The No-Clip Coupon System (with Pictures)

A couple of months ago, I told you that I prefer to use a low-maintenance, no-clip coupon system. I’ve received a couple of questions about how this clip-free system actually works, so consider this post your voyeuristic peek into my couponing cove. Here ya go, step by step:

1. I take the inserts out of the newspaper and label them immediately with a Sharpie pen. I use the initials RP for Red Plum, SS for Smart Source, P&G for Proctor & Gamble, and GM for General Mills. And don’t forget the date! (Sorry for the shiny flash glare – trying to figure out this blogging with pictures thing.)

label inserts

2. I file the WHOLE insert (NO CLIPPING!) into this cool file box that I recently picked up from Target. The reason I keep the whole insert is so that I can easily locate the coupons I need based on the match-ups. (See more about the no-clip system here.)

file box inserts

Inside my file box, I have 13 file folders. The first is for my copies of the Whole Deal newsletters (I pick up a few every time I stop at Whole Foods). The next twelve are for each month’s worth of inserts. I keep all the inserts until the next year and then toss them into the recycling.

3. The top of my cool new box has this lift-up lidded compartment for extra storage. In here, I keep a Sharpie, my Target mailer coupons and a ruler (I find the ruler faster than a scissors for cutting out the coupons I do need).

no-clip coupon system

4. To coral all my printable coupons, I picked up this cute maize yellow basket on 75% off clearance at Michael’s for just $2.54.  I used to have them in a garage sale-find basket ($.25), but it had a handle that kept getting in the way.

5. The file box and basket hang out next to my desk and keep my coupon collection nice and tidy until I’m ready to restock my coupon files.

And that’s it — my simple, organized and clip-free way to store my coupons until I need them. Stay tuned next week for a little pictorial post about what I do with all the coupons sitting in that basket. (You’re all breathless, I’m sure….)


  1. Okay, so….I actually am in awe. I’ve always ignored inserts, figuring they weren’t really worth the trouble. I might just give this system a try. Thanks, Mara!

  2. I have started using a similar system, although yours is much more impressive!!

    Do you look through the inserts before filing? I sometimes find coupons for things that we use, that are not included on match-ups on the various blogs.

    • You know, I don’t usually look through them. For sure, the downside of this system is that I might be missing deals. I don’t know if you read the original post, but I sort of had to go to that “extreme” because trying to clip every coupon was such a huge fail for me.

  3. Your system is actually a lot like my own. I don’t like clipping coupons unless I know I will use them. Then I just file those ones is a small coupon accordion file.

    • Hi LaVonne – Thanks for visiting! Yes, I do the same. File the ones I use in a small (well, three small) coupon accordion files.

  4. Very cute system. I need to get organized like this.

  5. Ok, I’ve tried filing them in accordian folder, the ones I might use but it takes so much time and often the generic/stroe brand is cheaper so I don’t end of using them which that means more wasted time but I’ve put my circulars that I have (June forward) into folders and we’ll see how this works..

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