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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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coupon organizer

There are a number of different ways to organize your coupons, my favorite is using an accordion or hanging file system to keep the inserts whole. For some of you though you love to have your coupons with you in the store. There are only a few ways to have all your coupons cut and in the store…a coupon binder or a large category filing system.

I’m not silent on my contempt for coupon binders. They take hours of work each week and in my honest opinion are never worth the time that you put into them if you think about your savings in terms of an hourly salary. If I can save $100 in 45 minutes and you save $200 in 3 hours…  I win.

The large category system is worth a second look for some folks though. This is an organizer that keeps all the coupons cut and in sections that are easily searchable. Instead of having 13 categories like a small coupon organizer you have 40+ sections. I can have boxed dinners, condiments, baking goods etc. This speeds up your time to find individual coupons.


Before we go through how to make one, please know that this system will take an easy 45 minutes each week to get your coupons organized. You’ll cut all the coupons from the Sunday paper and take over the living room floor. Lay out everything by category after you’ve cut them and then put all the categories in the organizer. Keep in mind that you aren’t ready to go shopping yet… you just have organized coupons. You’ll still have to put in another 45 minutes to get your shopping list together. (Folks organizing in an accordion system, not cutting anything till they need it, only take 5 seconds to organize and 45 minutes getting ready for store).

What you’ll need to make a category system:

(1) Insulated lunch bag or small box (like this one)

(3) Coupon folders with 13 pockets (like this one)

Now take your gorgeous new coupon folders and cut the tops off of them.  This way they stay permanently open.   Now lets label them…

Here are some ideas:

Boxed Goods
Canned Goods

Bathroom Cleaning
Kitchen Cleaning
Generic Cleaning
Air Fresheners

Facial Care/Cosmetics
Oral Care
Pain Relief
Stomach Relief
Other Medicine

That leaves 7 sections unaccounted for.  Use those for store specific pockets to hold rain checks or make your own categories for these.

Then, take all three of them and put them in the bag!

    • JRiley

      I use a clear shoebox container and 4×6 index card dividers for the categories. It sits nicely on my kitchen table and in the shopping cart and I don’t have to reach deep for coupons

    • JRiley

      I also started cutting every single coupon and I keep envelopes to send to military families…this way I can send both expired and nonexpired and not throw away coupons I know I won’t use

    • VFloyd

      JRiley where can one send coupons to military families. I hate throwing unused coupons away.

    • AP

      I use a small square insulated tote (used to be available at Target, maybe made by Rachel Ray I believe?, wish I could attach a pic) with a plastic index card box inside with tabs to sort my cut coupons. It fits nicely in the cart, and I added my own shoulder strap (only had a short one at the top) to make it easy to carry back and forth to the car where I leave it most of the time.

      • Michelle

        Ap.. Do you have instargam or fb where you could make the pic available!? I like your idea

    • JRiley

      I just started doing it this month after realizing how wasteful I was being. I sent my first batch to Support Our Troops:

      Support Our Troops®
      P.O. Box 70
      Daytona Beach, FL 32115-0070

      Not sure if this is the best one, but it was cited a lot on coupon websites. There is another where you can adopt families so you can send them directly and what they specifically need. Kind of a neat idea, but more would go to waste. I guess you could do both. Apparently they can use them on base overseas for several months after they expire. You have to divide them into “Food” and “Nonfood” stacks/envelopes to send them to Support Our Troops.

    • liz

      travel cosmetic bag….I will be the one in the store with the hot pink bag in the buggy

    • Britta

      I use a zipper binder with pencil cases instead of baseball card sleeves. I have 8 cases for the major sections and then when time permits I can paper clip individual categories within the cases. For non-edibles I have a mini accordion file like the old fashioned ones my mom used. It saves me time and I still get the portability of a binder. Also, it is much easier to pull out expired coupons.

    • JE

      I have one of these and love it – I bought an extra set of the index cards from her too since I like to have more categories. (I used to use a binder and am soooo glad that I switched!)

    • Tina Grubb

      Jenny you had bought a coupon organizer before I had asked where you got it and bought one from her as well now I need to buy one for a friend and can’t reminder where to buy it. Do you still have this ladies info? Its the one pictured thanks Tina

      • The one above is one that I made. I did get one that was similar but had a closable lid from someone in GA about 3 years ago. I think her name was carol but I’m not sure on that. She sold them for $40 each??