For me the Coupon Book/Binder method works best!
There are a few reasons I prefer this over a coupon box or leaving the inserts whole.
I don’t feel it’s as time-consuming as some may think. Sure you have to cut them out but you also do that if your going to put them in a box. Sure you have to sort them by categories but you do that for a coupon box too. The main difference for me between a coupon box and book is with the book you are able to scan the pages and see what you have.
When I first started coupon-ing I tried the box but having to pull out the full category just to see what was in there was annoying and time-consuming. With the book there are pages for each category and you can easily scan up and down without removing coupons and by simply flipping the pages.
I didn’t spend a whole lot of time on coupons in February. My book suffered. I decided this past Friday it needed to be updated. I expected this task to take a while since there was a full months worth of work to be done. To start I pulled out all the expired coupons.
There were A LOT of them!
Now my book is mostly bare.
I have a paper delivered to my house each Sunday. I receive coupons and some full inserts from family members. If the coupons are great and there are a few that I know I will use and can turn into a great deal I will stop and pick up 2 extra papers. Always check the paper for the full amount of inserts before you buy. I have learned that my grocery store always seems to be short one insert. I’m ok with people looking at me like I’m crazy because im searching the paper before I buy it! Afterall I’m buying it for the coupons, it wouldn’t be very frugal to buy it and not get any extra inserts!
If I’m playing catchup with the my book or doing them weekly I tend to do so the same way each time. First I sort my inserts so all like ones are together.
Then I start with one pile
For this group of them I took the 4 Smart Source inserts and layed them out open on the counter. I flip them all at once and cut out like coupons. Once I’ve cut all the copies of the coupons for one page I put those in the book where they go. (side note: I don’t spend extra time cutting them out perfectly or cutting extra boarders off – if I need more room I can just fold them in half so the picture or desc shows). I’ve noticed that when I’m getting tired of cutting coupons and I start making piles to put them all in the book at one time, then its time to take a break. Once there are a bunch of clipped coupons staring at me it feels overwhelming. If you go insert by inserts its easy to find a stopping point if you need a break.
Once you’ve clipped and put away all the coupons you have your book should look like this
And your ready to make your list and head to the store!
A few notes: My binder Zips up. At first I used a regular folder but I quickly learned that coupons can escape way to easily if they aren’t zipped in! My binder also has 2 zipper pouches on the inside. One is an insert that would normally hold pens if you were using it for school. I use that to put all the coupons in that I plan to use for the trip to the store. That way I’m not having to pull each coupon out as I get the items on my list. If the store is out of something or I decide not to get it I simply pull that coupon out of the pouch and place it in the smaller pouch that is on the inside cover of my book. This pouch is much smaller but makes for a convenient place to put unused coupons that need refilling. Once I’m home I can pull the coupons from that front pouch and put them back where they belong. I have my book sorted in the following categories: Deserts, Snacks, Breakfast, Baby, Store specific, Household, Personal Care, Baking & Grocery.
If a coupon book or box isn’t for you maybe keeping the inserts whole will work. Some will type up a list of the coupons in the insert and keep a spreadsheet or simply print out the list from Sunday Preview for each week. If you plan to keep the inserts whole or don’t plan to cut them out right away, make sure you date your inserts so that if you see a great deal and need to get a coupon you can simply flip to the right insert rather than going through each one page by page. For me I would still need to take the inserts to the store with the list and a small pair of scissors so that I could still take advantage of a great unadvertised deal.
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