Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Coupon Binder: How To Get Started (It's Easier Than You Think!)

How to go from this.....

Creating your own coupon binder is much easier than you think! All it takes is a little time, a little elbow grease and some patience. Besides, anything worth doing is worth doing right and anything worth doing right is worth the time it takes!

1. To get started, you will need a great, sturdy, notebook. There are many options available, but, I suggest a minimum 4-inch three ring binder with a few extras. Mine includes a built-in 8.5 X 11 envelope style file, a zippered mesh pouch, two elastic pen holders and buisness card slots in the back. Here's a great deal on a great binder to help you get started:  Case-It 2-Inch O-Ring Zipper Binder with Removable Tab File, Pink Print (D-900-PNK-P) (D-900-PNK-P)

2. Next you will need LOTS of clear, plastic baseball card protector sleeves. These come 9-slots per page and can be purchased at Target, Walmart, craft and hobby stores and even office supply stores for buisiness cards. However, baseball card holders will prove to be less expensive. To get yourself started, please check out this offer for 100 BCW 9 Pocket Storage Sheets for just $16.49 shipped from Amazon online. This will allow you 900 coupon pockets to get started!

3. Now you will need a way to divide your notebook. Some use notebook dividers, I prefer self-sticking page tabs with do-it-yourself inserts. I use double sided sealing tabs that are heavy duty plastic and about one inch each in length.

4. Now, lets's divide...and conquer! My notebook is divided into 13 sections, 2 letters of the alphabet per section. Each self-sticking tab is labeled with two letters: AB, CD, EF, GH, IJ, KL, MN, etc, etc. ending with YZ. I then sort my coupons by brand name or, manufacturer name and file under the appropriate two letter section. For example: Kraft Macaroni and Cheese would be filed under "KL" for Kraft. I also make sure that all the "K" coupons are filed in pages in front of the "L" coupons; so my entire notebook stays in alphabetical order. I do not mix the coupons within the two letter sections.

5. Now, the back of the notebook. The back of my notebook is home to plastic, pocketed page holders and I use those to keep my weekly ads organized and a copy of the store coupon policy for each of the corresponding weekly ads. I also use my self-sealing tabs and labels for this section; each divider gets its own tab and label. Also, in alphabetical order: Farm Fresh, Food Lion, Harris Teeter, Kroger, Rite Aid, Walgreens. And behind all of that, I keep additional, empty baseball card holders for easy reach when I need another.

6. The front of the notebook offers 5 additional built-in 8.5 X 11 inch dividers that I use for additional, uncut coupon inserts, additional weekly ads and coupon class information. I also keep my shopping lists and digital coupon print-outs in these divided sections.

To this!

And there you have it! And yes---that is my coupon notebook in the picture above. Home to over 2,000 clipped coupons and printed coupons and nearly 200 baseball card sleeves!

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