How to Save Money » Coupons

5 tips to avoid losing your coupon binder

I’ve heard horror stories one too many times. You’re out shopping, coupon binder in tow, and oops – you forget your binder at the store.

So what do you do?

You can run back to the store and hope that it’s still where you left it, or that someone found it and brought it to the customer service desk, but from the many stories I’ve heard, you’ll never see that coupon binder again.

Lose Your Coupon Binder

Considering coupons are essentially cash, when you leave behind a binder full of those precious slips of paper, if a bad seed spots your abandoned binder, the odds aren’t good that they’ll want to return it to its the owner.

And that’s the sad part.

You work hard to fill your coupon binder full of coupons for dozens or even hundreds of products for you and your family. It would be a huge setback if you lost that binder. So – protect it!

5 tips to avoid losing your coupon binder

1. Put your name and number inside

The very first page in your coupon binder should be your “if found, please call…” page.

This page should list your full name and your phone number. So, if someone with a good heart finds your binder, they can contact you right away to let you know.

2. Place it in a bright bag

When you’re out shopping, place your coupon binder in a bright (neon is best!) reusable bag. Make sure it’s obnoxiously bright.

It’s hard to forget something when it’s so bright that you just can’t help but see it when you’re looking in its direction. Your coupon binder itself should also be very bright in color.

3. Place your coupon binder near your purse

How often have you forgotten your purse at the store? My guess is never, or maybe just once. Losing your purse, with all of your personal IDs and cards inside, can make your heart stop. It’s scary.

Since coupons are cash, in my mind, losing my coupon binder would feel the same way. That’s why I always keep my coupon binder and my purse together when I’m shopping.

Since I’m so terrified of losing my purse, I’m extra careful with it when I shop – and if my coupon binder is right there beside it, there is a greater chance that I will remember it when I leave the store, too.

4. Have your binder ready to leave the store before checkout

Remove all of the coupons you need from your coupon binder before you go to the checkout lane.

If you have to dig through your binder when you’re at the cash, you’re not only wasting time looking for coupons that you should already have ready to go, but you’re also increasing your chance of forgetting your binder on the counter while you’re paying for your purchases.

Instead of this hassle, pull the coupons from your binder before heading to checkout, then place your binder right back beside your purse, so it’s ready to go when you leave the store.

5. Know what to do if your coupons are gone

In a worst-case scenario, your coupons can’t be recovered. Either you can’t find the binder, or you do find it, but most of the coupons are gone.

If either of these things happens, you need to have a backup plan for what to do next. The first thing you should do is, if your binder can’t be found, to leave your name and number with customer service, telling them to call you if the coupon binder miraculously shows up.

Then, it’s time to get to work building your coupons back up again. First, buy a new binder (if needed), then start collecting coupons. Ask your friends & family if they have any extras (but don’t guilt them into giving you their “good” ones!), print coupons from MapleMoney, order coupons from online coupon sites, and visit your local stores, looking for tear pad coupons.

Finally, make note of what you did wrong, and avoid doing it again. Don’t beat yourself up about it if you lose your coupons, but remember the tips above to help prevent you from losing them again.

Make sure to share this article with all of your couponing friends – I don’t want anyone to go through the anguish of losing their coupon binder!

Have you ever lost your coupon binder? What happened?


  1. Jo

    Yes, have left coupon binder behind. Noticed it when I got home. Immediately called the grocery store. To my wonderful surprise, someone had turned it in to customer service. Do not know who that person was, but Thank You. What goes around, comes around.

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