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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Organizing Your Coupons

**link to the binder has been fixed in the post. Thanks!**

Since I get 6 copies of the Sunday paper I have what I think is a good method for organizing my coupons. There is NO WAY I could clip all those coupons. It would take forever! I read somewhere that 75% off clipped coupons never get used. So I don't waste that time. I love the way I do it and it works for me. I know there are many methods for organizing coupons out there. This may not work for everyone. But if you get multiple Sunday subscriptions...think about it.

Okay...ready to learn what I do?



When I get my Sunday inserts I rip them apart at the spine so each page is separate. Then I lay them out in piles of the same page. Sometimes when the inserts are thick I have 15 pages, other times I have less. It just depends on how thick the inserts are. Then I staple each set together. Make sense?

Then after I have stapled each set I label it on the front, like so. The date and what insert it is (SS=Smart Source). There are also Red Plum inserts, General Mills inserts, and Proctor and Gamble inserts.

Then I stick them in sheet protectors by date. I also organize them by insert. So all my Smart Source inserts are together, Red Plum are together, etc. When I need a coupon I just take out the stapled set and cut out what I need at the store. It might take a little longer to get my coupon ready in the store but it beats clipping everything and then not using most of what I clip!



So far I really like organizing my coupons this way because it cuts down on wasted cutting time. Many, many times I would spend time planning out my trip, clipping the coupons I needed then when I got to the store they were out of what I wanted and I was left with a mess of coupons to refile. Now I cut only what I need when I need it. I love it! And as the coupons expire I just take out the whole insert. So easy.

And I know you are wondering how in the world I find the coupon I need, right? SUPER EASY, people! PinchingYourPennies.com has a updated weekly list of available coupons in alphabetical order. So I print out that list, keep it in my binder and I am good to go. Takes me 2 minutes tops to find what I need. I love it!

Here are some more pics of the binder I use. Isn't she beautiful! This is the Case-It Dual 500 dual binder 2-in-1 zipper binder. What a name, huh! As you can see, she expands up to 5 inches...which gives me plenty of room to store all those coupons. I can zip it closed with ease.



The front opens up to reveal lots of compartments for storage. Pens, calculators, highlighters, etc. The possibilities are endless!


In the front are pockets where I keep the current weekly ads. I don't like going to the store without them. I also keep my weekly coupon list here for easy reference.

The larger ring on the left is where I keep my Smart Source and Red Plum inserts. The right side is where I keep my Proctor and Gamble and General Mills inserts.

In the very back I have a pouch where I keep printable coupon, catalinas, and other items I will be using very soon. Behind that I have sheet protectors labeled for each store, ie Target, Albertson's, Walgreens, Rite Aid, etc. to put the rest of my printable coupons, store coupons, and catalinas. That way I know right where to find each store's coupons. I also keep the weekly ad in there too.

I still have an accordion file where I keep all my printable coupons and coupons I get from the mail, etc. in. I carry it in my purse and organize those by category.

In the very back is another storage compartment for whatever you need. Right now this is where I have my calculator, pens, highlighters and such. I might move them though. I haven't decided if I like them there.

The binder is pretty heavy, but it also has a shoulder strap too! Awesome.

My husband thinks I am crazy for carrying this thing around. But I love it! Being organized when it comes to coupons is KEY. So far I have converted several family and friends to this method. Maybe you will too! :)

24 comments:

Steph said...

So my question would be how many weeks of coupons are you carrying at a time? I keep all of mine filed in a large box at home and clip and take as I need them. But this doesn't work very well, because often times I will get to the store and there are things on sale that I wasn't aware of and don't have my coupons with me. (I use couponsense.com as my source.)

Chelsea said...

To each their own, but that method would be a nightmare with kids (at least with my kids!)

JavaMom said...

I love this method and would easily do it but my problem is that the pages are never the same on each side. I only get one of each of my local papers. So this last Sunday I two of each insert but found that the pages were not laid out the same.

Marne said...

I carry them around until they expire. I don't put every coupon page in there. No pet coupons, and no drug coupons I know I don't need (laxatives, slimshots, fiber, etc) and I take out extra ads. That's why I needed a binder so large, because the inserts ad up fast! I too was like that Steph...so many times I had a coupon at home and missed the deal at the store. No more!

Dilki said...

What did she mean when she said "I stick them in sheet protectors by date"?
Does that mean one sheet protector for whole SS or one protector for 1 page(so it'd be like 10 t0 20 protectors for each page)?
I got sick of cutting coupon I stopped doing it. This seems like it'll work for me! Thank you!

Marne said...

After I tear apart the coupon inserts and staple the alike pages together (remember I get 6 sets of inserts each week) then I label them like I showed in the photo on the post. For example on the Smart Source insert from Sunday on each stapled set I write on the outside SS 6/6. Then I put each stapled set into a separate sheet protector so I can see each page of coupons. Make sense?

Dilki said...

Thank you, it makes sense now. Can you tell me how many sheet protectors you have? I just bought 100. but I'm guessing that's not going to be enough. Thank you!

Holly said...

My Mom does similar things. She sometimes gets up to 20 papers because she still has 5 teens/young adults at home. She sorts, staples and then cuts what she will use. She has 2 plastic bins and has envelopes inside for different categories like cleaners, baby items, condiments etc. Its a great strategy and I like yours too :)

Rainbow said...

I do the exact same thing except my binder is so lame, just a simple 3 inch from the office supply store and it is falling apart! I need yours!!! I looked at amazon and it isn't selling it right now. I did a quick search and can't find it. Any suggestions where I can pick one up too? Thanks!

Jamie said...

Rainbow - I see them on amazon still....just remove the color "purple" from your search. that one is sold out.

S said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rainbow said...

Jamie- Thanks! I didn't even think of that - duh! It looks pretty awesome. The price is a bit alarming at first but I guess $25 will pay for itself after the time it would take me to ruin 5 cheap 3-inch binders.

Marne said...

Dilki: I bought a pack of sheet protectors at Costco. 225 for only $12. I actually already had them at home.

Rainbow: I linked to the binder in my post. I could only find it on Amazon.

S said...

Ok so i went out last night to see what i could find becuse i would realy like to try this. This is what i found
Dual-100 Dual binder 2-in1 Zipper Binder

http://www.caseit.com/caseit/eproddetail.asp?S=125&P=7916&PubID=4459&V=25&PID=5409

I think somone mentioned it earlyer. do you think that it will be big enough? or do i need to wait untill somone gets the biger back in stock. And yes i did check online and they are showing out of stock for me right now (checke multipul colors) I just want to get started and am afraid to lose my get up and go... but also it is a lot of money to chose the wrong one. thank you for any help you can give me.

Marne said...

If you are like me and get multiple Sunday subscriptions and you want all your coupons with you, this 5 inch binder is the way to go. I have tried smaller binders, and none of them fit everything.

Oh, and the purple color binder I linked to on Amazon is out of stock. But there are other colors to choose from. Pick one of those. The red is in stock. I will update the link in my post.

S said...

Thanks

Jessica said...

I think this is a to each their own thing. I can't possibly do a binder of coupons and feel sane. I have to do a little accordion file that fits in my purse and never leaves it. So I always have all my coupons no matter where I go. Secondly, with kids there is no way I could spend time cutting them AT the store. And I don't usually get to go kid free to buy groceries. What works for me is making it easy and stress free.

Marne said...

I agree Jessica! I did the accordian file thing for years. But with me getting 6 sunday papers each week I would need 10 accordian files! :) It is so true...everyone has their own system.

Beckstrom Family said...

Marne, you are a genius! I love this and can't wait until I get it all put together! Thanks so much for sharing - you are a gem! :o]

S said...

i went to costco today and picked up the page protectors. the box now has 250 sheets in it for $11.69. Just thought i would share.

Marne said...

It's gotten cheaper! Thanks S!

S said...

I have my binder all assembled Thank you :) I get less than 1/2 the amount of newspapers you use so my stuff fit perfectly in the binder that has the 1 1/2 inch ringe on each side. I also made some special size page protectors for my internet printed coupons as well as the ones that come in the mail. I took a page protector and folded it in 1/3s creased the page protector so that i could see where the line was then sealed on each of the 2 lines using my seal-a-meal circa 1981 orionaly my mothers. Then using a yarn neadle (not sharp) i poked a hole in one layer of the page protecrer at the top of the newly made pocked just under the newly sealed line. this gave me a place to slid in my scissors and cut a opening for the pocket. So each page protector has 3 long skiny pocets in it just the perfect size for interent printe coupons :) Hubby laughed at me and said " I guess you where right when you said you would find a use for that old thing." hehe

I took my new coupon binder to the store for the first time this week and boy did i feel self aware. Funny though becuse i never did with my acrdian file. Mabey it was the fact that it is splayed open for all the world to see my HUGE pile of coupons? Not sure but the second time i went to the store i was a little less aware but still i am suprised i did not have a panic moment.

One question for you, you said that you pring out the coupond list each week and take that with you ( remember that while i was a the store frustrated trying to find what i knew i had) I just went to print it off and it is saying 20 pages... do you realy print all 20 pages off each week? is there a way to make it print in less pages?

Thank you again for your wonderfull idea. Suprisingly enought hubby thought it was a supurb idea and was the one who pushed me to just put out the money and get it done.

Marne said...

No I don't print it out every week because I don't go "coupon shopping" every week. If I skip a week or two it hasn't been a big deal for me. I usually print mine out on scratch paper so I don't feel like I am using so much paper. Here is an idea for you: If you have a cell phone with internet access you don't have to print it off! Just look online.

Erica said...

It took me a while to finally decide to try your method. I too was frustrated over the idea of printing out pages and pages of a coupon list to make this idea work. I finally figured out an easy solution. I copy/paste the "Coupon List" into an excel sheet and then dump that in my "documents" folder on my phone. It takes just a minute and I can use the "search" or "find" option to find any coupon I need so I don't have to scroll through the list.

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