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Coffee with Collin: Coupon Organization Part 2

The links in the post below may be affiliate links. Read the full disclosure.

Today’s Coffee with Collin is all about my coupon binder. That’s right… today, you will get an exclusive look at my gigantic coupon binder! Plus, you’ll get lots of tips to make your very own binder!

On a side note, I had a great opportunity to visit with reader, Tambry, from Tennessee. Unfortunately, when I went back to edit the video, I discovered that it was really difficult to hear Tambry speaking. For this reason, I’ve decided to not include my conversation with Tambry in the video below. I’ve also decided to not continue with the reader conservations at this point. I am trying to think about another way to get you all involved, so stay tuned for some possible ideas.

Enjoy!

**If you can’t see the video, go here to watch it.

As you saw in the video above, my favorite coupon organization method is the three-ring binder with baseball card sleeves and clear plastic dividers. I prefer a standard three-ring binder versus the more expensive zippered binder. Although, I initially started out with a zippered binder, I was unable to zip the binder as my coupon stash expanded (which defeats the purpose). In addition, the binder was so bulky and very difficult to put in my purse. I arrange my coupons by category… you can also arrange them alphabetically.

Coupon Binder Supply List


* Heavy-Duty 3 Ring Binder
(keep in mind that Staples has all Avery Heavy-Duty View Binders at 50% Off with in-ad coupon this week)

* 4 sets of Plastic Dividers 8 count
(I highly encourage you to spend the extra money to get plastic instead of paper …it will be well worth it!)

* Baseball Card Sleeves to hold your coupons
(If you are a newbie couponer, you may only want to purchase 18-20 sleeves initially and then add more as your coupon supply grows)

* Scissors – Every couponer needs these! ;)
(Staples has the Westcott 8″ Recycled Scissors on sale for $2 with in-ad coupon this week)

Build Your Own Coupon Binder on Amazon.com:
(for those of you who would prefer to create a coupon binder from the comfort of your own home)

* Avery Durable View 3 Inch EZ-Turn Ring Binder $9.59 with FREE shipping with Amazon Prime
* Avery Style Edge Insertable Plastic Dividers 8-Tab Set $5.41 with FREE shipping with Amazon Prime
* 25 pack of baseball card sleeves $5.99 with FREE shipping with Amazon Prime
OR 100 pack of baseball card sleeves $13.75 with FREE shipping with Amazon Prime

Wondering what categories I use? Check out these FREE Hip2Save printables below to help you organize your own coupon binder…


* Hip2Save Coupon Binder Cover Sheet
* Avery Style Edge Plastic Dividers (item #11201): Page 1 and Page 2
* Avery Big Tab Insertable Plastic Dividers (item #11901 & 16282): Page 1 and Page 2

As I mentioned in this video, I highly encourage you to print off each store’s coupon policy and place it in your binder. Below are the direct links to the coupon policies of some of my favorite stores…

Rite Aid Coupon Policy
Target Coupon Policy
Walgreens Coupon Policy
Walmart Coupon Policy
* Please note that CVS does not have a coupon policy; however, check out my CVS Store Guide for lots of great tips!

If you are a newbie couponer,  start small. Instead of jumping into a binder (which can be very overwhelming), consider filling up an envelope with coupons. As you become more familiar with couponing and are determined to continue for the long term, then you may want to advance to the binder method or another organizational method of your choice.

Did you miss my past Coffee with Collin episodes?! If so, head on over here to check them all out.

A special thanks to GiftCardRescue.com for providing Tambry with a $50 Starbucks gift card! If you are in the market to buy, sell or exchange unwanted gift cards, be sure to check out GiftCardRescue.com.

Save a buck in these similar categories:

Spread the word on a great deal:

387 Hip Readers Commented

  • Lana says:

    If I use a binder for coupons, how do I know or keep track from which paper & date they came from?

    • Joy says:

      If you sort them by category you don’t necessarily need to know the date of the paper. you can just go directly to the category and pull that coupon out. Since the pockets are clear you don’t really need to keep track of which booklet they came out of.

      • Robyn says:

        Thank you so much. I organize by paper now and if you are looking for a specific product it’s hard flipping through your entire binder to find a coupon. I was wondering if the categories works better.

      • denise says:

        Dollar Tree has baseball card holders really nice & it does the job perfectly…its a 10 pack for $1 holds 90 coupons. so STOCK UP!!!! its a way better deal than 25 pack for $5.99…for $5.99 at dollar tree you get a 60 pack which will hold 540 coupons ;)

        • jimayra.garcia@yahoo.com says:

          tHANKS FOR THIS!!! I am a total newbie and am so proud of my binder. I went to Dollar Tree and got these so THANKS!!

    • Mary says:

      I have been keeping my coupons by date and source, for example RP 2/12 or SS 6/12. My problem now is that I need to clean out some of the older inserts but I am afraid of throwing away non-expired coupons. Any suggestions?

  • tara tolley says:

    Hi, i was just wondering, with all the coupons you have….how do you keep track of when they expire? Since you have SO many, and they are all organized it seems like it would be hard to keep track of that?

    • gmandpp says:

      I take a wide tipped marker (usually use red or blue) and write the expiration in big numbers on the coupon. This way I can spot the expiration date at just a glance.

      • Griselda says:

        I had found a great deal on some post it flags, and for every section I have, like lets say produce, I have a tab on each baseball card sheet and the number of the month on it. so for October I have 10 on it, November I have 11 on it, and for December I have 12 on it. So depending on the month that the coupon expires that’s what baseball sheet it goes in. And then when you get a coupon that expires say next year or a later date then those months I use a different color tab and put it right on that coupon in the last month of my section, currently is December so i just stick it right on there with the month and year it expires. This has made it so much easier keeping up with my coupons and making sure coupon’s never expire.

  • chriscasey1969 says:

    Hi Collin, Im just begining again. I use to do this years ago. I found the plastic dividers at Staples for 3.99 8-pak on sale. I got my baseball sleeves for 8 cents each. How do you keep track of the expireation dates you have so many? Safeway doesnt double coupons in Wa.

  • Lulu says:

    Hi Collin! Thanks for the video, I’m starting to make my coupon binder but I had one question. Do you put one coupon type per pocket or alphabetize them per pocket?

  • Cyndella says:

    Is there a video explaining what the coupon policies mean in more detail? If not do you have plans to make one?

    • Kayla says:

      Hip2Save on Youtube – Collin has updated a Coupon Newbie Video. They’re 3 parts to the video, and I found this very helpful :) Good luck!! :)

  • Chris says:

    Love, love, love your site!! I just completed my own binder and found that once that was done, the rest of the work comes easily. One problem I had with my binder was things I had inserted into the front inside covers tried to slip out in all of my transporting. I found a great solution: I used velcro strips…one near the top and one near the bottom and pulled strips from the front to the back as tightly as needed. The tightness would change depending on the volume. It works great!!

    • Pam McConnell says:

      Chris, that sounds like the problem I have with my coupons. Would you be able to take a picture of your velcro solution as I can’t quite visualize the fix. Thanks in advance!

  • Nikki says:

    I love this site! I am a college student and I’m trying to coupon with a lot of success. I am having 2 issues: 1) I feel as though I am spending a lot of time on this, how can I reduce my time, but also get everything that I need? 2) I have this idea stuck in my head, I want to extreme coupon like the show that I saw on tv. Give it to me straight, is that a possibility or are these rare cases???

    • Ella says:

      Nikki, My husband and I have started to save coupons a while back and would use them here and there. The other night we were out of town and it so happened that the grocery store had a big sale going on. To make a long story short, we went big for the first time. Scary, yes! We divided a few things from our regular groceries in order to get some things free. Otherwise we took the evening and just walked through the store and checked everything on sale. We also used their flyers and in store coupons, such as milk was $2.39 with coupon instead of almost $4.00. Any how we checked everything out and used our coupons. Some coupons were doubled. We had a little over $200 in groceries and by the time we finished it cost us $139. Our niece does this all the time and she usually saves $20 and is happy. We used our saver card and then the coupons. We also want to be extreme couponers. Take your time, check your papers for coupons and go on websites for coupons. They are really worth it. I wish you the best of luck with your adventure. Just keep trying, it does get easier.

    • April says:

      There are a lot of people who have good success with coupons and saving big bucks, I think if you work at it, it is very attainable to save a good bit of cash. However, the TV show is fake. There are a growing number of retailers who are refusing to participate in the show because of the counterfeit coupons used and counterfeit couponing is a huge issue the FBI is having to deal with more and more.

  • onebruinfan says:

    I just absolutely love your site! Thank you for all the research you do, Collin. I would like to share my organizational skills. I have let some valuable coupons expire due to their odd expiration dates so now I file by week, then by the aisles of my favorite supermarket. Now my coupons do not expire before I’ve had a chance to use them.

  • owls_for_olivia says:

    Thank you so much for your site! I am newbie couponer, and though I don’t want to be an “extreme” couponer, I do want to save as much as I can! I was thinking about getting a small photo album from the Dollar Store. Do you, or any of you lovely readers, think this would work well? Also, any tips you guys may have are much appreciated. Thanks!

    • Desire says:

      I used several small photo albums organized by category in a small storage box with lid for my first coupon “system”. It worked well for me until I outgrew and graduated to the binder;). Pros: coupons are easy to see, lots of space for large coupons, easy to take just one category with you if that’s all you need (just BABY items if you are only buying diapers, etc.) Cons: awkward to take whole box into store if you need multiple categories, have to add more albums as your stash grows. HTH!

      • Kim says:

        I agree…i started with having them alphabatized in a cloth case and that would work but my gosh did that take a LOT of time. I have also graduated to the binder and now kick myself for not doing it sooner. When you’re unsure if you have a coupon for the product it is so easy to flip to the section and check. It did take me a lot of time to get the binder together but has been smooth sailing since then.

  • misst2302 says:

    Ok so I started “really” couponing about three months ago. I was told about this site from a friend, and now I am a “Hip2Save Junkie”! I can’t start my day without checking to see all the new post. I have my own binder with baseball card sleeves just like you Collin. But being a neat freak and needing everything organized, I created a spreadsheet in Excel to list my coupons on. I still have my catergories (food, hba, pets, etc.) that I have color coded, but I have my coupons listed in ABC order for each catergory (for easy referrence) and for each coupon I have a column for amount, size restrictions (if any), exp. date, the number of each coupon I have (in case I have more than one of a certain coupon), and the pocket number it is in (as my pockets are numbered in the specific color of that category). Then I just print it out, three hole punch it and put in front of my binder. After I go shopping or get new coupons, I just open it on my computer, update it, print it out again and away I go. This works for me cause when I go shopping or am checking your site, I just pull out my list and look to see if I have a coupon for that. Took time to create, but now couponing is as easy as 123!

  • Nata says:

    If coupons get expired, where I should send them? Please give me an address.

    • Jen says:

      Hi Nata!
      I’m unsure if Collin has a place to send expired coupons but I’ve set them to this address:
      K.C.L Overseas Coupon Program
      Amanda Brumbaugh
      10960 W. Bridgetower Dr.
      Boise ID 83709

      You need to separate them by food and non food in baggies (they explain it all on the Krazy Coupon Lady site). Military families can use coupons in commmisaries up to 6 months expired.
      Good Luck!

  • debwaid61 says:

    Hi! I’m new to couponing like this! Where do I download the list of categories that Collin talks about in the video.

  • Jessica says:

    I have so been stressing myself out about organizing my coupons! I watched your video and I feel so much better. A few questions to be answered please. I would assume you make a list of what you are shopping for, where do you take your coupons out of the sleeve and place somewhere else once you know you are buying the product? Also, your tab of store coupons, is that all store coupons? (i.e.- Wags RR, CVS-ecbs, and in ad coupons). Do you cut out all the coupons in your coupon inserts and file them in your binder? I always feel like I fumble around in the insert and it takes me forever. I always feel like I am in a rush when i am shopping whether it be on a lunch break or when I am out running errands. I think if I am organized, I’ll feel better about it. This sounds crazy, but even if you have a few things to pick up at say CVS, do you bring your binder in with you or do you bring just your coupons in? Thanks Collin for all that you do for all of us! You save me plenty of moolah! :)

    • TARRIBEAR says:

      I am new to the binder thing, just started because I am like you always fumbling around looking through the inserts and hoping this is better. In answer to your last question- I usually take all my coupons into every store I can use them at because I never know if I will find a good deal and wished I had my coupons with me.

  • Heather says:

    I am a newbie and have just finished (finally!) my binder and I have figured out that the baseball card holders are great to write on with a dry erase marker if you need to underline exp. dates or just to mark different categories under a divider tab. We are military and some of my coupons are only able to be used on the base so I mark on the baseball card slot that they are “base only”. The markings can easily be erased as needed and it has really come in handy at the store! Instead of having 60 different sections in my binder, I can combine some and just write on the sleeves. Hope this helps someone!

  • Don says:

    Hi Collin,
    I clicked on your direct link to Target’s coupon policy. What I got was the forrest, but couldn’t find the tree. What’s up?
    Don

  • OKKiddo says:

    Do you use one of the baseball card inserts to store all of your store cards/rewards cards? My wallet just doesn’t have the room to hold all of those different cards.

  • handdancer says:

    In your video you showed your purse that your binder fits in. Can you tell me where you got it. Thanks!

  • shanna_saves says:

    Thanks for the tips! I ahve mine in envelopes and its a hassle to find the ones I am looking for when I need them.

    • noelle says:

      LOL…I have mine in envelopes too! It makes using them frustrating and difficult. We are going to try putting together a binder this weekend. Thanks for all you do!

  • shanna_saves says:

    Sorry meant to say “have”

  • garifrog says:

    I was wondering what you do with the coupons that are too wide or very long? folding them sometimes does not work very well .

  • Bethany says:

    For those of you who don’t get a Sunday for whatever reason, you might want to check with friends or neighbors to see if they do. I have a neighbor who does get the Sunday paper but doesn’t care about the coupons. She is kind enough to put them in my mailbox every single week. I also subscribe to All You magazine and do a lot of online printables and have a good amount of coupons as a result. Hope this helps someone. :)

  • edy says:

    I had a plastic box years ago from rubbermaid made for cpns can’t find another one but I have the baseball cards and the folder with all my cpns and love to shop with cpns done it for 17 years great website here love to see what. Everybody its getting!!!

  • Lavendahlia says:

    The Rite-Aid link doesn’t work. :(

  • jess says:

    coupon binder cover shee will not print! Thanks

  • Nicole R says:

    I am looking for a coupon binder that zips up and has four inch rings. I know case-it use to have one, but amazon is completely out and it won’t seem to order on their website. I have tried looking for a 1-800 number to call and talk to them about it and have not had any luck. If anyone knows of another binder that is this size and zips or has a phone number for case it I would greatly appreciate it!

  • Smarty1128 says:

    Collin sometime before black Friday do you go to the stores and ask if they have a list of the deals they will have on that day

  • Smarty1128 says:

    The baseball holder things and photo holders are SO expensive!! Please let me know if there is a coupon for them.

  • Lovingcoupons says:

    Im sorry to ask people I know people prob here this a lot but My husband just resently lost his job a 2 mths before he lost it he got really sick and was admitted into the hospital. We have 5 kids I am able not to work for other medical reasons.. Sp if anyone is willing to help me how to do this and is willing to donate there coupons they are not going to use would be really appreciated. Thank you and god-bless :) AND iM REALLY SORRY TO ASK THANK U COUPON PALS

    • Emily T says:

      If you post and ad on craigslist for sunday papers. I’ve gotten alot of free coupons from people who dont need them or care about them.

  • Karen says:

    I need help with time management in order to maintain order to my coupon binder any suggestions please reply

  • Karen says:

    any suggestions about time management welcome!

  • lnewsome says:

    Can you use your food stamp card and coupons togather????

    • dakarimom says:

      Yes, you can…i have been doing it for a few months now..

      • Adael says:

        If you have to pay sales tax on your food items in your state (SC), you may have to pay the tax on the value of the coupon. I was visiting in SC, and tried to use a coupon with my NY card, which was fine, the problem was I had NO money (my husband had it with him, he was fishing, lol). It was only like 8 cents, but I was so embarrassed! The person in line behind me was very nice and paid it for me.

  • Rosa R. says:

    Do you have a list of the categories you use? I can’t seem to get the links to work.

  • Was needing 2 upgrade my binder and had no idea where i’d need to start!!! This site is the Bee’s Knee’s o coupons organizing!!!

  • Jennifer says:

    I’m having a hard time viewing the organizing list of categories…when I click the link I just get a dark green page with no pictures or text?

  • Plumaria says:

    Im new to this site also. But for alot of my organizational needs I go to http://www.gtmstores.com if you live in San Diego County, there are two locations in Lemon Grove & Santee. Great prices especially when they have 25% (u can use on two high priced item) & 30% on item once a month.

    A note to Collin: Thank you for updating & taking your time to show, I’ve saved a lot since I’ve been on your site.

  • Plumaria says:

    Another question. if i wanted to asked questions on random things, where do I post them? Ex: I just owned a new Epson Artisan 837 & my ink is running out. I used to buy refill inks at this place & they don’t have it for this new printer of mine. Does anyone know a pretty cheap place for ink or direct me somehow via link/store? I live in National City CA

  • Abigail says:

    Where can you get all of your coupons from?

  • Tracy Johnson says:

    Since my plastic accordion folder is about to burst at the seams I guess it’s time for me to graduate to a binder. I printed your tab templates and ordered from Amazon as you suggested. Those really were the best prices. I can’t wait for my “tools” to get here!
    Thank you Collin you really made this very easy.

  • Tracy Johnson says:

    I’m putting my binder together today… I feel like a child with a new toy! Silly but true.

  • SUe says:

    Collin, I finally switched to a binder and was surprised as to how much easier it was to use. I used to use a file box and searching for coupons in the store was time consuming. Thanks for the great idea!

  • Whitney says:

    Hi Collin … I’ve been a Hip2Save reader for while and have recently realized that I need to graduate from my little accordian coupon holder to a binder. My question, after reading this entry and watching your great video, is this: Is it an obstacle at all for you that the baseball card sheets extend out past the Avery Style Edge divider tabs (that I actually had already chosen for my binder as well since I liked their size, shape, and colors)? I think it might hinder the ease of flipping through the categories but would love your input. Thank you!!!

  • Jo Thompson says:

    Hey! Just wanted to toss out a heads up. If there is a Dollar Tree near you, you can get a 10 pack of baseball card holders for a buck! Just thought I’d share. I can’t say what the quality is, but…. yeah :)

  • freebies says:

    I’m not positive where you’re getting your information, but great topic.

    I needs to spend a while finding out more or figuring out more.
    Thanks for excellent information I was looking for this info for my
    mission.

  • Brittany says:

    I just set up my very first coupon binder yesterday, and was super excited to try it out in the store. I realized pretty quickly that my categories are going to have to be rearranged, but overall, it wasn’t bad. Until I got to the checkout. Walmart has changed their coupon policy (at least the one here has) and they can’t type in coupons anymore. If it doesn’t scan, they won’t take it! Unfortunately for me, none of the IP coupons that I had folded to fit into the baseball card slots would scan…

  • glenncof says:

    I don’t use coupon binders…tried but too much work. I won’t clip anything I don’t really expect to use. I usually have 25-40+ inserts a week.

    I use ad hoc evelope system, a visual just-in-time method driven buy weekly matchups. Yea, gotta’ remeber where you put things once clipped but unused. I write out deal sheet for store pre-week and gather q’s before week starts.

    Once week is over the folded deal sheet with q’s inside moves to another envelop holding past several weeks, deal re-occure often.

  • Alec says:

    misst2302, could I get a copy of your spreadsheet too, sounds great.
    sandyandaj@gmail.com.
    Many Thanks.

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  • Venessa says:

    This was a great video to watch. I love the way that Collin explained everything in detail one by one. How good is that? Looks like I got some more organizing to do in my coupon binder.

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