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For those of us who use coupons religiously we know it is important to keep them organized and easy to find. The easier they are to find the more money you can save! If you are new to couponing or been doing to for a while and just haven't set up a coupon binder the thought can be overwhelming of trying to figure out where to even start. Here to an easy to follow guide!
First you want to locate a good binder to use. I recommend a binder that zips closed because your coupons won't fall out. I found a good 5-star one at Wal-Mart. You also want to make sure you have a pen, a pair of scissors and I also keep a hand held calculator in there too. I found one at the dollar store. Some people also find it helpful to have a dry erase marker too.
Once you have your binder you need the pages to fill it. I recommend getting them at baseball card pages. She has all kinds of pages from the traditional 9 slot to 3 slots that are good for huge coupons. The 6 slot ones good for printed coupons and more! You can also buy a premade binder from her or buy the pages separate like I did and make your own. You can also use baseball card pages.
You want to start with either the 9 Packet Coupon Holder Page or the 8 Pocket Coupon Holder Page. These are the main pages you will use to hold coupons. I recommend The Slash Pocket Dividers to divide your categories in your binder. This way you have a pocket to hold any misc. stuff.
Next I suggest getting 2 of the 6 Pocket Coupon Holder Page for each section you have that way you have a spot to put your internet printed coupons. (Make sure you are taking advantage of those). At the beginning of my binder I have a few 3 Pocket (Photo Style) these are great to put coupons you have pulled for the store. There is a section for both coupons you are using and ones you need to re-file. Don't forget the 3 Pocket (Long) to hold those extra big coupons you find in Magazines like All You.
Now if you buy some of baseball card pages she will include a guide on how to get started, a whole list of binder tabs. You can organize you binder any way you want, some do it by expiration date, ABC order and even by isle in their grocery stores. I have mine organized by category, Grocery, Cereal/breakfast items, canned goods, snacks, baking isle, refrigerated, frozen, pet, baby, paper products, medicine, household items (cleaning ect), toiletries and misc. Then I have my store I frequent to hold my rain checks and store only coupons. I have one for CVS, Rite Aid and Giant Eagle (there is no Walgreens in my area) I also have a section for gift cards, restaurant coupons, retail store coupons (like target) and a section for rebates.
As you put together your binder add the pages to your categories as you need them. Make sure the value of the coupon AND the expiration date are visible this makes it easy to see your coupons and take out any expired ones. When you buy pages from baseball card pages she give you a download of page inserts you print them out and put them in every insert to make the inserts easy to use front and back! Also with each order you get a Coupon Insert of the Sunday Paper of unclipped coupons to get you started.
As you look threw sales at the beginning you may not have the coupons you need for that sale and that can be very frustrating. I recommend check out The Coupon Clippers and Coupons and Things by Dede.
One last thing I want to recommend is check out frugal blogs for coupons match ups for your grocery store and stores like CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, Wal-Mart, Target, Kmart and more. These sites also post great deals, coupons freebies and more! Make sure to check them out daily.
Donna Holm says
Good ideas for the coupon binder, but… I love using coupons. why pay more for anything when there is a easy way to get it cheaper? Using coupons is a balance of cost (my time and effort and any supplies like binders and inserts, etc.) vs. benefit ( money saved). knowing me, I would forget my binder in the house, or neglect assiduously maintaining it. Instead, I go old school cheap: Clip coupons, organize by aisle, and stuff the pile neatly into the bottom half of a freezer-weight qt. size zippy bag. Store-specific coupons are placed back-to-back with manufacturers coupons. Every once in awhile I cull the expired ones and re-organize the rest. That bag goes in my purse and is always ready to be grabbed out in a store. Light, easy, bada-bing, bada-bang!
Danielle, The Frugal Navy Wife says
Every one has a different way with coupons, for me i find I save more money with an can see what I have available, I don’t’ remember if i don’t see it, This also allows me to take advantage of unadvertised sales and clearance.