Coupons here, coupons there, coupons, coupons everywhere! Yes, once you start collecting coupons from the paper, printing them online at couponers.com and trading with your friends and family, your coupons can start to become overwhelming! It’s a good idea to begin organizing your coupons right from the start. One method of choice is the coupon binder. Yes, you could order a fancy coupon binder online, or you could take the economical route (always my choice!) and make one yourself. The beauty of the binder method is that you can customize it for what works for YOU! Remember, if the organization method doesn’t work for YOU, you won’t use your coupons.
Of course during back-to-school time is the best time to load up on binders and school supplies, but you can still find good deals on binders down the clearance isle at your local discount store. Sometimes office supply stores, like Office Max or Staples, will have binders on sale for just a few dollars. My binder is a three-ring, two-inch binder, with pockets in the front and back. My coupon binder is organized into three basic sections. You will also need to purchase some clear page protectors and baseball card or photo organizer pages, whichever size you prefer. You can usually find those at your local dollar store.
In the front pocket of the binder, I have my preprinted grocery list and some post-its. I also purchased some clear stick on pockets at my local teacher supply store. I have one stuck on the inside cover of my binder. As I place an item into my cart, I move the coupon into the clear pocket. When I am ready to check out, my coupons are all ready to go in that front pocket. In the front section of my binder, I have three baseball card organizer pages to hold “hot” coupons that I want to use next time I go to the store.
Next, I have a separate clear page protector for each of my favorite stores. Mine are: Kroger, Meijer, Kmart, Michaels, JoAnn Fabrics, Target, Restaurants, Other. I place the weekly sale ad in the appropriate page protector. On the front of the page protector, I have a clear “pocket” file attached to hold coupons I want to use at that specific store. I like to keep the weekly sale ads from the Sunday paper so I can look at them later in the week if I need to. So, they get filed in my binder for quick reference. In my “Other” page protector I keep coupons from my local Christian bookstore, Bath & Body Works, etc. Restaurant coupons go in, yep, you guessed it, the “Restaurant” page protector. No more digging around for that Chick-fil-A coupon. You know right where to find it when you need it!
In the third section, I have five subsections: Cold, frozen, pantry, health/beauty, and paper/cleaning. You may want to divide your coupon sections up differently, or you may want to add a baby or pet section. Again, whatever works for you! In each section, I place five to ten baseball or photo organizer pages. I file each coupon in the appropriate section. Each section tab has a pocket that I can place coupons that are waiting to be sorted.
I have a separate tote bag that I keep my coupon binder in. Inside the tote, are a few pockets to keep pens, paper, scissors, a calculator, my keys, phone and my small wallet. I never take my purse in when I go shopping. I find that keeping up with couponing and kids takes my focus off guarding my purse. I keep my coupon tote/binder in my van at all times so I always have my coupons with me for unexpected shopping trips. Also, while I am sitting in the van waiting on the kids to get out of school, I can spend a few minutes clipping or organizing my coupons.
I hope these tips help you enjoy a simple way to organize your coupons and sale ads. Make sure to leave me a comment to share your coupon binder tips. I look forward to hearing from you!