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How to easily organize those coupons

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One of the first things everyone thinks of with being frugal is the use of coupons. True enough they can save you money, but all too often I hear people talking about what a pain they are to keep up with, how much time it takes to clip them, how much longer it takes to shop with them, how much of a mess they are to handle, and how often they end up lost.
These are all valid arguments if you haven't figured out a system for them. The best I have found is a binder system. A 3-ring binder, some photo sheets, dividers, and some sheet protectors work wonders for organizing and shopping with coupons. They stay neatly organized by category, your shopping list is at hand, and it can even be laid out in order for your favorite store.
First you will need your dividers. You will want to section them out for all the different categories - cereals, milk & dairy, canned foods, frozen foods, beverages, pet products, health & beauty, and so on. I also have one for store coupons, such as BJ's Wholesale. you may also want to use a couple pages in the front for expiring soon or your current shopping trip. Add your photo pages in and your ready to organize your coupons.
The clear sheet protectors are great to insert your shopping list into. That way it doesn't get lost. You can set it up with a column to note if you have a coupon for the item too so you don't forget to use it! When you're at the store you can simply mark off your purchases with a dry erase marker so the sheets can be used again.
Another great use for the sheet protectors in your coupon book is to have a list of items you buy frequently and their cost at your regular store. When you are shopping elsewhere you can note different prices or where you may find it cheaper. You can also use one for sale ads so you can compare prices, or for a price match, which many stores now offer.
You can also add a zippered pencil pouch to your binder for a calculator, pens, dry erase markers, and scissors to clip last minute coupons with (school scissors are great and not as threatening).
So grab your supplies and enjoy putting together your binder and finally organizing those pesky coupons. Until next time, happy saving!
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