I’ve graduated

So I’ve been couponing for a few months now.  I started in early Spring and organized my coupons in a little accordion/check file like this:   It worked great for me for a while.  But the longer you coupon the more coupons you acquire.  Every time I’d go shopping I’d make a list and pull the coupons I’d need and put them in a plastic baggie labeled with the store name.  This was fine until I’d get in the store and see something that wasn’t on my list.  Maybe an unadvertised sale or something. Then the shuffle would begin.  I’d have to pull out the stack of coupons and shuffle through them until I’d find the one I wanted.  Pain in the tookus and a time waster.

So I finally graduated.  I found a zippered binder (zippered so the coupons won’t fall out) kind of like this one at Target.  Then I ordered 2 sizes of baseball card sleeves from Amazon.  Even though I had to order 100 pages of each size it was a MUCH better deal than buying them 20 or so at a time from the store.   I ordered the standard 9 a page sleeve and also a 3 a page sleeve that holds 4×6 items for the larger coupons.  I also bought standard tabbed dividers.  I  didn’t go fancy with my dividers because I wasn’t sure how many I’d need.  These are just write on tabs.  Works just fine.

It took a while but with Susan’s help I came up with a list of categories.  I separated my coupons into Food and Non Food,labeled my tabs, then loaded up my binder.  I made a table of contents with an extra tab divider.    It’s SO much easier for me to find coupons now.   And cleaning out the expired coupons is so easy too because I can see the expiration date right there through the sleeve.  If you get a binder I suggest getting one with an accordion file at the front like mine.    I keep restaurant coupons in the front pocket and store ads in the other pockets.  Makes it easy when I’m at CVS to be able to pull out the ad and see exactly what’s on sale without having to hunt the ad down in the store.

Yes, the binder is big and heavy and a PITA to carry.  BUT, I just put it in my reusable grocery bag.  When I get my buggy I put my purse in the kid seat then open my binder over my purse.  There are pockets in my binder for pens, my lists, etc.  And CSP is happy because my purse is hidden from prowling burglars.   The binder’s bulk is the only drawback.  I LOVE it.  There’s a pocket in the back where I keep my little store baggies with the coupons I’m going to use on that trip.  And now if I need an additional coupon in store it takes seconds to find instead of minutes.  I feel like a pro!