How I Made My Own Coupon Organizer

Tuesday, October 12, 2010
We clip coupons. I've never clipped coupons before, but with savings like this coming from coupons...
it's stupid not to continue to get those savings if you can! We don't usually shop at Kroger, though. Normally we go to HEB - there is a brand new one just outside our neighborhood so it's very convenient. Sometimes we do drive down to Kroger - but rarely.

So, like I said - we now clip coupons. I typically order my diapers from and found out I can mail my coupons for products in to them and they'll credit them to my orders, so that's where I really got started paying attention to the savings I get from using coupons. But now we always go through the paper and clip any coupons that we would use. It works great b/c it also serves as our shopping list. We go through our stack before we leave and only take out the ones of things we need to buy. We don't have coupons for everything of course, so for the rest I still have to make a list. 

So, the problem I've been having is where to keep all these coupons. In the past they've been piling up in one corner of the cabinet or stuffed in a drawer (loose) until we used them. Not good at all. Not organized and definitely not tidy. So, I decided to get a coupon caddy. I remember a purple one that mother used to have years ago - you can get them very cheap really. So, I started searching online to see what was available thinking I would just order a cheap $4 or $5 one - do you now how many coupon organizers are out there nowadays!?!?! It's ridiculous - and they aren't all cheap either. Some are very expensive, which is totally ironic!! LOL!

As I searched I found that a lot of people actually made their own - some pretty stylish ones are out there on, too. Now, I did like some of the handmade ones - I found several very pretty organizers, but I wanted something more functional and something that would meet my needs. 
  1. Small & compact
  2. Not Expensive!!
  3. A place to categorize my coupons
  4. A place to hold a pen
  5. Paper to write on/make grocery lists
I didn't find one in particular that really "called to me" and figured I could just use plain white envelopes or something - but then again where to keep the envelopes and they probably wouldn't last too long either.

I remembered I had an old Franklin Covey organizer in my desk at work. One of the 7 ring, 5x8'ish binders from back in the day. Does anyone still use these? I have a padfolio that I use in meetings, but no one really uses paper planners anymore. Oh I digress...

It was empty except for a few sheets of paper so I set off to create my ideal coupon organizer & I thought I would share it with you b/c I'm pretty happy with the end result!

So, here is the binder itself. Nothing too exciting. Already it meets the first two of my needs b/c it's cheap - it was free b/c I already had it!! And it's pretty small & compact!

The inside met the next couple of requirements - a place to hold my pen and a place to write. I guess when I stowed it away in my desk I removed everything except the lined note pages that hadn't been used. Sweet for my purposes today!

So, I designated two places on the paper - the right side for writing out my grocery list and the left side (in the margin) to check off if I have a coupon for that item. Easy!

Now for the actual coupon organization part. These binders usually have one or two clear zipper bags - I can't remember if this one did or not, but if it did they are gone now. So, my dilemma was to figure out something to use to hold the coupons. I actually went to the Franklin Covey site at first to see if I could order some zipper pages or something - but I really didn't like anything I saw. I figured I could get creative.

Now it isn't pretty (maybe I can let Emma decorate them with stickers), but here's what I did...I took manila folders & opened them up wide - then I cut the folder in half along the already scored fold in each one. It left me with two flat pieces of manila folder. I then folded each of those pieces in half so they were the same size as the paper in my binder. And then just folded down the front of each to make a flap.
(those are stickers all over the page divider btw)

I actually used double sided tape to create the pocket by lining the bottom and the sides and on the flap to keep it down, too. The folders already had little tabs at the top so I just used those to write out my categories and even wrote out some things on the newly created folder itself. Dry goods, Baby & Personal Items, Dairy, Cold or Frozen items, all I had to do was punch the appropriate holes in the folder & then put them in the binder in the order of my grocery store aisles. I did it that way b/c when I think about what I need from the store I picture the aisles to remember various items I might need.

So, that's it - very simple & not frilly, but very useful! Now when we go shopping I can go through each of the folders, pick out the coupons I want to use from each one and move them to the pocket built into the front cover of the binder so they'll be handy when I'm ready to check out. And it will be so much better to just put this binder away at home instead of hunting through a drawer for coupons.

All in all I was pretty proud of my ingenuity! :)