How to Save Money » Coupons

What to do with all those coupons: To clip or not to clip?

To Clip or Not To Clip?
If you’re an avid couponer, you know that coupons are not hard to come by. You find them all over the place, and after a while, you have a massive pile that is taking up residence on your desk, your dining room table, or even the floor.

It’s an overwhelming feeling when you think “it’s going to take me forever to clip all of those”. The sad truth is that it actually does take forever to clip a huge mountain of coupons.

So that’s why I’ve decided to stop clipping them.

Clip what you will use

Instead of clipping every single coupon that you find in coupon inserts and receive from online coupon websites, just clip the coupons that you know you will use for sure.

For me, this is all of my high-value coupons that will usually get me free or very cheap items. For you, your family might go through a lot of bread, so you will clip all of your bread coupons. Which coupons you clip depends on you and your family. Just because someone else is clipping coupons for cream cheese, if you don’t use the stuff, don’t bother clipping those coupons.

So, what do you do with all of the coupons that you have chosen not to clip?

I store all of my extras in a large file box in my office. That way, if there happens to be a great sale or promotion – something that makes certain items very cheap or free – I still have the coupons. They just aren’t taking up valuable real estate in my coupon binder.

Clip them all

If you have the time, you may want to clip every single coupon that comes your way. It is great to be able to have all of your coupons in one place (usually something portable, like a coupon binder, so that you can bring it with you when you go shopping) – you will always know where to find them!

If you do wish to clip all of your coupons, I would suggest having some sort of clipping routine, to make things easier. This is my coupon clipping routine:

1. Clip all of your coupons as you receive them. I usually get coupons every day or two in my mailbox and then once every few weeks in the newspaper. By clipping those coupons on the day they arrive, I save myself the headache of having to clip every single one of them in a single day. 20 minutes a day is better than an hour or two once a week, in my opinion.

2. Designate one day per week to organize your coupons. Notice I said to organize and not clip. Your clipping should be done as you receive your coupons, if possible. On your organizing day, you should go through your pile of coupons that you’ve clipped, separate them by category (or however you normally file your coupons), and then file them away.

I like to clip my coupons while I’m watching TV, but there are other ways to sneak in coupon clipping time.

Do you clip all of your coupons or just the ones you know you will use?


  1. Eeyah

    Invest in a cutter, it makes things to MUCH faster. I picked one up online from Staples for $5 exactly like this:
    I LOVE it, I can zip through 6 pages from a Brandsaver like nuthin’, and 2-3 sheets. I used to spend hours clipping, but this is my new “bestie” and my hands don’t cramp up 🙂

  2. Jen

    I clip: 1) The ones I will use 2) One or two of a product I MIGHT use, but only if I find it on sale. I don’t bother clipping coupons for items my family will not use (pet food etc). I used to clip everything, but when I realized I was throwing out a ton of coupons around their expiration date (which is depressing), I decided to tone it down a bit.

  3. cheryl

    I clip everything … i don’t know how many times I have thought I would never use a particular coupon and then ‘the deal’ comes up and I am at the store redeeming the long forgotten coupon .. have got some amazing deals this way .. i’m sure you have to!

  4. Kelly

    I clip everything. I do it Thursday nights while watching Grey’s anatomy and my weeks of DVRed shows. I have two files, one’s I use and One for coupons I use for trades. The one’s I use are in accordian 3 files, these come with me to the store, the other stays in my desk, in case I do a trade or a coupon train. I find it doesn’t take too long and then I go through the flyers and get my weeks meal plan and shopping ready to go by putting the coupons I’m using for each store in an envelope for that store (I save mail envelopes for this, perfect to keep the coupons in and write my list on), and I’m ready to go for the week. I bring my accordian file with me ‘just in case” you find that amazing unplanned deal!

  5. Joe

    I read the online Globe and Mail article that featured you in the story about couponing. Congratulations and I hope this brings more traffic to your site. You have taught me a lot over the past year.

    • Cassie Howard

      Joe – Thank you so much, that means alot to me. 🙂
      Kelly – GRAYS!! <3 Your system sounds super easy and organized, I love it!
      Cheryl – Oh, I totally hear ya! I've found unadvertised deals that end up being freebies with coupons I never thought I'd use! I just don't clip coupons for things like hearing aid batteries, $1 depends, etc.
      Jen – Those are the ones I clip as well. I always had a ton of expired coupons to throw out too, so I also decided to tone it down and it's been working wonderfully!
      Eeyah – Great idea! I really need to get one of those myself. My hand is always cramping by the end of of a clipping session if I let my coupons build up for too long.

  6. Tiffany

    Wow you were in the Gloe & Mail!? I am going to go trya dn find the artical as soon as I’m done!

    but I do both

    I clip about 4-6 complete books (4 if its the P&G coz there limit) and then I keep a stack of books which i will go clip what i need out of them if i need more.

  7. Laura

    I found you through the Globe and Mail article.

    Like Jen, I do not clip coupons for items I will not use.

    I organize my coupons in an accordion folder by month of expiry and keep the ones that I will use for regular purchases at the front.

    I think I will take a page from Kelly’s book and use old envelopes for grocery lists and tuck the coupons inside and then bring my folder of coupons “just in case”. I used to do this but fell out of the habit.

    • Cassie Howard

      Laura – Organizing by expiry is a good way to do it! Then you never have coupons that you forget to use!

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