Couponing 411: Part I

Arlene wrote on Facebook:
When you have a chance, can you share with us how you organize your coupons? I saw your video clips 2009 which said to leave them intact and write the date on the front. But then what? Once I start clipping them or need to find a coupon that isn’t referenced in a “deal”, I’m wading through pages of coupons trying to… find what I need, worried that I’m overlooking a higher value/close to expiring one. Please help!

There are two ways to organize coupons: The filed system and the clipless. I talk about them both during this video but here’s more specifics.


Every time an insert comes you write the date on it and file it in a pile.
The upside is the short amount of time it takes. The downside is in the long-run it’s fairly un-organised and you can’t see anything. I highlight the deals for you so in essence you could just grab the coupons I specify but that means never wandering off my coupon path and we all know that’s unfeasible! I prefer:


I am very simple when it comes to coupons:

  1. Cut out mainly toiletry ones (to couple with free things at WAGS and CVS)
  2. Only cut what I need. Once my kiddos are old enough to cut I’ll circle the ones I want and have them clip away.
  3. One night a week while watching a show on tv with hubby I clip and sort. Sometimes less than that. I then put them into one of 2 folders as seen above. I have one for toiletries and one for food.
  4. While I’m adding new ones I take out expired ones and don’t do tons of weeding out.
  5. Cut out everything you think you might use and get rid of the waste.
  6. In the binders I have categories for everything including one at the front for high value coupons or coupons I know I’ll use soon and one at the back to hold my RRs, ECBS and catalinas.
  7. I carry those two binders with me in the car at all times and then when I make a run I grab it. The only time it’s at home is if I’m planning a shopping trip and want to make sure I have everything. Then I may paperclip the ones I know I’ll use and put those at the front ready.

Just start out simple and don’t beat yourself up with all that clipping!
What about you? What system do you like?


  1. I used the accordion filers for awhile and I was having trouble with not enough spaces to file all my categories, so I splurged and bought the couponizer. I really like it, I took out some of the stuff I dont use, but there is plenty of pockets and even categories I didnt think of. Places to keep my "club/reward" cards, it is just wonderful, and I pretty much carry it with me anytime I leave the house.

  2. Heather T. says:

    I cut out all of mine it seems time consuming but I do it on Sundays while watching the boys play or sometimes while they are watching a movie, so really its just idle work for my hands. I have three files like yours I got them at Kmart on sale one for groceries, one for health and beauty or baby supplies, and one for chemicals pet foods, paper goods. This system works so well for me and they each have a different color so I can see right away which one I need.

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