Extreme Couponing 101: Step Three!


Step Three: Get organized!

There are many, many different ways to organize your coupons. I have used the binder method from day one, and I have never regretted it. It takes a little while to get set up, but once it is all organized you will love it!
 
So here are my step by step directions for creating a coupon binder!
 
1. Buy or scrounge up a binder. You are probably going to want one that is at least 3-4 inches thick, and you may even want to splurge on one that has a zipper and a handle. When I first started I had just a regular binder and that worked fine for me. I lucked out one day when I found my current zipper binder at a thrift store for $3. The brand of my binder is Case-it, and I have seen them on Amazon, and at Target and Walmart. The major advantage of the zipper binder is being able to zip it up so there is no chance of loose coupons falling out.
 
2. Put your name and phone number in it!!! You don’t want to lose it and there not be a chance you can get it back.
 
3. Buy some regular page protectors, and some baseball card holders (I’ve also seen them called sport card holders). I like the nine slot ones, but I have heard of people finding four and six slot ones that they have used and liked too. Usually the nine slot ones can be found at your local office supply store, or in the baseball card section in the front of Walmart, or on Amazon, and some Dollar Tree’s have been rumored to carry then as well. I would recommend getting at least 60 pages of the baseball card holders to start out, and at least 31 of the regular sheet protectors.
 

4. Print out these section dividers. There are 31 pages total (30 section dividers and a table of contents). The last two sections are left blank so you can create a section that you think is missing or that you think would be applicable to your life.
 
Coupon Binder Section Dividers
(Click on the Download button, which is the symbol that has the arrow pointing downward)
 

5. Put the table of contents in front and then put each section divider in a page protector and put it in the binder (in the order of the table of contents). Put two baseball card holders behind each section divider as you go.


And now, time for the coupons!
 
I’m going to take you step by step on how to separate, cut, organize and file all your coupons.
 
1. Gather all your inserts.

2. Start separating all the pages, and sorting them putting all like pages together. At this point you can choose to clip every coupon (which many people choose to do) or just clip the ones you know your family uses, or that your family would use if you could get it really cheap or free. I choose to do the second option. It seems like I barely have time to clip the coupons my family uses, let alone every single one! I do, however, keep all the inserts with all the coupons for about 6-8 months (I’ll show you how I store them below). I keep them just in case a sale comes along and I need a coupon I did not clip. Some people choose to clip and file every single coupon so they are always prepared for that surprise deal or clearance find. They feel like if they can get it for free and donate it, then they want to do it (which is great!).

3. Cut the pages at the same time. Only cut however many you feel comfortable doing though. If you are nervous about clipping off expiration dates, barcodes etc, then maybe just do three at a time. If you are fearless like me, then feel free to do ten at a time!


But be careful because if you aren’t your coupons may turn out like this! :)
4. I put all my coupons in a pile as I go, stacked in a way that they are easy to grab and all stay in their designated groups.
5. Once I am done cutting an insert, I gather up all the pages and put them inside one cover. I stack up the inserts in a designated spot so they are easily accessible in the future. (Did you know each insert has the date clearly printed on the side?)


6. Once those are set aside I file my pile of coupons. I carefully fold the coupons (if needed) and slide them into a spot in the correct section. File all coupons that are the same in one spot. You can choose to put the coupons back to back (so 18 coupons per page), but it may make it more difficult to see the expiration dates.

When it comes to printables, I fold them in thirds and file them right in with the rest.

-Some people choose to file their store coupons (like Target printable coupons) right in with the rest of their coupons, other people put the store coupons in the actual slot with the same kind of manufacturer coupon, while other people choose just to paper clip them together and keep them separate.
7. Print out a copy of your store’s coupon policy and stick it in there. You never know when you are going to get a cashier that doesn’t know the policy and wants to give you a hard time. If you have the coupon policy on hand, you can whip it out and clear up any misunderstandings. (Just google “The store name” coupon policy and you should be able to find them.)
8. Make the binder your own. If you think scissors or a calculator would be beneficial to have in there, stick them in. If you want a big picture of your kids and your dog on the front, stick it on! Have fun with it. Make adjustments as needed. There is nothing set in stone that says you have to do it this way, so do what works for you!


I would recommend taking your binder with you whenever you go into a store. I have had countless times when I have found unexpected things on clearance and was able to pop open by binder and pull out a coupon for it and make it free. It may seem big and bulky, but carry it loud and proud! YOU are saving BIG!!!

←Go To Step Two .                                                     Go To Step Four→

 

Comments

  1. Would you mind emailing me the PDF files as well? Thanks so much!

  2. Ok why does it cost money to print the section dividers?

  3. Where did you find your binder? I have a 1.5 inch one now, but it’s too small!

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