Spreadsheet For Coupon Binder?

 
 
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Old 03-21-2011, 08:38 PM
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Question Spreadsheet for Coupon Binder?

Do you find it is helpful to make a spreadsheet of coupons in your coupon binder, if you keep one? I have found that many people say they do and just as many people don't. It seems I find myself endlessly searching through my binder to see what is about to expire, what is in there, etc . . . I have a very organized binder, but there must be a better way of ensuring coupons are tracked and don't expire, etc . . . I thought about adding additional baseball card dividers per month behind each divider, so that all of the coupons that expire each month are in a sleeve, followed by the next month, etc. then the next divider tab, etc. I'm curious what is most efficient and least time-consuming for those of you who are serious about couponing. Thanks for the ideas . . .
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Old 03-21-2011, 08:46 PM

RE: Spreadsheet for Coupon Binder?

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I think making a spreadsheet would take more time. I just clear out the expireds as I see them - when I'm looking for a coupon or getting a train envie ready.
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Old 03-22-2011, 05:34 PM

RE: Spreadsheet for Coupon Binder?

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That's what I have done so far, and in the past when I used the binder method, but then fell behind with it. You really have to stay on top it, or any method, to keep ahead of it . . . but it pays off, especially with grocery prices going up so much! Thanks for your thoughts!
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Old 03-22-2011, 05:42 PM

RE: Spreadsheet for Coupon Binder?

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Thanks for the coupon binder tip. I am new to couponing and have been using ziplock sandwich baggies to organize all of my coupons. I find that it is helpful for seperating but a pain when I am searching through my coupons to see what I have to use. Can anyone give me some tips on what they find works best for you when it comes to organizing and filing your coupons?
Thanks for the help
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Old 03-22-2011, 05:43 PM

RE: Spreadsheet for Coupon Binder?

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I got lazy, which usually brings on a brilliant thought, not so much this time . I just take the inserts and put them in a clear plastic protector. On a piece of paper I write what coupons are in it with the expiration date. No more clipping - too much work. Now I only have to organize the printables.
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Old 03-22-2011, 06:20 PM

RE: Spreadsheet for Coupon Binder?

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Idea Coupon Binder Set-Up

I organize my coupons in a large, 3-ring binder with 2 packs of clear baseball sheet dividers (preferably a zippable binder). They were inexpensively purchased at Walmart and the coupons fit nicely in them, although some coupons DO have to be folded over, or cut nicely to fit. Sometimes that can be high maintenance.

I have pre-printed categories for each section, and about 24 different sections that the sheets are divided into. There are about 2 divider sheets per section. Sections may vary, depending on your coupon/shopping habits, but may include such categories as: Beauty, Paper Products, Deli, Meat, Vegetables, Frozen, Pasta, Breakfast, Cleaning, Refrigerated, etc. (lots more categories). I then have a "Table of Contents" sheet at the very front, for reference. So if my first category is Deli, then my first tab is Deli and behind that printed sheet (that says "Deli") are 2 baseball card holder sheets that I put all Deli type coupons in.

I also have a zipped bag (school pencil bag, ziplock bag, etc. to hold my "pulled" coupons I am using for my shopping trip). I pre-pull coupons before my shopping trip . . . even though my coupons are pre-pulled my binder still goes to the stores with me because EVERY TIME I leave my binder at home, I always run into something that I had a coupon for at home and it drives me crazy to overpay for it!!

I also have another bag at the back of the binder for large coupons and misc coupons from places like Bed, Bath & Beyond, Tangier Outlets, etc. , as well as coupons I know others can use that I won't use . . . hope this helps!

This method DOES take organization and time at first. You do have to keep up with it, but any coupon organization method has to be kept up with if you want to know which coupons you have and want to quickly see what is available to you. I used to use a large box with dividers, but it drove me crazy after a while. I like being able to see through the baseball card insert page. It also isn't a disaster when I drop them. Another thing is you have to pull the expired coupons, but expired coupons have to be pulled out of other methods as well . . . ultimately you have to find something that is going to work best for YOU . . .
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Old 03-23-2011, 01:08 AM

RE: Spreadsheet for Coupon Binder?

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New to the coupon world. But the best tip I got was from the newspaper vendor inside Meijer- he was very coupon savvy! Never clip your coupons out of the inserts until you need them. Mark the date on the front and organize by date and insert i.e Redplum 1/23...sometimes threads show me where the coupon is located then i dont have to frenzy through my organizer to find it! Also I put all my store coupons together but organize them by sections (dairy, household, frozen) It helps me a little!
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Old 03-23-2011, 06:22 AM

RE: Spreadsheet for Coupon Binder?

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I use the binder method too and in addition to the baseball pages I got some album refill pages they have 3-4 slots on them and I use those for the larger coupons...
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Old 03-23-2011, 06:45 AM

RE: Spreadsheet for Coupon Binder?

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I use the binder method so I can take all coupons with me. With this system I can see what I have. I am a visual person so I need to see what I have.
I put envelopes in my binder with store names on them, and when the ads come out I pull out the matching coupons and put in there and carry a sprial with a list of what I want with my figures listed for each item with oz or number of the item I need.
I got my divider pages from Extreme Couponing - The Krazy Coupon Lady. I also put different amounts in different pockets if I have enough pockets. So if I have say cereal $1 off two boxes...I put it in a pocket, and a cereal $1 off three boxes in a different pocket if I have enough pockets.
I am constantly (daily) going through my binder, and after time you know for example that alot of coupons expire 3/31! just because repeatedly seeing it when you look through it.
Oh and to begin with I kept a spread sheet, until it got about 4 pages long. I found myself spending hours adding/deleting enteries because I got more coupons or used coupons or expired coupons. After I got my binder set up I got rid of the spread sheet!
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Old 03-23-2011, 07:10 AM

RE: Spreadsheet for Coupon Binder?

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Adding my two cents, since I've gone around and around in circles with my organizing methods

I've done the binder thing, clipped everything, sorted & filed. I've done the insert thing - filing whole by date & clipping when I need, I've done various mixes of both methods... I've always kept a spreadsheet of what coupons I have, where they came from and when they expire. It's not terribly hard to do for inserts because there's lists posted here that can be copied/pasted. I really like having what random IPs, blinkies, and other loose coupons I have. I don't ever print it out, though, just use it when preparing shopping trips and cleaning my stuff out. When cleaning, I sort by expiration date and "source" (a field I use to put where the coupon came from). I skip all the ones that are inserts because those are still intact, and use the remaining ones to clean out the loosies in my binder. When I'm filing my inserts, I put a sticky on the front with the date, which insert, and when the last coupon expires (sometimes when the last coupon I'm likely to use expires) so I know when to toss it.

I like having this list of what's expired because things are always folded every which way to fit & display to my liking in the binder and the expiration dates are not always visible. It can be a hassle to turn pages, pull coupons, unfold stuff to find the expirations.
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Old 03-23-2011, 07:37 AM

RE: Spreadsheet for Coupon Binder?

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i do the same thing ! are you mt twin ??? ! i found , this is the best method , works for me !
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Old 03-26-2011, 06:06 PM

RE: Spreadsheet for Coupon Binder?

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The album refill pages are a GREAT idea for those huge coupons!!!
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Old 03-26-2011, 06:15 PM

RE: Spreadsheet for Coupon Binder?

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Old 03-26-2011, 06:23 PM

RE: Spreadsheet for Coupon Binder?

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Question Whole Inserts vs Cutting?

Yes, the Krazy Coupon Lady is where I also got my index dividers and sections, although I modified a few of them to fit our needs. So, "Robbo", if I understand right, did you just run a list of certain types of coupons in the AFC database and then paste them into a spreadsheet, to avoid all of the time inputting the data yourself then??? (to keep track of which ones expire in your binder more efficiently, like you said above) . . .yes, it is an ordeal to unfold every coupon, look at the expiration date, etc . . . Do you just have an Excel spreadsheet set up and then run a sort on expiration dates? Right now I do cut the Sunday inserts, so my binder includes printables, inserts, and other types of coupons . . . I'm still not quite getting the benefit of NOT cutting them . . . I still would have to look through all of them every time, just like I would a binder . . . how is keeping the inserts intact of value?
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Old 03-27-2011, 09:15 AM

RE: Spreadsheet for Coupon Binder?

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Usually the insert coupons are posted here a few days before they come out. The lists are simple so they copy/paste well. I do double check my inserts to the lists because coupons & values vary by region.

I use the spreadsheet for searching, too, rather than flipping through the pages of a binder. Also, when deals are posted here they always include what insert the coupon came out of so it's easy for me to grab the 3/27 SS and find what I'm looking for. It takes me all of 1 minute to "organize" my inserts every week (clip together, attach post-it, write date & insert) and I pull & clip when I need them. It took me hours every week to clip them all, sort & file.

However, I'm a super-planner. I don't buy things that aren't on my list, I don't browse aisles while looking through my coupons, I don't clearance shop, etc. I plan out my drugstore deals on Saturday nights and my grocery store deals on Wednesday nights (sales change on Thurs here) and I get what I'm getting. I have a pretty good stockpile so I rarely need anything, and I'm also a bit of a food snob and a vegetarian so don't use too many food coupons. Most of the food I buy is fresh stuff, no coupons, and the fact that I don't pay for things I can't eat affords us that luxury

So, you do what works for you.
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Old 03-29-2011, 05:55 PM

RE: Spreadsheet for Coupon Binder?

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I like the "super planner" concept . . . I truly do NOT have time to devote to grocery shopping planning every single day and felt as if I needed to devote one day (not literally a day, but a portion of one) to the grocery component and one day to the drugstore component (like you said) . . . as far as planning, which is what you confirmed above. It makes it more manageable. It is just TOO MUCH to do in one day, and like you alluded to, I have found myself one too many times with my binder and coupons spending hours going through the aisles EVEN AFTER planning and preparing my list just to be sure I have got the best deal possible. Part of the problem is I cannot pre-plan with our two grocery stores b/c their deals are not listed in the Shopping Assistant (Hannaford, Walmart, Rite-Aid), so I am going into the store somewhat "blind". Hannaford and Rite-Aid both have circulars on-line, so that helps somewhat, but I still have to match-up the coupons, etc. So, when I get there, even if I pull coupons ahead of time, there are always "surprises" and things I didn't know about ahead of time b/c they aren't listed anywhere. We live in a small mountain town and those are our ONLY options. We rarely eat meat, so much of our food is also fresh vegetables, dairy, and filling in staple needs, but I haven't built much of a stockpile yet. Thank you for your input and recommendations.
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Old 03-29-2011, 06:47 PM

RE: Spreadsheet for Coupon Binder?

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I think building a spreadsheet would take a ton of time. I would rather spend time organinzing the coupons themselves. I use a binder with 23 categories. The tip I would suggest in order to not miss expiring coupons is that I organize each category by expiration date. The ones about to expire are the first ones in the set. The ones that don't expire until last are in the baseball card sleves last. I leave a few pockets empty here and there for q's that pop up with sooner expirations than the last ones. This works very well for me. The ones up front are the ones that I look at each week to pull out as they expire. This is pretty quick. Hope this helps.
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Old 03-30-2011, 07:19 AM

RE: Spreadsheet for Coupon Binder?

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Just for a little more help, there are some matchups for those stores if you look in the regular forum posts.

Rite Aid:
Rite Aid - Grocery Coupons & Deal Forums - A Full Cup
I don't follow this because I don't have a Rite Aid, but there's at least a Free/Cheap list with matchups and lots of other posts to help you out. I think Rite Aid is one of the most active forums here so I'm sure you'll find lots of help there and if you follow along you'll never miss a deal

I don't see full matchups for Hannaford or Walmart either, but the forums are active so don't forget to check in there when you're doing your matchups for some extra info and maybe something you might have missed - help eliminate some of those "surprises" you're finding at the store.

I agree that it can become too much. I find that I can become totally consumed by the whole thing, spending way too much time squeezing a few more dollars out of the week. Sometimes, that's how you have to live to get by. Other times, it's better to leave a few bucks at the table and go home and smell the roses, KWIM?

You'll find your groove, you'll get REALLY GOOD at planning and you will shrink the amount of time it takes to plan and it'll become less overwhelming.
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Old 04-01-2011, 06:18 PM

RE: Spreadsheet for Coupon Binder?

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While I am new to this site, I have been couponing for awhile and I use a combination of the full inserts and the clip everything method. My 3 ring zipper binder has 16 categories to sort my favorite brands or definite buys, a couple of sections dedicated to specific stores because we have "store" coupons at my local stores, and full page size page protectors at the back for inserts in order by date. After numerous attempts at using different methods, this is what works best for me.

The main thing to remember is that everyone thinks and organizes differently. Look around and use whatever suggestion you like so that coupons will work for you long term.
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Old 04-02-2011, 02:46 PM

RE: Spreadsheet for Coupon Binder?

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I have only been couponing for about 8-months --- on and (very) off, however. I am currently using a basic file folder (YES, im THAT new!!!).... My goal is to one day soon have a big and fat 3-ring binder or pendaflex system. I downloaded a few spreadsheets and even created my own but it just seems like double the work... I am a huge computer nerd [everything in my life is a spreadsheet] but something about coupons... I need to look and see whats going on over a spreadsheet idea.. Just my opinion
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Old 04-03-2011, 11:31 AM

RE: Spreadsheet for Coupon Binder?

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Years and years ago I used to use a coupon organizing program called Cash In. I didn't keep a binder just a little coupon holder and it was super easy to just type in the coupon, exp. date and print the list out each week. Now that I use a binder its just easier to look at the coupons as I go through to file new ones and pull out the expired or soon to expire.
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Old 04-03-2011, 11:41 AM

RE: Spreadsheet for Coupon Binder?

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I am very new to couponing, and I just recently created a spreadsheet. I used it for the first week, but then I found it to be way too time consuming. For now, I just depend on my binder which I have divided into categories and those categories are sorted alphabettically using baseball card holders. Since I don't want to reorganize my binder every week, I leave little Post-Its on the sheets to say which ad (SS, RP, P&G) that I got those ads from and the date of the ad. For my printable coupons, I just put down the month that I printed the coupons off. It is not a perfect system, but it works great for me. I find that with this system, there really is no need for me to put the extra work into maintaining a spreadsheet.
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Old 04-07-2011, 07:49 PM

RE: Spreadsheet for Coupon Binder?

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ERonica1 View Post
While I am new to this site, I have been couponing for awhile and I use a combination of the full inserts and the clip everything method. My 3 ring zipper binder has 16 categories to sort my favorite brands or definite buys, a couple of sections dedicated to specific stores because we have "store" coupons at my local stores, and full page size page protectors at the back for inserts in order by date. After numerous attempts at using different methods, this is what works best for me.

The main thing to remember is that everyone thinks and organizes differently. Look around and use whatever suggestion you like so that coupons will work for you long term.
Great idea separating out the individual "store specific" coupons in the binder. I think it is a continual process of figuring out what works best, as you said.
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Old 04-07-2011, 07:56 PM

RE: Spreadsheet for Coupon Binder?

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamanyc View Post
I have only been couponing for about 8-months --- on and (very) off, however. I am currently using a basic file folder (YES, im THAT new!!!).... My goal is to one day soon have a big and fat 3-ring binder or pendaflex system. I downloaded a few spreadsheets and even created my own but it just seems like double the work... I am a huge computer nerd [everything in my life is a spreadsheet] but something about coupons... I need to look and see whats going on over a spreadsheet idea.. Just my opinion
My couponing friend is a spreadsheet guru as well . . .every coupon goes into a spreadsheet, as well as every coupon used. She is meticulous about it. I'm not THAT organized! She doesn't buy nearly as much food as we do either though!
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Old 04-14-2011, 05:39 PM

RE: Spreadsheet for Coupon Binder?

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thanks for all your ideas on binders. now to get started myself
 

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