The number one reason why some people fail at couponing is because they fail to plan. If you have a strategy behind your money-saving goals, couponing will quickly become a way to destress yourself — especially financially. Here are five easy steps to help you set up your coupon binder and keep it organized.

1. Get a sturdy zipper binder that’s at least 3 inches.

zippered-coupon-binder

If you can find a binder with a built-in front pocket and a strap, even better! The pocket in the front is perfect for storing the coupons you plan to use while you’re in a store.

2. Separate each section with these free decorative inserts.

table-of-contents

You can get our decorative inserts here for free.

Related: 7 Easy Tips for Building a Better Stockpile

3. Use sheet protectors to keep each coupon easily accessible.

You’ll need three kinds of sheet protectors for your binder:

  1. Full page for individual categories and table of contents, store policies, rebates, and full coupon inserts.
  2. 3-Pocket coupon storage for printed coupons and larger coupons that come directly from manufacturers. (These aren’t a necessity, but they definitely help keep your binder cleaned up.)
  3. Trading card holders for individual newspaper coupons. (I find it easier to see my coupons with half of an index card inserted into each slot.)

I got all of these for free at Staples during the holidays with a BOGO coupon and a special that was running on Staples rewards. Staples frequently has deals like these, and you can also find the full sheet protectors and the baseball card holders at Dollar Tree as well.

Tip: Put a baseball card sleeve as the first page in your binder so that you can easily see expiring coupons that you intend to use, or free coupons that you might miss.

 

 

4. Set aside a time every week to clip and organize coupons.

coupon-clipping

I use Sunday afternoons while watching a movie, but whenever you have time is fine—just don’t let your coupons pile up! Try clipping multiple copies of the same insert at a time by placing each copy of an insert page one on top of another. After about a month, you’ll start to memorize the categories, and you’ll find it gets faster every time.

Tip: Instead of clipping individual coupons, you can also organize entire inserts (or insert pages) by date. At KCL, we’ll tell you which insert has the coupon you need for a deal:

redplum-date

(SS = Smart Source, RP = Red Plum, PG = Procter & Gamble)

5. Maintain your coupon binder by removing expired coupons.

coupon binder

When you’re finished cutting coupons, it’s time to go through your binder. Go through each page, and quickly remove any expired coupons. After removing old coupons, you’ll have space to insert your new coupons, using one slot for all copies of each coupon that you have.

Coupon binder not for you? Try the file box method.

file-box

If clipping individual coupons sounds like torture, you’re going to love this organization method! Watch our instructional video here.

 

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Related: How to Properly Order Newspapers for Coupon Inserts