"Never get so busy about making a living, that you forget about having a life."

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Baby Steps to Couponing: Sheet Protectors

Hello Everyone

Thought I would share more information on organizing the coupon binder...hope some of my tips are helpful.  When I first started clipping coupons, I spent much time viewing blogs for ideas on how to get organized, until I found what worked best for me.  
An excellent source for beginners is:  The Krazy Coupon Lady, "Ten Days to Become a KCL."  
Feel free to comment on my suggestions and offer some tips of your own!!! 

Getting Started:
As a beginner at couponing, I cut out any coupon I could get a hold of and I placed them into a Case It Binder.  After the first shopping trip, I realized this technique didn't work for me, since I had too many coupons that I didn't use.  So, I started placing MIC (most important coupons) into sheet protectors and organizing the coupons in the Case It Binder.  MIC are Internet / magazine / newspaper coupons of products commonly used in our household.

The three types of sheet protectors that I use are: baseball card, full-sheet, and three pocket top loaders.  Since my coupon binder takes much wear and tear, I prefer the heavy duty sheet protectors.

 Baseball Card Sheet Protectors
The baseball card sheet protectors work well for coupons cut from magazines. I do not place any coupons on the back of the page, because it is too hard to remove the coupons.
Three Pocket, Top Loading Page Protectors ~ My Favorite 
I prefer the heavy duty protectors, since they stand up to much use.  Also, I purchase the top loading style and I do place the coupons back-to-back.  For my first binder I purchased 50 sheet protectors, but I wish I would have purchased more.

Avery #81824
Double Pocket Insertable Plastic Dividers
My favorite divider for binders!!!  Not only are these dividers large enough so one can see the tables beyond the sheet protectors, but there are pockets to hold sheets that need to be cut or other important papers.
The 5 tabs give enough room for writing the coupon titles.  The titles that work for best me are: Bakery, Beverages, Canned Food, Cleaning Supplies, Condiments, Convenience Foods, Cooking and Baking Supplies, Frozen, Fresh Fruit & Veggies, Health & Beauty, Paper & Plastic, Refrigerated, School & Household, Snacks, Magazines & Toys. (I would suggest separating the duo titles if you have many coupons in each of the categories,  but at the time I didn't have any more dividers.)

 On the right side of the binder I place the MICs...remember to use the velcro strap, because the rings on the binder have a tendency to open up when I carry it by the handle.  What's in the pocket?

I keep a small scissor, pencil, and calculator in the pocket.  Storing a  Post-It Pen in the pocket  is great for writing your grocery lists and the Post-Its are helpful to mark the Walgreens books which identify the coupons one will use.

What's on the left side of the binder?
The divider tabs are labeled with names of stores (example: Target and Walgreens) that have in-store coupons.  Notice the envelopes?  I write my grocery list on the envelopes and I place the coupons inside.

 Full-sheet page protectors are useful in keeping the stores' policies.

Hope these tips help make your couponing experience a success!!! 


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