I started writing a post a few months ago about organizing coupons and I am so glad I didn’t finish it! I use the binder method to organize my coupons and for a long time I would clip almost every single coupon and file it! The only coupons that did not make it into my binder were things that I wouldn’t buy even if they were free. This way was very time consuming. I slowly started getting behind filing my coupons when I started blogging and especially after school let out!
Saving money is very important to couponers, but we don’t want to waste time doing it! I still LOVE the binder method, just not the way I was doing it (which is why I’m glad I didn’t finish my original post 😉 ). If you are new to the Binder method, it’s simply a three ring binder with baseball card inserts which will hold coupons. You can divide it up into categories like Frozen, Pantry, Refrigerated, Cleaning, Toothpaste/Toothbrushes, etc. This is the new way I organize my coupon binder which is much quicker.
Every Sunday, I arrange the inserts into a little book. Let’s say I got 4 Red Plum inserts. I take those four inserts and arrange them so that the first page of all 4 inserts are together, the second pages are all together, and so on. If there are any pages that don’t have any coupons that I would want, I simply throw those pages away. I then go thru the insert and cut any coupons that I will use even without a great sale. For example, I would clip a Tropicana OJ coupon. I try to stock up on OJ when it’s on sale and I have a coupon, but I would buy it even if it wasn’t a great price. Since my insert is organized with matching pages together, I can cut all 4 coupons at once (make sure they are lined up so you don’t cut the date off one by mistake!) I file these OJ & other coupons I plan on using, with or without a sale, in my binder. I then mark the date on the front of the insert and place it in a pocket in the front of my binder.
This is much faster than cutting and filing each coupon and they are still organized and easy to find. You are probably wondering why I would need a binder if I’m just clipping a few coupons. Along with the few insert coupons that I clip, I also put all my printed coupons, coupons from the mail, coupons found at the store(blinkies), catalinas and all my Kroger Store Coupons into my binder.
When I am making my shopping list, I simply go online to my Giant Eagle or Kroger match-ups. I “add” any item I want to the printable shopping list, print any coupons that need printed, and then print the list. Any coupons from the inserts that need clipped can be quickly found by date & type (redplum/smartsource/P&G) and clipped. If I’m going to Rite Aid or CVS, I use one of the many awesome blogs out there that cover those stores to find the deals & coupon match-ups.
I place all the coupons I intend to use into an envelope to take to the store. However, I always carry my binder with me just in case I see an unadvertised sale or decide to buy something else. This is especially important when going to Rite Aid. Many of the great deals may be out of stock and you will need coupons for other products to get your total up to $25 so you’ll be able to use one of the many $5/$25 coupons they offer.
This is what works for me. Everyone is different and you may have a different method that works great for you! Feel free to share your ideas or tips in the comment section.
To see more of my beginner tips, go here & click on the title of the post you want to read to see the full post.