Coupon Chaos to Coupon Zen

Are you overwhelmed with couponing because you struggle to find the coupons you need when you want to use them?

Since I started coupon shopping, I’ve gone from having an envelope stuffed with coupons, to an index file stuffed with coupons, to a binder which is also stuffed with coupons . In my opinion there’s really no “right way” to have your coupons organized. You’ll figure out as you go what works best for you.

Simple Coupon Organization:

Clipping Coupons

On Sunday mornings, after the newspaper arrives, some people are quick to pull the inserts out and start clipping and organizing their coupons into binders. Their binders include baseball card type sleeves and are divided into categories based on items in the grocery store. Then when they go to the store each week, they take their binders with them and start shopping.

Clip-Less Couponing

Other people prefer a system called “Clip Less.” I learned about this at some of the coupon seminars I attended with Jill Cataldo ( With this system, when the newspaper arrives on Sunday mornings, rather than clip every coupon available, you simple write the date on the front cover, and file it away in your accordion file. Then each week when you’re planning your shopping trip, you simply pull the inserts out and clip the coupons you need for that week. (Coupon sites like,, and can help you with which coupons you need each week). Then you place these coupons into a small accordion file, envelope, or checkbook cover, and just take these coupons to the store with you.

Combination of the two “systems”

I prefer to use a combination of both systems when I organize my coupons. After my newspaper arrives, I scan the inserts just to see what coupons are in it this week. Then sometime during the week (usually during naptime or while watching my favorite television shows) I will clip out the coupons that I think are “good ones” or ones I think I’ll use for sure before they expire (yogurt, bread, salad mix, cheese). The rest of the insert I place in my accordion file. That way I still have the inserts in case I missed a coupon or one of my fellow coupon shoppers calls looking for a specific coupon. I’m not spending hours each week clipping coupons I may never use. The coupons that I clip I organize in my binder, so that I know I have it ready to use.

Each week when I’m getting my shopping list together, I use a small index file that is organized by store, and place the coupons I plan to use in it. I’m trying to get away from always taking my big binder into the store with me every time I shop. Sometimes I use it sometimes I don’t. I usually do try to have my binder in my car, just in case I see something great in the store that I think I might want. I live at least 30 minutes from the closest big supermarket, which is a main reason I like to always have all my coupons with me.

I also have to do a lot of shopping with my kids, and I know my time in the store is limited, even when I bribe them with the “fire truck” cart, treats, or lunch when we’re done. So if I just take in the coupons I definitely plan to use, I know I can usually get in and get out of the store quicker.

Have your own system

The more comfortable you get with coupon shopping, the more comfortable you’ll get with your own coupon system. The real key is to be organized when you shop whether it’s with your large 3 ring binder or your smaller index file that fits in your purse or back pocket.

Bargain Buys

This week at Walgreens, look for in ad coupons on items like Hot Pockets (a favorite at my house), Butterball chicken broth, Vitamin water, and Aluminum foil. There is a an entire page of coupons, but these are the things I was after today!

Also at Walgreens look for bargains on Kleenex, All Detergent, Got 2B Stylers (still free in case you didn’t get them last week!), Colgate toothpaste, Scott paper towels, and Goody hair ties. At Target this week, you can find gift card promotions on Huggies, Pampers, Charmin, Bounty, & Gillette Fusion razors. Also look for bargains on Purel, Maybelline lip balm, Mentos UP2U gum, Activia yogurt, Axe body spray, and Children’s Advil.

Target’s Weekly Wow is for Room Essentials storage containers for $4.79. I will definitely be getting a few of these since my almost 5 year old has outgrown a lot of his clothes this winter. These bargains are good through February 25th.

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