Thursday, November 20, 2008

My Coupon Organizer (Part 2)

A lot of you have inquired about where my coupon binder and pages came from.

Good news: My binder was only $3.74.

Bad news: It was a clearance item at CVS after school started this year.

You won't be able to find my specific binder, but I found a similar one at Wal-Mart for $9.96. It has pockets on the outside for small scissors or a calculator.
The expandable file is inside. I really like mine being on the outside, but this binder still seems very useful.

The sleeves I use for my coupons are actually photo album pages. They are made to hold 5x7 size photos and they have two pockets per page. It is $1.96 for 10 pages. My binder has 25 pages.

My categories are in order of how I shop at my most frequently shopped store (I printed the categories from my computer onto cardstock and cut them to size). Map out the aisles of your favorite store and write down the categories you find works best for your coupons.

I just used regular sheet protectors at the back of my binder for restaurant coupons, retail stores' coupons, and rebate forms.
I didn't run out and buy this when I first started couponing. I made my small check file work until it wouldn't even close. I used an empty 12x12 scrapbook. Then I used an old 3-ring binder and regular 8.5"x11" sheet protectors that I already had. This gave me ideas about what worked for me and what didn't (I knew I didn't want to use the trading card pages I'd read about). Then I patiently searched for just the right system. Also, I felt better about waiting until I had saved a substantial amount of money using coupons.
One thing I read about on someone else's blog (I can't remember whose :(...) was to have a category for "HOT!" coupons. Items that will be FREE, super cheap, or that you really love can go into this category. I haven't used this yet, but I thought it was a cool idea.
I have envelopes for each store that I keep in the expandable file with the ads. If I get a store coupon or a coupon that I know I want to use at a specific store, I just put it in the correct envelope. These also hold my savings cards, ECB's, and RR's.
Let me know if you have any questions!


alanajo said...

My sister uses the photo sleeves as well.

Christy said...

So what categories did you decide on? Do you have 50 categories?

Vallari said...

Hey Sis, I have this binder and it works great for me. I use card stock labeled pages in card stock as you suggested. I also have colored pocket pages in the back with tabs labeled for my stores I frequent. I put my weekly flier and the coupons good only in that store in a photo page next to it. I also keep my dayplanner in her and Bible reading schedule. I have all my stores value cards on a keyring attached to the loop on the front. I keep pens and scissors and stamps in here. I have our clothing and shoe sizes in a page. I have the rebates section. I am so organized now and i wanted to give you some kudos and say Thanks a Bunch Sis! I love ya!