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Organize Your Coupons with a Coupon Binder
The more I have gotten into couponing over the years, the more filing space I needed to store them. I like being able to take all my coupons with me when I go shopping. I don't like trying to keep track of grocery ads, lists, coupon inserts and clipped coupons floating around my house. It wasn't so much that I didn't have a place for all this, but that my family would move things around or rifle through them looking for something. I needed a new system, something that would hold all of the things I needed to save my family the most money. I ended up with a large coupon binder and have loved it ever since.
It did cost some money to get this set up, and of course time. The 3-ring binder with an accordion file and zipper was about $12 at Wal-Mart. Add a couple of packs of baseball card holders, tabbed dividers and some regular page protectors and I spent almost $30 setting up my coupon system. I have to say though, that the ease of finding the exact coupon I need when I am at the store has saved me over $30 in the year that I have been doing this. Before it was too frustrating and time consuming to go through all my dairy and meat coupons trying to find the Yoplait Yogurt coupon that I thought I probably had (hoping it hadn't expired) while standing in the middle of the aisle, just so I could save $.40 on the yogurt I just found on sale. I would just not even bother to look for coupons.
The front of the binder has a zippered section that I keep the coupons I am planning on using on that trip in. If you open the flap there are spots for pens, pencils, scissors, and a calculator. Everything you need is right there. I needed something easy and I got it!
When I open the binder there is an accordion file in the front cover. In these I keep the current week's grocery ads, drugstore ads and coupon inserts that need clipped. In the 3-ring binder I have four regular page protectors in the front. One for each store I shop at. In these I keep coupons that are specific to those stores, ECBs for CVS, catalinas that have printed at registers and lists specific to those stores.
Next up is where I keep most of my coupons. I have tabbed dividers that separate the food, toiletry, medicine, paper products and cleaning supplies, and miscellanous coupons. Within each section are lots of baseball card page protectors. Each page protector has nine slots. I put all of a particular coupon in one slot. For example, all of my Campbell's soup coupons go in one slot. It does take some creative folding at times to make the coupons fit and I do make sure to trim them as concisely as possible when cutting. That being said some coupons just won't fit. In the back of each section I have regular page protector to put any coupons that won't fit in the card slots and/or coupons that I am planning on giving away or trading. I don't need diaper coupons anymore, but I clip them and give them to my sister or a friend.
This is the most concise, all inclusive coupon system that I have found. The coupons are held in something small and compact enough to not be a pain when shopping and it doesn't take up a bunch of room in the buggy. If I need to look for a coupon in the store I can open it and lay it flat across the front seat of the buggy while I quickly find what I need. Because my system is so organized it only takes a few seconds to flip to the meat pages and scan for the Hillshire farms coupons, for example. I wish I had known about this system from the beginning of my coupon journey.