How to Save Money » Coupons

How I clip & file my coupons

Do you use coupons? If you do, you know how quickly they can build up if you don’t clip them right away and after a while, they are just overflowing in piles all over your house. They can get out of control very quickly if you don’t keep on top of them.

The worst thing about having a huge stack of coupons to clip is that it will be time-consuming and you may even end up with some expired coupons.

The other negative to not clipping your coupons right away is that if they are not in your coupon binder (or whatever you use to hold your coupons) because they are sitting in a pile at home, you may miss out on some deals – and that right there is a pretty good reason to get your coupons clipped and filed as soon as possible!

I have a set date when I file my coupons (every Wednesday), but I try to clip them as I receive them to make things go much quicker when I’m filing. If some coupons just cannot be clipped right away, I put them in a little basket next to my computer and will either clip them the next time I have a few minutes, or I will just clip them on Wednesday before I file them.

Doing this every week has saved me so many headaches. I used to let my coupons build-up for weeks at a time, because I just didn’t feel like clipping them right away and I swear, every coupon clipping/filing time took me 2 hours or more.

I am SO DONE with that! This routine is much easier to maintain and I no longer dread clipping my coupons.

Here is the process that I use to clip my coupons:

Organizing Coupons
Dump them out & separate
All of the coupons get dumped out of my coupon basket and onto the floor. I spread them all out and separate them into two piles: coupons that need to be clipped and coupons that are already clipped.

Organizing Coupons
Clip, clip, clip
I put aside the coupons that are already finished and then separate the coupons that do need to be clipped into two more piles: coupons and other coupons. I will then clip my coupons.

I like to clip them together because they are all sent in a similar set-up and it’s much easier to clip a bunch of coupon sheets that look the same then it is to clip one or two of them, then a regular coupon that just needs a recipe or something clipped off, then another one of the sheets again.

I find that it takes me less time to clip coupons if I do it this way.

Organizing Coupons
Once all of my coupons have been clipped, I organize them all into the following categories:
– Health
– Beauty
– Food
– Household
– Pets
– Baby
– Miscellaneous

Organizing Coupons
Put like with like
When all of my piles are finished, I will go through each one, and layout all of the coupons. I do this so that I can put all like coupons together. I don’t want to have a $2 Tums coupon on the top of my pile and the exact same one in the middle.

This would take way too much time when I was filing them into my binder. When all of the coupons are laid out and all of the like coupons are together, I will then put them all back into the one pile.

Organizing Coupons
Separate again
Now, because my binder is already overflowing, and I refuse to shop with more than one of them, I have to keep my extra coupons in a separate location. I found a container in my storage room and am using that to hold the extras (and the coupons that are way too big to fit into my binder).

Each category pile is separated again. This time, I remove all of my extra coupons that won’t fit in my binder and I put them next to the ones that will fit in the binder. Now I have 2 piles for each category. Am I making any sense here?

Organizing Coupons
File the extras/biggies
I put away the larger/extra coupons in the container. Man, that thing is getting pretty full already. It may be time to find a larger one!

For those that are wondering: no, I do not bring this container to the stores with me. I only bring my binder. I almost always have at least one of each coupon that’s in the container in my binder as well, so I don’t miss out on an unexpected deal.

If the deal is just phenomenal and some of my coupons are at home in my container, I will get my coupons from home and go back to the store – but this doesn’t happen often. Most of my “good” coupons are in my binder.

Organizing Coupons
File everything else
Finally, I can put all of the leftover coupons away in my binder. Sometimes the coupons that I’m adding are already in the binder, so I lay out each coupon on the floor one last time and flip through the binder to see if I have any of the new coupons.

If I do, I add these new coupons behind the coupons that are already in there. Doing this will ensure that I use the coupons with the earlier expiry date first.

Anything that is not already in the binder I will just add in wherever there is space (in the correct category of course).

And that’s all folks! That is how I clip and file my coupons.

This system may seem like a lot of work to some people, but it’s what works for me at this stage in my life. Having the one day to sit down and clip/file really makes things a lot easier. I spend no more than one hour a week clipping and filing coupons.. usually, it only takes me about 30 minutes!

Finding the time to clip coupons is important if you don’t want to deal with a massive pile every few weeks. Trust me, that is no walk in the park!

Pick one day during the week as your coupon clipping day. Or, if you have time, you can clip and file your coupons as you receive them!

How do you clip and file your coupons?


  1. m

    How do you keep track of when your coupons are expiring?

    I have a word document in which I keep track of all my coupons & the expiry dates, and I update it whenever I get new coupons or use my coupons. For stacking purposes I find that this is a necessity because I can figure out whether I have good enough stacks without having to actually dig out my coupons. I go through it at the beginning of each month & highlight the coupons that are going to expire that month so that I can watch for sales.

  2. NBW

    SepArate, not sepErate

  3. Laura

    I love your organization system!

    Just a thought: You might want to consider blurring your mailing address.

  4. Lori

    Right now I have literally a drawer full of coupons, half of which are organized into specific envelopes. They are less than organized and I dread doing it!

  5. Carrie

    Your system is like mine – I had a small file folder then quickly found that i needed more space. So i’m in a binder now – i like the idea for the larger coupons.

  6. Zoe

    Your system is pretty much similar to mine 🙂

  7. Cassie Howard

    zoe – hehe, great minds think alike. 😉

    carrie – ah yes, i quickly grew out of my small folder as well. binders are so much easier, don’t you think?

    lori – i know that feeling all too well!

    laura – thank you! and DOH! i did that. thanks for letting me know about my oopsie!

    NBW – merci.

    m – i know it seems hard to believe, but i usually know just by looking at it. is that sad or what? i love your idea though!

  8. Val

    In my binder, I use sheet protectors for the larger coupons. I cut a little less than half the top off so they become like transparent envelopes with holes for the binder (I hope this makes sense…) That way I don’t have to leave any coupons at home!

  9. Me Again!

    I have recently started using a big binder like yours, it definitely helps me be more organised but when I take it with to the store I feel self conscious and awkward….do you ever feel this way and do you get people staring at you when you flip yours open?

  10. marsha

    Great binder i have one also but i find i have it stuffed full all the time, cant bear to leave the coupons home when shopping (just in case for the unadvertised sales) I left you an email about the home depots deal this week please check it out if you already know about it then great

  11. Theresa

    I have a small purse size folder. My husband will divorce me if I go into a store with a coupon binder. LOL!!

  12. Cassie Howard

    theresa – haha, my husband said something similar to me before i started using one. i told him he’d better get used to it, because i wasn’t going to back down. and now he loves all the free stuff i get, so he doesn’t complain about the binder. 😉

    marsha – i know, i always kick myself when i leave coupons at home and come across a great deal at the stores!

    me again – i know what you mean. i always felt awkward at first, but it is so much easier now. honestly, you just have to block out everyone around you. know that you are only doing this to save your family money. i feel sorry for the people that DON’T use coupons and pay full price for things!

    val – Great idea! They actually have sheet protector thing-a-ma-jigs at… Stapes?… they have 3 slots in them and they are PERFECT for storing larger coupon. A friend of mine gave me one and I love it. I have to go out and buy some more myself!

  13. Cassie Howard


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