I’ve been couponing since I was a teenager and I’m not going to say how many years that is… but it’s too many! Over the years I’ve seen numerous methods to file coupons come and go and I’ve tried pretty much all of them. From coupon wallets to card files all the way up to specially designed coupon organizer systems. One extreme couponer has a sophisticated machine her son designed for her that scans sorts and stacks thousands of coupons and catalogs them for her. That last one I haven’t tried of course.
Nowadays there are several very popular systems that the majority of people use depending on how serious about couponing you are.
The coupon wallet is generally the method everyone starts with. It’s small, inexpensive and fits in a purse or bag easily. It comes in numerous designs and can be purchased at any Wal-Mart type store, online or even the dollar store. The drawback is that it’s very small and is usually only good for part-time or non-serious couponers as it doesn’t fit that many coupons at one time.
The shoebox file can take a number of forms. It could be a real shoebox, a plastic box organizer or a shoebox shaped plastic box with hinged lid especially designed for coupons. This organizer is good if you want to keep a large stockpile of coupons organized at home and then only take a few to the store with you. Or some people take the whole box to the store since it will fit nicely in a baby seat of a grocery basket.
The binder method is currently the most popular way on coupon blogs right now to file away coupons and rebate forms. You can buy special binders designed for this purpose with everything included (except the coupons) or you can make your own. All you need is a sturdy binder that zips up, a large collection of plastic baseball card holders to go inside the binder and some Avery binder dividers to make up sections.
I’m adding the Couponizer here because it’s my favorite method and the way I've been keeping my coupons for the last 5 years or so. My review of the Couponizer was actually one of my first blog posts here and one of my first reviews. You can read the actual review post for detailed information but here’s why I like this particular one best.
- It’s small enough to fit in my purse or bag yet holds more than a standard coupon wallet.
- It makes sorting coupons each week incredibly easy with the sorting mat.
- It’s inexpensive and sturdy; I've been using the same one for 5 years.
This one is just the best way for me to store my coupons. You might find that you prefer a binder or a box or even your own crafty organizer you make yourself. The key is to try out the different types and find the one that works best for you. Now you know how to find coupons and file them. For the next lesson, be prepared to learn about Double and Triple plays!