I believe the easiest and best way to organize coupons is by using the Coupon Portfolio or Coupon Binder Method. It's ease of use and see through pages make it the most effective way to save money if you are serious about couponing. Here is my binder recipe:
- 2 1/2-3" Zippered Binder w/Strap (I like Case It brand)
- 9 Pocket Baseball Card Dividers
- Tab Divider Pages
- Tabbed Pocket Dividers
STORE SECTION: Your Favorite Stores (Two Pocket Divider for Rainchecks, Shopping List, Store Ad & Store coupons with a Store name inserted followed by one or two 9-slot Baseball card pages so you can organize the coupons for each store for the week.
CATEGORY SECTION: 10 Categories (Tab dividers labeled on both sides & 9-slot Baseball card holders-sometimes called trading card pages!)
Baby - 2 baseball card pages (Diapers/Shampoos, Baby Food)
Bread & Cereal - 5 baseball card pages (Cereal, Breakfast Foods, Breads, Rice/Pasta, Chips & Crackers)
Cleaners - 8 Baseball card pages (Floor Cleaners, Dish Cleaners, 2 Fabrics, Standard Cleaners, Bathroom Cleaners, 2 Air Fresheners)
Dairy - 4 Basball Card Pages (Cheese, Butter/Oil, Yogurt, Misc Dairy)
Dessert - 8 Baseball card pages (Cookies, Frozen Desserts, Cake/Brownie Mixes, Fruits/Jello/Pudding, 2 Drinks, Candy, Baking Goods)
Meat - 6 Baseball card pages (Fresh/Frozen Poultry, Lunchmeat, Breakfast Meats, Misc. Meats, Seasonings, Sauces)
Medicine - 8 baseball card pages (2 Cold/Allergy, Pain Relievers, First Aid, 2 Stomach Aids, Vitamins, 1-2 Misc. Medicines)
Paper Goods - 4 baseball card pages (Facial Tissues/Garbage Bags, Foils/Wraps/Containers, Plates/Paper Towels, Toilet Tissue)
Personal Hygiene - 14 Baseball card pages (Facial Cleansers, Body wash, Lotion, Toothbrushes, Toothpaste, Misc. Tooth products, Deodorant, Shaving Needs, Makeup, 2 Shampoo/Stylers, Hair Color, Personal Items, Misc. Hygiene)
Misc. - 9-10 Baseball card pages (Sauces/Salsa/Ketchup, 2 Canned Goods, 2 Frozen goods, Salads/Dressings, Misc. Foods, Pets, 1-2 Misc. Household Items)
You don't necessarily need the same # of pages I do! Customize to fit your needs!
- 90% of coupons will already fit the baseball card pages. If they don't, slightly fold the barcode over to adjust for size w/expiration date still showing if possible!
- Only cut out coupons for products your family would use if the product ended up being cheap, free or a family favorite!
- Don't be brand loyal - it's expensive! If you use toothpaste (and I'm sure your neighbors hope you do), then cut out every toothpaste coupon you see, not just for your favorite brand of toothpaste! You never know when an "off" brand of toothpaste will be free with a coupon!