How I use a coupon binder to save money

We have been talking about coupons for the past few days so I am going to post here about the coupon binder that I have made. It did not cost an arm and leg to create. Instead, I paid less than $15 for the whole thing. The savings that it has netted my family has been much more than that.

I know what you're thinking. You're probably asking yourself why I am posting this kind of stuff here instead of my other blog www.myoutofdebtjourney. One of the big reasons is that I am being asked to do it from several different sources.

Questions are coming frequently from victims of domestic violence. Victims have a real need to cut corners where ever possible. Some have never held a job that pays a living wage. Financial savviness is required to get out of a shelter and back into life. I believe that any woman of any income level can benefit from a coupon binder and from discounts from places like couponila.com.

The coupon binder is inexpensive enough to fit in anyone's budget. You don't have to use all new items. Repurposing and using used items will work for the most part. The “big” expenses are a 3 inch, 3 ring binder, a 3 hole punch and dividers. I slide the binder into a reusable tote bag that I got for free. You can make your own or pick one up from Wal-Mart for .50 cents.

Making the binder begins with deciding what types of coupons your family uses. I collected coupons for a couple of weeks and then spread them out onto a table. A pattern formed in just a few minutes. Dairy, general grocery items (canned goods, mac and cheese etc.) household items (toilet paper, paper towels) and personal care items were the bulk of the coupons.

These piles essentially told me what sections I needed in the binder. From here it was a matter of cutting the sheets, labeling the dividers and putting everything in place. I then added a clear zip style baggie at the end of each section for any loose coupons.

Using whole sheets of coupons and then cutting at the store works for me. Some people cut coupons individually and use baseball card sheets. This is great but it's not my style and cost more than I wanted to spend.

Scissors, a pen and calculator to be helpful. These were picked up from the dollar store. My big score from was a large purple 3 hole punch. I also picked up a small pouch to put them in. It fits neatly into the front of the coupon binder.

A section labeled “miscellaneous” is in the back of the binder. This is where deals from sites like www.couponila.com go. I also use it for restaurant coupons, clothes, oil changes and any other type of discount that doesn't come around everyday.

Going through the binder weekly helps keep it up to date. Combing the discounts with sales helps you save the most money. We tracked it for a couple of months and found that our grocery bill was reduced by an average of 30% - 50%. That's enough to make it worth the effort for my family. How about yours?