I have received MANY inquires about the now famous coupon binder that was seen in the Rachael Ray segment.
I used to house my coupons in an accordian folder. I had it divided into several categories like food, household products, toilletry items, organic products, child items, as well as separate folders of specific store coupons. I got tired of leafing through the mound of coupons in each category looking for the ones I wanted, so I switched to the coupon binder system.
In the front of the binder I keep all of the “must use” coupons. For all my favorite products!
The rest of the binder is filled with “baseball card inserts.” I put coupons of similar category on each sheet. I have organized it into sections with dividers. I have similar categories/sections as my old accordian binder. If you wanna get “super Type A,” you could arrange the sections in order of where you would find the products in the store. I generally pull out my coupons before I go to the store. But I do carry it with me in case I need to quickly flip through to find a coupon for an unadvertised sale item.
A few questions I get asked all the time.
Is clipping coupons worth it? Well, you saw in the segment that I saved $73! So yes, it’s worth it!
I never see coupons for the products I buy? Yum, who doesn’t buy toothpaste. Or deodorant! Or mustard!!! True, you might have to be a little more flexible and not too brand picky! Let’s take that mustard coupon for example. I clip it because I might use it. I will hold onto it until the mustard goes on sale for $1. My store will double coupons, so I will end up paying $.40 for a bottle of mustard that originally cost $2.19. Yes, please!
Back to the binder…
Where did you find the baseball card inserts?
Walmart. In the front section by the baseball cards. Can also be found at baseball card shops.
How long did it take me to put this together?
However long the commercial breaks are during 24! So…15-20 minutes.
How do you then keep it organized and cleaned up?
Each week I add new coupons to the pages. Each month when all the new coupons and electronic coupons come out (stay tuned for a post on May 1 with all the details!), I go through and pull out expired coupons.
Are there any disadvantages to this system?
Yes. Sometimes the coupons don’t fit well into the baseball card holders. I try to fold them so I can see the exp. date, product name and coupon amount. Solution to this: Look for some scrapbooking inserts that have different size photo slots.
If you have any other questions, leave them in the comments and I will answer them there! (More on the newspaper insert concept, plus coupons and where to find them coming later in the week!)
I know there are other ways, tips and tricks for organizing coupons. If you have a post on your blog with that deals with “Coupon Organization” and what works best for you, please leave it here! (For those of you reading in a reader or email, click here to look for more great ideas on how to best organize your coupons!)
I use the same coupon system – it’s wonderful, so much better than anything else I’ve ever tried.
You did a great job on RR!
Your post is perfect timing! I have been contemplating leaving my accordian folders behind- and moving to the binder. It is great to see pictures of how it will look! Thank you for posting this!
Your segment on RR was AWESOME! Loved it!
A Cowboy's Wife says
Thanks for the link up Erin! 🙂
This is the best idea EVER! Thank you! I’m going to get this set up right away!
The binder is wonderful!! Finding you has come at a great time! I can’t wait to get to Wal-Mart to get my supplies and start sorting thru my coupons!
I use the same system but haven’t thought if putting a sleeve at the front for “must use” coupons! What a great idea! And, yes, “couponing” is totally worth it!
I use the same system but haven’t thought of putting a sleeve at the front for “must use” coupons-my fave ones seem to get overlooked a lot! What a great idea! And, yes, “couponing” is totally worth it!
I have a little accordion folder that I keep my coupons in, I do agree that it is difficult to try to leaf though them to find what I need. I think I just might be switching this weekend to the binder!! I have some binder’s from college still (wow they sure are old) so I don’t have to buy them .. and I think my little brother has some old baseball card inserts! So, the switch will prolly cost me nothing! WOOHOO!!
I use a coupon binder however, I have been using page protectors (because I had them on hand). I think I will upgrade to the baseball card thing. It will make it so much easier to find things!! Thanks again for the tips! You rock:-)
Of course I miss the good stuff….and it was the DAY i got my dvr! My friend is out of work on disability and calls me to tell me all about you….she didn’t remember the name, and I’m like ‘$5 dinners?’ And she’s like ‘YUP’! She’s a great gal…she’d come to A and P with me on lunch and I’d score some great deals…I only do the super great deals at A and P. The one day, my order was $40, then I swiped my club card and did my Qs (self checkout) and it was 2.19 and 1 and change was TAX! She could not take her jaw off the floor! lol
Mirandia Berthold says
I love this! I have been working on mine too the past few nights! I wanted to share with everyone that if you clip coupons and you have some that expire or are really close to expiring and you are not going to use them DO NOT throw them away! There is a program that is awesome where you can donate them to military families. Coupons for military families can be used up to 6 months after the expiration date in overseas commissaries and they still even double them for them which is great. I use the program a ton as we are former military and I loved that I could use those expired coupons at the commissary! Here is the website for the program for anyone interested:http://www.ocpnet.org/
My coupon binder is my magic money saving book! I have a huge binder with a shoulder strap to carry around with me. This is the only method of organizing coupons that I have found to be effective and neat. It’s so easy to find what I’m looking for vs leafing through a handful of coupons out of my accordion folder.
There are some really great videos on YouTube that show how others organize their binders. I don’t think any two couponers do it the same!
What a wonderful idea! With the economy the way it is I may have to go back to clipping coupons soon.
I’ve been enjoying your website for awhile now. Was I psyched to see the Rachel Ray appearance! How awesome. Thanks for sharing the binder concept. I need a new system.
I am so jealous of your Krogering. I am from OH originally,and miss that store!
Thanks for all your hard work and good luck with pregnancy # 3!
Your binder looks less intimidating than some. I prefer the brag book method, but this looks like something I could do as well.
jen [@bwJen] says
I don’t use coupons. I know I should but I never have and I really have no idea where to start. I don’t get the paper delivered (I am an online girl). Can you help me get started?
I had a question for you regarding the coupons..
You said on your RR segment that you take the number of coupons for an item for the number of people in your family. I want to make sure I have this right, so you use 4 coupons on one product?
I have found that my grocery store has the self-check out lanes and I will use those and then since no one is looking at my coupons, I always end up using the old expired ones as they will still ring up. It’s a little more time at the grocery store, but worth the savings!
Heidi @ Frugal Girls! says
Thanks Erin ~ I love your binder! I just posted a link to my coupon basket too. 🙂
Lea Ann says
I use CD holder pages instead of baseball card pages…they have 2 pockets per page and have flaps to keep coupons from falling out. Also, my binder is a zippered one, because boys tend to use it as a football, or footstool, or doorstop, or weapon of mass destruction. Again, nothing falls out.
Erin, I DVR’d the Rachel Ray show and just watched it tonight… WONDERFUL! You looked so calm. And the taped parts from your home looked great. Altogether awesome job! Hope you get to go back again == and again!
Thanks for your blog. Hubs and I are back down to just us (it was 3, then 4, then 3 and now 2, as adult kids came and left again!) and we still work at saving money on dinner (so we can afford to eat breakfast several times a week at our favorite neighborhood bistro!)
I also use a 3 ring binder and baseball card inserts to organize my coupons. I also have a zippered pencil holder that fits into the binder in the front of mine. I use this to put the coupons that I am using that trip. It makes it much easier to just pull out the coupon I’m using and put it into that holder. I also have a small pair of scissors that I leave in that pouch so I can easily cut out any coupons that may be in the store ads.
I use the same system, alphabetized. I used a zipper binder so I won’t loose anything.
Great job on the show. I enjoyed your segment.
Your binder is so cute! 🙂
I loved your segment on RR! I’m like Jen though, and don’t get a newspaper delivered (husband thinks it’s a waste of money). Are there online options as well? I’d love to make a huge dent in my shopping bill!
Also, have you always been this organized, or did it take you awhile to get this way? I work full time and I am not the most organized, so I’m afraid I would struggle with this!
Dana Krebsbach says
You were great on RR. I love your $5 dinners. Made your mexican skillet dish last night and it was yummy. I love your coupon binder and cannot wait to get all of my coupons organized. Love your site. Keep up the good work. God Bless you with your pregnancy (I have 5 children) and thanks again.
shelia: just getting started. need all the help i can get says
i need all the info i can get…
Saw you on Rachael Ray – great job! I like your system for organizing the coupons.
shelia: just getting started. need all the help i can get says
send me information on getting started.
[email protected] Beauty and Bedlam says
It’s amazing what an hour a week can do for the budget. I linked up my very first grocery post, and since then have revamped quite often. 🙂 Thought I’d dig through the archives.
I use a similar system. I think where I differ is how I organize coupons when I’m at the store. (I use a two envelope system.) I also make my own page protector/Q holders. Thanks for sharing and allowing us to share!
I use the same system and LOVE it!!! I do each category and then place them in the baseball card inserts by expiration date in each category. I usually take the coupons I will be using out beforehand but take my binder just in case. There are also many different sizes of those sheets. Here is a website where you can browse and see where you can buy them.
I plan on using this system with recipes as well. Haven’t started but hope to soon!
wendy lee says
I didn’t know that stores would let you use more than one coupon for the same item. You said you bought a newspaper for each family member. I am not sure if stores around here(Maine) will let you do that. I am certainly going to try.
Natashia Bowers says
I have a question about this coupon doubling thing… can anyone explain this to me? I would love to find out if any of my stores will do this but just dont know what i should be asking.
Is this using 2 coupons on one product?… it would be great if someone could email me! Thank you!
The stores in my area don’t send out coupons, and there aren’t coupon inserts in the paper either. We just get ads about the sales. I’m wary of downloading coupon software, and the bf doesn’t really like the idea of it. I also don’t want to have to pay for coupons either. I am mainly trying to buy local and non-prepared foods; and box foods seem to be the things coupons are for.
I also saw you on RR and was impressed. Like many, my family is looking for a way to cut costs and this is going to be great. Thank you for sharing your great system with so many.
sometimes I have more than one coupon for an item I need. Can you sue both of them on one item? Thanks-Coupon Newbie
Just wanted to say- I am so glad I subscribed to your list 🙂 This binder is a great idea, I am a coupon junkie who has had the accordian style coupon holders and on 2 separate occasions have had a least a 100 good coupons (including numerous free item coupons) and have gotten home from shopping when I realized I had lost my coupon holder and all its contents (sobbing).
thanks for the great idea! 🙂
I have a binder similar to yours, except my zips closed. It is frustrating that most coupons don’t fit nicely into the baseball card slots. Having things laid out this way makes it so much easier when I am in the store. I can quickly flip through and find the coupon I need.
I have been using a binder for a few months now I LOVE my binder!! Its so much easier (and faster) than the files. I use a zipper binder because I was afraid of dropping it 🙂
Erin, Glad to see you are using the binder method now. Welcome to the dark side. LOL I need to upgrade my binder to a larger one.
You did a great job on RR. Let us know when you go back to cook.
Elizabeth Rehn says
I am working on my binder now, and have the kids helping me. I homeschool, so this will be part of our school work today. I think organizing and saving money is a big lesson all should know. I buy my papers from a street corner and pay 1.00 per paper. ( I live near Baltimore, MD so you can find them on Sunday morning everywhere) Also I post an ad on craigs list under wanted for coupon inserts. I usually pick up about 10 to 15 a week. I also tell the people at my church that if they don’t want their coupon pass them to me. Just the past two days I have saved over 350.00 at Safeway with my coupons and the sales ad. Loved your RR segment, I pray that she will have you back again. Thank you for your website and your recipes.
This is brilliant! I had bought one of those multiple file sorter that I can take and go but I couldn’t see the coupons therefore I wouldn’t use them or I would overlook that coupon when I planned to use them.
This method is amazing. And my husband has tons of baseball card and photo sheet protectors!
I use the same system and like it when I can find the time to update it (we don’t watch commercials in our house thanks to the DVR…lol). But my question is: what are your categories? I can’t seem to find categories that really work for me. Do you also use your binder for household and personal care items? I’m actually more of a CVS dealer than a grocery dealer, but do a bit of both, so I want to keep all those coupons together if possible. Thanks and it was great seeing you on Rachael Ray after reading your blog for awhile!!!
I also use the coupon binder and I love it. I found my baseball card organizers at Office Depot.
Your binder is way prettier than mine! Love the flowers:)
Can anyone explain to me what coupon doubling is?
Great job on the RR Show! I’ve been trying to move to the binder method but am not sure how to handle the multiples of coupon inserts I receive. I’ve asked neighbors for their inserts, if they aren’t going to use them. Some weeks I end up with 12 copies of the paper! What a blessing! I currently write the date of the insert and file them by the week and try to clip all the “must use” coupons and place them in my binder but it just doesn’t seem to flow very well. Any thoughts?
Your coupon binder looks amazing, but I just don’t collect enough coupons to justify a switch from my coupon wallet.
Maybe it is just the difference of being in Canada, where we don’t seem to get quite as many coupons as in the USA? Even in Canada, coupons definitely save me money!
Your site has inspired me to keep better tabs on what each recipe I make costs. Some recipe costs have been eye opening.
Thanks for posting this! Right now I have a small accordian file organized with my coupons and have them in diff. sections and in order of where they are in the store, but I’ve been thinking about going to a binder. Also, just wanted to say I love 24!!
The accordian holders make me craaazy….I was thrilled to see your coupon binder. Picking up the inserts today! Thank you!!
Melody Krouse says
Good job on RR. I really like the binder idea. My question is “Do you take the binder when you shop?” I have a small accordion envelope that slips into my purse for those just in case I see something on sale and I have a coupon for it moments. Yesterday, for double coupon day TP was on sale but wasn’t advertised. Thankfully, I had my $1 off coupon that could be doubled.
I haven’t been so great with couponing. I homeschool my children as well as take care of a 7 story building. I desperately want to save money!. It KILLS me that I always spend more than I should at supermarkets and walmart. WHERE DO YOU GET ALL THOSE COUPONS FROM…..I get some from online but that wears down the printing ink. I don’t mind clipping coupons but do I have to buy 4 newpapers? I have seen that the newspapers normally carry the same type of coupons and there aren’t many variations. HOW CAN I GET MORE PRINTED COUPONS??? HELP..
Kacey Terrell says
You can actually buy them on ebay. This is what most BUSY moms or BUSY business people do. I know this sounds strange. BUT you buy them on ebay for a couple bucks and can get an assortment of 100 or even 200 coupons. Thats ALOT of coupons and someone is doing all the work of Finding the coupons, clipping them, and organizing them for you so you dont have to do it and spending a few bucks to save a couple hundred is still amazing! 🙂 Goodluck!
my husband made me get rid of the accordian folder when the coupons spilled all over the floor at the store. okay so it was a little full. I now use a big cd case. It will zip close so I don’t lose anything when I am in a hurry to get out of the store.
I love your blog and was so happy to see you on RR! I think it’s awesome when regular SAHM get recognition for the great things they are doing – it’s much more interesting to me than any celebrity!
Anyway, I have a question about your binder. I currently use an accordian file for my q’s, and I do agree it is a pain to leaf through all of the q’s to find the one I am looking for. So, do you only put 1 coupon per “slot” in the baseball card holder?? If you put more than one q in each slot, how do you know what is underneath, because you can only see the top q as you flip through? It just seems like I have SO many different q’s at any given time that it would take SO many pages of baseball card holders. I just can’t really quite picture that. I hope you understand what I’m asking – I would really like to see if this system could work better for me than my current one!
For those who keep asking, some stores double or triple coupons based on the value listed on the front. My stores, Kroger and Albertson’s both triple coupons up to $.39 and double coupons up to $.50. So, this week when Angel Soft TP was on sale for $.99 and I had a coupon for $.50 off, the tp was free because the store doubled the value of the coupon.
Now here are my coupon questions- if a coupon requires you purchase two of an item-is it okay to use two coupons when you are just getting two products? A common example is the Yoplait $.40 off of 6. Since my store doubles the coupon, could I use 3 coupons to get my Yoplait mostly free?
Next question, my store says they will double up to 3 and triple up to 3 coupons in one order. Do you guys think the computer does this automatically or is it just something they can impose if they choose to?
I always considered myself a couponer before, but never at this level. Could use some help to maximize my family’s savings now that we are a one income family. Thanks!
Aprylle Messinger says
Elizabeth, you wouldn’t be able to use more than one coupon for the multiple item savings unless it was a combo of manufacturer’s coupons and store coupons. Most stores allow you to do what they call “coupon stacking”. That’s where you use the printed coupons that usually come in inserts or off of the internet, combined with a store coupon that comes out of their ads or the Catalina machine.
When a coupon says you must buy 6 Yoplaits to recieve 40 cents off, you can’t use another of the same coupon, because each item is covered by the first coupon. But if you can find the item on sale, you can get a store coupon to combine with it, and your store doubles coupons, typically you can get the Yoplaits for incredibly cheap that way.
Thanks for sharing your “famous” couponing system. 🙂 I am planning on trying this way, after being completely frustrated with my accordian folder too. But your pictures and explanations helped tremendously!!!!!!
Here’s a variation question – I’ve used a binder like yours for awhile, but I’ve found it to be big and bulky to carry in the store, especially with kids in tow. I’ve changed to a smaller binder (7″x9″) that fits in my purse, which fits Daytimer inserts perfectly, but I can’t find any baseball card / photo pages that work to organize the coupons well and I’ve resorted to just zip pouches for each coupon section, which doesn’t allow them to be browsed nearly as easily. Any ideas or any helpful tips for a small binder user???????????
Thanks so much!
Unless you could find smaller scrapbook pages with different sized inserts??? That’s my first thought!
What about a business card holder? Would the pockets be too small? They’re designed to fit in day planners.
I don’t have a website and don’t know how to create one. Can you help me get started? What do I do with my own website? I have a myspace account. Would that work?
Debbie P says
My first experience with coupons was with my friend who claimed to get $$ back. After a 5 hour shopping trip, she did save $ but she only bought what she had coupons for. Even items she did not like or had never used. I have not tried until I saw your idea on Rachel Ray. I like the challenge so I am going to see what happens this time.
How long does it take you while shopping?
Actual shopping trip takes an hour or less. I don’t dilly dally around in the store 😉 Planning and getting coupons in order…15-30 minutes, depending on the week. It used to take me longer to plan, but it gets easier and faster with time!
I found the binder a bit too bulky for my liking, so I switched to filing unclipped inserts in a thin spiral-bound binder with pockets (this stays at home) and filing clipped coupons in an accordian-style coupon organizer (goes with me everywhere!). My trick for keeping my clipped coupons organized and easy to sort through: clip multiples of like coupons together with a paper clip. Works great for me! 🙂
I first off love your blog. I have a family of 5 and trying to do everything that I can to save money right now. We are trying to save for a lot of different things. I have started cutting out coupons recently to see how much money I do save on coupons and started setting a menu for the week of things we are going to eat and then going to the store so we won’t be buying alot of things that we won’t be using and be going bad. I thank-you for your blog, I love reading all of your new ideas and will continue to read it. Have a nice day. 🙂
How I Was Able to Lose T h i r t y P o u n d s in Thirty Days says
Hi, cool post. I have been pondering this topic,so thanks for posting. I will probably be subscribing to your blog. Keep up the good work
Great Example! Thank you!!!
Andrea @ Mommy Snacks.net says
Darn Mr. Linky messed up and all the links are gone 🙁 I’ll include my link in the comments here in case people are still interested 🙂
Jennie Boyer says
If putting a coupon binder together is intimidating, you can buy one already put together from http://www.TheCouponBinder.com.
DeAna @ Balancing Act Basics says
I just had to share with you that I was inspired by your coupon binder and had to make one of my own since I’ve outgrown my coupon organizer. Thank you for sharing this very helpful tip!
Laura @ Laura Williams' Musings says
So thrilled to see others using the method I created to organize coupons back in 90’s and shared using the username of LWMSAVON on Mycoupons.com! I hope you enjoy the method and save oodles of money.
Creator of the Coupon Binder Method
i went searching on amazon ans found an AWESOME 3 “- 3 ring binder that zips shut in my fave color no less!! 😀 i also found what are called 3 clot currency collecting pages. if you look em up you’ll see the niceness of em. i still need to get some of the baseball card ones though for the smaller coupons. for now i just paperclip like coupons together and put 2-3 groups of smaller coupons in the longer currency page slots. it’s seriously much nicer than my itty bitty accordian file. 😀
please forgive my many an sundry typo’s 😀
alma miranda says
I can not use cupons expires or some store take the cupons
Thank you! 😀
I can’t seem to find baseball card holders in Wal-Mart and I don’t have any baseball shops close, any suggestions of where I could find them? I found a girl but it’s $12 + shipping & handling and that runs almost $20….
Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom says
I’ve found them with the baseballs cards, which are usually right in between all the check out lines. At some stores, they might be to the side of the check out lines. Hope you find them!!!
I could not find baseball card inserts at walmart, so I went searching through the internet and found that on Amazon they have 25 pocket pages for about $5, I have 50 of them now and I am just starting out with my couponing. I put index cards into each slot so that I can use the pocket pages double sided! =] My first meeting with my swap group will be soon, so I’d love some tips! My email I shared below so some of you could share your tips & suggestions! Thanks!
My email is: [email protected]
Do you have a spam problem on this website; I also am a blogger, and I was curious about your situation; many of us have created some nice procedures and
we are looking to swap methods with other folks,
please shoot me an email if interested.
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