Coupons are a great way to save money and the best coupon organizer can help you stay on top of your money-saving efforts. If you don't have a system for organizing your coupons, valuable coupons may expire while they sit by your desk or you may not have them when it's time to make a purchase. Note that the best option for an individual savvy shopper depends largely on the number and types of coupons you clip.
1. Binder with baseball card collecting sheets
A binder is often the best coupon organizer for heavy-duty savers who clip multiples of each coupon. After clipping, slide all of the coupons of the same type in a single card pocket. The baseball card collecting sheets let you see all of your coupons at a glance and easily flip from section to section. A negative aspect of binders is that they can be bulky, but the card sheets keep a firm grip on your coupons, so they won't fly away.
2. Photo album with pockets
A photo album is similar to a binder for coupon organization. You collect your coupons and slide them into the pockets on each page. However, a photo album offers larger pockets than baseball card collecting sheets. This means fewer coupons on a page, but it can also make your coupons easier to access.
3. Index card box with dividers
An index card box allows you to flip freely through your coupon selection. It's larger than most envelopes and sits flat in the front seat of a shopping cart, whereas other coupon organization systems can slide around. Dividers allow you to create as many categories as you need for the coupons you use most.
4. Shoebox with envelopes
In an ABC News interview, "The Savings Mom" recommended this low-tech coupon organization method. It's inexpensive and uses materials you already have around the house. You can include as many envelopes as necessary in your filing system and label them with categories that work for you. It's also easy to expand when you need it. For instance, when you start couponing, you may use a single envelope for toiletries, but as you gather more coupons find that it would be more convenient to have separate toothpaste, shampoo and cosmetics envelopes.
5. Accordion-style check organizer
The accordion folds of a check organizer provide an easy way to file your coupons into different categories. It expands to accommodate a large number of coupons. The downside to an accordion-style organizer is that there are a pre-set number of sections, making it less flexible than some options.
6. Fabric “envelope” with dividers
The basic fabric envelope organizer has a fold-over top, usually secured with Velcro, and includes dividers for keeping canned goods separate from toiletries. This organizer is usually the best choice for most small-scale coupon users. If you only clip a few coupons each week, you have no need for binders or large portable file systems. Its small size fits in most purses, making it convenient to carry to the store. Hand-sewn versions are available from crafters, or you can usually find manufactured ones in stores or for sale online and in print advertisements.
7. Spiral-bound organizers
Spiral-bound organizers can be a more expensive choice among the best coupon organizers, depending on whether you buy one attached to a specific couponing "system", like the Couponizer. These organizers typically combine coupon pockets with shopping lists and other tools. The spiral binding means that you have a fixed number of pockets and coupon categories. However, they are typically much smaller than binders and offer a cleaner look than some other options.