OK I'm admit it.
I have converted to the binder method of organizing my coupons.
I know I said the binder was only for the hardcore and I'm not hardcore (but I'm blogging about coupons so I might be getting there). But I was perfectly happy with my expandable envelope sized coupon organizer. Yes, I did have two and yes I was changing the category headers constantly to try to make it easier to find things.
It was getting hard to find expired coupons and remove them, or to even find the things I was looking for. If I wanted a coupon fro Progresso soup I had to pull the whole stack from the "canned food" section and sort through them all to find what I wanted.
I missed deals because I didn't know what coupons I had, I pulled coupons that I thought were for great deals only to find they'd expired!
Don't get me wrong, I think the expandable coupon file is great for those new to coupons. It allowed me to keep my coupons all in one place, before it they were crammed in my wallet (or left at home altogether) and I really didn't know what I had. I could begin to organize them and since it was small and could be hidden in my purse it wasn't intimidating to take into the stores with me.
But the more I gathered coupons, the better deals I found, I realized my slandered coupon organizer wasn't enough anymore. I had outgrown it.
So I bit the bullet and switched to the binder method. I found an old binder, and some old collectors card sheets at home. I went out and bought a few more baseball card holding sheets and some sheet protectors and file tab dividers.
I started slipping my coupons into the slots and realized I was going to have a lot more room to organize! Some people don't like the baseball card sheets because most coupons have to be folded to fit into them but I was folding things to fit into my old organizer sometimes anyway and I really don't mind. I just have to make sure they're folded so that I can see the product.
If it bothers you and you're thinking of switching they sell all sizes of sheet protectors for photos so I'm sure you can find something to suit your coupon sizes. I have some of my thick paper or cardboard coupons in a sheet protector.
As I slipped my coupons into the sheets I was creating new categories. Now instead of having a section of canned foods with everything thrown in together I have a folder tab labeled 'canned food' and behind it separate sheets for soup, pasta, canned vegetables, etc.
Now if I'm looking for that Progresso soup coupon I can turn to the soup page and find all the Progresso brand coupons in one pocket. Easily pulled out and looked through. I put the newer ones at the back so the older ones that will expire soon are nearer the front of the stack.
I use my sheet protectors to hold rebate forms, coupons for free items, and oddly shaped coupons. I also have one marked 'This Trip'. When I'm making my list I slip coupons I expect to use into this sheet protector so they'll be easy to grab at the register.
There are pockets in the binders front and back covers also. I use these to store this weeks sales fliers, printable coupons that haven't been cut out yet and paper for making lists. You could also keep a pen, small pair of scissors, and calculator in there.