First of all we know that you will be most likely to succeed with your coupons to save money if you are orgainzed. This I believe is the number one key to saving wisely and less stressfully. I have put together a list of how to create your very own binder, please keep in mind this is how my binder is setup. Most people have their own way of doing things. You will find that once you have setup your coupon binder you will find what works for you. Of Course I will try to keep your cost low as we are all about saving money! This is a short list of things you need:
1. 1-2″ binder (you can use a bigger one if you like)- To keep costs low you can re-use an old binder that your kids or grandkids, even neighbors kids might have 🙂 Try shopping at a thrift store to find them also. Remember we are trying to save money and there is no reason to go out an buy the most expensive ones. Right now because of Back to School sales you can pick up 1″ Binders at Walmart or Target for less than $1.00.
2. You will need to find plastic inserts to hold all your coupons. (Baseball card holders or Scrapbook plastic picture holders work best) you can find these online but they tend to be a little spendy. Again try your local Walmart or target as they both carry them. Look on line sometimes on Craigslist you will find people getting rid of baseball card books that contain these pages you can recycle the rest. I believe this will be your most expensive item to purchase but you should not spend more than $6.00 for 35 sheets of the baseball inserts. If your lucky to have a shop that sells baseball cards near you there is a possibility that they may have used ones that you can get for real cheap or maybe even free- you do have to learn to talk to the stores and play nice please as there are others that might be asking too.
3. You will also need to find some sort of tabbed dividers to seperate all your sections you wish to have for coupons. Ex:Frozen, Meats, Dairy, Boxed Goods, Canned Goods ect….. These also can be found on sale with the back to school items you should pay no more than $1.00 for a set of 8- If you can’t find them your local dollar stores usually carry them. Or once again Re-use old ones that your kids may have use the previous year in school.
4. You will need a good pair scissors. These can be found on sale with the back to school sales or you can search your local craft stores and use their weekly 30-40% off coupons that you can find in the paper (Be sure to sign up for any reward cards they have as you will get more coupons sent via mail or email- another way to save) If you don’t want to spend money right now utilize scissors you may already have or again whatever your kids used last year.
5. Next it is wise to start a grocery list on your computer of items you use regularly. I do this to save me time and we all know time is money. This should be kept in the front of you binder to keep updated for the week, month or however you do your shopping. If you have a coupon for an item you use, it is easy to highlight it so when your shopping you know to look for that coupon.
6. Pocket folders (1-2) seem to work well for me as I can keep my newest ads in one location or any lists I create for the weekly sales. These are on sale during back to school sales. Or once again re-use items you already have.
7. A couple of Top Loading sheet protectors to keep all your current store policies. This will help to make sure you are aware of any changes to your local stores policies.
8. I also keep a Pencil pouch in my binder with at least 2 zippers, but it is not neccesary. I use this to keep pens, pencils and any rainchecks or ECB, or Register rewards for easy access. These are also on sale during back to school sales or utilize an old one that your kids are not using anymore.
9. Spiral notebook, Each week I use this to make my sales list. I write down the current sales I want to take advantage of, their location, the page number of the ad so I don’t have to look over the ad numerous times, the prices, and if I have a coupon. This helps to plan out my route also if I am going to several stores.
10. Last but not least, and Not Required is a cover for your binder. If you make your binder your own you will be more likely to take couponing seriously and have fun while being stylish and keeping all your itmes together. You can purchase these anywhere from $19.98 to 59.00 on the web. If you would like to know where to find them please send me an email and I can send you in the right direction.
Now that you have all your stuff you need to create your sections of your book. Mine is setup as follows:
1) Boxed Goods- Hamburger Helper, Suddenly Salads, Hungry Jacks, Stovetop Stuffing
2) Non-Refrigerated Beverages- Welch’s Juices, Coffee, Ice Tea, V8, Crystal Light
3) Crackers- Ritz, Saltines, Town House, Pepperidge farm, Wheat Thins, Triscuits
4) Canned- Green beans, Corn, Soups, Beans, Broths, Fruits, Chili
5) Condiments- Mayo, Pickles, Olives, Salad Toppings, Ketchup, Mustard, Hot Sauces, BBQ
6) Pasta- Spaghetti, Lasagna, Rice, Mac and Cheese
7) Breakfast- Cereals, Granola Bars, Syrup, Pop tarts
8) Meats- Hot dogs, Deli meats, Hams, Chicken, Sausages
9) Baking- Oil, Sugar, Flour, Vinegar, Boxed Cakes, Frosting
10) Refrigerated Beverages- Gallon Iced Tea, Minute Maid, Tropicana
11) Dairy- Milk, Eggs, Yogurt, Sour Cream, Cream Cheese, Cheese, Butter
12) Breads- White Bread, Wheat Bread, Hot Dog Buns, Hamburger Buns, Rolls
13) Sodas- Pepsi’s, Root Beer, Sierra Mist, Sprite, Dr. Pepper, Fruit Punch
14) Snacks- Fruit Snacks, Nuts, Popcorn, Gum, Candy, Cookies, Chips
15) Frozen- Pizza, Desserts, Dinners, Ice Cream, French Fries
16) Misc.- Diet, Health
17) Baby- Diapers, Baby soap, Food
18) Restaurants- Olive Garden, Red lobster, Hardees, Blimpie’s, Dairy Queen
This is only the food part of my binder and you can create one for Health and Beauty aids as well. I keep this in the front of my sections to help me remember what coupons I will find in each section. Saves Time! Next you take each of your tabs and label them to match all your sections above and start inserting you coupons.
I hope this helps everyone to create something on their own. As I kept stating above with all the back to school sales I was able to create a Starter binder for less than $10.00! Please feel free to share your stories of how you saved money on yours, and pictures too!