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January 22, 2011

Organizing Coupons- Trying the Box Method

One of my goals for this year is to find a coupon organization method that works for me.  As I transition into life as a stay at home mom, I am looking for ways to simplify and increase productivity.  I love using coupons, but my organization method has been lacking.

Binder Method- Not for Me
Last year I bought a binder to use the binder method.  I like the binder method for a few reasons.  First, everything is in one place.  You can organize your coupons, file uncut coupon inserts, store rebate forms, keep store coupon policies, and keep a pair of scissors and a calculator.  Natasha at Saving a Bundle uses this method and loves it.  You can read here how she set up her binder.

The reason the binder method did not work for me is because I was too cheap to really give it a try.  I did not want to spend the money to buy baseball card holder sheets to sort the coupons in.  I do not like the idea of trying to squeeze all the different sized coupons into the little slots. 

I ended up keeping everything in the accordion part of my binder.  I sorted my coupons in envelopes based on the product.  It worked, but I decided that there was definitely a better way.

Box Method
This year I decided to try the coupon box organization method.  I started with base categories then added more subcategories for items I have a lot of coupons for.  I followed Money Saving Mom's post on how her coupon box is organize to get started, then changed and added categories to fit my needs.  Having detailed categories has made finding the coupons I want much easier.
My Current Categories:
(the subcategories are in parenthesis)Baby (Diapers, Formula, Wipes)
Cleaner (Laundry)
Food (Meat)
Hygiene (Cosmetics, Dental, Face, Femanine, Hair, Lotion)
Office Supplies
Paper Products
This Week- This is for coupons that I am planning to use this week. As I clip and file, I stick them in this folder to be added to my purse envelopes

I used envelopes and index cards that I had on hand to separate my categories.  I will continue to add categories as I see fit.
I am currently using a rubbermaid container to store my envelopes.  I am working on a homemaking binder (which I will post more about later) where I can store rebate infomation, store policies, and other items that do not fit in my coupon box. 

Once a week I spend around 30 minutes cutting and organizing coupons.  I add the new coupons from the inserts to my box and remove expired coupons.  This keeps my box up to date and reminds of the coupons I have. 

When I go to the store, I typically only take two envelopes.  One with the coupons I plan on using on the trip, and one with high value coupons for items we use frequently just in case there is a deal on those items. I may miss a deal here or there because I don't have all of my coupons, but this system works best for me right now. 

What coupon organization method works for you?


  1. I love the coupon binder! Last week I found BC Cookie Mix on sale for less than a dollar and was able to match up the coupons and get them for $.50. The next week I found John Freda Shampoos clearanced for 1.87 at CVS. I was able to quickly find my coupons and get the items for .87. Having the binder allows me to be able to use my coupons whenever I come across a good deal. However, sometimes I must admit I feel silly carrying a binder, a baby and a diaper bag into a store.

  2. I also use the coupon box. Here's mine: http://mandysfrugaljourney.blogspot.com/p/coupon-organization.html

    I'm looking for ways to tweak mine though. I think I need to get some envelopes... i've been paperclipping them to index cards in each category.