How I organize my coupons, Part II: Printables & Shopping

Yesterday, I told you about my low maintenance system for organizing my coupon inserts. Basically, I file them away each week into an accordian file folder that is divided by month.

But what about all the coupons I get from printable sites like Or the ones I get in the mail? Or that are inside the packaging of products I’ve bought?

So, the answer is that I’ve got a two-part system:

1) I place all “loose” coupons into a small basket that sits on the left corner of my desk. If my husband prints off coupons for me, he knows to put them there. If I get a coupon in the mail with a free sample, I toss it in the white basket. That $.25 basket from Goodwill is my holding zone, until I get around to doing something with the coupons. It prevents coupons from taking over my desk — and when they do, it saves me from wasting time trying to figure out what to do about the mess!

2) I clip the coupons down to size (stores don’t like to get a full sheet of paper with a printed coupon – they prefer that you clip it first) and then file them into one of two envelope-size accordian file folders. I picked these folders up at Target in the dollar spot. I arbitrarily use a green folder for DRUG STORE items, and a blue folder for GROCERIES. Each folder is sub-divided into 6 sections, which I have labeled with general categories. The ones that work for me are:

Drug Store

  • baby care (includes diapers, wipes, diaper rash cream, baby food, etc.)
  • shampoo, conditioner, body wash
  • razors, shaving cream
  • deodorant, lotion, cleansers
  • dental care
  • pet care

Grocery Store

  • pasta, sauce
  • olive oil, salad dressing, condiments
  • cereal, crackers and dessert
  • dairy & eggs
  • frozen foods
  • canned goods

Both of these small folders are permanently kept in my purse, so I don’t have to remember to put them there when it’s time to go shopping.

I also keep a third folder in my purse, which is my store binder. Like the blue and green binder, this one (which is clear green) also has six sections. I divide it into the stores I most often shop at:

  • Target
  • CVS
  • Walgreens
  • Hen House
  • HyVee/Price Chopper
  • Other

Inside the pockets, I put all the coupons I’ve pulled for that particular store. I also keep store coupons, my shopping list for the week, and any rebates or ECBs / RRs (= register rewards from Walgreens) I need to spend.

So, that’s it. A totally simple and no-fuss way to keep track of my coupons, without me having to spend hours a week organizing it all. I might miss out on a few deals here and there, but I figure the sanity savings are priceless!

Any questions?  What do you think?

P.S. Sorry no pictures, I can’t find my camera cord! 🙁


  1. I just found your site and it has so much useful info! I had given up on coupons – we were cutting out the ones we thought we might need and then forgetting to take them with us shopping. Your simple organizing systems sound like they could really help. There really is very little helpful info on keeping kosher on a budget – I hope you will keep writing!

    • @Chaya ~ Welcome! So glad you found me! Don’t give up on coupons yet… hopefully I can show you how to save $ using them without going insane trying to keep up with them. I so know how frustrating that is! I hope I’ll keep writing, too – and that you’ll stick around! Maintaining a minimal grocery budget while keeping kosher is definitely a different animal altogether.

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