My New Coupon Organizer: A Coupon Box

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When I started out couponing, I made a beautiful binder filled with baseball card inserts and photo inserts.  After a while, I realized that I didn’t have the patience or time to fold me coupons and place them in the baseball card inserts.  Then there was the issue of catalina coupons and printables.

I started using a photo box, but found that it was too big.  So over a month ago, my friend Robin showed me her coupon box.  I loved it.  I was so excited that Jonna and I headed to straight to Meijer afterward.  I picked one up at Meijer for around $1.50-$1.75.  It’s the perfect width for printables and catalinas.  It fits nicely in the bottom of a bigger purse/bag.

Sterilite Box Under $2

Inside my box

Make templates for the dividers and folders

  • I made 3 templates that fit inside of the box.  One with the tab on the left side, one in the middle, one on the right side.
  • For the main categories, I cut folders out of the bottom of a file folder.  This way when I’m in the store, I can pull out the entire folder to find what I’m looking for.
  • For the subcategories I used the remaining file folders and fun scrap booking card stock to make dividers that went inside the main folder.

Here’s an example:  The main category is Personal Care and the tab is on the left side.  For the subcategories I made sure to keep the tabs in the middle and right side to make everything easier to find once it’s in the box.

For Frozen foods the tab is on the right, so the subcategories are on the left and middle.  I hope that makes sense.

Coupon Books In the Back

Categories I use

I’m still adapting these to find out what works best, but it’ll at least give you an idea.

Baby

  • Baby Care
  • Baby Food
  • Diapers

Baking

  • Flour/Sugar
  • Spices
  • Mixes
  • Other

Beauty

  • Skin Care
  • Cosmetics

Beverages

Breakfast

  • General Mills
  • Granola Bars
  • Kellogg’s
  • Other

Canned/Packaged

  • Fruit
  • Packaged
  • Soup
  • Vegetables

Condiments

Dairy/Refrigerated

  • Butter
  • Cheese
  • Packaged
  • Yogurt
  • Other

Frozen

  • Bread/Pizza
  • Entree
  • Sweet
  • Vegetables

Grain

  • Bread
  • Pasta
  • Rice

Household/Cleaning

  • Cleaning
  • Laundry
  • Paper/Plastic
  • Bath Tissue/Tissue

Meat/Produce

  • Meat
  • Produce

Medicine

  • First Aid
  • Medicine

Oral Care

  • Mouth Wash
  • Toothbrushes
  • Toothpaste

Personal Care

  • Deodorant
  • Hair Care
  • Shaving
  • Soap/Body Wash

Pet Food

Snacks

  • Candy
  • Crackers/Chips
  • Sweeties

Toys

I also have folders for stores in the back so I have a place to put my store coupons.  I still use my accordion file for the coupons that I pull for a particular shopping trip.

I’m planning to make printed labels for all the tabs to make everything look neater and to reinforce the tabs more.

My Coupon Bag

I love this bag for carrying everything.  I even throw in sheets of unclipped printables and my file folders if I haven’t clipped all the inserts yet.

The biggest thing with couponing is to find a method of organizing that works for you and that you’ll stick too.

What method works for you?

Comments

  1. Sandra S says

    I use a plastic file box that accommodates hanging file folders and I have one for each of the inserts that come in the paper (red plum, smart source, etc), I just file them by date in the files. I also have a three ring binder that I have sheet protectors with tabs attached to them. I divide those into two by placing a piece of paper in the sheet protector and then the front side is for one store and the back side is for another, I slip the weekly add into each store section and then the coupons I want to use for that store. I subscribe to over 50 different blogs through google reader and when I come across a good deal that I print out a coupon for I just slip it into the appropriate section in my binder and then I am not left wondering what store I was going to use it at.

  2. stephanie says

    I am new to this whole coupon blogging, collecting thing. i am happy to have found your site, but can you tell me, —do you bring this coupon box with you onyour shopping trips?? and what are the dimensions of your box? thank you so much!

  3. robin says

    I don’t know how I missed this original post…or how I stumbled on it 35 days later…but either way, you did a great job explaining it!!! My tote is still working awesome as well, i love it! :)

  4. adrienne says

    I just stumbled onto your blog when I was searching for a scrubbing bubbles coupon. I used 5 coupons at Target today on 4 products and then got a $5 gift card on top of that. My husband is out of town for the week and I have been busy scouring the town for the biggest deals, cutting coupons, etc. (I had extra time I don’t ususally have) I wanted to search for additional coupons to do it again. I have now spent hours looking through your posts and how you organize coupons, etc. I am newly married and my husband and I are trying to live on a budget, etc. I am really interested in this idea of “couponing.” I did not realize it was “a thing.” Thank you for your helpful insite and ideas. I am curious about this coupon box…I keep reading and re-reading and I cannot seem to understand…how did you “cut folders out of the bottom of a file folder”? I cannot seem to visualize what/how to do. Help?? Would it be possible to post your templates so we can use them also? Are the dimensions listed in order of length, width, height? Also what are the flyers you get in the Sunday paper? I know of Red Plum, Smart Source and P&G. Are there others? Do they all come in the Sunday paper every week? Sorry for the multitude of questions. This is all very new and exciting to me that I have stumbled across an entire sect. of people who are bargin hunters/coupon clippers. I used to be obsessed with the walgreen’s easy saver rebate. Now that that is no longer…I called my husband earlier today and told him I think I have a new obsession. Thanks for the responses in advance!!

    • Give Me Neither says

      Welcome Adrienne and congrats on your marriage.
      A template is a great idea! I’ll try to get that posted soon. I cut the folders using the file folder’s fold as the bottom of the new folder. That way you’ll have a mini file folder.

      Yep, the flyers are the ones you listed. I got so excited too when I discovered the world of coupon clippers and bargain hunters. I realized the grocery budget that we needed to keep was actually possible.

      Thanks for asking questions. That’s a great way for all of us to learn:)

  5. adrienne says

    Thank you! I will look foraward to seeing them on here because apparently I am visually challenged! Still not getting it. Could you do template for the folders and for the dividers?

  6. adrienne says

    ive been playing around with file folders and i think i am starting to visualize what you are saying. i was trying to figure out how to do what you were saying by using the tab already on the file but you have to cut that off and make your own hence the template, right? what are the dimensions of the mini file? (not including the tab that sticks out on the top?)

  7. Give Me Neither says

    It sounds like you figured it out. I haven’t had time to make the templates yet. I’ll try to work on this later tonight. My boys are up from their naps now:)

  8. Carolyn says

    I was amazed that you use the same system that I do. However, I sort mine by Food/Non-Food then for MFG coupons and have another set for Internet coupons (Food/Non-food)…..as you can imagine….I do a lot of coupon shopping. I have found a better container at Target. It is between $2.00 and $3.00….and has locking clips on each side(handles – it is Sterilite…so that you won’t have accidental spills. It is found the laundry (irons, etc) aisle in most Targets. I also alphabetize my coupons…….the folders are for example: a-c, d-g, h-l, etc. Having that file folder is much easier to use. You can flip through the coupons very quickly.

    Another thing that I found to be a great help is to use a soft sided photo album (holds about 24 pictures) for each store I shop at.(Cost: $1.00 – $2.00 each) I go through the ad…cut out the items I want to purchase or explore………pull the coupons from my files, insert cut out ad and coupons in a sleeve…….and head for the store. I keep my RR or ECB’s in the front sleeve of the book so they are not overlooked. As I shop, I pull the coupons from the pages….place them in the front flap of the book and when I get to the register I have the coupons I need. Shopping is quick and I know exactly what I am looking for.

    I too use a bag like the one you have pictured…mine has pockets on the outside and I keep my “photo albums” in there.

    Thanks for helping us all do a better job at couponing!

  9. Carolyn says

    I cut two small folders for my filing system out of one file folder…….one from the front and one from the back of the folder. I cut them left to right and then score it to make folding easier.

  10. adrienne says

    I can’t find that sterilite 3qt box with the hinged lid anywhere! It has been discontinued and I can’t find it online either. Amazon shows it as available but then called to tell me it was out of stock. Did anyone bus this hinged lid box and then switch to a new system and want to sell their old box??

  11. Give Me Neither says

    Oh no, why did Sterilite have to do that! Carolyn suggested another option in her comment above. I’m sure you’ll find something that works. I’ll be on the look out too.

  12. Cathy says

    Hi Sarah,
    You were involved in the live chat hosted by Ann of CD&M so I thought I would visit your site. Nice!
    I know exactly what box you are talking about, Carolyn. I bought that for my kiddo’s to keep crayons in and now I’m thinking of going back for another. I bought mine mine at the Dollar Tree so I’m trying there first, keeping in mind the dimensions.
    I currently use the photo album method but it has it’s drawbacks; it was good when I first started couponing last year because I needed to visually see my coupons but now I have a good idea of what I’ve clipped and I know what is in my inventory.
    Cathy

  13. Hockey Sailor Wife says

    Hi Sarah,
    Thank you for sharing this information. I started couponing to pay for my wedding and now I have newspaper delivery people dropping bundles of inserts at my office every monday. I remembered my mom’s old commisary coupon box from rubbermaid that had a handle and mini files but I couldn’t even find one online that someone was trying to get rid of. I was in desparate need of expanding my storage and this is perfect. I only had to raid my scrap booking cardstock since I had everything in the house already. You are great. Thanks the Sailor’s Wife

  14. amy says

    hi there! I stumbled upon your site the other day while looking at the deals on another site(I can’t remember which one right now) and I relly like your idea of NOT clipping everything!! I’m trying to find the best way that will work for me and clipping everything is just not the way!! I’m a stay at home mom with 3 kids under 6(and a husband!!) my question is what do you do when your at the store and you find something on clearance or an unexpected sale….how do you find a corresponding coupon if you haven’t clipped every coupon and filed it in a binder…..my store(price chopper in CT) often has a lot of markdowns esp. dairy that I know i’ve seen a coupon for but have no idea where???? I hope that made sense!! thanks so much!!!

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