When you start to use coupons, one of the first things you'll learn is that to fully utilize them, you'll need to keep them organized. One of the most frustrating feelings is being in the check-out line knowing that you have a coupon for a product somewhere, but not being able to locate it.

There is no “best type” of coupon organizer. Different systems work for different people and the system you use should be based on what works best for you. That being said, there are a few general ways that most people who use coupons store them. Here are a few to help you decide which system will work best for you.

Envelopes: Here is the most basic form of organizer and the way most people start off. For those who don't use a large variety of coupons, envelopes can work just fine. As you expand, you can just add more envelopes with different each envelope representing a different category.
The problem with envelopes is that finding the exact coupon you want inside the envelope can be troublesome

Recipe Box: For those who start collecting more coupons or find that envelopes lack the organization they want or need, a small, plastic recipe box can be the answer. You can use as many dividers as your want to categorize your coupons, it's large enough to hold a good number of coupons and there is enough space to be able to find most coupons quickly. Some people use a combination of a recipe box to organize their coupons at home and place the ones they will use for their grocery store trip into an envelope before leaving. The recipe box is also small enough to be taken along to the grocery store on its own.

Shoebox: For those who start to gather a significant number of coupons, the space that a shoebox offers can be helpful in organizing your coupons. Again, dividers can be used to categorize the coupons any way that is best for you. The problem is that they are a bit large to use efficiently while grocery shopping. That is why some people use them to organize the coupons they have at home and them transfer the ones they will use when shopping to either a recipe box or envelope system.

Plastic Coupon Organizer: These are organizers made specifically to organize grocery coupons. They are usually about the size of an envelope, but expand with different sections inside to make accessing coupons easier than an envelope. Many also come with a small device that will allow you to attach the coupon organizer to your grocery cart. You can usually find these advertised along side the grocery coupons that come in the Sunday newspaper coupon inserts.

Binder Coupon Organizer: This organizer is for those who like to be extremely organized or have decided to take couponing quite seriously. These are complete binder systems much like a day-planner that is able to organize your coupons with quite a bit of detail. It is also handy because it allows you to also keep your Grocery Price Book giving you easy access to price information when you want to combine good prices and coupons together. This convenience comes with a price, however, and these systems usually run between $20 and $30.

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  2. Categories can be what ever you are most comfortable with. And, depending on the number of coupons you have that need organizing.

    I use a basic system of three main categories: Grocery (Food) items, Health and Beauty (non-Food) items, and Household (cleaners, etc.). I also keep one envelope of coupons with me at all items, marked CHECK or USE; these are “great” coupons that I want to be sure to use, even if there isn’t a sale, before they expire. Great coupons might be “Free” item coupons, very high value coupons, or things I buy frequently and want to have the coupons on hand when I shop.

    From that point, it depends upon how many coupons I have. You can break Grocery/Food down to canned, frozen, fresh…or into side dishes, meat, etc., … or even further down into pasta, rice, etc. if you have quite a few coupons to organize.

    You can also organize according to how your supermarkets are typically arranged. I often do this when I shop. Coupons for Produce first, since that’s usually at the store’s entrance, then Beverages, or canned/baking goods, etc. Frozen foods are often in the middle of the store, or at the far side.

    The important thing is do to what helps you plan you shopping and find the deals when you are in the store.

    I hope that helps, if not let me know and I’ll try to answer more specifically to your needs.

  3. I put in all the categories I thought I would need, and some of them I found that later on I needed to be more specific, and some I just don’t need to be that specific, but for a good start, I’ll list my categories. I have two different accordions, one for food, and one for non-food. I’m not sure the exact ones for the food one as it is in the car, and my husband is gone to work, but for the non-food:
    Cosmetics, Dental, Feminine Products, Gift wrap/cards/tape, Haircare, Household cleaning prod., Household paper prod., Laundry, Lotion & deodorants, medicine/pharmacy, Shaving/hair removal, and the last is soaps and cleansers. The one that fills up the quickest would have to be the household cleaning products, so I might go more in-depth with subcategories, like brand names just because it gets so full. But the laundry one didn’t get as full as I thought it would. It did when I first started out, so maybe I’ll just keep it.
    No more rambling on! How else does everyone organize theirs?

  4. I thought of the idea in 2005 to organize my coupons by aisle #. It makes it so much easier to have my coupons in order according to my grocery store layout so I am not shuffling through categories, brands, etc while in the store. I do everything at home as I cut the coupons… saving time and money. I even made a pocket for “check out” because we all know when we’re done, we’re done and we just wanna pay and go.

  5. I’ve used coupons for a long time but I work 12 hour shifts and am very disorganized. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  6. I came up with getting a nice system to organize coupons….

    3 ring binder from the dollar store
    2 packs of page dividers from the dollor store
    1 pack of page protectors
    1 pack of 30 baseball card holders from target for 5.00

    total cost less than 10 dollars for an extreme couponeer organizer system

    I cut.sort,organize my coupons when ever I have downtime like during lunch break at work

  7. I am just getting back into couponing. Used to do it all the time, but the savings just weren’t here in this remote area for a long time.
    That being said, I still was always on the hunt for a deal. I am the ultimate penny pincher for non coupon deals.

    I was too cheap to buy an organizer and have tons of coupons. Couldn’t find baseball card dividers locally.
    I went to the dollar store and bought a $3 photo album that works fantastically and it looks really nice.

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