Nothing worse than clipping a great coupon and then letting it expire -- you know that feeling, right? If you create an effective organization system for your coupons, you will be much more likely to use them before they're outdated and you'll breeze through checkout without fumbling through a wad of paper.
If you're serious about couponing, then a coupon binder may be for you.
▪ Choose a binder that zips shut -- losing coupons is like losing cash, and nobody wants that.
▪ Decide which labeling system best suits your shopping habits. Usually people label by item type or aisle like baking, frozen foods, personal care and paper goods. Or create sections for each store you shop at with sub-categories by aisle.
▪ Clear baseball card pages are great for holding coupons. It keeps them separate and easy to reference. You can find these at toy stores, hobby shops, or sporting good stores.
▪ Keep a pocket in the front of your binder to move coupons into as you put items into your shopping cart.
▪ You may also want to create additional sections for current store ads, pending rebates and store coupons policies.
While coupon binders have become increasingly popular, they are not the only way to go. Here are some ideas to fit every couponing lifestyle. Check out coupon codes before purchasing in case you can save further.
▪ Day Planner - This is the same strategy as a coupon binder, but purse-sized. Instead of baseball card pages, you can get three-ring, plastic business card holders
▪ Mini Accordion File - Not as neat and tidy as the day planner, but it also conveniently fits in your purse and it will only cost you a couple of dollars at an office supply store.
▪ Recipe Box - It may be a little clunky to carry around, but this is a sturdy system for storing coupons. Label dividers and file away coupons just like you would recipe index cards.
We found some fabulous finds on Etsy for those of you who want to coupon in style.
▪ Fabric Coupon Organizer - Stylish and practical, it works like an accordion folder but it comes in fun, fabric prints and the best part about this organizer is it attaches to your shopping cart handles. It comes with 26 blank dividers and 160 different labels to choose from so you can customize it exactly how you want. It's even machine washable.
▪ Coupon Caddy - If you want a more simplified system, attach this three-pocket caddy to your cart. The seller recommends using one pocket for "must have" coupons, one for "extras," and the last to move coupons into as you put items into your shopping cart.
No matter which system you choose, try to organize coupons by expiration dates with the coupons expiring first near the front of each category. You wouldn't throw out a dollar bill, so why throw out a coupon?