If you’re a couponing addict and need a way to keep them organized, a coupon binder is essential!
Why keep a coupon binder?
- Understand your spending habits
- Monitor trends in seasonal sales and when items go on sale so know when it’s the cheapest time to buy
- Goal setting, keeping yourself accountable and sticking to a budget
- Tracking how much you’ve saved so you can reward yourself and stay motivated to keep saving!
Things you need to create a coupon binder:
- Binder – The pages in my coupon binder kit can be printed at full page size, a5 size or any other size you like – see this post for printing tips. Unless you have a lot of coupons you may not need a full page size binder – if you can I recommend ging with an A5 binder as it’s much easier to take it shopping with you! If you’re a serious couponer, a binder like this will keep everything in the one place.
- Plastic sleeves to store coupons in. Some options:
- Zip lock pockets also work well (but are more expensive)
- Plastic sleeves can be held closed with a paperclip or butterfly clip, or document wallets
- Target has A5 document wallets which could be hole punched to add to a binder (I use them to organize planner stickers)
- You could also take a manilla folder and staple 3 sides together to create a pocket then hole punch and add to a binder
- Baseball card holders are ideal for smaller coupons
- Amazon has plenty of plastic pocket sleeves ideal for coupon storage
- Staples have these 3 section coupon pockets for mini binders
- Pencil case (optional) with scissors, a pen etc. Look for the ones with the holes already punched so it’s easy to pop into a binder
Setting up the binder
Here is a recommended category / page order (there are tabs for most of these in the kit if you want to keep everything separate in your binder):
Front of your binder
This belongs to page in case the binder is lost. Followed by frequently accessed including:
- Coupon Jargon reference sheet
- Grocery list
- Store policies
- Password log
- Lowest price list
- Stock up list
- Price comparison
- Price match list
Middle of your binder
Less frequently referenced information including:
- Coupon codes tracker
- Contacts – if you’re part of a coupon train or look out for coupons for your friends and family
- Coupon sorting mats
- Savings tracker
Back of your binder
Store the index at the front followed by the coupon divider pages.
There are 3 main ways to store coupons:
- By Category
- By order of expiry
There are divider pages for each method in the coupon binder kit.
- Since prices can change over time, I recommend using the frixion erasable pens – that way you don’t need to ruin the pages with tons of whiteout or keep printing out fresh pages of the printables
- Place colored (or white) cardstock in the plastic sleeves so that you can’t see the coupons stored on the other side
- Don’t just shove coupons into the plastic sleeves, fold them so you can see what the product is and the coupon deal when flicking through the binder, without having to take it out to read it
- Keep extra (empty) plastic sleeves or storage pockets in your binder for any coupons, deals, flyers etc. you come across while shopping
- Don’t forget to clean out the binder occasionally so you’re not carrying around expired coupons (I recommend doing this weekly)
- If you’re binder gets too full, separate it into food and non-food coupons
- Highlighting the expiry date of coupons as you store them makes them stand out when you’re trying to find a coupon in a hurry at the register
- The printables are editable! This means you can type the information once, save a copy to your computer and come back at a later date and edit it with the new prices / updated info (i.e. you don’t have to type everything out all over again). If you’re a pen and paper person, I recommend the Frixion erasable pens – that way you can rub out the old prices / info and add the new ones, rather than re-printing and re-writing everything out
Using your coupon binder
1. Clip your coupons. You can find these online or in newspapers. As you clip, remove expired coupons and place coupons expiring first at the front
2. Create your meal plan based on coupons or items in your pantry expiring first, or just based on what you want to eat.
3. Create your shopping list – pull out coupons that you want to use now…
4. …Or, as you shop, take the coupons out of the binder and put in separate zip lock bag makes it easier when you get to the checkout
The key to setting up a coupon binder is to keep it consistent. Use tabs so you can quickly find what you need. If you like to shop by aisle, then sort your coupons this way. If you shop at multiple stores and don’t know theirs store layouts and aisle numbers off by heart, sorting alphabetically may be a better option for you. The kit includes multiple options so you can try out different ways and see which works best for you!
Printing the Pages
The coupon binder printables are full page size but can be printed at half page size for smaller binders, or at a custom page size (e.g. if you want to print pages and add them to your Erin Condren or other planner) – see this post for a tutorial! (tutorial can be used for other printables too!)
Printable pages included in the Coupon Binder Kit
There are 206 pages included in the coupon binder kit – use them all or only those that you need! (there’s images of most of these pages later on in the post if you want to take a closer look!)
- Coupon cover and spine (2 pages)
- This belongs to page in case your coupon binder is lost
- Password log to keep track of all your logins on deal sites etc.
- Coupon categories index – list out all of the categories in the order you have them arranged in your binder (dot point format)
- Coupons Index (Categorised) – a more detailed breakdown of the coupons you store in each category (ideal for products that can overlap into multiple categories, so you’re not wasting time flicking through the entire binder – you’ll know exactly where to look) (4 pages)
- Coupons Index – Alphabetical – Vertical format (4 pages) – if you have a lot of items to record per category, use this page
- Coupons Index – Alphabetical – Horizontal format (4 pages) – if you have a lot of items to record per category, use this page
- Coupon codes tracker (landscape page format) with space to record category, company, expiry date, coupon value and stores that will accept the coupon code
- Coupon codes tracker – Store, coupon code, discount, date it expires
- Coupon codes tracker v2 – I use this for Etsy shop coupon codes and codes you get when signing up for people’s email lists
- Coupon dividers – 90 dividers for organizing all your coupons (refer to list below for the titles of each divider). Includes typical categories like beauty, cleaning products etc. as well as dividers for coupons that expire the 1st week of the month, 2nd week etc. if you want to organize them that way
- A to Z dividers (letter is on the side so you can easily find the letter you’re looking for when flicking through your binder) (21 pages – less popular letters share a page)
- Coupon shopping list – track all of the coupons you have for each item on your shopping list to remind you to use them at a checkout
- Coupon trading contacts (landscape page format) – if you look out for coupons for others and vise versa, keep track of it here
- Couponing grocery list – categorised by store section / aisle e.g. produce, deli etc.
- Multi-store shopping list v1 – there are 4 checklists per page (1 for each store) or use if you want to organize your shopping list in another way e.g. by aisle number of your local supermarket
- Multi-store shopping list v2 – same as above but with 5 checklists per page
- Spent and saved – prove to those skeptics wrong & those that think you’re a crazy couponer that it’s totally worth it and show them how much you’re saving using coupons
- Couponing tips – note at tips or things to remember when you’re browsing the web for coupons
- Lowest price list – jot down the store that has the lowest price for items you regularly buy
- Lowest price list – Same as above but use one page per category if you do a lot of shopping (2 pages)
- Price comparison – compare the price for products you buy frequently (for 2 shops)
- Price match – note any items that stores will price match including their price, the advertised price of the other store and the coupon
- Rock bottom price list – Alphabetical – list your items for each category and the lowest price you’ll pay/the lowest price you’ve seen (4 pages)
- Stock up list – if you have a coupon where you need to meet a minimum total order value to get it – then consult this list e.g. I always need more tissues or toilet paper and they won’t expire (there are 2 columns – 1 for food and a non-food list)
- Stockup versus RRP price – use one page per category
- Stockup versus RRP price – Same as above but for your faovrite products (not organized by category)
- Store opening hours – for your favorite shops or if you’re missing an ingredient and need to quickly duck out to the shops
- Weekly couponing savings – need to cut your grocery bill down? Track your goal and actual savings for each week
- Fortnightly couponing savings – if you prefer to budget this way
- Products to try – if you need a couple of dollars to make up the cart to get discounts, add a product you’ve been wanting to try (includes a section to record the item’s price as well so you don’t have to spend more than you need to make the minimum order value)
- Where to find coupons – to record your favorite websites and the types of coupons you can find there
- Coupon jargon / lingo – refer to this whenever you see a phrase and you don’t know what it means e.g. BOGO or EXP
- Coupon policies – keep track of which stores accept what types of coupons
- Sorting mats – alphabetical as well as miscellaneous and hot coupons – includes a cut line to split the page in 2 (if you want to)
- Sorting mats – blank so you can choose your own categories – includes a cut line to split the page in 2 (if you want to) (12 pages – some letters share a mat)
- Sorting mats – categorised – if you prefer to organize them this way rather than alphabetically – includes a cut line to split the page in 2 (if you want to) – these can also be placed in your binder as is, to create categories and if you want to avoid using tabs / category divider pages (34 Pages)
- 1 Inch wide tabs (with the same labels as the category dividers) (2 pages)
90 Category dividers to keep your binder super organized and make everything easy to find!
- Boxed Items
- Canned Items
- Fruits & Vegetables
- Hardware & Vehicle
- Health & Vitamins
- Home & Garden
- Medicine & First Aid
- Pasta & Rice
- Personal Hygiene
- Splurge Products
- Arts & Crafts
- Office supplies
- Online Shopping
- Etsy Shop Coupons
- Filler Products
- Stock Up Products
- Food Coupons
- Non Food Coupons
- Coupon Jargon
- Store Policies
- Manufacturer’s Coupons
- Magazines & Catalogues
- Price list
- Shopping Lists
- Lowest Price List
- Rock Bottom Price List
- Coupon Resources
- Couponing Tips
- Stock up List
- Store Opening Hours
- Sporting Mats
- Coupons Saved for Others
- Coupon Categories
- Smart Source
- Red Plum
- Save – A – Lot
- Sam’s Club
- Rite Aid
- Proctor & Gamble
- Travel Coupons
- Freebie Coupons
- Internet Coupons
- Expire in 1 Week
- Expire in 2 Weeks
- Expire in 3 Weeks
- Expire in 4 Weeks
- Hot Offers
- Restaurant Coupons
- Expire 1st Week of the month
- Expire 2nd Week of the month
- Expire 3rd Week of the month
- Expire 4th Week of the month
- Products to Try
Here’s a closer look at some of the pages:
The cover page!
Matches all the other printable planners in my shop 🙂
Front of Your Binder – The Reference Section
Be sure to print out the ‘this belongs to’ page in case you miss-place your binder
If you’re new to couponing or are prone to forgetting what all the abbreviations mean, keep this reference page handy at the front of your binder
Rock Bottom Price List
What is the absolute lowest price you’ve seen an item on sale for? Record it on this page.
This printable has 4 pages and is organized alphabetically so you can easily find the product you’re looking for. If you prefer to keep track of the store that has the product for the lowest price, use the lowest price worksheet.
Tip: Since prices change over time, the printable is editable. This means you can type the information once, save a copy to your computer and come back at a later date and edit it with the new prices (i.e. you don’t have to type everything out all over again). If you’re a pen and paper person, I recommend the Frixion erasable pens – that way you can rub out the old prices and add the new ones, rather than re-printing and re-writing everything out.
Lowest Price List
Don’t pay more than you need to! Use this sheet to record the stores with the lowest price for items you frequently purchase.
Stockup Versus RRP Price List
Given how many different grocery items you buy it’s hard to remember what is a ‘good’ price to pay for each of them. Use this worksheet to compare the stockup price you’ll pay compared to the RRP price so you know when it’s time to stock up!
Price match worksheet
A staple for every couponer’s binder – don’t go to the shops without it!
If you do a lot of online shopping this page is a must have!
Middle of Your Binder – The Reference Section
Spent and Saved
Prove to your partner that you’re saving money, and to those that don’t think couponing is worth the time. And keep track of your savings for your own record 🙂
There are a coupon of different couponing savings trackers depending on how detailed you want to track all the $$$ ypur’re saving thriugh couponing
If you prefer to track in more detail by store, try this worksheet
Coupon Savings Tracker by Store
If you are spoilt for choice when it comes to stores, use this page to track where you save the most money.
The information on this page can be used as a ‘benchmark’ to see where you tend to save the most – note that there’s also space to record how much you saved from general store discounts (not just coupons).
Coupon Codes Tracker
There’s a couple of coupon codes tracking pages so you can try them all out and see which one you prefer.
Coupon Trading Contacts
If you have a couple of friends or relatives that are looking out for coupons they know you would use (and vise versa), this page is a great place to keep track of it – especially if you’re in a large coupon train.
Grocery List (alphabetical)
If you’re someone that likes to be very organized and systematic, this grocery list where you can record things alphabetically will be perfect for you! It works best with the alphabetical coupon category dividers and the alphabetical coupons index
If you like hand-writing out your grocery list as you clip coupons, print a bunch and keeping spare sheets in your binder for your weekly coupon cutting session. Remember the pages in this kit are editable, so you can also type straight into the PDF files from your computer if you prefer.
Grocery List – Categorised
If you prefer to shop by store section (and organize your coupons in the same way), then use this format.
This page has a column for you to tick if you have a coupon so you don’t forget to use it atthe checkout.
There are guidelines (extra thick lines) if you want to sort your groceries by store section but the page doesn’t have headings pre-filled so you can use it either way.
One of my favorite ways to write a grocery list is to brain dump everything I need then use highlighters to color code by general area of the store e.g. frozen, dairy, fruit & vegetables etc.
PART 3 – Coupon Storage
In the back of your binder I recommend storing all of your coupons so you can quickly flick to them when you need them in a hurry!
Coupon Categories Index
There are 3 main ways to store coupons:
- By Category
- By order of expiry
If you choose to organize them by category, then at the start of this section of your binder you’ll want to keep the coupon categories index page. Add each of the categories that you collect coupons for to this page (it’s editable so you can type them straight into the PDF!)
Make sure you arrange the coupons in plastic sleeves / sheet protectors / zip pencil cases or however you choose to store them) in the same order as this index. It’ll make it so much easier to find the coupons you need!
If you have a lot of coupons and want to be super organized, you may want to store them by expiry date within each of their categories.
Coupon Reference List
This spreadsheet is ideal for filling out each week as you clip coupons – make sure you do this while you’re clipping coupons / as you’re placing them in your binder = it’ll be so much easier to keep track of what you have and when they expire. Some coupons have the expiry date printed really small – that’s where this sheet makes it easy to see what’s expirying and when.
If you have multiple coupons for the same item, using a color coding system e.g.
- Blue = expiring in 1 week
- Green = Expiring in 2 weeks
Will also make it a quick and easy process to purge and for meal planning to make sure you don’t waste coupons!
Store Opening Hours
This is a handy reference list even if you don’t do couponing!
Multi-Store Shopping List
Doing the run around? Keep track of what you need to pick up at what store when running errands
Where to Find Coupons
Keep track of your favorite sites for finding coupons (perfect if you’re just getting started with couponing and are feeling overwhelmed trying to remember the names of all those websites with coupons!)
90 Category dividers for your binder
Category dividers for:
- Product types e.g. dairy, personal hygiene
- Expiry date (there’s dividers for expire in 1 week, expire in 2 weeks etc.
- Letters of the alphabet
The chevron pattern stands out when flicking through your binder so you can quickly find the next category. The printables can also be printed in greyscale (black and white) if you prefer.
Alphabetical dividers – the letters are in the top right hand corner of the page so toy can easily find the letter you need when flicking through your binder
Coupon Sorting Mats
There are a few different types of coupon sorting mats. The alphabetical and categorised sorting mats match the binder covers so once you’ve sorted them you can slip them straight into your binder. I recommend using a butterfly clip to attach the coupons directly to the page. If you’re using an A5 / mini size binder, the sorting mats can be cut in half and 1 plastic sleeve used to organize the coupon categories.
3 styles of coupon sorting mats:
3. Blank – choose your own!
Lay the mats out on a table (they can be cut into 2 along the dotted line), then as you cut coupons, place them over their relevant category before adding them to your binder. A butterfly clip can be used to secure the coupons to the sorting mats before adding to your coupon binder to prevent the coupons from falling out.
What does editable mean?
The printables in this kit (excluding the cover and dividers) are editable. This means:
- Since prices change over time, you can quickly open up a saved copy of the file, update the prices and re-print, you don’t need to re-write the entire page, cross things out or use correction tape which can get messy – perfect if you have messy hand-writing like I do!
- Create shopping lists and keep them saved on your computer – you can recycle the same meal plans without having to re-type out your grocery list
- Save time – it’s faster to type than write
If you still want to hand-write on the pages you can still do so.
Editable PDF files
- When you open the file there will be light blue boxes where you can type in your information (this will NOT remain light blue when printed).
- You can still print and hand-write on the sheets (the blue boxes won’t appear on your printed copy)
- The fillable font is helvetica in black
- The checkboxes are not editable. The sheets are intended for filling out on your computer and checking off by hand
- For copyright protection, the layout of the documents, including existing text cannot be changed
- For copyright protection, the layout of the documents, including existing text, pattern, colours and font style cannot be changed
- Cover & dividers in the planner sets are not editable
All printables are (c) AllAboutPlanners – they are for personal use only and may not be copied, shared, redistributed etc.