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by Rachel
I don't like them. Do you?

There is something warm, fuzzy, and enjoyable about flipping through pages of a coupon insert. But coupons you print from the Internet? Not so. They are difficult, potentially dangerous, and no fun at all!

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by Rachel

It is important that you use a coupon organizer. It is also important that you tailor the scheme to fit your needs. We provide a good starting point for your coupon organization, including a downloadable Word file you can modify and print to use as divider sheets in your coupon book.

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You need a coupon book. Build one yourself!

A Coupon Book is a large looseleaf binder especially formatted and designed to hold clipped coupons. It is an essential piece of equipment for all couponers organized by topic. The book has many sections which are divided into categories and subcategories. In our book we have four main categories and 32 subcategories. You can see a photo of our Coupon Book, along with its master index page, in the photo below.

coupon book
Our coupon book

Here is the bill of materials for a good Coupon Book. Figure a cost of about $60, which will be paid back (and more!) after a day or two of shopping. You need:

  • Dual ring looseleaf binder, with zipper, e.g. Case it 2 in 1 Dual Ring Binder, about $20 at most office supply stores
  • Heavy plastic sheets for dividing the main categories (we use four main categories, Grocery, Refigerated/Frozen, Household, and Personal Care; you may use more)
  • Clear 8-tab index sheet protectors with numbers on the tabs 1, 2, 3, etc. (plan on four sets of 8, 32 total, one for each subcategory), about $5 per set
  • Clear trading card binder pages, 10 per package; buy enough packages to have at least one sheet for each subcategory, about $3 per package
  • Assorted color index cards 100 count (get two or three packages)

Start by making your divider pages on 8 1/2 x 11 inch paper, one divider page for each subcategory. Our article lets you download a Microsoft Word document that contains divider sheets for our favorite categories and subcategories (click here). Modify our divider sheets to your liking, then print them on plain white paper. You will also need to print the Table of Contents for your divider sheets, which becomes the master index for the entire Coupon Book.

divider pages
Pages for section dividers

Be sure the page numbers on the divider sheets match the page numbers of the master index, then insert the sheets into tabbed sheet protectors, one sheet per protector, with tab numbers and page numbers the same. You will use the master index to quickly navigate through your book by lifting the corresponding tab.

Next, after each numbered tab, insert one or more trading card binder pages. These hold the coupons. Cut a colored index card to fit in the trading card card slot so you can use both sides of the page. It is important to use colors which match the main categories so you can easily tell which of the main sections of the book you are working with. I use green for Grocery, blue for Refrigerated/Frozen, yellow for Household, and purple for Personal Care.

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The old days are long gone ...

In the old days, people used ad hoc couponing. Ad hoc is a Latin phrase which means spur-of-the-moment, temporary, and restricted to one item. We prefer the new way, organized (a.k.a. extreme couponing), which is just the opposite: planned, long-lasting, and without limits.

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Sat, 29-Nov-2014 04:48:31 GMT, unknown: 48970 ABI0I9aoJQZMU