Wednesday, November 18, 2009

How to put together a Coupon Binder

I promised a few days ago to explain the Coupons Binder so here it is. First things you going to need, a zipper binder, trading card plastic pages (each page hold 9 cards) and coupons.  You might even have some of these laying around the house from your child's baseball card collection.  My binder is made of fabric and holds about 150 pages, it has zipper pockets on the outside and inside to hold my calculator, pens, small scissor and misc items.  There is a accordion file style pocket also on the outside, there I put ad's I want to price match and coupons for eating out.  I have also inserted along spine of the binder a strap.  This strap came from one of my old purses.  It has a clip on each end.  So I fished it through the spine of the binder and clipped the 2 clips together, so now I have a shoulder strap.  I take my binder everywhere.  It stays in the car, except when I'm filing coupons and take it into the store.  Remember to put your name and phone number on it somewhere.  So if you forget in a shopping cart it that you "might" get it back.  Believe me it happens.

Now for organizing the binder.  First decide how you want the coupons, in alphabetical order, by brands, by categories or by how your favorite store aisles are set up.  I organized by how my favorite store aisles are set up.  I then have several pages per categories, which is separated by a divider.  I made the divider out of a file folder (these are heavier then what you can buy for dividers).  I cut it in half and used the half that has the tab.  I then punched 3 holes for the binder rings.  In side each category I labeled each page with marker on the edge near the holes, the product type.  Such as one category is Health and Beauty Aids which is written on the tab on the divider, then the different pages are labeled Make Up, Medicines, Hair, Teeth, Deodorant, Razors, Soap and Lotion.  Some of these items have 3 or 4 pages.  The next category is Cleaning and the pages inside that category are air fresheners (candles included), dish soap, dusting, bathroom, laundry soap, dryer sheets, plastic, toilet paper, paper towels and tissues.  Next category is snacks, then freezer and so on and so on.   You will sometimes have to add pages to your binder when you have a ton of different coupons and other times when coupons are few you can remove some of the pages.  You will find what works best for you.

Now for actually adding the coupons to the trading card pages.  First put all a like coupons together, then you will need to fold some of the coupons.  I fold them so I can see the expiration date and the dollar amount is facing me. Then slide them in.  I know some like to insert a piece of paper to divide the pocket so you can use the front and back for different coupons.  I don't do this, because the pockets are to small and I rip the pocket trying to get the coupons in and out.  But if this works for you... great.   For me I use a pocket for each item.  Like Pillsbury Grands has it's own pocket.  You will collect a lot of these coupons and they will have varying expiration dates.  I put the soonest to expire in the front, so I use them first.  Same with Pillsbury crescents, they have their own pocket and the ones that are soon to expire are in the front.  You must go through your binder at least once a month and toss expired coupons.  That keeps the binder well organized.

Since I switched over from 2 of the those coupon envelopes, I rarely can't find a coupon.  I use a lot of coupons every week and I can find them quickly.  Filing is also very easy, however I will admit it takes time to cut and sort them and then file them.  However the pay off is big!!  Give it a try, I'm not saying how I do it is the only way.  But it works well for me for the last 10 years. Try it and tweak so it works for you.  If you find a great new idea to improve on this idea please comment here.  I would love to hear it.
This the inside cover of my binder.  See the coupons that are paper clipped, I know I will use these this week.  The papers you see are refunds I'm working on, store coupons that I will use and my shopping list for this week.

This is the same shot of the inside cover of the binder, but this is what hidden behind my lists in the last shot..

This is one of my laundry pages. See how some of them are folded so they fit.
Well any questions, need more pictures.. Let me know!!  Love to help.


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