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Coupon Organization: The Binder Method

Coupon Oranization - The Binder Method : ecoMomicalMe.com

Today we are going to look at organizing your coupons using The Coupon Binder method. (The best organization method for you will be based on your savings goals, time and available resources.)

Now first I must say that I LOVE my binder… isn’t it cute? I got this from Coupon Clutch and I couldn’t be happier with it! I have had it for 1 year and it still looks great! Now I know I could have made this myself, but I still have fabric I bought 3 years ago to make curtains for my daughters room and growth charts, but those still haven’t been made! :)

If you would like to order a Coupon Clutch use coupon code TAKE5 at checkout to get $5.00 off your order! :)

PROS :

  • Easily see coupons at the flip of a page
  • Portable – can take to the store with you
  • Great for finding unadvertised & Clearance deals
  • Easily see expired coupons for purging
  • Can store unclipped coupon inserts in pockets

CONS :

  • Must clip all coupons weekly
  • Must purge expired coupons

Coupon Organization - The Binder Method : ecoMomicalMe.com

SUPPLIES:
To start using the binder method you will need:

3 Ring Binder :
Look for a 2″ 3 ring binder. My 3 ring binder is 1 1/2″ but it really needs to be 2″ and that would be perfect!

Dividers :
I like to use plastic because it is more durable, double pockets to put extra coupons, price lists, etc in and big 5 tabs to make it easier to read.

Baseball Card Holders :
I suggest buying a pack of 100 – 9 pocket baseball card holders as these are a perfect fit for most coupons and it is easy to spot a coupon behind the clear sheets.

TIPS :

  1. Put your contact information in the front of your binder. This is an extremely valuable item and you will just kick yourself if you loose it and no one can contact you!
  2. Add A Store Guide to the front pocket of your binder, this way when you need something and you’re not sure where it is located you can pull out your store guide as a reference. I also use this to organize my coupon categories.
  3. Put FREE Coupons in the front pocket. I try to hold onto these as long as possible to see if a good deal will come up at one of the drug stores where I can turn the FREE coupon into a money making deal using store loyalty programs.
  4. Include a pair of scissors for clipping any unclipped coupons, a calculator, pen and paper.
  5. I don’t clip my P&G inserts, I just put them in the front (baby) divider and know to look there if purchasing any P&G products. I may clip out the coupons that I think I might use such as diaper coupons.  (I don’t use alot of P&G products so this works for me.)
  6. Put any clipped or unclipped coupons in that Category’s pocket divider to sort and insert later. (I like to insert coupons in my binder as I cut each one, that’s just what works for me.)
  7. In the front of each Category divider place your table of contents, when filing or searching for coupons you can use the table of contents to verify if you are in the right category.
  8. In the back of each Category divider place your price book for that category, when shopping and finding an unadvertised deal you can verify if it is a good buy price.
  9. I use the below categories to organize my store weekly deals. When viewing your stores weekly deal post you don’t have to flip back and forth throughout your binder. When shopping you can turn to the category of the department you are in.
  10. When inserting duplicate coupons with different expiration dates, I try and put them in the same spot. I put the new coupons in the back and those that are expiring sooner are in the front. When I purge my expired coupons at the beginning of the month I pull out the coupons, pull off the top expired coupons and put the rest back. This helps save time searching for coupons and saves space.

CATEGORIES:
You can pick what ever categories make sense to you, but below are the categories I use and a sample of the types of coupons you can find in each category. I suggest using the store that you shop at the most as your guide for setting up your binder. I use Meijer as my guide for organizing my coupons.  I try to organize my coupons into the proper category of the department they are found in. For example Pillsbury biscuits are found in the Dairy department so I file them under Dairy even thou they aren’t what I would consider a Dairy item. Not everyone is going to put the same coupon in the same category, just use what makes sense to you.

Get our FREE Download: Coupon Binder Table of Contents!

BABY
Baby Food, Baby Lotion, Baby Shampoo, Diapers, Diapering Creams & Powders, Formula, Wipes.

BAKING
Backing Cups, Cake Mix, Cocoa Mix, Cookie Mix, Cooking spray, Flour, Frosting, Jello,Marshmallows, Muffin Mix, Nuts, Oil, Pie Filling, Pudding, Seasonings, Sugar, Syrups, Yeast.

BEVERAGE
Coffee, Drink Mixes, Juice, Tea, Pop/Soda, Water.

BREAKFAST
Bagels, Bread, Breakfast Bars, Breakfast Drinks, Cereal, English Muffins, Granola Bars, Oatmeal, Pancake Mix, Pop-Tarts, Syrup, Waffle Mix.

CONDIMENTS
BBQ Sauce, Hot Sauce, Jam/Jelly, Ketchup, Marinades, Mayo, Mustard, Olives, Peanut Butter, Pickles, Salad Dressings, Salsa, Soy Sauce, Vinegar, Worcestershire Sauce.

DAIRY
Butter, Cheese, Cookie Dough, Cottage Cheese, Creamer, Eggs, Milk, Parmesan Cheese, Pie Crusts, Refrigerated Dips, Refrigerated Pillsbury Products, Refrigerated Jello/Pudding, Sour Cream, Yogurt.

FROZEN
Frozen Breads, Frozen Chicken, Frozen Dinners, Frozen Fruit, Frozen Juice, Frozen Meats, Frozen Pillsbury Products, Ice Cream, Pizza, Popsicle, Vegetables.

GROCERY
Beans, Boxed Dinners, Canned Dinners, Canned Fruit, Canned Poultry, Canned Vegetables, Pastas, Pasta Sauce, Rice, Tuna
(This is my catch-all category… if I’m not sure where it should go I put it here)

MEAT, POULTRY & SEAFOOD
Bacon, Breakfast items, Ham, Hot Dogs, Packaged Deli Meats, Pepperoni, Refrigerated Entrees,  Refrigerated Sides, Refrigerated Meats, Sausage, Seafood

PRODUCE
Fruit, Hummus, Mission Tortillas, Salad Dressing (found in produce section),  Vegetables, Veggie Dip

SOUP
Broth, Soup

SNACK & CANDY
Candy, Chips, Crackers, Cookies, Dried Fruit, Fruit Snacks, Gum, Jerky, Nuts, Pop Corn, Pretzels

MEDICINE
Cold Medicine, Contact Solutions, Cough Drops, Eye Drops, Health Bars, Health Shakes, Meters, Vitamins
(This can be divided into sub-categories, but we don’t normally buy medicines so I don’t bother putting them into sub-catagories.)

PERSONAL CARE
I have personal care broken down into the following sub-categories:
BODY : Body Lotion, Body Wash, Razors, Shave Gel, Soap, Personal Lubricants, Q-Tips.
COSMETICS : Beauty Tools, Facial Cleansers, Facial Lotions, Lip Products, Make-up, Nail Polish.
DENTAL : Children’s Toothpaste, Floss, Denture Care, Mouthwash, Teeth Whiting Products, Toothbrush, Toothpaste.
DEODORANT : Anti-Perspirant, Body Mist, Deodorant.
FEMININE : Condoms, Cleansing Cloths, Incontinent Supplies, Pads, Pregnancy Tests, Tampons.
FIRST AID : Antibiotic Ointment, Bandages, Sanitizer.
HAIR CARE : Conditioner, Hair Color, Hair Spray, Shampoo, Styling Product.

HOUSEHOLD
I have household broken down into the following sub-categoris:
BATTERIES : Batteries, Battery Adapters & Chargers.
CANDLES & AIR SPRAYS : Candles, Fabric Sprays, Plug-ins.
CLEANING : All Purpose Cleaner, Carpet Cleaner, Disinfectant Spray/Wipe, Dusting Spray, Furniture Polish, Glass Cleaner, Toilet Bowl Cleaner.
DISH : Dish Soap, Dishwasher Detergent, Hand Soap, Sponges.
LAUNDRY :  Bleach, Fabric Softener, Laundry Detergent, Stain Fighting Products
PAPER : Moist Wipes, Paper Towels, Tissue, Toilet Paper.
PET : Food, Snacks, Toys.
STORAGE : Foil, Paper/Styrofoam Bowls, Cups, Plates, Parchment Paper, Plastic Sandwich/Snack Bags, Plastic Containers, Trash Bags, Wax Paper.
OTHER : (catch-all category) Insect Sprays, Light bulbs, Water Filtration Products.

What suggestions do you have for using the binder method?  What organization method do you use? Send us a picture to include in our future posts! Share below in the comments section!

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