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PostSubject: Binder Method   Mon Jan 26, 2009 12:09 am

Here is some basic info about the Binder Method for organizing your coupons.



ORGANIZING YOUR COUPONS
USING THE "BINDER METHOD"
There are many ways to organize your coupons. You can always use a filing system-in a box, an accordian file or an envelope. I have tried them all & the very best method that works for me is the "binder method".

If you use a box to file them, you will quickly learn that if it falls down or turns over-you have lost hours of work. And you will want to cry. Belive me, I know it happened to me not once but twice!!

I actually use 2 binders-one if for Food Items the other is for Non-Food Items. There are several reasons why I use 2 binders and the best reason that I can give you is that one binder fills up incredibly fast and having 2 binders has solved that problem.

Plus, after I have shopped for all my non-food items, I can put that binder away and break out my other binder. Its pretty efficient. you may not need 2 different binders-but it has helped me out.

Try it with one binder first and see what works best for you.

HOW TO MAKE A COUPON BINDER

Here's the info:

Most importantly: Put your name, address, and phone number(s) on the inside cover in case it gets lost. (some people have forgotten theirs in the carts when they load their groceries into their car). In case yours get lost, hopefully it will be able to be returned!

I use a 3 ring 3" zipper type notebook that has inside pockets to hold my flyers. I use the 9 pocket baseball card pages for the coupons and one 3 pocket page for my weekly ads or rebates I'll be doing for the month.

I also use a zipper pencil pouch to hold my scissors, my pen, notepad, and calculator. I use the self-stick divider tabs to separate my categories.

Also, I have found this to be incredibly helpful-right after the tab that has your category written on it, I put a page protector (just one that can hold a 8x11 sheet of paper). I use this for coupons that are way too big for the baseball card holders (that cannot be folded to fit in the baseball card holders).

I trim my coupons very closely and there are very few coupons that I have to fold to fit in the pockets. The longer coupons I keep in the bottom row of pockets so the zipper won't catch on them.

I started off using one or two pages per category, but now I have about 5 pages per category it really all depends on how many coupons that you have. I try to keep like coupons together in the pockets.


Here is a list of Categories-you can change this up to what best suits you.

Baby Items

Baking Items

Beverages

Canned goods

Cereals

Cleaning Supplies

Condiments

Dairy

Deodorants

Entertainment

Facial Care, razors, etc.

Feminine Hygiene

Frozen Foods

Laundry needs

Makeup

Meats

Misc.

Oral care

Over the Counter Meds

Paper & Plastic

Pasta & Rice

Pets needs

produce

Restaurants

salad dressings

snacks

soaps and body washes

If you are incredibly organized, you may want create categories there are subcategories (within a category), for example: Paper/ Plastic is broken down and label on the pockets for toilet paper, paper towels, paper plates, napkins, foil, plastic bags, etc.

Just categorize your binder to the best method that suits you and your needs.

Since the pages are clear, you can easily see what coupons you have that are for what products and the expiration dates, makes it easier to get them out and it makes it easy to clean out the binder of coupons that have expired. plus, if you need to fold a coupon in 1/2 to make it fit in the baseball card holder-you will be able to view both sides by just turning the page to view it.

The following are ideas that people have submitted on a message board somewhere:

1. Use a small phone/address book as a price book and keep it in the binder.

2. Use colored paper to color code your pages.

3. Put dark paper in the pockets to enable the use of both sides of the pages or a blank piece of paper between each page.


Binder Supply List

Notebooks/Binder: Look for a 3" 3-ring notebook that zips, or a notebook/holder of your choice be sure to check after school sales & clearance bins for the best deals.

Some people will put a strap on their binder-they will add an old luggage strap sometimes. I prefer to put them in a backpack.

Then, if I pick up any related coupon stuff-it goes into my backpack (it works best for me).

Pencil Pouches: These you can acquire at the dollar stores (stores in which everything in the store is $1), Wal-Mart, etc. or you can find them on clearance after the school year starts.

also:
scissors, rotary cutter, or some type of sharp instrument you want to use to cut your coupons with.

pen, notepad, calculator, and I always try to have a sharpie marker around (you never know when you need one of these).

This list should give you a start of what you might need. Just add to it anything else you would want to have in your binder.


Also be sure to put your name, address and phone number in the front of the binder in case it gets lost.


Have fun getting your binder together-you will see that being organized makes it so much easier to shop.
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