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Organizing Coupons Using an Accordion File

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    There are many ways how to organize coupons. Some people prefer to use the clip n go method, others prefer to use the binder method. My favorite is the Accordion File Method.  This method is a great alternative to the Binder Method.  No matter how you sort your coupons, (brand, store, etc.), an accordion file can be adjusted to your style.  All the coupons can be fitted in a small, envelope size accordion file.  I am able to carry all my manufacturer coupons, restaurant coupons as well as store coupons with me when I go shopping without hassle. Its all about the size and convenience, and how easy it is to carry. I found this method to be small enough to fit in a handbag, fits well in the baby seat of the shopping cart
(for those of us who don’t have babies), and is light weight. Size varies depending on the manufacturer, but a maximum length of 11 inches and a height of about 4 inches works perfectly.  
If you want to try this method, there are a few things to consider when choosing an accordion file:

Expansion: How many coupons will the file hold. 

There are several styles of accordion folders that are useful for . Some expand only in the top, and some allow for expansion of the top and the bottom. At first  purchased the pink accordion file pictured on the left. This file only expands at the top, the bottom is fixed.  So when expanded, it forms a V shape. I found this type of file to be limiting, because it only allows for a certain amount of clippings per section.  I also found that I had to pull out all the contents inside of a tab to be able to see its contents comfortably.

I found another type of accordion file that expands in the top as well as the bottom. Pictured on the right, this one allows for an unlimited number of coupons because the whole section expands.  I no longer keep a binder for storing all my coupons in addition to an envelope for carrying the coupons used on a shopping trip.  They all fit in there.  Sometimes I would go to the store and find an incredible deal, only to miss out on it because I left that coupon at home. Not anymore.

Material: Nor rain or snow will ruin my coupons

You want something that is not only sturdy, but durable.  Plastic works best.  It is bendable as well as water resistant.  Your alternative choices are paper or manila, faux leather and leather.  However, these can easily get wet, and water can damage your coupons and the file itself can be ruined. 

Closure Type:  Don’t lose your coupons

The worst thing that can happen is to have all your coupons fall out. Paying close attention to how the folder keeps its contents secure is key. An elastic band with a clip that twists spells trouble. Snaps can easily pop open. My file has an elastic band that swings under the file, and wraps around a button.  I’ve never had an issue with it getting loose or swinging open.  So, I would recommend this one.  Others have an elastic band that wraps around the whole folder. Either one of these works great.  

Number of Tabs: sorting your coupons

I have only found files with up to 13 tabs. Some have less. How many tabs to get depends on how you plan to file your coupons.  As a general rule for me, the more tabs, the more uses it has. It would be fantastic if I could find a file with 26 tabs.I needed more than 13 tabs  since I like to file things alphabetically.However, I was able to customize the file by adding enough tabs to fit my needs.  I used card stock paper, cut it to size and inserted them between each tab to increase the amount of sections.  I have sections where I keep my 

 There have been times in which I can barely stretch the elastic band to close the file.  Yet it holds everything securely.  I found this accordion file at Office Depot. The Container Store sells one very similar to this one too. 

Want to see how I use it? Watch this video.

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