Using a box to sort your coupons is a great way to handle a vast amount of coupons. And it's also a cheap way to do it because you can use something as simple as a shoebox and spend nothing on it. A fishing tackle box, toolbox, and even a sewing box will all work as well. If you have something hanging around collecting dust, it's a great way to put it to use.
Whatever you decide to use must be strong enough to hold a lot of coupons, especially if you plan on transporting it back and forth to the store each time you shop. Now that you have more room, you can also store your scissors in the box for quick finding. Remember, time is money!
Organizing Your Coupon Box
To organize the box you choose for coupons, you'll need some index card separators or cut-up cardboard to divide and label the coupon sections. You'll want to separate the coupons by type so you can sort them and find them easier. If you use cardboard, you'll just need a marker to write the categories you want to use. To begin, it's best to make a list of how you'd like to sort them. They can be in very general categories like cleaning products, pet food, canned goods, and condiments. Or you could break them down even more by dog food, cat food, canned vegetables, frozen vegetables, cookies, crackers, etc.—you get the picture. By making a box system, you have the control to make the categories however you see fit for your shopping trip. This is one advantage over using something premade.
Putting Together Your Coupon Box
Once you have your categories figured out, use a marker to label each divider with a category. Make sure you measure them to be a height appropriate for the box. You'll want to make sure the top of the divider is higher than the coupons so you can see them in a glance.
Once they are labeled, put them in an order that makes sense to you. This could be alphabetical order, order of aisles at your favorite stores, grouped by type, or whatever you like. As long as it makes sense to you, it will work. Customize it as much as you'd like to make it as easy as possible. Using coupons doesn't have to be hard, so don't make it complicated.
Be sure to keep up with clipping, sorting, and filing each week so you don't get behind. It's best to set aside time to clip and sort your coupons every week. Don't let them pile up or you'll never get to them. It's best to clip them as soon as you can and immediately sort them into your box using the dividers you set up with categories. Then, when you are looking for coupons, you know where to find them.
Don't forget about store coupons! It will be helpful to make a section for store coupons since you'll be collecting those as well. Easy access to them means they will get used. You can make one section for all store coupons or break them down by store. Again, whatever works for how you shop. Personalize it to your needs.
Some people like taking their entire coupon box to the store just in case they need something. If that works for you, great, but having all of your coupons with you may be confusing, especially at first. It's very easy to become frustrated while learning something new, so it's best to pull what you need beforehand. If you must take the box with you “just in case,” you can always keep it in the car. That way you will have access to it if necessary.