- It's a lot easier to find coupons for unadvertised deals. It's just a lot easier to find coupons, period.
- Once you have it all organized, it's very easy to put your coupons in each week. Although I do spend more time trimming them all neatly so they fit in the slots, the whole process only takes me about 30-45 minutes each week, which isn't bad considering all the coupons I have!
- It's so very easy to see when coupons have expired and to pull them out. That is a huge plus!
- It's a gazillion times easier to shop with my kids now. Outings are less stressful. I am a happier mom while shopping with my kids, which just makes life better. My coupons sit safe and secure either in the cart or on the top of the car cart and I flip through them as needed. As I decide to use coupons, I transfer them to the front 4x6 page so I can easily hand them all to the checker.
- I can more easily carry all the different items I need while shopping. My calculator, scissors and pens all are in the pouch in front. I don't have to clip every coupon in every coupon booklet if I don't want to- I just file it in the accordion file on the front and I have it in case I need it. I can also easily carry around individual store coupon policies. It's nice to have all those items so accessible!
- It took me several hours (about 10!) to transfer my coupons over. It was a horribly tedious, boring job that I never want to do again.
- Not all coupons fit in those little slots. I have to fold many, including all printable coupons. That makes it hard to see all the details of the coupon- description and expiration date, at a glance.
- Most coupons do fit, but you have to trim them really well. I spend a little more time carefully cutting each coupon I want in my binder.
- I shopped around to find a good price on the materials needed and I still paid $27! In addition, the baseball card sheets are flimsy and I can see myself having to replace sheets continually.
- Visually, the sheets are busy. I've seen some that are all neat and clean and all coupons are the same size- mine isn't like that. I just have so many coupons of so many shapes and sizes, the one-size-fits-all look just isn't happening. It took me a couple weeks to get used to that. A friend of mine put a solid colored sheet behind each category and while that helps a ton, I just don't have the space for them.
- Make your own categories. Know that every person's categories are going to be different! This is just what works for me. With any category system there will be some overlap. (Coupons that can logically go in more than 1 category.) I developed these categories after taking into consideration the items that I use coupons on. Everyone should do the same!
- Get good dividers. The first ones I got were clear and super cute but didn't stick out enough on the side for me to see them. Seeing them is important! The ones I use are plastic and have pockets on each side- also very handy!
- Even though it's less aesthetically pleasing, I like having 2 sizes of pages available. I use the 4x6 pages for tearpad coupons, coupons from packaging, insert coupons that are just gigantic, as well as many printables.
- Zippered binders are a necessity. I've seen my coupons shift around as I've turned my binder. If they weren't all enclosed, I'd be very worried about making sure I was carrying it upright all the time.
- Get a binder with a removable shoulder strap as well as a handle. It's nice to be able to be hands-free when I am carrying my baby!
Overall, I'm pleased with my choice to switch. Even though I have just as many disadvantages listed as I do advantages, the positive points are more important to me. Each method I've used has had its disadvantages. I think we all just have to consider what stage in life we're at and analyze what is most important to us. This will be a great method for me right now. Although it was a hassle to switch over, I'm glad I finally took the plunge!
How do you all organize your coupons? I welcome any tips or tricks you all who have been using the binder method for a while. Please share!