think she still might have that tub–there were a lot with no expiration, including one she never used for 7 cents off Hydrox cookies (they’re like Oreos–she and I liked them better), which we still tease her about, because that coupon must’ve been around since the earliest days of their marriage (they celebrated their 40th this year).

    1. That’s such a great idea to leave the coupons you won’t use – I know I’m always passing out my 20% Bed Bath and Beyond coupons to people in line! My mom would also do similar, and let us play store with the expired ones. It made the job way more fun!

  8. I loved reading this post! Thank you!
    I just wanted to add though that you should NOT throw away coupons even if they are expired! Military families can use them up to 6 months after expiration date. Please grab a manila envelope and throw them in and mail them off. (I am unsure of the exact address off hand, but it is easily searchable online)
    Once again thank you for this post!

  9. Regarding the Bed, Bath & Beyond coupons…. Even though they have an expiration date printed on them, BB&B still accepts them. I cut mine out of magazines (Real Simple, Good Houskeeping, etc), save the ones that come in the mail, as well as the ones that come ont he back of their sales papers. You can combine literally 10 or more and the register figures out how to apply them. We buy most of our k-cups from there and save a bundle stacking coupons:). I’ve even used ones that expired more than a year ago.

    1. Yes, I love that! I have BB&B coupons from over 2 years ago. Sometimes, I even hand them out to other customers at the store if I’m not using them! 🙂

  10. I have been couponing for about 4-yrs.. I use a small coupon organizer like this one. I 1st organize my coupons according to item- beauty, household products, food, etc.. Then by expiration date. . I shop once a month and spend roughly 300-400 for a family of 4.. I type up a list of what I need to get- @grocery store then @ store for beauty and health and cleaning. Then I search for coupons I need for shopping trip. I also keep a lookout for coupons I can use for products I buy a lot on.. I try to keep stocked up on laundry products, shampoo, toothpaste, and perishable foods.. using coupons and savings cards I always save @least 30+% or more.. I do have a small stockpile started on my huge kitchen shelves from sams club and its slowly growing.. but i dont buy things I dont need or use.. Thanks for all the great tips:)

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