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.