One of the best ways to take advantage of your coupons is to organise them in a way that you can easily find what you are looking for. The simplest way to go about this is by building a coupon binder.
Before I put together my own binder I was using a system of envelopes but I found more often than not that coupons would go unused and forgotten or were difficult to find – especially once I had a large collection. I still don’t redeem every coupon that I get but I certainly do use more than I used to simply because they are at my fingertips when I need them.
I have created here a simple How to Guide for creating your own binder and how to create an efficient system for sorting your coupons.
To create your binder you can use a regular old binder. You don’t need anything special if you are just starting out. A Zippered binder though with inside pockets is a great tool for the more advanced couponer. when the binder is zipped you don’t have to worry about your coupons falling out and getting lost. With a zippered binder you can store your clipping scissors, calculator, paper for your shopping list, and pens along with any other tools you regularly use.
Fill the binder with plastic trading card sheets – most coupons fit into these easily. You could also use plastic sheets meant for photo albums for your larger coupons. I found plastic sheets at Walmart but you could also buy them online, or at other department stores.
You will then need binder dividers in order to sort your coupons into sections.
How To Sort & File Your Coupons
A good sorting system for your coupon binder is essential and there are many ways to file your coupons. You should choose the method that makes the most sense to you as the goal is to create a system that will allow you to find a particular coupon easily when you are looking for it.
- By Product Type: Create categories based on product types. Some examples would be Food, Health, Beauty, Home, Baby, and Pet. There are many more you could add and you can always add more. I started off with basic categories and added some where I found I had a lot of a certain type. I now have extended categories for laundry and toiletries. I find this is the easiest to maintain for my busy lifestyle. You could also setup categories that mirror the aisles of your favourite store if you intend to bring your binder shopping with you.
- By Expiry Date: Sort coupons by month of expiry with about to expire coupons at the front. I would really only suggest this for smaller collections of coupons as it would be hard to locate a particular product coupon this way.
- Alphabetically: You could also organise Alphabetically by brand name.