The following is a guest post by Outside the Box Mom:
Is the Coupon Binder Method for Me?
The advantages of using a coupon binder are that you have all coupons at your disposal, can take advantage of unadvertised deals, and it can be expanded for more storage. The disadvantages of using a coupon binder include the large, heavy binder, the time required to clip and file all coupons, the time required to remove all expired coupons, and the expensive supplies to setup. I’ve never used a coupon binder. For my current season of life, the con’s outweigh the pro’s. I have only used a coupon file and the insert method. I have written this tutorial as if I were going to do setup a coupon binder for the first time, myself.
- 1-1/2″ (or larger) binder (zipper styles are more expensive but will stay together if dropped)
- Baseball card pages ($4-$10 for 35-65 pages at national superstores)
- Tabbed divider sheets
- Presentation style folders with pockets (2)
- Pencil pouch
How to Set Up a Coupon Binder
- The most important step is to include your name and contact information on the inside of your binder, in case you leave it somewhere.
- Create a divider for each of your categories (dairy, toiletries, baking supplies, etc.).
- Place dividers in the binder, and place several baseball card pages behind each one.
- Add presentation-style folders with pockets to hold the current week’s sales flyers, at front.
- Place the pencil pouch at the front of your binder, and equip it with scissors, a calculator and a pen, at front.
- Once all of your coupons are clipped, file them in the sleeves of the appropriate category in your binder.
Include a copy of the coupon policy for all of the stores you shop at, and keep it in the back of your binder, for reference.
Include a copy of the your price book, to track prices in your area.
Include a meal planner to reference items frequently purchased.
TIPS & TRICKS:
Start small and build as you have time.
Customize in a way that works for you.
Add three-pocket sleeves to your binder coupons that are too big to fit in the nine-pocket baseball card sleeves.
Include a divider for service and entertainment-related coupons (hair cuts, restaurant coupons, etc.).
Fold most coupons before putting them into the baseball card pockets, leaving the expiration date visible, for easy reference of expiration dates. Go through your binder at the beginning of each month to pull the expired coupons.
Store in a canvas tote with a handle, for easy carrying, if you do not have a zippered binder.
Maintenance: Each week you cut all coupons out of the inserts. Then, organize the coupons by item, grocery store aisle, expiration date or by product type.
FREE RESOURCES TO HELP CREATE YOUR BINDER:
Binder cover and category printables from the Krazy Coupon Lady (from Extreme Couponing)
video tutorial from MyLitter (from Extreme Couponing)
Coupon binder bag
Submit your questions and challenges in the comments and they will be addressed in future posts.
If you missed any posts in this series:
- Goals when using coupons
- Common reasons why people don’t use coupons
- #1 obstacle in using coupons
- Types of coupons available and where you can get them
- Ways you can organize your coupon stash
- How to make a grocery list
- Shop at different stores to stretch your buck
- Know the sales cycle
- Start small
- I have no luck in couponing
- No coupons on products I buy
- Remembering to use your coupons
- Am I a casual couponer?
- Pro’s and Con’s of once-a-month shopping