Monday, July 5

Organizing Coupons: Binder Method

*You may have seen this post before as a guest post... but it's making a debut today on Savvy Sister Shops!

I’ll never forget the first time I spotted some Febreze candles on clearance at Walgreen’s for $1.59. Why is that such a memorable experience? Because I had $2 off Febreze candle coupons in my coupon binder! Wow, what a feeling to grab a clearance item for FREE and make a little money as well! The money made was used to pay for my other purchases that day.

Ever since then, I have been adamant about cutting all my coupons and carrying my coupons with me to the store. I know that it’s not the most attractive sight to see me carrying a huge binder with me whenever I shop. But, this binder PAYS for my groceries! It's like a small bank account that I carry with me! So I don’t worry about it what it might look like.

For a long time, I used a photo album for my coupons. This served me well for several months and I like the transparent larger pockets that allow me to insert the complete printable coupon without having to fold it.

When I began getting 5 copies of the Sunday paper, however, I made the transition from the photo album to a zippered 3-ring binder system.

I purchased my binder at Wal-mart for around $10. You may want to look for a binder with a strap (like a purse strap), especially if you have little ones. Just one less thing to juggle as you head to the store! I also bought the package of trading card holders (40-50 ct.) at Wal-mart for $5.77. I then disassembled my photo album and inserted those pages into my new coupon binder. I love it!

If you use this method, you will need to organize your coupons into categories. Do not sort by insert or by expiration date. Use the categories that work best for you. These are the categories that I use:

Produce (Salad dressings go here.)
*NEW! Sides: Rice, Beans, etc.

Energy bars/drinks
Feminine Hygiene
Misc. (Candles, batteries, etc.)
Eating Out

My categories are marked with homemade cardstock tabs and fastened with packing tape.

Because my coupons are cut and organized, I can easily find what I’m looking for at the store when I spot an item on sale or on clearance. I have been able to get FREE contact solution, hairspray, styling products, feminine pads, cereal, tomato paste, pasta, toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, and more with the coupons organized in my binder. My coupons pay for the things I need!

I also want to add that I cut all 5 coupon inserts received in my papers at the SAME time by stacking up matching inserts pages and cutting them like this:

This saves a lot of time! I also like to carry scissors and other membership cards in the pouch of my binder. When I’m shopping, I like to take the coupons out for the items in my cart and stash them in a safe place, like the front pocket of my purse. That way they are ready to go when I finally find my way to the checkout line!


Jen Nelson said...

Thanks for this! I just got my binder all put together! Now to start clipping a million coupons! Yay!

Heather said...

GO JEN! That's awesome- now the fun can begin, right?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for showing me how to organize my binder. (and the importance of doing so)

Heather said...

You're welcome. It's quite a bit of work getting it together, but it definitely PAYS off!