A coupon binder, or couponing notebook, can be a wonderful grocery coupon organizer. Learn how to create your own homemade coupon book here.
Pictures, tips and resources to get your coupon organization going!
This is my favorite grocery coupon organizer method, and the one that I personally use.
With it, I store all the coupons, store cards, scissors, pens and paper that I need to organize my hobby completely.
So what exactly is a couponing binder?
A coupon notebook (aka binder) is a portable three-ring binder typically filled with plastic 9-pocket sheets.
Coupons are trimmed and placed in these sheets to give users a terrific filing system.
Advantages and Disadvantages to Grocery Coupon Books
Like all of the grocery coupon organizers, grocery coupon books (or binders) have their advantages and disadvantages. But the good by far outweigh the bad. When it comes to simple couponing organization, the coupon binder wins hands down.
- Clear, easy to see through pockets
- Super organized
- Super convenient
- Portable; quick to grab and go
- Must clip each coupon to fit pocket
- Some coupons must be folded to fit pocket
- Pockets are small and fill up fast
- Some start up expenses
Create a Homemade Coupon Book
So now that you know the ups and downs of grocery coupon books, it’s time to create your own personal, unique, and practical coupon binder. You’ll need the following to get started:
Large 3 Ring Zipper Binder
The most important part of your coupon notebook is the binder itself. Speaking from experience, it is absolutely useless to purchase a standard 3-ring notebook, the kind you could buy for $1.99 at an office supply store.
Why? Your binder will get knocked around, turned upside down, and in general, will take a good beating. For this reason, you’re going to need a durable, portable, zippered binder for your homemade coupon book.
The zipper will keep any spills from happening. There’s nothing worse than putting the time into creating your coupon organization system and having it fall all over the floor.
I highly recommend CaseIt! Duel Ring Binders. While a little pricey (about $20), these deluxe, padded binders with a shoulder strap hold up to a beating and work perfectly.
They have (2) three-ring holders inside, which are great for separating your regular couponing categories from store coupons and some of your high value or free coupons.
You can probably find the CaseIt! Binders at your local office supply store, but I’ve found them to be cheaper on Amazon. Click on the purdy pictures below and pick out your favorite color. Save on gas, on sales tax, and if you throw a box of pencils in with your order, get free shipping too.
Baseball Card Holders
After securing your zippered binder, your next most important component of a coupon binder will be your clear pockets. The best thing to use for these are 9-pocket plastic baseball or trading card sheets. These have holes to place into a 3-ring binder, and are pretty durable. Unfortunately, I haven’t located them in any local stores. I buy mine off eBay, and find pretty good prices. Try to get at least 25-50. You most likely will not need a pack of more than 100.
While on eBay, make sure you check out other plastic 3-ring sleeves. Though the most useful sleeves in terms of saving space and fitting the typical sized coupons are the 9-pockets, some coupons just refuse to be trimmed so small (you know the ones I am talking about). Having a few 3, 4, or 6 pocket sleeves for your homemade coupon book can be useful as well.
Most users of grocery coupon books will want to have the following accessories. First, you’ll definitely want to acquire some 3-ring pockets, the paper kind where you can fit a few standard sized sheets of paper. These are good for store fliers and your cheat sheets about what’s on sale.
Remember, I print off all my sales and specials from my inexpensive membership at Savings Angel. This fantastic service saves me a bundle of time and gives me an unbelievable amount of priceless information and leads on good deals.
I would never be the successful couponer and refunder that I am without it. Check Savings Angel out!
You’ll also need to stop by Wal*Mart and pick up a standard pack of 3-ring tabbed dividers, so that you can label your categories in your homemade coupon book. Other common items in a coupon binder:
If you took my advice and purchased the CaseIt! Duel Zipper Binder, there are plenty of pockets and holders inside your case for these items. If you purchased a different zippered binder (don’t skimp and try to get one without a zipper- TRUST ME) then you’ll most likely need to purchase a little 3-ring accessory holder.
We’ve mentioned categories a few times on this page. If you haven’t yet, swing on over to the coupon categories page to figure out how you want to organize your coupon notebook. You can get as simple or as complex as fits your personality.
Assembling the Binder
Ok, now it’s time to put it all together. Most of this is self explanatory. You’ll want to arrange the 9-pocket sheets in your coupon binder behind your coupon category tabs. Trim your coupons to fit the pockets, or fold them in half.
Sometimes, your coupons will be long and rather thin. When this happens, I typically will place these coupons in the bottom row of my 9-pocket holders, without folding them, and will forgo placing any coupons in the row directly above them. This way I can clearly see the entire coupon and do not block any smaller coupon behind it.
It is up to you whether you would like to use the backs of your coupon sleeves as well. You can face one coupon forwards and another backwards in the same pocket, so that you have coupons on both sides of your holders.
This works well if you have only a few (say, less than 10) of any particular coupon, but if you typically have 20+ of any given coupon, the pockets get too crowded.
Since I have a CaseIt! Duel Zipper Binder, I use the front 3-ring holder for all my store cards, store fliers (in the paper 3-ring pockets), store coupons, and some of my high value coupons.
The back 3-ring holder is for my categories.
The most important thing to remember here is to structure your coupon binder to fit your needs. It doesn’t matter how I do mine; it only matters that you create the perfect coupon notebook for your couponing hobby. Have fun!