• VIDEO: How to Organize Coupons – Whole Insert Filing Method

    Hey! I recently setup a new coupon box and I thought it would be interesting to bring you along. Click on the play button above, or click on this link to watch a video on my preferred way on how to organize coupons.

    Once you start collecting Sunday inserts, they can start to pile up quickly into a cluttered mess. There are many ways to organize coupons: You can put whole inserts in a binder, you can pre-cut individual coupons and put them in baseball card holders in a binder or even keeping them in one tall stack. While having individual coupons pre-cut is idea, it is also the most time consuming.

    I prefer the whole insert filing method.  It’s quick! Literally, takes 2 to 5 mins to maintain each week. I plan out my trip each week, and clip the coupons as needed before my trip.

    Materials You Will Need:

    I got everything from Office Depot only because I had reward dollars that was expiring. You can find everything (except Label Once) at almost any store that sells office supplies. Office Depot also had Free next day shipping, so that was nice. I got them here pretty fast and was able to use coupons plus reward dollars.

    Some of the filing supplies such as filing folders comes in a pack of 100. You only need about 20 folders. It might be a good idea to split it with a friend.

    • Filing Box
      • Here is the exact ones I bought (It also comes in navy here). You can also get them at AmazonStaples, Target, Walmart.
      • You can also use a filing crate. I prefer the plastic filing box, since they are portable. You can bring it in your car with a handle.
      • I prefer the file box with storage on top, with a handle. Get letter sized.
    • Hanging Folders
      • Standard letter size hanging folders
      • Here are the exact ones I bought. Comes in variety of cute colors. Again, you can pretty much find this at any store that sells office supplies: AmazonOffice Depot, Staples, Target, Walmart.
    • Filing Folders (Optional)
      • Letter sized filing folders
      • Here are the exact ones I bought.
    • Label Once Erasable File Labels (Optional)
      • This is optional, but I highly recommended. Alternatively, you can also get labels and place new labels over old ones. Or use sticky notes or masking tape. I find the label once to be a more elegant solution.
      • This is the exact one I bought. But perhaps this would be better for the hanging folders (I just saw this now. Note that the link is a refill kit so it doesn’t come with a pen).
      • On the video, I said that the marker it comes with is a white erase marker. But I just realized now that they are actually permanent markers. The material of Label Once allows for permanent markers to be erased. So you technically can use sharpies as well.
    • Sharpie
      • Any brand of permanent marker

    How to Setup:

    #1. Hanging Folder Setup

    • Get 12 hanging folders
    • Add clear tabs on them
    • There are 11 holes to place the tabs. I positioned them so you see 4 tabs at a time without overlapping.  If you want to get it exactly, first tab I placed between 1 and 3 spot. Second tab I placed between 4 and 6. Third tab I placed between 7 and 9. Fourth tab is placed between 9 and 11.
    • Put erasable labels over each tab
    #2. Grab Inserts

    • Get your whole inserts from Sunday newspaper
    • If you get multiple inserts, group them by like inserts. Smart Source, RetailMe Not, P&G
    • TIP: Pull out any extra fliers ads that’s in the insert that doesn’t contain coupons to keep it less bulky
    #3. Write Date & Type on Insert Cover

    • Write “SS 3/25” on the cover of first insert for each type of insert.
    • If you receive multiple Smart Source that are different, label them #1 and #2. ie. “SS 3/25 #1”
    • TIP: You can check the date of your insert by looking on the binding edge. It’s really tiny.
    #4. Write Date on Hanging Holder Label

    Write the Sunday’s date where these inserts were found on the hanging folder label. Keep the newest dates at the front.

    #5. Separate Types of Inserts (Optional)

    If you get multiple inserts, I recommend separating each insert type into its own separate filing folder. In the video I assumed you were getting multiple inserts like me. If you only get 1 or 2 inserts a week, then you can skip this step and use just the hanging folder for the week.

    Insert Names:

    • SS = Smart Source
    • RP = RetailMe Not (Previously called Redplum)
    • P&G = Proctor & Gamble
    #6. Putting P&G At the Front (Optional)

    Additionally, I like to keep my P&G inserts in one folder at the very front of the box. P&G inserts expire within the month and new ones are released every month. It’s something I’ll access often and they usually expire quickly. For that reason, I prefer to keep them where I can quickly access them instead of organizing by date and trying to remember which date current month’s P&G came out on.

    #7. Do a Happy Dance! 

    That’s it! Now do a happy dance. You are on your way to coupon organization bliss. 🙂 It’ll only take you a couple of minutes each week to file them away and stay organized.

    Now that they are all organized by date and insert name, you will be able to quickly location your coupons when you are ready to do a deal. Every coupon deal we post on FSF, we’ll indicate where to locate that insert coupon (ie. “SS 3/25, x4/25” – that means you can find it from SmartSource 3/25 and that the coupon expires on 4/25).

    I typically keep 12 week’s worth of inserts in my coupon box. Adding new weeks to the front of the box. Once I’ve filled all 12 week’s spots, take out the oldest folder (at the back), pull out the inserts, re-name the label, and re-use for the current week.  Go thru the old inserts to see if there are any good coupons that haven’t expired.  Optionally, if you prefer to keep your coupons for even longer, you can also pull this folder out and move it into an overflow coupon box (Second box).

    Each week, I plan my trips, and clip out just the coupons that I will be using for that trip. I put them in an envelope for each store I’m visiting. I’ve also used a canvas pencil pouch in the past. But found that paper envelops were easier. I still use a canvas pencil pouch to hold my receipts for each store.

    Many people also like to keep a small accordion folder or small coupon organizer to store their clipped coupons. You can organize each tabs by major categories you coupon for.  I found mine (plastic one) at Staples in the clearance bin. I’ve also gotten them from Target before. Lots of options. Here are some options on Amazon with great reviews:  this one (comes in pink!) and this one.

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  • 6 good-looking people commentedLeave a comment
    1. 1
      Jennifer Baily :

      How many Sunday papers do you purchase? My area only has one coupon insert only! I do not get the RMN or PG&E. I feel cheated! I am new to this so watching your videos is such a great help! Thank you!!!

    2. 0

      Thank you, for the information, I use thirty- one tall organizing tote, I keep my scissors in the front pen or pencil slot, my coupon booklets are in ziplock bags (per week) and I’m able to keep in trunk of my car.

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