Last April my husband was laid off from his job. I saw a few of these crazy ladies on Facebook who save TONS of money by using coupons, so I decided to give it a try! Admittedly, I have not been doing very good lately because it does take a few hours a week and I just haven't had the time. Also, my precious coupon binder (pictures to follow) has gone missing. I don't know if it's in the garage or at a store somewhere, but it's gone and I'm sad. One day I will find or replace it!
To start, you need a 3 ring binder, page protectors, a pencil pouch with the 3 holes, stuff to go inside said pencil pouch (instructions on that below) and baseball card holders.
I use a 2" binder. This one I got at Target for $3.89. It has the clear cover so you can insert photos, etc. As you can see, I have a picture of my family in the front. I do this as a reminder of why I spend hours each week clipping coupons, matching deals online and in ads and going to as many as 10 different stores each week. Also, it helps me tell the front from the back!
On the inside front I keep coupons I haven't cut out or sorted yet. I also keep my lists here after I've made them. As I make each list (one for each store) I use a paperclip to hold the coupons for that trip to that list. Sometimes I don't use them all, so I put them here until I have time to put them where they go.
This is my super rad Strawberry Shortcake pencil pouch. You know you're jealous. I got it at Dollar Tree!
Inside of my pencil pouch I have sticky notes, scissors, rubber bands, paperclips, a calculator, pens, a pencil, a sharpie marker and for some reason a penny.
After the pencil pouch comes store specific page protectors. This one is for CVS. It contains the current sale ad as well as any store specific coupons. When I have them, this is also where I put my Extra Care Bucks (coupon good for a certain dollar amount off a future purchase). I have one page protector for each store I frequent. This makes it easier to keep track of the sale ads too.
Next comes my categories! I just used regular page divider things that were $0.97 for a 5 pack at Target. You can get nicer ones, but I'm cheap so I got these! My categories are
*meat & dairy
*frozen foods, drinks, juices
*cereal, breakfast foods, breads
*flour, baking, oil
*pasta, rice, seasonings, crackers, cookies
*paper goods, household and cleaning supplies
* personal care, meds, pets
*sauces, condiments, dressings, jellies
*canned goods, soups
Here is one of my coupon pages. I use the trading card pages that you find over by the baseball, Pokemon and other cards of that sort. I found them in a pack of 30 pages for $4.99 at Target. I have about 80 pages in total, but I'm crazy.
Here is a photo of one of the blank pages for your reference.
Behind the last tab is where I keep all my restaurant and fast food coupons in a single page protector. I sort through this and my other coupons about once a month and pull out all the expired ones.
Right behind the coupons I have the nutrition facts for various restaurants. A lot of places have these at the front or you can print them from online. We like to know what we're eating, so we like to have these.
Finally, in the back is another pocket with extra paper (usually scraps from my online printed coupons) and sale ads for other non-grocery stores and Costco - gotta have those Costco coupons! Now, I'm not at all one of those "extreme" couponers and if I'm being really honest - they irritate the living daylights out of me! I buy only what my family can use (I don't clear the shelves of sale/coupon items). I do try to keep a small stockpile of certain things (toothpaste, toothbrushes, deoderant, canned goods and non-perishables), but it's not a huge stockpile and I have found that it comes in handy when someone unexpectedly needs to stay the night or if I have a friend in need!
I hope you enjoyed this post and that you can save yourself some cash by making (and using) a coupon binder!! If you want to know who I follow on Facebook, let me know! Maybe I can get their permission and have a whole link-up post!