Monday, January 25, 2010

Coupon storage and a giveaway!

I've been struggling with my coupon storage for a while and decided to change it up a little. I started with just one recipe box, but soon found I needed another box and quickly outgrew those two boxes in a short while. For economy's sake, I used an empty diaper wipes box, an old recipe box, and junkmail envelopes that I cut down to fit, with stapled sides. You can see by the photo above that both boxes were full, and I still had about 1/3 of my coupons stored in a legal envelope.

I've decided to switch to the binder system, which uses baseball card dividers and a binder. Besides the space issue, the main reason I switched as that I found myself missing out of deals when I was out and about, just because I didn't have my coupons with me. This way, I can bring my coupon binder and snag those previously unseen deals or specials as I will have my coupons with me.

I thought I would share the pros and cons of both systems with you in case you are deciding which method to use or in case you are thinking of switching:

:: easy and cheap to put together (I spent $0 on putting my boxes together)
:: easy to organize and easy to find the coupons I am looking for
:: easy to just take an envelope with me to the store and then put it back in the right order when I got home from shopping
:: easy to store - both boxes stacked on a shelf

:: tedious to cut/staple envelopes together
:: sometimes you have empty envelopes sitting in your box (once you've used up your coupon, sometimes the envelope sits empty until another same-brand coupon is found.
:: usually left at home, so you'd miss out on deals at the store, sometimes necessitating another trip back to the store if you wanted to use the coupon
:: you have to keep on top of the organization otherwise it can get out of control quickly

:: easy to take with you to the store, never miss a deal again
:: visually accessible
:: empty spots can be filled up easily
:: easy to access

:: start up costs are more than the box system
:: the more coupons you have, the more baseball card dividers you need
:: binder is bulky, might need a bigger purse to carry it in

I did find that if I had a lot of one coupon, it would not all fit into one divider, so I've punched holes in some envelopes and attached them to the binder as well as a larger holding spot.

I've filled over 25 pages and I think I will have to upgrade to a 3" binder, the 2" is already bulging, and I have more coupons to store.

I do find the alphabetical ordering of the box system easier to locate coupons. Right now I have the binder separated into categories such as "Medicines," "Toiletries," "Cleaning Supplies," "Food," "Drinks," "Free," and Misc and I still spend a few extra seconds scanning each page for the coupon I am looking for. I think a couple weeks of using this system and finetuning it, perhaps adding a few more categories, will help a lot more. Right now, I'm loving the fact that I can take the binder to the store with me - I've already been able to snatch up a few deals I would have missed out otherwise.

So if you've managed to read this far, congratulations! It's time for the giveaway! I'm giving away 20 pages of baseball card dividers and a variety pack of coupons! So if you are interested to try the binder system or would like to get your hands on some coupons, or both, here's how to enter the giveaway:

1) Subsribe to this blog (become a follower).
2) Become a fan on the MrsSmith - ExtremeShopper page on Facebook
3) Leave a note here AND on the facebook page, and tell us which storage system you are using or prefer. It can be the same comment, just copy and paste.

Winner will be picked on Thursday Jan 28 at noon! Good luck!


  1. I JUST switched to the binder storage method so i'm still getting it all far, i likes but not sure about taking the binder every time i go shopping...i feel like a bit of a coupon geek!! I do like it better than my previous method cause the coupons are much easier to find!!!

  2. I've only ever used envelopes, which is probably why I never really got the hang of it. The idea of using a binder sounds AWESOME and like something i could actually do.

  3. Binder!! Except I don't take it to the store. Too bulky and too easy to stray from my list. My binder categories are Food, Personal Care, Household, Pets. Coupons are alphabetical by brand. You can see a photo of it here.

  4. I am new to "couponing" and don't feel too organized yet. I am currently using a box and some paper clips. The binder sounds great.

  5. I use an accordian folder, it work great for me. And I do have a file system set up for double coupons . I also preplan my trip when I am using coupons and bring my flyers along. I do not buy thing I dont use. You are doing a great job spreading the word of coupon shopping.

    Colleen H

  6. I have always put my coupons in an envelope (I didn't have that many so, I thought it was a smart idea). Although, I always forgot about my envelope so, it just sat there. Now that I have SO many coupons, I realize that my envelope isn't going to work anymore. I definitely want to try the binder system!!