Organized Coupons

posted by Andrea | 09/27/2010

Many of you know how much I LOVE using coupons and getting exceptional deals on groceries.

Yes, it’s true! But I have good reason to be obsessed because it saves our family over $2500 a year! (Yup, I keep track!)

So how do I do it?

For me, the key is to keep my coupons neat and organized so I can always find the ones I need when I need them. If I can’t get to my coupons easily, I’ll forget about them. Sound familiar?

To keep them all organized, I use a coupon organizer (big surprise)– and I ‘trick it out’ with some fun accessories.

Here’s what you need to make a similar organizer:

  • 1 expanding file with 12 or 13 pockets (I got this one from Staples for $5.00)
  • 50-60 pieces of card stock (in 2 colors) 5.5″ wide x 4.5″ tall
  • fine-tip marker or labels

The first step is to decide on 12 to 13 main categories and then divide those into sub-categories.

For example, here is the list of CATEGORIES and sub-categories I use:

  1. BAKING: cake/cookie mixes — supplies
  2. BEVERAGES: juice — lemonade/drink mixes — pop/water — coffee/tea
  3. CANS: fruit/veggies – tomatoes/salsa — soups
  4. CEREAL: General Mills — Kelloggs — other
  5. CLEANERS: house/dishes — laundry — air fresheners
  6. CONDIMENTS: salad toppings – sauces/seasonings — syrups/sandwich spreads
  7. DAIRY: cheese – yogurt – sour cream/cottage cheese — produce
  8. FROZEN: dough — breakfast — fruit/veggies — ice cream — meals — pizza
  9. MEAT: breakfast — lunch/deli — hot dogs/brats/sausages — fresh meat
  10. PAPER: kitchen — bathroom — baby — medication — misc.
  11. SNACKS: candy/gum — cookies — crackers — chips — nuts/fruits/granola bars
  12. STARCHES: bread/bagels/tortillas – rice/pasta – refrigerated dough
  13. TOILETRIES:  body-wash/deodorant – dental — face — hair — lotion — shaving – feminine products

NOTE: Feel free to use whatever categories fit your shopping needs.

Next steps: alphabetize your categories, write them on the colored papers, and insert them into your organizer.

It should look something like this:

Now all you need to do is insert your coupons!

Once your coupons are organized, it will be simple to find the coupons you need for your grocery shopping each week.

To make my life even easier, I always paper-clip my coupons to my weekly shopping list. That way I know what coupons go with each store’s list and I’m organized and ready-to-go when the cashier asks for my coupons.

You can download and print a variety of shopping lists here.


If you still feel like coupons just won’t work for you — there are lots of ways to cut your grocery bill with out cutting coupons.

However, if you are are willing to give coupons a try — and I hope you are — make you own coupon organizer and start clipping!

What about you: How do you organize your coupons?

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Filed under: Frugal LivingLifeStorage

 
 

18 comments

  1. Kim

    09/27/2010

    I was recently introduced to the savingaddiction.com site. These women are really into coupons and they are local (in the West Michigan area).

    [Reply]

  2. momstheword

    09/27/2010

    Wow. I love the way that you organize them. Very clever to use cardstock to make your own dividers!

    I just have a small coupon holder, and I have to admit that I am not using it as well as I should be. I really need to try printing some of those internet coupons too.

    Thanks for linking up to Making Your Home Sing Monday!

    [Reply]

  3. Erin

    09/27/2010

    Coupons save me money on non-food items. (I never seem to find coupons that say “$5 off 25 lb of bread flour”, you know?) Great idea for organizing them. My biggest challenge? Having them with me when I’m actually shopping. Now I keep them in the car!!

    [Reply]

    Ginger Reply:

    Actually Gold Medal flour had coupons out this past winter.

    [Reply]

  4. Coupon Box Links

    10/09/2010

    [...] Andrea at Simple Organized Living shares pictures of her coupon file and her organization system in this post. [...]

  5. Kelly

    01/31/2011

    Andrea, you talked at my MOPS group last week at Sunshine. I loved all the things that you taught us, but most of all the coupons. I went shopping this morning and ended up saving $44 in coupons and in store sales. I was amazed! What a great thing. I even went through and used your ideas for organizing them and it worked awesomely. Thank you so much, I will for sure be using this for a long time.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Wow $44 — that IS amazing! Congrats Kelly!
    Thanks for the kind words, I’m glad my coupon organizer is working for you!

    [Reply]

  6. Sonja

    02/10/2011

    I’ve just had a moment to browse through more of your website. You are definitely a girl after my own organized heart! I coupon as well and I used to have an accordian exactly like this. Until I had kids. With a child in the cart, you can’t put this down or they will dump it all out. Also, I found I’d have a ton of coupons behind each category and it would take me a while to thumb through it all. I ended up getting a 3 ring notebook and using plastic baseball card inserts and I find it to be much more efficient and easier to see what you’ve got. You end up with 4 pockets under each category so you can sub-divide. Under my “Beauty” category I have a pocket each for makeup, hair products, skin products & face products. Then, I converted this accordian organizer for non-grocery store coupons like; oil changes, restaurants, ULTA, Bed Bath & Beyond, etc. And like another reader mentioned – I try to keep them both in the car as much as possible. I’d never thought about keeping track of how much I save couponing. That’s an awesome idea! Thanks for ALL the great ideas. So glad I found you!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Sounds like a great method of coupon organizing — thanks for sharing!

    I always say that there’s no ONE right way to get organized. Whatever method works for you is the “right” method.

    [Reply]

  7. Tammy

    08/10/2011

    I had never read about your great savings until today…thanks for sharing that grocery list too. I’d just transitioned to an app on my smartphone when my phone DIED in the middle of the grocery trip Monday morning. Hoping this list will work for me…I tend to leave paper lists at home after I make them…sigh.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    haha — yes Tammy, I LOVE my coupons and deals!

    I also love using my paper shopping lists so hopefully they will help you out too!

    [Reply]

  8. cyndi

    11/12/2011

    I just found your link on pinterest & really like this organizing idea. I’ve found with a child in the grocery cart, the binder method is just too bulky for me. Were you able to find that size cardstock to buy, or did you have to cut it yourself??

    [Reply]

  9. Megan McPortland-Lucero

    01/09/2012

    I love love love your site. I found a link on Pinterest (best invention ever). I have been just looking around and discovered your coupons. You are one whom I admire in that. We just came into a small very temporary financial hardship. I have been very buckled on our finances and not buying unhealthy foods. I am feeling more inspired to keep going, my husband is shocked with what I am doing so far. I haven’t done much starting out, but I am learning. He is going to be totally shocked when I save even more :) PS, I totally love your new home!

    [Reply]

  10. Again… really? | Taste of MoonGoddess

    01/19/2012

    [...] So first the coupons, then the organizer.  Got to have something to put in there right?  Besides it doesn’t have to be perfect.  We shall see how this goes.  Any money saved can easily be used elsewhere for better [...]

  11. 13 Creative Ways to Organize Your Coupons

    04/04/2012

    [...] super simple DIY Coupon Organizer. An expanding file, cards and a marker are all you will need! From Simple Organized [...]

  12. L.

    04/21/2012

    what is card stock? Is it easy to find?

    [Reply]

  13. Lisa

    07/15/2012

    I LOVED this post when I stumbled upon it a week ago, but tried to come back to it this evening after finally getting a coupon organizer. Please consider putting this link in your “All Categries” section. It took me 30 minutes to dig through the blog to find where I had left off! Or am I just a ding-dong for not finding it sooner :)

    [Reply]

  14. How I Organize My Coupons — A Cultivated Nest

    05/07/2014

    […] allows me easy access to them. I’ve been using this system for a year now and have to thank Andrea Dekker for coming up with […]

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