Scissors – you need one pair of quality scissors to use at home, that will cut through more than one piece of newsprint or thicker paper without struggle. You also want to have a pair of smaller (kid sized, but not necessarily “safety”) scissors to carry in your coupon bag/binder so that you have them in the store to cut coupons that you might find in the ad or on the shelf. I keep mine in my small zippered pouch.
Calculator – you can use the one on your smartphone, but it is also good to have one of those small calculators in your bag so that you don’t have to worry about trying to figure out a deal and getting a phone call. You don’t need anything fancy, just plus, minus, multiple and divide functions.
Binder with clear inserts or Accordion Filer – it’s a preference thing, but a binder does allow you to see more of your coupons without having to pull them out of the section in a filer. You can use baseball card holders, currency holders and sheet protectors to organize your coupons by size. Whichever you select is up to you, but you have got to have something more than a plastic baggie full of coupons.
Small zippered pouch – when you are going to be doing some price-checking, or you have multiple transactions planned out, it’s good to have these coupons in a small zippered pouch so that they are easily accessible. It’s also a good place to keep coupons that you need to use before they expire, or will use frequently (like meat coupons that you will be checking prices on every trip you make to the grocer).
Paperclips – when you are doing a shopping trip with multiple transactions, you should divide your coupons into stacks and then paperclip them together for easy sorting. If you are going to be shopping at more than one store, you might want to use a binder clip to group by store.
Notepad – you will be making lots of lists, to make sure that you are getting the deals that you want, so it’s smart to have a notepad in your coupon bag. You may also want to make notes while in the store if you get an unexpected Catalina or you see preview of a deal.
Shoulder Bag or Zippered Binder – you want something to “contain” your couponing paraphernalia and allows for easy carrying in and out of the store, either a zippered binder or a shoulder bag with a zipper. This will help keep your coupons safe from the weather as well as from going everywhere if your binder gets knocked over.