Wednesday, July 22, 2009

To Clip or Not to Clip....that IS the question....

Ugh...I have been tossing the idea around in my head of finally making the switch to the coupon binder. I know, I know...I said that the thought of it made me cringe (which it does)....that I have NO room for it when I go shopping (which I don't)...that I wanted the easiest route (which I do)...a number of reasons why the coupon binder just isn't for me. Here's what I DO know.... a.)my coupon pouch that I carry with me in my purse, is getting bigger and bigger and more difficult to manage. b.) it is a pain in my you know where to FIND the coupons I need quickly...especially while at the store c.)I am more and more frequently missing out on deals because I left my coupons at home d.) I just don't feel organized enough. I can't SEE at a glance what I have and don't have.

If you remember, THIS is how I currently organize my coupon inserts and some of my straggling individual coupons. I also posted THIS a while back. I had come up with a simple spreadsheet (so I thought) that would help me keep track of the coupons I had, how many, when they expire, and this was especially helpful for IP's and tearpad/blinkie coupons that I had that I didn't want to forget about. It was working great for a while and still works OK, but I am CONSTANTLY getting new coupons, both in the mail, from the internet, from the store...I just don't have that kind of time to sit and enter all the data in all the time. I get behind constantly and have a big stack of coupons on my desk that just continues to pile up, and when I finally DO get around to entering them's just in time for a new stack to come in. Bleh. Soo...that's not really working out as well as I planned.

If you are not sure what I am talking about when I say "coupon binder," go HERE to learn a little more about another system of filing and storing coupons. This is the method that I think is most commonly used throughout the coupon-clipping community. Every time you walk in to're bound to see at least one coupon-mom with her coupon-binder in tow, spread wide open across the seating part of the cart. :)

But, despite all of those things that are frustrating I REALLY ready to make the jump to a coupon binder? The idea of it is great. Always have all of my coupons neatly organized and always have them with me wherever I go, so that I can always take advantage of great able to tell, at a glance, what coupons I have...have all of my materials, lists, policies, tools, etc. right at my fingertips in a ready-to-go case. It really is functional and efficient.

HOWEVER...I have to think of all of the other things that I just, honestly, don't know will work for me. I seriously don't know how I would be able to carry it around when I am usually hauling a carseat on one arm and holding a toddler (or at least his hand) with the other one...which is a chore IN AND OF itself. I simply don't have a third arm to carry it! Then, even if I DO manage to get it into the store (maybe I could bribe my 6 year old to do it?) where does it go? My 1 year old usually sits in the seating part of the cart and my infant's carseat sits in the main part of the cart where the groceries (are supposed to) go. Let me tell you...I barely have room for the stuff I'm buying as it is...and I KNOW my toddler won't hold it for me on his lap while I galavant around the store....I mean...these may seem like silly reasons, but they are issues of practicality. What good is it going to do to put the time and effort into doing the binder if in the end I am going to decide that it's a bigger pain in the you-know-where than just dealing with the overflowing purse?

Any way...I am just so at a crossroads. I actually wound up going to Walmart yesterday for some things and saw all the super-cute binders there and, on impulse, bought one. I brought it home and decided I was going to do it. That's it, I'm doing it. BUT, after the impulse of the purchase wore off....I'm just not so sure anymore. So it's just sitting there in the same plastic bag waiting to either be returned or be brought out and have the tags ripped off...

So, I ask you readers...what you have decided to do? Have any of you made the plunge to decide to make your own coupon binder? If so, how is it working for you? Is it worth it? Do you regret it? What are the pros and cons? Anything and everything you have to add would be greatly appreciated. If you haven't made the switch, have you thought about it? What are the reasons that make you want or not want to do it? I am just really struggling with this and am curious what everyone else thinks...


  1. I am very happy that I made the decision to switch to the coupon binder for all the reasons you listed, when I see a deal I have my coupons with me, and they are well organized. In fact I am considering getting rid of the filing thing all together and just clipping, because I clip the items I know I am going to buy anyway.
    As for the room issue. I also have a baby in tote and sometimes other kids I babysit. I usually have to stop and open my binder.. not have it open across the seat.

  2. Yeah...I guess that's true...just leave it closed until you need it...but even then..I am usually overflowing in my cart with groceries as it is...including on the sides of the seating compartment on either side of my toddler or the carseat (whichever is there at the moment) and underneath the cart....ugh...I don't. What kind of binder do you use and what do you and don't you like about it?

  3. I do a combo of a binder and filing method. I bought a cute medium sized picture book a few months ago so that I can actually carry it in my purse, it’s a bigger purse but it would never fit a regular sized binder. With that said, I cannot categorize the coupons or anything so that is something to keep in mind. I don’t have time to clip everything or the room so I only clip the coupons I use all the time like diapers, formula, baby toiletries, baby food, cleaning supplies that I use all the time or new high dollar coupons. The picture book that I have can only hold 60 pictures or so, so its big and small enough to carry plenty and still allow me to have a good idea of what I have in there at all times. Other than that, I have to do some extra planning to get good deals, but it works for me. The only reason I didn’t like the filing method is because I could never remember what coupons were in there and now that I have a pretty good set of coupons it’s hard to flip though the books every week. Ugh.
    Hope this helps!

  4. I totally's hard to remember what's in there...especially when all of the blog sites post coupons that Idaho didn't get. Very frustrating. That's why I made that spreadsheet thing, which really did work great for a while, but it's more time consuming to keep THAT up that it would be a coupon binder I think! Lol. I don't know...I think I'm getting closer and closer to making the switch...boy oh boy...I never thought I'd see the

  5. hmmm.. i personally like the filing system.. for the reason when the list comes up or thanks to all the coupon moms, its easy to find a certain coupon.. but in the store i can see where you would want your coupons with you.. as i see stuff on clearance all the time, and i think oh man i wish i had that coupon on me.. and then i think do i really want to go all the way home to get it.. no not really.. the only thing as for carrying it would be a strap like on a bag, i had mentioned before.. but even then i don't even like carrying my purse on my shoulder when i shop let alone a coupon binder. im afraid that im not goin to be much help.. all i can say is giv it a shot, you may like it.. you may figure things out as you go.. or you may hate it.. at least then you would know if the coupon binder method is for you.. and you never know between using that method and your current one, you may come up with something even better. have you ever thought bout emailing thrifty mom bout it, im sure she could help you out on some answers.. as she too has kids.. as martha has mentioned.. carrying coupons on you that you kno you will use no matter what.. i have a lil coupon organizer in my purse.. with the lil dividers, that have all my diaper coupons, baby washes, wipes, and all the other baby stuff.. i even have the make up coupons in there too.. i'll keep tossin around some ideas, and see if i can come up with any answers for you.. sorry im not much help! i would email one of your favorite coupon blog moms.

  6. Just be careful, I tried doing nothing but the binder system and it really killed a few hours each sunday just cutting coupons. I tried to spead all the pages out, stapling the pages together and I still always cut too close to a coupon and always had stacks of coupons to go through and organize in the binder. Yuck! I would end up with piles of coupons left over to organize at a later date and it would never happen. Its just too much work. My wrist would ache. Just wait till the 3 inserts come out at once...horrible!

    Plus you are always pulling them out for a sale you are rushing to, only to find that the sale items are no there and you have come back to the binder to put them away. did I already say yuck! Yuck!

  7. ugh!!! See, Martha?? That's EXACTLY what I'm afraid of! These moms who use the coupon binder make it seem so easy and whatnot...but then you tell about the darker side of it. Lol.

  8. I really don't spend more than 45 min clipping every Sunday... IDK thats just me, I also make it fun and have my lil 6 yr old help clip. She loves helping and being able to use scissors. My suggestions if you do a coupon binder is to make SURE it has a zipper, an acessable pocket to slip blinkers in for when u get home to put away. Also have a calculator, scissors, a pen, and paper clips. I purchased baseball card holders and normal binder dividers and put them into sections, for example baby, produce, dairy etc.


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