Welcome to Southern Savers, where finding deals and steals is simple and rewarding!

See I told you, this would help!

Coupon Abbreviations
  • SC = Store Coupon
  • MC = Manufacturer Coupon
  • SS = Smart Source
  • RP = Red Plum
  • PG = Proctor and Gamble
Coupon Terms
  • WYB = When You Buy
  • B1G1 = Buy One Get One Free
  • .75/1 = 75 cents off one item
  • .75/3 = 75 cents off three items
  • EXP = Expiration Date

Going Nuts? I can help you understand coupon terms and abbreviations

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Last week I shared two options of how to organize coupons that required the least amount of time. Today I’m detailing two other options that get increasingly more organized but also more time consuming.

Organization is really something that is different for every person so these are just ideas.  I’ve seen lots of variations off the 4 options that we have gone through so find something that works for you.

In general for a binder this is so easy to make yourself so I would encourage you to NOT pay a ton of money to buy something someone else already put together. (In case you didn’t get my underlying feelings I wouldn’t encourage you to go with this method in the first place but…)

All you need to get to make your own binder:

  • Pack of 6-12 tab dividers – label with sections of your store “refrigerated, frozen, meat” etc.
  • Baseball Card Protector Sheets (sold on eBay 50 for $6 — tip don’t search for coupon sleeves they charge more)
  • Large 3 Ring Binder that zips up

You can add different sleeve pocket sheets like photo sized pockets or even full sheet protectors to make larger categories rather than having coupon by itself.  Another thing to add might be a zipper pouch for scissors or to hold coupons you plan to use, I’d wait for back to school sales when these are a penny.

In the end a binder should cost maybe $15-$20 to put together depending on how nice you go with your 3 ring binder.  The one I have in the video above cost about $15 from Staples.

In the end, find a system that allows you to be organized to your liking and using the least amount of your time.  Remember your time is valuable so blend things together and get creative to find a workable system for you.

I know many of you love your binder, so share with us ways that you make a binder take less time or more doable for the average person.

    • Carole

      OK, I’m a little upset that you call the binder method the ‘extreme crazy way.’ No way does it take me 2 hours with “coupon oragami” every Sunday to keep up with my binder. The binder is the only way for it to work for folks not in your particular region. Let me tell you why:1. Your coupon match-ups don’t always coincide with mine. You list different amounts, or the coupon is just not in my Smart Source or Red Plum. Plus, I have coupons that show up in my SS and RP that you have no idea exist, so if I just used your list and accordion file, I’d miss out on coupons that I do have.2. I’m not gonna print a coupon variation list each week, and look on it to see what coupons I really have at my disposal, cross of what I’ve used, etc. I’m just going to look at my binder, and I can see at a glance what I’ve got.3. No way am I going to cut every coupon. I don’t use pet products, or baby products at all. I don’t care about a $2 money maker on Depends that I’m going to have to find somewhere to donate, because that will also take up time.Here’s how I use the binder, and it takes me maybe 20 minutes on Sundays to organize, plus another 20 minutes before I go to the store.1. Cut out all the coupons I’m going to even consider using. Throw the insert away.2. File the coupons in my binder in the 3×5 picture inserts that I have. I file by section of the store, and by type. For example: I have a “dry goods breakfast” section were I file all cereals, granola bars, etc. Within that category, I have “Kellogs,” “General Mills,” “Chex,” etc. I don’t have any dividers, nor do I label them individually. I just know where in my binder these are, and flip to them as I need. This way, I make use of every pocket on my insert, and can move things around as I need. I don’t have each individual coupon in a pocket, they are in categories. Also, I file store and competitor coupons in the same pocket, but facing the other way, so I can easily see if I have a coupon match up.3. Tuesday night, when your list comes out, I get my binder out, and go through your coupon match ups first to see what I have that’s the same. If I don’t have exactly the same thing, because of my system, I know what I do have that will match the product on sale. I print out the coupons that I want from coupons.com, etc., and cut them up. If I see any other coupons to print, I do that, cut them up, and file them in the same binder. Not two different places to look, just one.4. Wednesday morning, I get my paper, verify my coupon match ups with my flyer (not always the same items on sale), put my pulled coupons in a zipper pouch in my binder, and I’m off to the store. I do take my whole binder (yes with a zipper) with me, because it fits nicely on the front of the grocery cart. Also, I give many plugs for your site to people who see my binder, and wonder what I’m doing.I enjoy your site, and have benefited from many posts about online sales, limited time super deals, high value online coupons, etc. I also really like getting the ads for Publix and CVS ahead of time, so I can start planning my shopping the night before. Most of my friends, really most of the people I see in the store that are couponers, use a binder method of some sort. I’d be careful calling us crazies. We really aren’t. Being organized is not a failing. We’re not anal, nor do we have too much time on our hands. We just make the most of the time we have.

    • Kristan

      I found my baseball card sleeves 75 for $4.88 @ Walmart incase anybody wanted to know :-)
      Merry Christmas

    • http://www.facebook.com/jenna.grubbs Jenna Stephenson Grubbs

      This video made me laugh when Jenny says, “Your child will dump them out and you! will cry!” :)

      I have friends who do the binder method and then tell me “I'm taking a break from couponing right now because it takes too much time.” when actually this should be a lifestyle change, not just a crazy hobby, like Jenny said.

      (I guess you can tell I like method #1 the best. Except – I use an old shoebox instead of the canceled check file; it was cheaper and I can find it better, plus I store things like my price book, extra scrap paper, and my pens, markers & scissors there too.)

    • Kpatcamp

      Thank you Jenny for these videos! I have been trying the category method since I started couponing and I am getting burnt out. I have an accordian file and I am going to try that method. What a relief to just put the flyers in a section and forget about them until I need them!! No more cutting every coupon!!

    • simpliepie

      Hey Jenny. I enjoyed your video. I do use the biner method to organize but NOT to shop. I take envelopes marked with the store's name on each envelope into the store. I spend about 30 mins getting ready for all my trips combined. I go to Publix, Bi-Lo, CVS, and Walgreens. In my binder are several compartments, but I dont feel comfortable taking it in the store. It makes me feel bogged down and people look at me like they are MAD, SAD, Or a combo of BOTH. LOL. So, thanks for all you do and I enjoy saving all this money. Oh about the kids turning it upside down. LOL that was cute. I am lucky my kids hate shopping so I always do it alone.

    • sarah

      I have been doing the 1st option for a while now—no cut required However, what do you do with all our printable coupons? That is where my big headache is….

      • http://www.facebook.com/Bria6720 Brianna McDonald

        I three whole punch the paper and put them in my binder. Until i'm ready to cut them.

      • http://www.southernsavers.com/ Jenny

        I tend to only print certain types of coupons early but if I do they get cut and put into the canceled check file.

        For me the only coupons I cut early are really high value coupons, and vegetable coupons. Most everything else will be there for a bit.

        Another tip is to come the night that an posts and print any coupons you want and paper clip those to your shopping list then get your insert coupons together when you have time. Most coupons that make things free on the weekly ad lists go fast after the list goes up so this solves that problem.

      • nc_sunshine

        I'm sooooo in the same boat. I don't get the newspaper, but rather only buy 1 Sunday newspaper near start of the month (when there usually are the most inserts – PG, SS & RP). I just can't do weekly newspapers yet — too many coupons! And this is mostly b/c I rely at least 75% on my internet printed coupons… That's where my usually exceptional organization skills go down the drain. It sucks the life out of me, printing & cutting & categorizing into piles & putting into binder — and then the worst part — EXPIRED coupons. I can't keep up with cleaning out my binder. Help! ;o)

    • http://www.facebook.com/Bria6720 Brianna McDonald

      I three whole punch the paper of the printables and put them in my binder. Until i'm ready to cut them.

      • Couponqueen769

        Smart. I like that!

    • Wendy

      I put my coupons in a portable filebox. I use hanging file folders labeled with each month…then inside hanging folder, i have a regular folder labeled by week with each week's inserts. Been using this method a year now and it works for me.

    • darkenmind1326

      great video!! i have tried both the box and binder…found i like the box..binder just is toooo time consuming but looks nice. i'm not “knocking” the binder method just saying it is not for me. definite Kudos to all that do though:) New year is coming so i am willing to try the “no clip” method even though i am a “clip all” kinda gal lol:)

    • klink

      I actually have two binders, one with foods, using the baseball card sheets, and the other is for every other kind of coupon.
      I use the cling style photo pages in this one.I put expired coupons behind the good coupons to keep them from sticking and tearing.
      I found my binder at Goodwill already filled with the pages.I paid 2 dollars.

    • http://www.facebook.com/lilmissnikki Nicole Romine Lane

      “Your kids will flip it over and you will cry.” lol! That cracks me up!

      I've been doing the binder method for the last year and as much as i love it (and my brand new binder like the one you pictured but actually a little bigger) I think i'm going to have to switch to the accordion. I'm taking “a break” at the moment cause I just don't have the time to sit and cut out the inserts right now. I love being able to see all the coupons but I've gotten burnt out.

      • http://www.facebook.com/lilmissnikki Nicole Romine Lane

        I do have to say it doesn't take me 2 hours. I usually file my coupons as I cut them so I'm done within an hour. I'll put on show, sit back and cut so it's not too bad. But with the holidays and family, i haven't had an hour to spare.

      • Couponqueen769

        Ha! I've suffered from coupon burnout from time to time. I think it's ok to take a break. That's what the stockpile is for!

        I do use a binder and love it. Like someone mentioned above, my regional inserts (even in Atlanta) varied so much that a good bit of the time I didn't have the coupon I needed in the inserts when I filed them by date. I would spend a lot of time looking with no payoff, so cutting and filing is well worth it.
        for me.

        When I cut, I always put multiple copies together. For example, if I have 3 P&G inserts, I put all of the first pages together and cut, all the second pages together and cut, etc… As I cut, I put the coupons in the same broad categories I use in my notebook. If I can't finish filing in one sitting, I'll paperclip them together. (That's just an example…usually I don't cut up the P&G or GM inserts because I have a pretty good idea of what's in those. I put those in the front cover of the notebook). I do use the baseball card size sleeves, but can fold quickly if I need to. This last step is actually the fastest.

        I am a teacher and librarian, so coming from that background, here's another thing I think people should consider…your learning or organizational style. Do you like things put away or do you need to see them? I'm a very visual person and visual learner. Going through the coupons and cutting them helps me to remember what I have. I have to see them when I go through the notebook. In my office, I'm always taping things to the walls because if I file them, I forget about them : ) Think about how you organize other things in your life and how you learn best, and that might give you a clue to the best way of organizing your coupons.

        I do pull the Qs I need before I go into a store. I put them in envelopes originally, but now use a ziploc for each store. Sometimes I try to leave my notebook in the truck because I'm feeling lazy, but I usually have to go back for it.

    • Mandy

      I've found the binder method is the only real way for me to get the savings I need to make my Sunday papers worth it. It is very time-consuming, but my regional inserts are always SO different from the lists here, and my local store sales vary SO much. I can go shopping with my list and coupons in hand, but 70% of the deals I find are unplanned. Shopping with the little one in tow is such a chore that I'd gladly spend an hour filing coupons at home if it saves me 15 minutes in the aisle trying to find/clip/shuffle my coupons without dropping them or my little guy grabbing them. So having my organized binder is the only way for me. Now, if I had the chance to go shopping by myself, I'd be all over the box method… :)

    • Lizselvage

      One of the best recommendations I've ever heard is to structure the binder in the order that you prefer to go down the aisles of your favorite couponing grocery store. That way you only turn pages as you go, rather than flapping your way down the aisles.

    • Pamela lauck

      I use the Large 3 Ring Binder , I have used it almost 6 months and the 1st time I got it together it did take me a few hours but now it only takes me 30 minutes NOT 2 hours like she said.

    • Christina0525

      i tried all the other methods but the BINDER is by far the best for me!! i bought a binder with sleeves in the front and i only clip coupons i think i will use…i then date the insert and slide it into the sleeves in order, so finding coupons is a breeze. for the plastic sleeves i use 4 by 6 photo sheets and they are labeled accordingly. i have 3 sections- beauty/personal, household, and grocery. i have had to make 2 for my friends!!! we love our binders =)

    • Amy

      I was doing the binder method and my son complained that “all I cared about was coupons” (Funny I couldn't stand cutting and organizing them). I was carrying them to cut and organize at my friends house and spending large amounts of time cutting them. Can't wait to use the accordian file method!

    • Courtney

      If you can't find them at Walmart, the baseball card packs are also at Hobby Lobby.

    • Keldansmom

      Using a binder for all my coupons is too time consuming for me also, so I use the accordion method. However, I do use a binder for all my printable coupons and coupons from old inserts. I have an old computer and can't print coupons at home, so I have to do it while I am at work. I usually print more than I need “just in case”, and putting them in the binder is the easiest way I have found to store them. The real tip I wanted to share is that I bought regular cheap page protectors and used my FoodSaver vacuum sealer to create 3 pockets by sealing strips on them. That way I can slide the whole coupon in there and see it easily instead of folding it to baseball card size!

      • Keldansmom

        And btw, I have the exact binder Jenny used in her video and got it on clearance @ Office Depot for less than $5! It's great because it has the accordion on the side and pocket for scissors :)

      • Kathleen Ashley

        I use a similar method. I have a 3 ring binder that also has an accordian file on the side that I can flip closed. I take my inserts and file them by date. Then when I create my shopping list, I cut only the coupons I know I am going to use. If for some reason I don't end up buying the item (price doesn't match sale listed on SS or out of stock, etc.) I am able to slip the unused coupon back into my categorized baseball card slots for easy look-up later. I consider this the best of both worlds for me. I don't spend time cutting every coupon, and when I print some online or have some leftover, I am able to easily organize them so I can quickly find them before the next trip. Thanks to Jenny's advice for only buying what's on sale, I've gotten to the point where I stick only to my list b/c we are usually pretty stocked up on items that we “need” and don't make emergency trips to the store for items that aren't on sale!

        Anyway, I think I am going to modify my method slightly by printing off the insert variations for my newspaper and paperclipping it to the front of each insert and then filing them. This way I don't have to flip thru each insert anymore looking for a coupon that's not there, and if I've already clipped it, I can mark it off the list. I think this method is convenient b/c it combines both the accordian file, and the easy to see baseball card holders for the “stray” coupons.

    • ward

      I have only been doing this for a short while and I use the binder system. I did make one adjustment by using 4×6 photo holders instead of the 8×10 clear protector or the baseball card protector. I have actually started using sub categories too. This may take a few minutes longer in the filing process, but saves time when I go to look for them.

    • Mommysauls

      THANKS SO MUCH JENNY! I love everything you do and you have helped me become a stay at home mom! I can't wait until you come back to Greenville NC! I want to go to one of your workshops! :) You will be like a celebrity to me hahaha!

    • Kristina_hanley

      I use a mini acordian file I found at the Dolar Tree. It doesn't have too many files, so I added the small evelopes labeled for each section (frozen, dry, household) This way it's easy for me to find coupons for deals found on the website, but also easy to find if I see a deal at the store that wasn't listed on here. When I clip on Sundays, I sort as I go into piles. When I'm done all I have to do in shove them in the envelope they belong. Once every couple of months when I'm feeling energetic lol, I'll go through and sort out expired coupons

    • Heather M

      I use the binder system & I do love it! I tried the accordian file system & just couldn't get into it. Though it may take me a little longer to cut & file my things I almost never miss a deal. I got my binder @ Target on clearance after school started-paid $4 for it & it comes with a strap to carry it! It took me sometime to get mine the way I wanted it, but after that, it doesn't take that long to cut & file my coupons. I think of it as taking some me time away from the kids on a Sunday afternoon!

    • A B Wright

      I tried the accordian file and then the file box methods, but I ALWAYS found things in my store that were on sale but weren't advertised so I didn't plan for. It made me so upset that I didn't have my coupon with me but didn't have time to make a 2nd trip that week. I use the binder now and I love it! I did take a long time to set up initially, but it doesn't take long to add to each week. I made a coupon sorting map with all my catergories laid out. I just clip, place in the right place on the sorting map, then move the category to the binder. I knew the baseball card pages would be too small for me, so I found some on Amazon intended for money collectors. I got a box of 100 for cheap. There are just 6 slots per page rather than 9, so I don't have to have an oragami sesson. I really do save more money this way because I can very quickly find a coupon in the store if I find an unadvertised sale. I do pull my coupons I know I'm going to use for a trip. I put my shopping list for each store in a full size page protector with the coupons for that trip behind it. As I get the item, I move the coupon to the front of the list.

      • http://www.facebook.com/supabisha Laura Nicholson

        The sorting map is a good idea! I bet it would help time wise from flipping from one category to the next back to the first if I made a map so i could start from beginning to end.

    • Bridget

      I use the binder method and it IS time consuming, but I love having all my qs with me when I shop. Like others have said, I often run across unadvertised deals while in the market. The binder also makes a handy place to clip my grocery list. I use the printable list from the HT website and have my coupons sorted into the same categories the store uses, so it is easy to find them as I go. I pull them out and clip the coupons to the front of my binder as I shop, which means that I do not miss a coupon for an item (which is what happened the one time I tried to pull out my coupons before shopping, because I invariably make some changes from my original list while in the store). My binder gets lots of comments from other shoppers in HT and it gives me a chance to point them to Southern Savers so they can learn to coupon too!

    • Allison

      I have tried all of the methods. The binder is the only one that has worked for me. I print the entire ad with all coupon match-ups. Then I highlight what I know I want to buy. On my breaks and lunch break at work, I pull the coupons for the ads for the week as Jenny posts them and paper clip them to the ad. I get my daughter to help cut, which she loves. So, I only spend about an hour and a half per week, either cutting, filing or pulling the coupons. But, I save about $75 to $100 per week by couponing, so I make a good bit of money per hour!

      I just couldn't find the coupons in the sections to pull them for the ads in the box/accordion method. I flipped through the stack several times until my wrists hurt! I also had no idea what coupons I had, so I had to look and look when I saw a good deal in the store.

      I also keep my printed ad sheets in the binder (and advantage buys, Publix coupon books, etc) and just tote it into work with no worries. Everything I need is “in the binder” and I work on it when I have time! It works for me.

    • http://www.facebook.com/supabisha Laura Nicholson

      I actually think the binder method has saved me more money than before. BUT I am also not the type to plan out a shopping list either, I grab my coupon book and the store's Ad and just go in when I have the time. So on my end it has helped me to take 2hrs a week and organize my coupons in my binder and not do a shopping list for every store I need to go to.

      But when I do get compliments on it I make sure to tell people it takes me 2hrs a week to organize it like that, they don't just come that way (though I wish they did).

    • Jennine

      your great Jenny

    • Jencpo

      I was in the store a while back and saw a lady using a binder but she had photo (magnetic) type pages that you peel back and stick. It would be too much for me but she could flip pages and see all the qs. Just thought someone else might find this helpful….

    • brenda z

      I agree that everyone has to find what's right for them. What works for ME is actually what I learned from my BFF and I thought it was gonna be CRAZY and too much time/work and I can not imagine doing anything else now! :)
      I clip alllll my coupons. Def takes time up front, but not too bad really. I have what I guess would be similar to the index card box except that it's a super cute coupon organizer that my hubby bought me off etsy last mom's day. It has dividers w/ tabs.
      My categories are simply alphabetical. A-Z. With an empty category for an upcoming trip and an empty category for “yet to be filed/organized” and also one for restaurants/stores as opposed to products.
      I alphabetize as I sort- and every coupon is put in it's place and I never have to fish thru my coupons and not know where something is! I Loooooove it. If I want an energizer battery coupon, I go to E and find my energizer. I don'thave to go to electronics or some other random category adn fish thru to find it. I always do by brand name b/c that's what works for me. I know where I will find it b/c I always file the same way. The worst that wolud happen is I have to look 2 places for it and it takes 20 seconds to find it instead of 10 :)
      I honestly could NOT stand the saving the inserts and clipping b4 a trip. But I know that some poeple love it and everyone has their own style. I just honestly love not having to care which insert it came in. It's all irrelevant. I either have it in my organizer or I don't.
      I carry it with me everywhere and it just looks like a purse so I don't look totally weird :)
      Also, one of the hugest reasons I love it is I used to have printables floating everywhere. Now, printable or newspaper clipped, it doesn't matter where it came from- it gets clipped and filed.
      As I come across ones that have expired, i toss em. And at the end of every month, i skim thru and get rid of the old ones as well.
      I do enjoy hearing about other peoples systems though :)

      • Mspen22

        which organizer do u have? sounds like a pretty good option.

        • NolaGirl

          I use a relabelled 31 day check file (WNN21031BK). It’s 5″x10″ so it fits in my bag – 1-26=A-Z; I use the remaining 5 slots for receipts and coupon pulls for my favorite stores.

      • NolaGirl

        Alphabetizing works for me too! I tried the no clip method and found myself not using RP, SS and other coupons, because I had no idea what I had. New Orleans has too many insert variations for the database to work well for me. I even tried using DSM's personal coupon box feature…too time consuming. When I cut and file, I remember what's available.

        I've know the alphabet since I was a toddler. To those who say it's too confusing (does Betty Crocker go under B or C)…pleeeezzze. Flash back to that grade school library science primer. When's the last time a librarian misfiled a book.

      • JulieB

        I like organizing alphabetically too. I use Jenny's lists weekly but my organized binder system helps me quickly locate what I have. I might have used the great coupon deals 2 weeks ago and it helps my search! I don't find it takes too long. Maybe an hour each week to clip and sort. I enjoy it. I didn't like flipping thru all the inserts over and over.

        • joanne in w. cobb

          exactly how i feel. I had my binder and got behind filing so i went to the stacked inserts method. They took over…and i didn't have my coupons at the store like I like having. I didn't like having to flip thru like julieb, either. So now I kinda don't do anything. I like all the ideas about photo binders and/or cd binder.
          Think I'll try redoing my zipper binder i got for $2 at Walmart and add some photo pages. I didn't like having to fold the coupon into the baseball card slots.
          I did like the sheet protectors where i kept my restaurant and other large coupons.
          one time i was doing so well shopping then at the check out i, evidently, missed a stack of coupons so when i got home i found where i had forgotten to give the cashier all of my eligible coupons. That was a costly bummer.

    • Joy

      I have been couponing for years. I first did the old fashion coupon caddy and it takes forever going through all the coupons to find what you want. So one day I deceided to make a binder. It worked for about a month then I guit couponing all together it was very frustrating and time consuming. I also would buy 4 newspapers and cut everything and sort it by catagory and then spent too much time in the store. All my time was spent trying to do all the coupon deals. It sort of took over my life……..After a break from coupons……. about a year later I started dating the whole inserts and filing by date. I buy 2 newspaper just so I have at least 2 of each coupon for the BOGO deals. I am much happier. I don't care to get all the deals. Actually I feel a lot better that I am not trying to get 4 -6 items of each thing that is free or cheap. I still have 2 pantries full of food, health and beauty and drug store type stuff. I still donate a ton and give loads of stuff to friends and family. I don't feel as overwhelmed and I don't feel I am missing anything. I am a much happier couponer now.

    • Sarah

      I do a little of both. I clip those coupons that I think or know that I will use, and file in my binder. My categories are simple, bathroom, food, frozen, dairy case, etc. Then I date, and file the remaining insert just in case. When the ads come out, I make my shopping list, pull my coupons, and put them in an envelope in my purse. My binder does go with me, but normally stays at is the bottom of the cart, once again, just in case. This methods takes about 45 minutes a week. Most of the time, my file and binder stay under my couch. I used to use a small accordion file, but I out grew it. I'm a mother of a very active 2 year old that also works full time with a husband on 3rd shift. This has worked the best for me. I save both time and money.

    • Nonna Beach

      I started out with just a notebook and baseball card pages but now I just file my inserts by date and clip what I need for deals. I use my notebook for coupons that have a long time before they expire, for IP's, for RR's, for rebates, register tapes, rain checks, gift cards, etc.

      I want to thank you sincerely for another great year, helping me save a ton using coupons and wish you and your family a beautiful Christmas and Happy New Year !!!

      Hugs,
      Nonna

    • http://deedeelovejoy.blogspot.com/ DeeDee_FL

      I have been super couponing for almost a year and a half and I started with the coupon expandable files, but then moved on to a binder. I like my binder!! I googled and found Coupon Clutch and made a cover for it like theirs. It looks like a cute tote bag when carried. It is filled with 4×6 photo pages. They are categorized into groups that work for me (about 12 different ones) and then within that category i can subdivide because of those nice sized pockets.
      I clip all Q's each week and sort immediately into keep and give piles. I belong to several Coupon trains and have a continual Give pile going for that purpose. I spend about 15 minutes or so clipping each Sunday afternoon. Another time I sit down and simply run thru the stack of Q's and stuff them into the front page of each category they belong to (5 minutes), then another time I come back and sit down and actually go thru and sort each pocket and file the new ones. (I put the ones that expire this month in the front of each pocket). This takes anywhere from 30-60 minutes depending on how many inserts we had.

      **Occasionally I am glad I have that Give pile going in a drawer as there will be a deal that i wasn't expecting.

      **I am a planner and am successful at it because of blogs like SS, but I like carrying my binder for any spur of the moment/clearance/unadvertised deals.

    • Shelley_ogburn

      I need help with my couponing in the area of organzing the coupons I chose to use at the checkout. For example, last week I had a dixie crystal coupon to use and another brand of sugar. Used one but didn't use the other, and when I'm at the checkout, it takes too long for me to see which brand I actually bought. I'm not really good with organizing so what I have been doing is putting the coupons I pulled out of my notebook to use in my pocket and leave the others in the notebook. Seems easier and faster for me at the checkout cause then I'm done with my notebook, all I have to do is empty my pockets…but there's got to be another way.

      • Keldansmom

        I had the same problem…if something is out of stock, where to put the coupon so it isn't with the ones I want to use. I found really nice vinyl envelopes @ Office Depot. They come in different colors and have a snap closure. I got several in different colors for each store I usually shop. I organize my shopping list and coupons for each store and put them in the envelope. The handy part is they have an extra pocket on the outside. So, as I grab my items I put the coupons I am going to use in the outside pocket. The ones I don't use are still safe inside the envelope. Just what works for me…

      • mrsmadayar

        I use a mini accordion folder for that; it's about 4×6 with 5 or 6 pockets and will fit easily in my purse. Before I go to the store I pull out the coupons I plan to use & stick them in the folder, and if I'm going to more than one store I sort each store's coupons into the different pockets. When I shop I hold on to my coupons and as I put items in my buggy I put the corresponding coupons into the very front of my little folder to use at check out; and if I have a coupon in my hand I decide I don't want to use right now after all or I come across a blinkie I want to save for later I stick it in the back of the little folder and file it in my binder later. Then when I get to check out I just have to pull the stack out of the front of my little folder and hand it to the cashier.

        Hope that helps.

      • MaryB

        I put my coupons that I pulled into a photobrag book, and try to organize them by the isle at the grocery store. If I am just going to do a deal at a drug store, I gymclip my coupons & my list together and stuck into the albulm. That way I can see them. It is thin, and small enough it can fit into a purse or even be carried like a small book in your hand.

      • Kris

        1) I file my inserts like the no clip method.
        2) When I make my shopping list from SS, I clip or print my coupons for that shopping trip and they go in the binder baseball card pockets.
        4) My binder goes with me to the store.
        5) In the store, when I put the item in my cart, I move my coupon from the baseball card pockets to the front pocket in the binder.
        6) At checkout, my coupons and rain checks are all stacked at the front of my binder.

        This way, if I decide not to use a coupon, it's still filed in my binder for the next time around. This is the combo that works for me. I tried pulling all the coupons I was using for the shopping trip, but I couldn't keep them organized once I got in the store. I use ALOT of coupons in the store and it was difficult for me to flip thru them on the spot.

      • Lane

        That's pretty much what I do, Shelley. I take my binder into the store with a separate empty envelope. As I decide to use a coupon, I move it immediately from the binder to the envelope. When I'm done, the envelope goes back into the binder for next time.

        Even when I'm making a small trip & I pull my coupons ahead of time, I still take an extra envelope to hold the ones that I've decided to spend. If I tried to sort through them at the checkout, I'd go crazy.

    • Gina4ever0

      I've been couponing for almost a year.. And I love my 3 ring binder.. I would never choose any other way..
      My binder is already organized and when I get coupons I add them to the catagory they belong in.
      I don't find this time consuming at all. I however agree with you on having seperate departments from the food.. I do this.. I think all experienced couponers learn to do this.
      Thanks for the video

      • Lisa

        I'm so with you on this! I started with the binder method first, and I've been couponing about a year. I admit I haven't tried any of the other methods, but I don't find my method time consuming at all. 30- 45 minutes a week to clip and fold my coupons. I have a friend who cleans houses and they give her their coupons. She goes thru them to get her multiples and gives the rest to me. She has no little kids, so I get the baby coupons and she usually leaves most of them in the insert. So I don't have to buy more then 1 paper. I don't really see how spending 30 minutes to get ready for a shopping trip is much different then spending 30-45 a week clipping and organizing. The part I love about the binder is the fact that I know exactly where to look if I need trash bags and I can quickly find out if I have a coupon for trashbags. Also, grocery shopping with a toddler requires a method that allows you to find your coupons quickly. I've found I have more time to organize them than to search thru them in the store if I need one I didn't pull.

      • Lane

        Yay for the binder method! It seems not to have as many fans as the insert method, but it is the only method I think I could use.

        I have been couponing just about 4-5 months. I started off using several plain envelopes & sorting alphabetically. That worked for a while, until I just had too many coupons to deal with. I was spending forever sorting & filing.

        I went to a binder method because I just can't be confident of being able to pull every coupon I want to use before I get to the store. I need to have my coupons with me.

        I use dividers from Mrs. A's. They have several rows per page – the rows are open all the way across, so you can put as many or as few coupons on each row as you like. I still don't file every single coupon, but I do clip them all (takes almost no time) and file only the one I feel I have over 50% chance of using. The rest go in an envelope marked with the date & name of the insert (like 11/28 P&G)

        The thing that has been the absolute biggest help to me, though, I haven't seen mentioned. I got a piece of poster board & divided it into 12 sections. I labeled those sections with the 12 divisions in my binder. So when I have a stack of coupons, I just sort them on the poster board & then they are easy to file. I'm not constantly flipping through my binder trying to file the coupons. This has been a HUGE time saver for me.

    • Bee

      I have been married and shopping for nearly 22 years and I always had good intentions with coupons but got nowhere because I left the inserts whole and then they became stale-dated. I hated cutting out coupons to put in a little coupon holder with categories. How awful it was to sort through those categories!

      I have couponed regularly for a year now using the binder method. It most definitely does not take me two hours to cut and put into the pockets-it's a pleasant Sunday afternoon or Monday morning activity. I absolutely love having them visually accessible. And I am not really a visual learner, but with the binder method, I feel as if I am “collecting” them and really appreciate the value.

      I pull coupons for a shopping trip. I take all the coupons I intend to use at Kroger for example and put them into a plastic envelope labeled for that store. I also take my binder, because invariably, I will find a decent price on something I want/need and want to use a coupon to make the deal better. I guess what I'm saying is that I'm not just into coupons for the “deals” but for stuff I see that I don't feel like I need to wait to buy. I don't buy a LOT of items that are unplanned, but too many times I have thought I'd just leave the binder at home and just bring my “planned” coupons only to either pay full price for several items or to leave them at the store simply because I didn't have the binder with me, meaning I needed to make another trip.

      The cashiers always comment on my binder, telling me how cool they think it is…this coming from mostly teenage boys. They can't believe I have this many coupons.

    • Bamafan

      I use a leather CD binder. It is small enough to put in my purse but allows me to quicly organize. I clip out only the coupons I am likely to use. I organize them in to two large groups food and non-food and then into smaller categories. Works for me. (I do sometimes get some weird stares or comments, ony young man commented what a waste it was using a CD case in this way! HAHA)

      • Karen

        Oh, I like that idea. Do you mean the small one or do you use a large one? either way, sounds great if you find one on clearance. They have so many “sleeves” to them. Thanks for the idea!

        • Bamafan

          I use the small one and yes they have lots of sleeves so I for me it works great. I just slip it in my purse and carry it everywhere. We had a few extra ones around the house since they started downloading music. :)

      • LLawrFly

        My office had a zippered CD binder with two separate binder rings. It came from Microsoft Volume Licensing and contained outdated software. It was going to be thrown away, soooo….. I love FREE!

    • Sommy

      I started using a coupon binder with baseball card holders and photo pages a few months ago,and must say that I prefer that over the filing system.I buy 2 or 4 sunday papers,and separate each page on the kitchen table and stack duplicate pages on top of each other.That way I only cut 10 stacks at a time instead of 40 pages(just an example).It takes me no longer than 45 minutes a week to clip my coupons. I then file them in the binder by brand name,using alphabetical tabs.I also separate grocery items from non-grocery items within the alphabetical tabs.So when I look for deals on Southern Savers,I just flip to the first letter of the brand that's advertised and pull out the coupons I need.These then go inside a small plastic envelope with the name of the store on it along with the shopping list that I print off Southern Savers. I usually take only the plastic envelope into the store,but occasionally go back to the car to get my binder if I see an unadvertised deal or an item on clearance.

    • Mrsjlb3

      Where do you store your printable coupons?

    • Jiglypuff247

      Whay about a Morphed version of both

      I cut them then organize them by insert

      • DEinRaleigh

        I do a morphed version between the accordian and the baseball card organizer. After getting “coupon burnout” a few times and hearing of several friends that completely stopped couponing because of it, I modified my set up.

        I use a binder, but have the full sized sheet protectors and a sheet (possibly two) of the baseball card organizers. I categorize my coupons, then slip most of them into the full sized sheet protectors. The only ones I put in the baseball card slots are ones that I will use frequently and need to see often to see what we have. We are pizza fantatics, and when Digorno pizzas have a good sale, I need to hop in and grab a few before they're all gone. The baseball cards help hold those few specific ones I know I will need, and help me save time each week.

    • Tasha

      I actually do a little of everything. I have 2 binders and a file box. Both binders are zippered; I have no idea how much I paid for them, as I've been couponing since 2002 and bought them then. I keep my uncut inserts in the file box, pretty much the way that you do. One binder is for IP's, blinkies, etc. The other binder is the one I take with me everywhere. The one that I keep my IP's etc in, I have separated into sections, food and non-food, then frozen, cold, etc.
      The one that I take with me I have sectioned using the back half of a manila file folder that I punched holes in. Each section is for one store. Behind the folder/separator is at least one sheet protector with my SS printed list for the week. Then I may have others behind that with snippets from other blogs about certain deals, pieces I actually cut from the store flyer to remind me, etc. Then behind that I have the card holder pages and photo pages, where I keep the coupons that I plan to use that week at that store, including store coupons. I sometimes have two sets of these, (page protectors then card/photo holders.) if I am nearing the end of the week. The second set isfor the upcoming week. When the week is done, any coupons that did not get used go into the 2nd binder filed approprately.

      I know it sounds complicated, but it's actually very streamlined this way and requires the least amount of time/energy to keep up.

      Oh, and I have hanging folder in the file box behind the inserts, where I keep 3 or so months' worth of the magazines that I often get coupons from: All You, Parents, Famly Fun, etc. And I have one folder that is for rebate papers, and another for recipes as I print them out.

    • regina

      I have been couponing for about 8 months and started w/ the acordian folder I bought at Fanily dollar for 3 bucks. To me the acorrdian is the way to go. I can never see me doing the binder style. Too much extra time needed for that way that I can not be bothered with.

    • couponmama

      I thought the video was funny…especially the part about kids turning the binder upside down. : ) I do use the binder system, as I've found it works best for me. If I just went to one store a week maybe the other way would work better, but I go to several. Print out my lists from this site, then pull my coupons for each specific store. If they're out of something, I just file the coupon away again later. Like Jenny said, the binder can make you wander the store…the key is pulling your coupons beforehand so you remember why you're there. If you spot a fabulous deal, you can go to the binder for other coupons.
      Also, I do not clip the whole insert. A money-maker is only worth it to me if it's something I or someone I know would use, otherwise it's not worth the extra transaction & hassle, personally. I clip what I know or think we would use, then pass the rest to a friend.
      I honestly haven't tried filing the whole insert, but I think I would find it time-consuming to have to go back through all the various inserts searching for coupons each week. But to each their own! I won't argue with the pros, just know what works for me.

    • M.

      I am very new to couponing. The thing that I am doing currently due to lack of funds is… I put my whole Sunday inserts into a gallon size zip top bag and put the date on front. I have a 3 ring binder I purchased from the Goodwill for about .80 that I have page protectors in. WHen the new sales come out I print up a list and get those coupons ready and place them into their marked page protector. It's dangerous b/c it doesn't zip but I also don't let the kids touch it :-)

      • bradleyr

        Good luck with couponing. Sounds like you have a good plan that works great for you!

    • Danyeln

      I have combines teh accordial and binder methods. I actually have a binder with the sturdy plastic two pocket folders inside. I keep each week's inserts seperate so 2 weeks in each folder. I also hole punch sheets if internet printables and place them in my binder. My binder has an accordian file where I keep coupon booklets that I get from the store or from Manufacturers. Finally my binder has a large zipper pocket where I keep a small coupon organizer (smaller than the check sorter) to hold peelies, blinkies, tearpads etc.

      I plan my list and use envelopes instead of ziplock bags. I do NOT carry my binder into the store with me. But I have been known to keep it in the car so that if necessary I can run back in for a super great unannounced sale.

    • Angelamichellefincher

      For the past year I have been using the binder with the baseball card insert method and I have to say that I am so thrilled to learn a less time consuming way! Thank you so much Jenny!

    • Vwalsh91

      I don't use the baseball card sheets. I use clear document protectors as “envelopes”. It takes less time to file and is small amounts to look through when pulling my coupons for a shopping trip. It isn't hard to go through them in the store either if I find a deal that I wasn't planning on.

    • Crystal T.

      I used a binder for a while. I loved how organized it was but could not keep it up. Way too much other things in life take priority over it and it more than mutliplied my coupon work load by atleast five times. It got to where I was dreading having to file the coupons in the binder. I switched back to my other method and have not regretted it. But if someone has that much time to devote to a binder it is a great way to go!

    • Bre500

      I skipped all of the puttong it together bit and went with a photo album. Got it at walmart for 2 bucks. labled the sections and filed my coupons in the photo slots. love it. It stays under the front seat of my car. haha

    • Orngdolphin01

      I started out with a binder like that and HATED it……TOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO timely. I like to just keep the coupons together how they came then just look through the exact insert and then cut.

    • Amberfluhr

      i have 4 zip lock bags (personal care, household, cold food, general food) i clip coupons for products i like or would be willing to use. This also stores my printables. When i look over the matchups and store ads i go pull my coupons. I think looking through a zip lock bag would take a similar amount of time as looking through an insert. I only have access to Food Lion, Walgreens, CVS, and Farm Fresh. If i ever have more grocery stores i will go to the accordion system.

    • Lorrose57

      I really like the way you explain the amount of time that goes into couponing… but I see it as “how much I am making per hour…' If I spend 2 hours getting reading for a 2 hour grocery/cvs/wags trip… and save $100 in coupons.. I am making $25 an hour… so that said… I use the modifed version of the binder… I use photo albums, bigger slots, etc… I have 2.. one for food and one for non food… I have the categories color coded and listed on the front… binder 1. food binder 2. non food… and I have the cancelled check thing for toiletries, etc.. and broken down into… shampoo, hair color, razors, toothpaste.. etc….much more item per item instead of baking, beverage, cereal, dairy, frozen, meat, soup/sal dressing, etc etc…Yes it takes me awhile, but I can just run out with this method and find coupons rather easily…my BIGGEST dilemma is expired coupons and having to go through each pocket and pitch the expired ones… this takes forever!

    • Janemeyer9

      I know that I'm echoing some of the comments here. I don't use coupons to make money I use them to save money. Therefore I have no desire to deal with a coupon for a product that I will not use just for a moneymaker. Finding a home for that product will cost me even more time and/or space. I am NOT an organized person which is why I must use the binder system. Pulling out inserts, cutting the coupons that I will use that trip and then replacing the inserts into their spot seems more daunting to me. I can cut and file at my leisure. If I have to pull inserts and cut before my trip; then I may not have the time at that moment to do all of that.

      I have a binder and a checkbook accordion file. I clip all the coupons that I would ever possibly use. (I automatically toss all pet foods as we don't have pets) I then pull out the ones that I'm more likely to use and put them in my binder (I keep a zipper pouch in my binder for those that need filed to file when I get a chance/in the mood) The remainder I put in a recycled envelope with a date on it and put in my check file; they are there if I need to pull it out for a great deal. I find that I rarely pull any of the coupons out. I really don't like all the folding etc. but when I go to the store and find a surprise sale and I have that coupon with me, It's worth it. I got my binder for $2 on clearance and it's been great.

      • Sands143

        I keep all the coupons because you never know when you can get something that someone else would use. If I see something at a really great buy that I might not use, I might know someone that could use it, so I get it and give it to them. Not to mention all the things that could be donated. Maybe you don't use the item, but if it is free you could always donate it to your local shelter. That would be a good reason to keep all your coupons. Thinking beyond just your household but how you can use couponing to help others.

        • Janemeyer9

          I do donate regularly to our church pantry. However there are some items that cannot be donated. I'm not going to buy an item and then have to drive clear across town to donate it. I will argue that these items are not free. I still have to pay tax on the pre-coupon price. For the time that I spend running from store to store for moneymakers, I can bake something from scratch or use my time for other ways to save money. In my opinion, I would rather leave the moneymaker on the shelf for someone else to take advantage of the deal rather than having myself find the home and to complete the transaction-with a child in tow. If I have a coupon for a great deal that I won't use I'll just leave it on the shelf for the next person.

          • Jhflora654

            I also never thought I’d buy anything that I wouldn’t use, but if I’m already in the store, I can make a little money off some of the products. I wouldn’t make a special trip for a moneymaker, unless it was a big moneymaker. I then use Freecycle.org to get rid of the things I don’t want. All it takes from me is a couple emails and setting outside of my front door. It’s worth that time for me.

      • Loyal2disney

        I was completely with you on only using coupons to save money and mot make money, but after a CVS trip in which I made money and was able to get things I really needed (toilet paper, diapers, etc) for free from the money I made with couponing, I am now hooked. I will buy items now that are “moneymakers” so that I can get those items I need for free with the money I made. I often don't keep those products either because I HATE clutter in my house. So, I keep an ongoing donation box in my utility room with those items to give them away. Just a thought!

    • Lexx034

      It seems like there are SO many times that a coupon is posted, and Jenny says what insert to look into, but I don't have that coupon in my insert! Is there another way I should be doing this? Are there different inserts for different regions? I would like to know how to look out for what ones I will actually have!

      • Kris

        Lexx034, Keep track on Jenny's blog. About every Wednesday she post insert variations for several different city newspapers. If someone is posting the insert variations for your newspaper, you can print the sheet and file it by date. When Jenny says theres a coupon in RP 12/12, look at the variations sheet, coupons are listed alphabetically by brand and color coded if it's in your paper, not in your paper.

        Hope that helps.

        • Lexx034

          Thank you so much! :-)

    • Denise

      Thank you for spending the time to show these ways to coupon. I do the binder system and totally agree with you on the time spent. That is the way I first learned to do it and it was because I lost my job so I did have a lot of time on my hands. If I ever start working again I will just save the inserts to have my time back. Even though I do it the binder way I do still do your shopping list putting down the number of items I need and pulling my coupons before I go in to the store. Mainly because I don't want to spend an hour and a half in there and have all the employees thinking I'm the crazy coupond lady. But I will tell you having the binder with me has saved more money because if I see that great deal I can quickly see if I have a coupon and also there have sometimes been things on sale but even with the coupon it's still cheaper to buy the grocery store item. It gives me the option to save the most money and with only one income now that is so important. Thank you for doing this and this website. It has allowed me to not have to go out and find a job yet which enables me to be there more for my family.
      Denise

    • Cathy

      I have been couponing for about 2 years and I use the binder method and love it – mine is straight alphabetical (for example – the G's would have Green Giant, Gillette, Gerber, etc) with a mix of baseball cards and 4×6 cards.
      I
      n the front I have a few of the velcro closure pockets that I put each store deal for the week in.
      Behind that I have 4×6 photo pages for each store – CVS one has my ECB's, and any store coupons. Rite Aid has my +Ups and any store Q's (VV's etc), and so on with each store.
      Then comes the alphabatized sections where I sort by product name – and I just have a few notes about this method

      — I buy about 4 papers each week – I only clip the coupons out of one of each type of insert – then write the date on the front of the other 3 and keep them in a small rubbermaid container in my closet. This way it doesn't take me long to cut coupons – and if I end up needing any multiples, then I have my inserts at hand and organized by date
      — I am in Birmingham and my list of coupons is usually very different than what SS lists for coupons on the match ups, so the “non clipping” method doesn't really work for me b/c I get coupons that she does not list and vice versa
      — my way of organizing does NOT take me 2 hours to accomplish each week
      — I also think you have to keep in mind that it maybe takes me 45 minutes to clip and organize each week and maybe 5 minutes to pull a shopping trip together. Where as the other method has you taking more time to prep for a shopping trip – just something to think about.
      — and lastly, someone mentioned how long it takes her to weed out the expired coupons. I just don't worry about that but maybe 4 times a year. When I go through and add coupons to a section each week, then I take out the expired one for that brand. Otherwise, I ignore them. Then like I said, a few times a year I go through and really clean it up

      Ok, just wanted to share my thoughts in case it helped someone out!

      • traci

        I totally agree with you, Cathy. I use the 4 x 6 and baseball card inserts and it does not take me 2 hours per week. I just sit down on Sunday and watch tv and clip and file. I use the lists here, pre-pull the coupons and keep them in the front of my binder when I shop. If I come across an unadvertised deal or closeout I can flip right to the section where that coupon should be. That way I never miss a deal. I also throw away expired coupons when I insert the new coupons. I get stopped atleast 1 time every time I shop with my organizer and have to tell someone how to make their own. This is the way that works best for me.

    • MissPure1

      If you do the binder and don't want to fold your coupons for the baseball sheets, ebay has sheets with only 4 pockets on each page and they work great. No way would I sit there and fold every q.

      • Djohnston1211

        it sounds like a lot but its really not, I just try to fold them where the expiration date and the picture shows. It really doesn't take but a few minutes to fold them.

    • Monsska

      Hi Jenny I love your organization videos they really help, but I am wondering what you'd suggest I do with all my MAGAZINES like ALL YOU. Thanks

      • Kmanganaro

        I put all my magazines (I only get ALL YOU) in a pile and put my coupon file on top of them. I use to put them in my file but they it was just to big and bulky. I know that they are really “organized” but it works for me.

        • Monsska

          Thanks :)

    • Sands143

      I started out cutting and filing every coupon, then the binder method and then I realized that there was no need to waste so much time and switched to the accordion file and I love it. I spend about a minute each Sunday filing my inserts and about 1/2 hour to 1 hour preparing my list each week (depends on if my kids are napping).

      I don't have time to sit and clip every coupon each week. What a waste of time. Plus I have small children that love to “help”. All those tiny pieces of paper floating around were too tempting for their little hands. Talk about getting frustrated.

      Now that I'm using the accordion file, coupon life is super easy and stress free!

    • Heidi

      I have been using a binder for a while now and it saves me time in filing and especially making my list. It is much easier to flip to a page than to flip through 20 or 30 different coupons in a catagory. I actually spend less time organizing than before. I use several different size sheets in my binder. I choose to clip my coupons because alot of times I will have coupons that are not listed on the blogs. I highly recommend the binder for anyone who clips there coupons. I wrote a post on my blog about how to put one together, just click my name to get there.

    • CVS Lady

      I tried the binder method and got so behind with clipping and sorting I eventually stopped. I have a TON of baseball card inserts if anyone would like them. Respond to this and I'll be happy to put them in the mail! I'm in Columbia, SC.

      • Iluvqpon

        Hi CVS Lady,

        I would be interested! I just started and let me know how much it would be to send.

        Thanks!
        T. Bott — iluvqpon@gmail.com

      • Iluvqpon

        my address is

        3347 san jose st.
        clearwater, fl 33759

      • Lesley

        Lesley Harbin
        3506 Bridle Brook Dr.
        Auburn, GA. 30011
        THANKS

      • Alverson_tammy

        I would love some card inserts..thanks alot

        my address is
        905 Mooty Bridge Road
        LaGrange, GA 30240

      • Heidi

        .My address is 479 Paradise Cir, Douglasville, GA 30134

      • NolaGirl

        I'd love to have 10-20. E-mail me: nolagirl9 (at) ymail (dot) com. Hope I'm not too late.

    • Kelly

      I have so many sources for coupons that, in addition to saving Sunday inserts, I also use a binder. I purchased the perfect organzing inserts at Hobby Lobby (of course I used my 40% off q when buying them). These are found in the coin collecting aisle. Each sturdy sheet has 8 pockets (4 front, 4 back) which are meant for foreign paper money. I never have to fold my coupons! Plus there's a place to label each section…cereal, condiments, etc.

    • Melinda

      Jenny: I've been using the binder method for almost 2 years and love it. I generally have at least 6 coupon inserts. I quickly tear the pages apart stacking the like pages together in one stack and print all 6 sets of coupons at the same time. The coupons that I know I will use are placed immediately in my book. The coupons that are kept (just in case I find a great deal) are stapled and filed in a separate folder by category. I spend only 1 hour or less organizing my coupons. When the weekly adds are released I make my list go straight to my coupon and I'm ready to go. I always have my binder in my car but never take it into the store. Because of my organization, I never need it when I go shopping. Of course, you help me out there. I always check your site for the deals before I go shopping. This method works for me because I have more time to organzie than just before I go shopping. I work outside my home 50 to 60 hours per week and don't have time to cut the coupons before leaving for work.

      • Djohnston1211

        along with exactly how you do it – I staple on just the outside of the coupon so they stay together and they don't shift when I cut them.

        • Melinda

          I do the same thing! Works like a charm!

    • Ginny McCullough

      I use the binder system and love it. For me, it takes less time than keeping the inserts and cutting them out before shopping. Our HT store in Matthews, NC restocks on Sat night so I go Sunday right after church. It also does not always have the sales Southern Savers lists, and alot of the times has more than are listed, or run for several weeks. If I use only the list and the inserts, then I miss out on products our family uses. Then, when I get back from the store on Sunday afternoon, I clip and put away only the coupons we use.

    • Julie

      I tried the whole insert/accordian method for a while and it drove me nuts! Not because I was worried about missing a deal but because there are times that I need something and its not listed on SS or other blogs as a deal of the week so I didn't have a clue if I had a coupon for it or not. I am not in the least bit organized but I love my binder. I cut the coupons and put them in their slots; however, I have a variety of different size pockets and don't worry about folding them a certain way at all. Before heading to the store, I pull the coupons I need for that store (5 min max) and don't take the binder in. It works for me. I also don't take 2 hours every week organizing it-at first it took a while cause I had to find out how it worked best for me but now it doesn't take much time at all, and certainly faster (for me) than having to search through inserts for what I need. However, I know people that love their whole insert method too so it really just depends on the person!

    • Michelle

      Is there anyone who loves Microsoft Excel out there? I tried the binder method for almost a year. It drove me crazy if each coupon wasn't exactly cut, folded and filed in my binder. Then one day my daughter said “I think you love those coupons”. I started thinking…there has to be a better way. I created an excel database for my coupons. It has columns for value, description, expiration, location and category. I download the coupon preview each week into excel and then delete the ones I didn't get. It takes some “adjusting” to get the columns to line up correctly. Then I download the All You coupon listing into excel. My spreadsheet would look like this….$1 / Purina Dog Chow 15lb / 12-31-10 / SS 11-20 /pets. The / represents the column division (didn't know how to show it). As I print from the internet I have to manually key into my sheet and then file in an accordian A-Z file. It works perfectly. Pulling expireds is a breeze because I sort by expiration and know exactly where to go and pull them. No cutting of inserts and if I have SS or RP expirations I just leave them until they are all expired. Inserts are filed whole using hanging file folders with manilla folders with dates written on them. My stacks are highlighted. Red is target, Blue is Walgreens, Purple is Rite Aid, Green Publix, etc. As I use a coupon I delete it from my database. My database is downloaded to my phone. I pull coupons before I leave home but have my accordian file and file folders in the car just incase. If I see a sale I look on my phone to see if I have the Q. Hope this helps. If anyone would like to see the offical database just let me know. Thanks so much for what you do Jenny!!! I am saving my family (teenagers) over $800 a month with coupons.

      • Kris

        I am doing something very similar to this. I love Excel! :-)

      • Susanna

        How do you download into excel exactly? When I cut and paste, each row pasted into just one cell. It seems like it would take me *forever* to get each part into it's own column, For example, the first line I pasted in was “$2 off Advil product, 20 ct. (exp 2/5)” Ideally, I'd like that to paste into at least 4 columns: Coupon Value, Name of item, full description (what size, how many you need to buy etc.) and one for the expiration date. I can then add a column for where to find it afterwards. The amount of adjusting I would have to do would be enormous because I'd have to cut and paste 3 times minimum per coupon! It would take me all day! lol How do you do this efficiently? What am I missing??
        thanks

        • Michelle

          Try this website http://projects.newsobserver.com/tags/coupon_update It gives a document already in excel format. Just sort by published date and copy into your master sheet. Make sure you got the same Q’s and don’t need to add any. Hope this helps.

          • Susanna417

            thank you Michelle, I'll try that!
            Susanna

          • L.A.

            Certainly helped me a whole bunch!!! Thanks!

        • Susanna

          Also, even if I use “text to column” after pasting, it divides it all up wrong because whenever there is a space in the list it makes it a new column, so this wasn't a time save either…

          What would solve the whole problem is if the fliers could just be consistent and not be differetn every 50 mile radius!!! Sheesh! I live in Orlando and our fliers are very different from Jenny's, as I know many other people's are in different locations. It galls me to search for coupons that aren't in my fliers but galls me even more to know that I'm missing out on deals that I just don't know about (because Jenny doesn't know that I got a coupon that she didn't). Arrrgh!!!

          • NolaGirl

            Wish the Sunday Coupon Preview would include an export feature or use a delimited format so it could be imported into Excel with multiple (3-4) columns.

        • Michelle

          I tried to reply with a website but I don't think it went thru. If you search on “sunday coupon inserts in excel format” you will find some downloads. Just keep a master and modify what you really got in your paper.

      • NolaGirl

        You may want to try the personal coupon box on the Deal Seeking Mom site. Less typing, easier to note the variations and you can still export or copy & paste to Excel. Try conditional formatting also (works better on a PC than on a Mac).

    • carolc23

      I used to do the whole binder method but have moved toward the accordian file method since I began teaching and have very little free time. I kept my binder though and put loose coupons into it. Still debating about if I ought to just get rid of the binder altogether – but I don't have the time to figure out what to do with it – hahaha!

    • Djohnston1211

      I have used the binder system for almost 15 years now and I love it!! The only thing I might add is I also have a 3 ring pencil holder with a zipper that I put in the front of the binder and use this for the coupons I am using that visit at that store. Works great for keeping them together and if you have a catalina or something special you don't want to forget to use just slip it in on your bag! Hope this helps someone :)

      • Kelly

        Me too! I like the clear pencil pouch so I can see everything. I also keep an extra pen, any gift cards I may be lucky enough to have and a small pair of scissors for those in-store fliers you pick up as you enter. We Virgos love to be organized.

      • Melinda

        I keep a small 5 x 7 plastic file folder with pockets and pad for notes, a pen loop. When I pull my coupons and print my list, I slip them in the pocket and secure it with a small binder clip. As I go through the store and place the item in my cart, the coupon is clipped to the edge of the folder. When I get to the check outs my coupons are all in one stack, in order and ready to hand to the cashier.

    • Cristiemc

      I love using my binder. I found that the accordion file took too long when I was at the store. I was always finding a deal and having to go through a stack of coupons. Now, I have them alphabetically by the brand. If I see something on sale, I go to the letter of the product I'm looking for and the coupon should be there. If it isn't, I have already used it or didn't get it due to my region. It takes a few extra minutes when I am filing, but saves me exponentially on my time in the store. I think this is the best system for me, and I can't imagine going back to any other system that I've used.

    • rose

      OK! So Jenny, which one do you use????

    • Livserge331

      I personally think the binder method is a waste of time, but to each her own. It may be enjoyable for some people. I use a filing cabinet system that is like the accordion folder method. Using this site, there is no need to cut all the coupons! I do go through the inserts each Sunday and I clip things I know I will be buying no matter what. But actually, that list has gotten smaller and smaller as I stockpile the things I need. So even if I see a good coupon for coffee, I leave it in the insert until the shopping list calls for it. About the only things I cut any more are coupons for free items, which are rare lately.

    • Jen

      I like the accordion file system, and I use two of the small canceled check files… One is for grocery/food related items, and the other is for everything else, categorized by store (Fast food, Sit-down restaurants, Walgreens, CVS, Target, Babies 'R Us, Bed/Bath/Beyond, Craft stores, Pet stores, Misc. retail). I keep both little canceled check files in the car, and the accordion file system stays at home… Thanks for the helpful videos Jenny!

    • Maureenfh

      I use the binder for those coupons that I am most likely to need. I still file the inserts in an accordion file for good deals I can get, but I love my binder because if I happen to see something on sale that wasn't in the sales flyer or online, I often have the coupon with me.

      Instead of a pricey binder, I bought a cheap photo album at Ross ($3.99!!) and labeled it with types of items (bread, coffee, etc.) in order of where they are in the store. It saves me a ton of time so if I'm shopping with kids, there is a lot less searching for the right coupon.

    • Valeriebgonzalez

      I am so glad I saw this 2nd video, I do the binder, but only cut my “single” coupons and use page protectors for the rest…I have a binder that does not clothes (and I have a 15 month old… Yes I have cried when he knocked down my binder lol!) seems I was ALMOST doing it right! I will transfer into an accordion folder and check holder tonight!!

    • Kay

      Great post but I must disagree with you on this video…

      I've done all the systems that you are describing and it is a FACT for areas with no doubles that you do save more money when you go with the coupon binder / box method (i.e. clipping everything). Yes, more work, but more savings too.

      You simply miss too many coupons with the no-cutting method. I would say the difference per month in savings is around 20 – 30% missed.

      Just a quick note for those considering both methods. Again, great vlog.