Filing Coupon Inserts– Go Hybrid

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I started couponing full out team binder. I quickly realized the binder method was way to time consuming. Upon switching to the file box method I didn’t know what to do with Internet printables or the couple coupons left when most of an insert had expired.   I also didn’t like not having some coupons with me when I shopped.  I played around with the methods for awhile till I ended up with a hybrid method that has really worked for me.

Coupon file box

I sort my inserts for my file box the “David way” that he shows you in this video.  Like pages are stapled together and the packet is put back together and filed by the Sunday date.  Before I file a set of inserts I will pull out coupons that are preferred brands or items we use regularly.   These will make it into my binder.  We are very short on space so I clean out my file box regularly.  If their are only a handful of unexpired coupons I will cut them and pull the rest of the insert out.

 Coupon binder

My beloved binder.. I tried a few different binders and by far my favorite is my case it z binder. It is da bomb dot com in my book. Some people prefer a regular binder however I like a binder that closes up so that if dropped I don’t end up with a bunch of coupons all over the floor. There are 2 sections in my binder. One or food and one for non food.  All Internet printables, misc loose coupons, cut coupons not used and preferred brands are filed here. I also have a section for store coupons and store dollars (rr, ecb, ups) and a copy of the stores coupon policy.

I use baseball card sheets and 4 pocket sheets in my binder.  Now here is the OCD moment you’ve all been waiting for.  I cannot stand to have multiple sheets in a catagory and be able to see the coupon behind it, so each section has a colored piect of paper blocking the next page from view.

Each section in my binder is broken down into catagories. These are very personal and vary greatly from one couponer to the next.  I have a friend that has the same binder but her sections are alphabetized by manufacturer. This part takes a little time to play with and see what works for you but here is a breakdown of mine.

Breakfast (frozen & boxed)
Food (Other)
Fruit & Vegetables (Frozen & Canned)
Granola Bars & Fruit Snacks
Pasta & Rice
Prepared Foods & Sides
Salty Snacks
Sweet Snacks
Tomato Items

Air Freshners/Candles
Cleaning Supplies
Cold, Allergy Medicine (oral)
Dishwashing & Laundry
Feminie Hygiene
First Aid
Hair Care
Non-Oral Meds
Oral Care
Paper Products
Shaving & Deodorant
Soap, Bodywash

There is no wrong way in filing your coupons.  Don’t be scared to switch it up and try different ways till you find what works for you.

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  1. The longer I coupon the less I spend time on my coupons think I am going to go David’s way during tax season when I will have zero time to spend on organizing

    • Once I started doing the majority in a file box there was no going back. Even with doing a mix of the 2 I don’t spend a whole lot of time like I was when I was just using the binder.

    • Oh…I also have the baseball card sleeves for the stores I shop. When I get their flyer, I pull the coupons I’ll be using & put them in the sleeves (in the order that I’ll be going down the store isles). It saves me more time. When I find the items with the coupons…I pull them out and put them in a “pencil case” in my binder. Those coupons I hand to the cashier.

  2. I love the hybrid method!! I started out with just the binder but found it too much as well. The file method left me feeling like I was missing something when I went to the store….so in comes the hybrid!!

  3. Gale Kelly says:

    I agree with Gina….. cutting all the coupons pre-Davids Way… was wasting time! Then I, too, went to the file method… but missed a lot of “unadvertised specials” that I use and were inexpensive… I went to the hybrid method and this works just fine for me! I sort the coupons… put them aside.. then while watching TV cut out the ones I know I will use… and insert them in the binder. The rest of the insert goes into my file box….. Success!

  4. Vicki Oliver says:

    I am a hybrid too. Although when it comes time to go through and find expired coupons, if my filed ones are looking pretty bare then I’ll just clip those and put them in my binder as well, making more room in the filing cabinet. It works for me but it might not work for you. I went and looked over my Smiths the other day, had my notebook with me, wrote down clearanced items and their price. came home found my coupons and will head out later today for some awesome savings.

  5. Ok, I use to do the binder method…and I plan on going back to it. I have the 9 pocket baseball card sleeves. All are divided by categories (frozen, beauty, canned, etc….you know). My biggest secret and tip is….I put the duplicate coupons in one sleeve, with the most recent expiration date up front. But…here it is: ta da…..I put a tiny piece of red colored construction paper in front of the ones that will expire within 15 days. That signals to me “warning”! The coupons that are to expire within 30 days (or that month)…I put a green piece of construction paper in front. So when I shop…I flip to the section I am shopping in…say the frozen meats…and I check the coupons that are to expire soon. Then I can see if I really need to use it.
    When the month ends…I go and pull the expired coupons. Then I redo the red/greed pieces for the next month. It sure helped me use those soon to expire coupons or throw them away quickly!

  6. Ive done all the methods and previously went back to binder but I think of going back to hybrid. Im hoping to get a desk and filing cabinet soon so Ill be able to get organzied better!

  7. I’m thinking hybrid is what I’ll be doing. I only really use certain coupons but if I can find things for cheap for other people I will. Right now my daughter isn’t feeling well, needs musinex but I tossed those coupons because I don’t use it.

    • Dawn I never get rid of any coupons till they expire for that exact reason. The only time I might is if I give them away to someone that is going to use them.

  8. Coupon Erin says:

    I just can’t make myself carry a binder. I had one but missed out on sales since I wouldn’t carry it with me. I had small according files & then went to David’s method, which I liked, but I live an hour away from any stores so I missed out on some deals. So now I am back to several small accordian files, which seems to work for me. I keep them all in my coupon purse. I really like to see how each of you file different & that it is ok to do your own thing. There is always room to make improvements.

    • I don’t always carry mine. If I’m doing a planned shopping trip I only bring my cut coupons and list. The only time I bring it with me is when I’m doing some on the fly shopping.

  9. Evelyn Hernandez says:

    I am going to use the red and green card warning me which coupons need to be used before expired.

    • It really works…and saves me time! Plus, I won’t overlook any coupons that are to expire soon…and may want to use!

  10. I started out with just the file box and my purse size coupon organizer. found myself digging through the coupons in the organizer (I carry a SMALL purse so couldn’t separate into categories very well). and I missed out on a lot of good deals on things I use. So in April I went to the file box/binder method. I only cut what we normally use and the rest stay in the file box for family members or trades or donations or whatever. Made it a lot easier and took a LOT less time than I did that first month or so!!

  11. Kathryn Slepicka Skokna says:

    I ordered a “case it” binder…I can’t wait until it comes! :) Right now I have an envelope system and sometimes my coupons do fall all over the floor and it’s awful. :(

  12. My hybrid is completely opposite. I keep my inserts in a binder with page protectors and my loose coupons in a file box. I print out the coupon preview every week and put it in front of the insert, so I can see at a glance what coupons are in there. The file box stays in the trunk of the car, the binder stays with me in the store.

  13. Really like the idea of printing the coupon preveiw for the front of the inserts. I never could figure out how to remember what was in each insert. :} Thanks for the great idea.

    • I had baseball sleeves for each store in the front of my binder. After those, I would have my coupons that were sorted by categories, in their sleeves. I would pull the coupons that were to be used on that particular shopping day. I would put those coupons in the “store” sleeve. The coupons were put in the order that I would go down the isles.
      I always took my binder with all of the cut and sorted coupons. I learned that if I didn’t bring my binder…I would always come across a clearenced or sale item…and miss out by not having my coupons with me. Those were the best deals. I always checked the clearence isles.

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