Tuesday, September 15, 2009

My Coupon Binder

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As many of you know, I recently switched my coupon organization method from using 3 accordion files to the infamous coupon binder. It's been a month now and I feel like I can give an honest review as to how it's been.

First, a little background as to what I switched to. I'm using a 1.5" zippered binder and it's FULL. I should probably be using a 3", but it's just too huge for me to carry around. I might splurge and get a 2-2.5" online within the next year, we'll see. But for now, this works. I purchased 2 sets of 35 baseball card holders from Walmart for $5.97 each. I also purchased 2 packages of ten 4x6 photo sheets for $2.36 each. I get my coupons from so many different places, I don't want to limit myself to a certain size. I also bought 2 packages of plastic dividers for $3.97 each. (That was after I bought 2 packs that totally didn't work!) Both packs have 8 dividers and I'm using them all. Overall I spent just over $27 on my transition costs.

I have 1 photo sheet page at the very front of my binder for coupons that I am planning on using during that shopping trip. I've also put coupons there that I print off, but don't get a chance to file yet. Behind that I have all my free product coupons. I look at them often, so as to make sure I don't let any expire!

Behind that all my different categories begin. I have 16 different categories as follows: Dairy, Cereal, Crackers/ Dry Goods (granola bars, pasta, bread, etc), Pre-made Foods/ Side Dishes (canned soup, Boxed potatoes, etc), Dessert, Baking Items (spices, boxed muffin mixes, etc), Condiments & Sauces, Meat (refrigerated), Frozen Items (anything that's frozen except desserts), Beverages, Baby Items, Personal Care (shampoo, razors, etc.), Medicine, Cleaning, Paper Goods, and Misc.

Within most of my categories, I have individual pages for certain items. For instance, in the dessert category, I have a page for frozen desserts, a page for gum, etc. Within Personal Care, I have a page for body wash & bar soap, shampoo & conditioner, razors, etc. I found that making a zillion categories just filled the binder with a ton of dividers, some of which only had 1 page behind them. Space was too important for me.

So here's what I think of the method...separated into Pros and Cons...

Advantages of the Binder Method:
  • 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!
Disadvantages of the Binder Method:
  • 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.

My recommendations:

  • 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!

58 comments:

rroehale said...

Thanks for all the great specifics! This will really give me a head start when I finally get around to it. And since I am a novice couponer, at last I won't have to spend all those hours transferring. :0)

Nellie and Bubba said...

I've been using the binder method for a while and have mine set up similarly, but one thing I did that is helpful is use those sticky divider tabs instead of using divider sheets. I just stuck the tabs directly onto the first baseball card holder sheet in each category and then I don't have to use up the space required by having an extra page for each category. I've been using my same binder for about 4 months now and haven't had any of them fall off so they stick pretty good but they do peel off fairly easily if you need to move them around.

Mona said...

I'm curious how many inserts you get a week. I get four and I think that they might not all fit with this system. Plus I wonder how long it would take to cut them all. Any thoughts? I currently have two accordion files that are full and I file by writing the date on the insert.

Ann said...

Thank you so much! I've been wanting to switch over to the binder method myself but haven't figured out what to do yet. Sounds like a big job but I think I'm ready to take the plunge. I'm tired of spending so much time getting my coupons ready to go to the store just to get there and have them be out of what I wanted. Plus I feel like I'm missing out on deals because my coupons are at home (especially clearance finds). I've loved the ease and speed of the date the insert and file it method that I've been using but I think you have inspired me to switch. Thanks for all you do to help people like me!

Utah Deal Diva said...

Ann- I think the no clipping/ dating method is a FANTASTIC way to start. After all, when you're just beginning to use coupons, you have no clue which ones to clip in the first place! I suggest using coupons for about 6 months doing the file/ no clip method. After that, if you want to switch to something else, take the plunge!

Anonymous said...

I use the binder method and it works great - especially when you see a sale/clearance item and can quickly whip out that binder! You said that you have to fold the printables...I just slide them in and let them hang out on top. I just make sure I can see the product pic on the tops of the front of the insert page and on the back side of the insert page, I make sure the product pic is down to be able to see it from the back of the page. I only stick printables in the bottom two rows of the page. The top row will have to have non-printable coupons so you can zip up the binder! Mine is bursting at the seams and I have a 3-incher!

Parker Family said...

First off, I am new to your blog, and I love it already, THANK YOU SO MUCH for showing us the right way to shop!
Second, buy your baseball card holders at Target, they are A LOT more durable and they are about the same in price, I threw all my Walmart holders away, they just weren't that durable :) I also use the small sticky tabs to divide out my categories, saves lots of room for more coupon pages. I also divide my coupons out in the week received, so I can go along with PYP coupon tips, that way I find my coupons A LOT faster, and it makes it a lot easier to file them each week, I usually put all of the food up front and the others toward the back for that week. And then in the very back of the binder I put all my miscellaneous coupons (internet, mailed, etc) I flip through my binder several times a week, and I love the way it is set up!
THANKS AGAIN FOR ALL YOUR WORK YOU DO FOR ALL OF US!!

Rosie said...

Ann, I started with the file by date/no clip method that grocery smarts advocates. I think I only used it for 2 months before I was ready for something new. Like you I was SO frustrated about seeing things on clearance, unadvertised, that I knew I had to have a coupon for. I switched to the binder method after that. I love it. I have since had several friends ask to see my system because they were also frustrated with the no-clip system (it takes SO long to prep for your shopping trip I think!). I had a friend who was ready to quit until I showed her my binder... she's since switched to the binder and has kept going. =)

Anonymous said...

When it comes to the bigger coupons fitting in the baseball card holders, I fold them in some pretty interesting ways. For the printables I fold them over so I can see the picture, the price and the expiration date. There are about 3 different folds but when I use them the cashiers don't care much that it's pretty crinkly. It works for me. I always try to have those three things showing. Especially the exp. date so it's easy to clean out at the end of the month.

xela said...

Thanks so much for the update! I currently use Money Saving Mom's coupon box. It's great because all you have to buy is a plastic shoe box, a box of small envelopes, and package of plain index cards. (I bought everything at Big Lots for less than $3 total.) It's great because I can have as many different catagories as I like, since the box is so big! The box is the perfect size to fit in the child seat of shopping carts. (Normally I wear my baby in a baby wrap when I shop, but if she wants to sit in the cart, I just put the box in the back of the cart.)

I was considering the no clipping/dating method because I've been feeling like I'm spending too much time clipping and organizing coupons, but after reading the other posts on here I think I'll stick with my current method.

Jennifer said...

Another tedious job for you but will make it so much more asthetically pleasing for your eyes. Cut some colored sheets of paper to place behind your coupon so that you don't see through to the next page. I'm a very visual person so I totally understand about how things need to look pleasing.

Look at my pictures for an example:
http://www.couponmommie.com/search/label/Coupon%20Binder

I think this would be very helpful for you so that you could enjoy your new binder more.

Plus, I agree with you & some of the other comments. The advantages far outweigh the disadvantages for me!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Here's the comment that I shared on Money Saving Mom's website (which is how I found yours!) about how I like my method.

I am VERY happy with my method which is sort of a dual system. The Coupon Binder and a “no cutting” folder system.

I am a very visual person so I enjoy having the Coupon Binder with me in the store which is sorted by categories. I am not embarrassed by it at all and it goes with me all the time. Often I am mistaken for a store employee and it opens the door for me to share the benefit of using coupons with other shoppers.

I spend the time cutting my coupons at my in-laws over Sunday dinner while the children play. (Because this is where my papers are delivered) So, it doesn’t seem time consuming or like a waste of time to me. :) Plus, seeing, cutting and filing the coupons helps my brain register what I have and what I’ve used. The one thing I do different from other Coupon Binders that I have seen is having colored sheets of paper inside each pocket so I can organize coupons on both sides of the sheet protector. Really helpful!

I also use the “no cutting” folder filing system for any extra inserts that I am given by friends and family. Even though I love my Coupon Binder I find it to be a time saver to not clip the extra inserts until I need them. The folder filing system enables me to find them as needed for additional trips to the store when I know there is coupons I want to clip & use.

Jennifer Bovee said...

I started couponing a few years ago and started out with the binder system, but instead of catagories I file mine in alphabetical order of manufacturer (Aunt Millies, Betty Crocker, etc). I have a section of food products, and then a section with non-food products with one divider in between. I stuck a label to the outer edge of each page with the letter on it so I can flip to that page easily. It seems to work the best for me and I don't really have to think about which category an item is in. I would love to get a binder like yours with a strap but I'm too cheap...LOL!

Jen - Balancing Beauty and Bedlam said...

yes - this is exactly how I have mine. I do take out the coupons that I am going to use before my trip, so they're assessable and stick them in the binder pocket or just clip them on with a big industrial size clip.
Great tutorial. :)

Jennie said...

I use this method too, also doing the sticky tabs on the sides of the baseball card inserts, and also folding coupons to fit. One thing I do differently is I use plastic CD sleeves (b/c that's what we had at home already) to hold my store coupons (Target, CVS, "Mall," etc) at the front of the binder. My binder (again, what we already had at home) does not have a strap, so I put it in a cotton bag (like a small reusable grocery sack) that holds it perfectly and also gives me room to stash all the store ads. It's easy enough to take it out of the bag and look through it at the store.

I LOVE being able to see what coupons I have pretty quickly, instead of rifling through an envelope. I use the pockets at the front of the binder to hold coupons I plan to use on a shopping trip, grouped by store. My binder is packed, and people always comment on it.

It took forever to put together, and of course filing each week takes time, but I can find everything so quickly now. I love this method and will never go back!

Lydia said...

I've been doing a combination of the no clipping/dating method and a coupon file for coupons that I clip or get already clipped. I've been doing this for about 1 1/2 years and it has worked alright but I have been wanting to check out other methods since I think I could maybe be more efficient.

I LOVE your detailed tutorial and think I am going to have to switch to this. I don't know that I still will clip everything. I'm thinking of adding some folders to the back to put some of my inserts in, since I don't want to take the time to clip all the coupons. But it will still be easier to find and organize.

One thing I really like about this vs. the coupon box method is the ease of transport. You can easily tuck something like this under your arm (if it doesn't have a strap) when you are carrying something else.

Thanks for the help!

Abby said...

Thank you for this - switching to a binder has been a great choice for me, but I really DO need to upgrade to a zippered binder. I had a bunch spill out in the store yesterday. Not my finest moment!

Anonymous said...

I use a similar method to the binder, but found it to be much more affordable. I purchased some very inexpensive photo albums that hold 2 4X6 photos per side of each page. I have one for food, one for personal items and one for home items. Each holds about 64 photos (or categories of coupons). I haven't put tabs on the pages, but I did use labels for each pocket. They are much smaller than a binder so I can shove them in my purse. Also if I am only getting groceries I only have to carry the one album. It is great to be able to quickly flip through the album as I go down the aisles and see what coupons I have that might match up with any unexpected deals.

Suzanna said...

I use a binder as well, and I love how I can page through to find a coupon. think the baseball card holders from Office Depot are more sturdy than the wal-mart ones. They have bigger slots, but there are only 4 slots to a page.

Do you all get stopped in the grocery store when you have all of your coupons out? I have been stopped 3 times recently by people who wanted to ask me why I had them so organized and if I was really saving money! haha, I don't mind talking if I'm not in a hurry I guess.

mom2triplets04 said...

I went from box to binder back to box. I just found that it took me way too long to put the coupons away after I clipped them. I now just use a cd type box that I got at walmart. The top opens up in 2 slots and folds down leaving the box completely open when I'm in the store and sits in the top part of the cart so I can quickly grab my coupons out. I have small envelopes open with tabs on them and I put the coupons inside the envelope. I have an empty envelope opened in the front so when I put something in the cart I just move the coupon to that front envelope and then when I get to the register I just pull that envelope out and hand the coupons to the cashier.

Sew Cute!! said...

Hello!
I switched from a coupon box to a binder a couple of months ago...instead of using a big binder, I bought a spiral photo album that holds about 200 pictures. The 4x6 slots are perfect for coupons, and they album isnt huge so its easy to carry around in the store...I just labeled each slot with a address label that I wrote on!
Brandy

Jaden Paige said...

Great post! I just switched to the binder method about a month ago also, and am loving it! I started with a 2" binder (I think) that isn't zippered, and I have found that to be a problem as you mentioned- I am always worried that they will fall out! So my next purchase will be a bigger, zippered binder.

Also, I have a suggestion for you about having to fold the coupons (in particular the printables)- I found a dealer on ebay that sells baseball card holders that are 6 to a sheet, instead of the standard 9! The printables fit in there almost perfectly- just stick out a little at the top, enough to make it easy to grab them and pull them out! It has worked out fantastically for me, and while they ARE more expensive than the regular sheets (I paid about $15 for my pack of 50 sheets, I think), for me, it's definitely worth it to be able to see the expiration and full description of the deal on the coupon. I would suggest getting some of those if the folding is an issue for you :) HTH!

Alice Wills Gold said...

It's so wierd, I have been debating on changing over this exact method without ever reading about it. Started couponing three mos ago...totally want quicker access to each specific coupon and i gather the same exact coupon at different times and so this will save me a ton of time...so glad for the share.

Anonymous said...

I use a 3-ring binder. I'd love to find a binder like yours. Where did you get it?

Alicia said...

I use an old photo album and the spaces are big enough for all of my coupons you can go to www.thecheapskatemom.blogspot.com to see what mine looks like.

Anonymous said...

I just switched to a binder method from my small overflowing accordian coupon folder. It did take FOREVER to switch everything over and I have yet to actually use it. I'm actually still in the process of switching everything over.

I got a big 2 1/2 in zippered folder from Target in their clearanced back to school section. I have 5 sections - Food, Household, Baby, Store coupons, and Restaurants. And then subcategories within each one. I am going to put the sticky tabs on the subcategory sheets. I use the baseball sheets and old CD sheets that I punched holes in. Since everything was already cut out, I switched almost everything over. From now on I plan to cut out the coupons I'm pretty sure I'll use, and I'll file the rest of the dated insert in a folder in the back. I frequent coupon mom and other sites that will reference a dated insert if it's a great deal. I'd like to still have those available.

It is AWESOME to have all of my coupon stuff in one place!! I was getting sick of all my paraphenalia cluttering my house. Not anymore! I LOVE the binder method. Thanks for your tutorial!

Lindsey

michelle said...

i switched to this method, as well, just about a month ago. it took me a VERY LONG TIME to get it all organized as well, but now i love it. previously i had used a box and my coupons were never as organized as they are now. because of my now neatly organized coupons, some weeks i am saving almost twice as much as i was before. the coupons are easier to see and i find myself much more motivated to use them when i have such a system that works! and while it might take longer to get it organized each week (cutting them out just so, etc) it is still a time saver for me when it comes down to getting my coupons all ready to go to the store. and a great time saver while i'm in the store itself. most of my trips to the store are with my two kids in tow, and i needed something different - like this! i find it much more helpful!!

i, too, like the suggestion of having a zippered folder. my birthday is coming up, and i am going to ask my husband for one. :0) it will need to be bigger, just as many others have commented. my current binder is a 2" and i have run out of room. thank you so much for this post!!! i'm so glad to see others using the coupon binder!!

Danika said...

I switched over to the binder system about 4 months ago and LOVE LOVE LOVE it! It was much more helpful when I started getting mulitple papers.

FYI - I found several nice large zippered 3-ring binders at the second-hand stores (Goodwill, DI, Savers, etc) for like $2-$3.

Ann said...

I use a combination of the zipper binder method and "date the insert" method - I generously clip my inserts and file the coupons in my binder, but then staple the leftovers together, mark the date with a sharpie pen, and keep them all in a box organized by date. This way I can go back and find coupons which I didn't bother clipping in the first place when I find I actually do need them. Also, I put a page at the beginning of the personal care and cleaning products sections just for coupons which don't specify a size limit - makes for quick & easy looks at the trial-size section. :)

Becky said...

I've been using the binder method for over a year now - there's nothing that beats it :)

I really love your binder. I have a zippered binder (an absolute necessity), but mine doesn't have a handle at all! I looked for a new one with a handle and/or shoulder strap this fall when all the new school supplies came out, but just couldn't find one I liked. I'm keeping my eyes peeled, though!

Carla said...

I found my zippered binder on sale at Walgreen's for $5. I use the stick on tabs and my husband had the baseball card holders. I like this new method. I previously had a small velcro coupon holder that I had for years and it was getting worn out. I have clipped coupons for several years, but I am trying to save some bucks and have really been watching the ads and matching the coupons to the sale items for super deals. I love the Walgreens deals with the register rewards!!!

Renae@Madame Deals said...

I switched to the binder method 6 months ago. I was very happy with my two accordian folders (food and non-food) and I had no intentions of switching. That was until my friend Amee asked me for a coupon and I spent so much time flipping through the sections. I asked Amee for a coupon and within seconds she produced it for me! I was sold!

Tammy said...

I have used the binder system since I started in March 2009, but just recently purchased a zippered binder (which has been great) thanks to the back to school sales. It is organized very similar to yours. The binder is wonderful for the many clearances or unadvertised deals at the stores.

I put both store and manufacturer coupons in the same slot for the same product. That has helped me also.

But I love your way of placing any FREE coupons in it's own section in the front. I will be making that change tonight. Thanks for sharing your coupon binder.

anniems said...

I use a zipper folder I found at Goodwill. I washed it and it looked like new. The 3-ring binder needs to be more squared than round. The round rings would not come together when the coupons got heavy and thick. If the coupons didnot fit to see the expiration date I just wrote it on the coupon and folded it into the
baseball card.

Klo said...

I get anywhere from 5 to 10 copies of each insert from purchasing them myself or from friends. To make the job of cutting coupons easier, I separate my 5 to 10 copies first, putting all like pages together. Then I clip all the same coupons at the same time. I clip a little bigger than the coupons just in case the printing is off a little. Then put that particular coupon in its proper spot in my binder. It has made the job alot easier. I usually clip all coupons because I share with friends especially if we go shopping together. Also, you might be willing to try a new item and like it if it is a great price especially if there is a triple coupon or super coupon special running at your local store. I carry my binder in my car at all times because you never know when you might find a good deal and the coupons you have might make it an even better deal. I am considering buying a binder that has a zipper just because it keeps everything from falling out . . .sometimes I'm not as neat as I should be :)

Soothing Waters Bath & Gifts said...

They ARE great aren't they? Though I'm surprized at how much you spent to make it! And we must have different BB card holders cause mine aren't flimsy at all. Here's a picture of mine.And so save on space, I put coupons on BOTH sides of my card holders (front and back), otherwise I would have twice as many actual pages.
http://soothingwatersbath.com/47033_Coupon_Binder.html

Elise said...

Terrific post. What a super job of explaining the actual work of putting this monster together. But once the job is done --- wow -- what a difference it makes. I typically get about 15 inserts (crazy, I know) so I have a three-part system. First they all get filed using the clip-less system that many people have already described. Then anything I get that isn't from the newspaper insert (mailer booklets, peelies, other oddballs) gets filed in a notebook like yours (I use currency sheets -- you get them at a hobby store -- the baseball card holders drove me bananas!) Any coupons I've cut from the clipless file that don't end up getting used right away (out of stock etc) also end up in the binder. Finally, since all of this is cumbersome to take into every store with me... I have a gutted personal calendar binder (the little size) that I've re-fitted with little pocket thingees. Each of my usual stores has a pocket thingee or two. The store loyalty card goes in there, ECBS, Catalinas, Register Rewards, etc AND any coupons I've pulled for that store's sale. Its just small enough to fit in my purse and carry into the store. The binder is right in the car, if I need it --- The rest of it usually stays at home. Unless you have a monster set of inserts each week, its probably not worth all that

Julie said...

I do the binder method too except I file my alphabetically. Most are filed by product name but a few I do by manufacturer. I think of what name pops in my head first and that is where it is filed. For example, all Pillsbury coupons are in the P page because I think of their biscuits, cookies, etc by Pillsbury, not Grands.

Coupon Binder Sheets said...

Coupon binders work awesome for us as well! My friends and I love using the 9 pocket sheets and the 4 x 6 sheets.

We start selling the sheets as well!

You can visit us @ myfatbelly.com! :o)

Anonymous said...

I have mine set up the same way, I started about 10 months ago and love this method and is very easy to use. I have gotten some of the ladies that I work with to use them and organize the same way.

Mrs. Huse Clifton said...

You are neurotic. And over the next few days I shall join you in my crazy tendencies too. I love the sholder starp part! That will make it so easy to bring along. My husband saw your post and just shook his head and said Karen where do you find this stuff. I will get a dark color binder so he can carry it too.

Jenn said...

I have a question,

Where to put coupons that can fit into different categories at the same time?

thanks

Kristina said...

I use the binder method. I have 4 big sections and a few small, separate sections. The smaller sections are Frees, Gum, Candy, Baby, and Teeth. The big sections are Food, Home, Body, and Internet Printables. The bigger sections are in alphabetical order (one page for every letter of the alphabet, more as needed).

I just recently switched the printables to their own section. I still use the baseball card holders with 9 slots, but I only use 6 of the slots. I put 3 coupons facing forward on the bottom row and 3 facing the back of the page in the middle row. That way I can see all of the info and no folding is necessary. It's been a great change.

Also, one time-saving tip - clip all of a particular insert's coupons for the week before you file them. Example, I buy 5 papers a week and I'll clip the coupons from all 5 of the Red Plum inserts before I file any of them. You don't want to be sorting and filing the same coupons repeatedly.

Zoey said...

Where did you buy your binder at? I am very impressed, and though I do not have a zippered binder yet, I have been using the binder system because I find things easier and always have my coupons right at hand,

Anonymous said...

I am in the process of switching to a coupon binder - and while it is taking forever to get it all put together and figured out as far as organizing them. I only bought 1 pack of baseball card holders - and it is so completely not enough - so I need to get more. I like the idea of putting colored paper in them so you can use both sides - yes it is time consuming to get it all put together and everything - and can be expensive - but I figure with all the money that I save with coupons it is worth it - plus it takes a lot less time for me to be ready to go to the store :) Definitely a keeper for me :)

Anonymous said...

I use the binder method and I find when cutting my coupons small it is much easier to use a scrapbook cutter than scissors. When going through the red plum and other coupon ads I cut with scissors then later cut with the scrapbook cutter.

Melissa said...

Thanks for this post, I was looking for a better system (I was using envelopes). It was so frustrating for me at the store that I would dread taking them. So I switched them all over to a zippered binder that we had already, and I found some cards inserts in a binder with Pokemon cards in them that no one ever uses so I emptied them. I had just enough for the current stockpile I had. It costs me nothing but a little time. It only took about 4 hours (I did enlist a little help from my hubby for trimming). I used it for a quick trip to the store last night and I was so excited!! Thanks again for posting the how to's and pictures.

anita said...

I use a binder that is not inclosed but can write on the front of it. I found that making my own tabs are cheaper. Get some lose paper and cut it as long as you want and tape it directly to the baseball sheets. Holds up really well.

Anonymous said...

i get 10 inserts per week, but sometimes i get more 10-15 sets per week and some weeks, there's 3 inserts per paper. i switched from using scissors to a paper cutter found in the craft section after getting more than 1 insert per week. it consumes A LOT of time to cut, organize then put them in the sleeves. but i do prefer the binder versus the envelope which i've used for a few months. but i've been wasting so much coupons i overlook, it's been killing me. this way i can see what i have and can use. but i still have problems of putting them in the binder right after cutting them out, it's just sooooo overwhelming!

Anonymous said...

I was very frustrated with the baseball card holders, as I almost exclusively use printable coupons. I did two things: 1) I just used a dull knife and separated some of the dividers in the baseball sheets (they come apart pretty easily) so that each row has a large section and a small one and 2) I made some of my own holders by taking some plain page protectors, inserting a sheet of card stock so that I could insert coupons on each side, and sewing four sections on each page. I am not a seamstress, but this was pretty easy. I just used the thread that was already on my machine, sewed two straight lines (one horizontal and one vertical to divide the page) and I was done. Then, I used a sharp exacto knife to trim a slot for the coupons in the bottom two sections. These fit the printable coupons without folding and makes me much happier!

halina said...

i am also very frusstrated, is there anyway to eliminate the paper and just make everything plastic. what if there was a card that had coupons electronically sent to them as a mother this would help out so much. if there is something like this please let me know. i would love to get one.

Stephanie said...

Thanks for that! I've been wanting to switch for a while now and although I know it won't be perfect, I think it'll work perfectly for me. Great post!!

Heather B said...

It's been some time now, how do you like binder now? Is it still effective?

Becky said...

I was wondering if this binder is still effective for you. Have you changed anything? I would love an update. Thanks.

Lindsey Whitney said...

Hey, I'm converting to a binder instead of a ziploc bag! Time to get serious. I was browsing amazon for baseball card holders and found currency holders -- so you wouldn't have to fold your print-out ones!

http://www.amazon.com/20-Twenty-Pages-3-Pocket-Collecting/dp/B002KDPEMY/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1302907367&sr=8-9

Lindsey @ GrowingKidsMinistry.com

Anonymous said...

I'm going to check Hobby Lobby for currency holders instead of baseball card holders. I use almost exclusively printable coupons (large coupons) since I buy mostly organic and eco-friendly products. (I don't find many coupons for those items in newspaper inserts.)

I'm hoping I can find a zippered binder at Goodwill and I'm excited to put everything together this weekend. Just not sure if I want to categorize according to expiration date or alphabetical order. Hmmm...

Heather said...

I also use 4x6 photo protector pages for the large/printable coupons and have those in each category as well! It works great for the big coupons.

Anonymous said...

Try a baseball/sports shop. I pd .25c for each page. I bought 3 pocket currency style, 8 pocket 2 across x 4 down(I think I will like because they are wider across the top (easier to get in/out of the pocket). I got the 4 quadrant section style for the CVS/Walgreen stores. I've been look at alot of online couponing sites, videos, etc. to learn how/why people made the choices they did when choosing/making their binder/coupon filing method then making my decisions based on what I learned from them. It seems that most couponers give up the binder method within approximately 1-year because of the amount of time/work involved in keeping it up. I had a large notebook so no money OOP, I'm trialing the page saver layout for the stores but haven't actually taken it out. For 15+ yrs I used a lockable check box, made my own dividers using poster board. It seemed to work out fine but I didn't like having to thumb through each category for the coupon I wanted - too much time. I'm not sure how it's going to all work out in the end - only time & trials will tell. Best wishes to you in your search for the right a couponing method for you!.

Val said...

Have mine organized by area. As expiration draws near I go shopping for items I use, but have not been on sale. I am able to put item and pull coupon. Coupons are in binder by expiration date.

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