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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Coupon Organization - Making it Work for YOU {Part 3}

If you haven't already, be sure to read Part 1 {where I explained WHY you must get organized to succeed in couponing! I also shared a link to a fab spreadsheet to track your savings} and Part 2 {where I showed you how I organized my coupons the first 9 months of couponing!}.

#2 - Binder/Baseball Card Holder Method

This is probably the most common method of organization. Monica gave a great tutorial about how she set up her coupon binder. There is no sense in me rewriting what she's already done, so go check it out! She breaks down all the categories that she sorts her coupons in as well.

A few things to keep in mind if you decide to do a binder. I would suggest getting something that zips or snaps or velcros shut! You can pretty much guarantee you'll drop your binder at least one time. It really stinks to have everything fall out! (Last summer we each purchased a fabulous binder at Costco for $10 {they had a coupon of course!}. Although they are no longer carrying it, you can see what a great binder it is and look for something similar).

I was tired of feeling like I was missing out on deals because I didn't know what every coupon was that I had (hard to see when they are filed away), so I tried this method for a few months. But after a bit, I realized it just wasn't working for me. I had a difficult time finding the time to clip and tuck the coupons in the slots (good heavens - I've got 7 kidlets you know! YIKES!).

* You will always (OK, well, some of us don't always remember EVERYTHING), know what coupons you've clipped, since you spent so much time handling them!
* If you have your categories organized according to your stores layout (surely you have one store you shop more than anything else!), it will be easy to find coupons while browsing through the isles. If you see that deodorant on clearance, you'll be able to easily find that fab coupon to match it to!
* More user friendly during the shopping trip.

* The most time consuming method of organization.
* Can become overwhelming if you don't stay on top of it.
* A bigger investment for the system (good binder and baseball card holders)

STAY TUNED!! In part 4 of the series, I'll show you a super fab and super quick way to cut your coupons - especially if you're getting multiple copies of the Sunday paper like we are! I'll also post some pictures that I took last week at our coupon swap, reader Cathy B makes her very own coupon holders (much cheaper than buying baseball card holders!). I promise to get this next post up SOONER than LATER!!! :)

SO - are you currently using the binder/baseball card method? What do you like about it? What do you hate about it?

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natalie kay said...

The two things that I LOVE about this system are:
#1-- I can SEE every coupon and they won't shift. I can easily flip through my binder at the store and come up with the coupon that I'm looking for. And if I come across something unexpected on a good sale, I can flip through to see if I have a coupon for that item.
#2--It is very easy to sort out the expired coupons if you fold them in half and leave the exp date showing on the back side. Each week, I search through the binders and glance over the dates, discarding the out-of-date coupons. Then I fill the empty spots (by category of course) with the new week's coupons.

What I HATE about this method is the TIME it requires to clip and file each set of coupons.

***I still have yet to find an easier/more convenient way to make my coupons available for quick reference at the store. So this is the way i do it.

Katie said...

I have been doing this method but am overwhelmed with the time it takes. I currently have 2 months of coupons I havnt cut or organized yet because I just havn't had the time to put them in the binder. I NEED A BETTER WAY, or else I am giving couponing up. Please help.

Jenny said...

The suspense is killing me!!! Tell us the better way! I adore Fabulessly Frugal and how it has changed my family's budget forever. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

Carolee said...

I gave up on clipping. Like you, Katie, I had the inserts piling up on me and it was stressing me out. Plus, I would go clean out the expired coupons and I would think, "why did I take the time to clip and organize all of these and now I'm taking the time to throw them away!?" So now I'm using a kind of filing version. I think Cathy will tell us more about it next time! It may not be the best way to utilize ALL of my coupons, but at least I'm not stressing out about it and I don't have a pile of couponing stuff. We moved 2 months ago, and I have enough piles and boxes I'm still trying to deal with!

Vanessa said...

I want to know how she makes her own coupon holders! Are you gonna let us know?