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How to Organize a Coupon File

Keep your coupons organized with a coupon file! Here's a list of categories so you an easily find your coupons.

Whether you’re a newbie or veteran couponer, we all need a place to store our coupons and keep them organized. I’ve been there; I’ve kept stacks of coupons laying around with no home, and it gets overwhelming! Today I’m going to show you how to organize a coupon file, which is my method of choice for holding my coupons. You can use a binder, envelopes, whatever works for you. These categories will work for any coupon organizer!

Keep your coupons organized with a coupon file! Here's a list of categories so you an easily find your coupons.

I chose a small file folder because I wanted something I could stick in my purse and easily carry with me while toting a toddler around. I found this one at Meijer on clearance for like 3 dollars but you can easily find them at the dollar store, too. The more sections it has, the better, but learn to work with what you have. Mine has 12 separate sections, with an extra space in the back, so I’ve had to do some tweaking to make it work for me, to make sure I had the right categories and that I’d be able to find my coupons when the time came. Below are the categories I have and the items included; yours may look different, but use this as a guideline!


  • Soda
  • Juice
  • Crystal Light and other powdered drink mixes
  • Coffee
  • Other


  • Holiday candy
  • Generic candy
  • Gum
  • Crackers
  • Cookies
  • Pretzels/Chips
  • Pudding
  • Nuts
  • Cakes/Doughnuts
  • Other


  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Baking chips
  • Yeast
  • Cake/cookie mixes
  • Frosting
  • Spices
  • Canned milk
  • Oil/cooking spray
  • Other


  • Milk/Non-dairy milk
  • Eggs
  • Cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Butter
  • Bacon
  • Pepperoni
  • Sausage
  • Ground beef/turkey
  • Other


  • Sandwich bread
  • Rolls
  • English muffins
  • Bagels
  • Buns
  • Tortillas
  • Other

Pasta/Boxed Food

  • Boxed pasta
  • Helper meals (Hamburger Helper)
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Pancake mix
  • Instant potatoes
  • Stuffing
  • Bread crumbs
  • Other

Canned/Jarred Food

  • Canned vegetables/tomatoes
  • Canned fruit
  • Canned meat
  • Canned beans
  • Soup/broth
  • Salsa
  • Pasta sauce
  • Other

Frozen Food

  • Pizza
  • Ice cream
  • Frozen meat
  • Frozen vegetables/fruit
  • Frozen dinners
  • Breads (Garlic bread, rolls)
  • Breakfast
  • Other


  • Fresh fruit/vegetables


  • Baby items
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Candles
  • Trash bags
  • Office supplies
  • Kitchen supplies (Zipper bags, foil)
  • Laundry supplies (Detergent, fabric softener, bleach)
  • Paper goods (Toilet paper, paper towels, napkins, plates, cups, plasticware)
  • Other


  • Dental care (Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, mouthwash)
  • Beauty care (Deodorant, shaving cream, razors,  shampoo, makeup, lotion, soap
  • Feminine products
  • Pain relievers
  • Cough/cold medicine
  • Other


  • Restaurant coupons
  • Store coupons
  • Catalina offers
  • Other

If you wanted to, depending on the size of your file and what your needs are, you can add more categories to break these down even further, like:

  • Baby
  • Cleaning Supplies
  • Paper Goods
  • Beauty items
  • Laundry
  • Organic

Because of the size of my file, I think what I have above works best for me. I actually separated my original “Dry Goods” section into “Pasta/Boxed food” and “Jarred/Canned food” because just the one section was getting overwhelmed with ALL the extra grocery coupons that I just lumped into the one part. I also had separate sections for “Paper Goods”, “Cleaning Supplies”, and “Baby”, but I don’t have a baby anymore and I just didn’t have enough coupons to fill the others, so I combined them all into one section. Also, make sure you have an empty spot, either at the front or the back, for the coupons you’ll be using in that day’s shopping trip. That way it’s all in one easy spot for you to grab at checkout and the cashiers will love you for being prepared.

Now you should have a fully functioning coupon file to use on your next trip! Check out my post on where to find coupons to fill your file and prepare for your next trip! I’m also curious to know how you organize your coupons; please leave me a comment so we can share ideas!


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