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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

My Coupon Organizer

As promised, here is a look at how I organize my coupons. I use a combination of methods. Kinda. Each week I flip through the Sunday inserts and clip out coupons for brands that I know we love and coupons that I think will make a good deal and file them away in my binder. I don't clip every single coupon. I still save the inserts and label them by date. That way if I missed a coupon that makes a good deal, I can come back and get it.

I like the binder because it gives me a place to store my coupons, printables and booklets. It also has plenty of room so that I can see each and every coupon clearly. For a long time, I used an accordion file but it was bursting at the seams and coupons were getting over looked so I made the switch.

Here's how I made my binder

Supplies: 1.5" binder, baseball card holders, alphabet tabs, pocket folders. These supplies cost me about $30. I was in a hurry but I would suggesting waiting for these items to go on sale or using a store coupon (i.e. $5 off $25 purchase at Office Max).
Assembly: Because the binder gave me more room, I decided to organize my coupons in ABC order by brand (i.e. Oreos) rather than by general category (i.e. cookies). Each letter received 2 sheets of baseball card holders. In the back, I put in the pocket folders and labeled them for each store. This is where I store booklets, and store-specific coupons. In the very front of my binder I put a velcro-closing folder and this is where I store my list, a pen and scissors.

Using the binder: The ABC method worked out great and made so much more sense to me. Coupons were now easy to find and clearly displayed. However, I did take issue with the fact that I had to FOLD my coupons to make them fit in the little pockets. On the flip side, I love being able to have a large amount of coupons with me because I can match them up to unadvertised deals. The binder does attract some attention from other shoppers but, in light of how much I'm saving, I could care less who stares. Sometimes, they ask questions and I'm able to share my money-saving passion with them.

A few problems: I was able to get over the folding issue but I was having trouble getting my binder to the store. It was big and bulky and, well, just plain ugly. I wasn't used bringing something extra with me since my previous accordion file was small enough to fit in my purse. There were a couple of occasions where I actually forgot my coupons at home (gasp!).

Come back tomorrow and I'll tell you how I solved all of those complications with 1 simple product.

What coupon organization method do you use?



Emily said...

Since I've only been couponing for a few months, I am still using the accordian file method- but you're right, I now have 3 large files and 2 small ones and its getting a little ridiculous.
I just don't want to take the time to cut all my coupons on Sundays! But, I'm afraid I may have to switch soon!

Staci said...

Emily, I thought the same thing about having to clip every single one. So, I don't. I may clip a few more than I did in the past (since I have more room) but still not every single one. I still save my inserts just in case but I use my binder as a catch all for my printed Qs, booklets, home mailers, ect. Let me know how you like it if you make the switch.