One question that I get all the time is: “How do you organize your coupons?”
There are many different ways. You can:
- throw them in your purse and hope to one day be able to find them again
- throw them all in one envelope and leave the envelope on the kitchen counter until they expire
- buy one of those nifty “official organizers” that divide up your typical 223-aisle grocery store in to 6 pockets
- use the binder system…the best and most efficient way (obviously so because that is what I use!)
So what is the binder system?
The first thing to do is to find a zipper binder (one of those binders that are usually marketed for the storing of CDs). A regular 3-ring notebook will also work, but at least with a zipper binder you can keep the mess “contained” when and if you drop it. I found a great one at Target for only $10.
The next thing to buy is baseball-card pages. FYI – they are much cheaper at Target and WalMart than they are at Staples. These can be easily found in packs of 30 or 60 right by the Pokemon card display. A pack of 60 pages should run you about $10.
The last thing? Tabbed page dividers…just like you had in high school!
Then it's just a matter of creating as many sections for your binder as you want and filing the coupons each week in the appropriate section (although I cheated and ordered them already made from here. I know myself and I tend to be a perfectionist. The $14 was money well-spent compared to the hours I knew that I would have used up trying to get my dividers “just right”. I know – I need help!)
This is mine
Each pocket only has coupons for 1 item in it, so I can easily flip through to see exactly what coupons I have at any given time…meaning I don't hide the coupons for Glass Plus behind the Windex. This also allows me to easily see the expiration dates for any coupons at any given time.
One thing that I also love about this binder is that it has these great pockets in the front, for those times when I print off coupons but haven't had a chance to print them or for those “crazy” weeks where there are 3 inserts in each paper and I bought 10 copies of the paper. It's my To Be Clipped section.
And where do I take this binder? EVERYWHERE!
It fits very nicely in the seating area of grocery carts. When my daughter is insisting on sitting there, it sits open on the lower rack. It creates a bit of bending in those cases, but I look at it as getting my exercise in!
I used to plan my trips, make my lists, pull my coupons and throw them in an envelope before I left for the store. I stopped doing this for many reasons
- I would often be at the store and find an unadvertised sale that I knew I could match with a coupon…but my coupon binder was at home so I lost out!
- Sometimes the store was out of stock or I changed my mind about buying something once I got there. I ended up having to refile my coupons (and I hate filing!)
So how are you currently storing your coupons? Is there one method that really works for you…or really does NOT work for you?