Thursday, October 15, 2009

Help with an Irrelevant Decision

OK, maybe I'm taking this couponing thing a little too far, but I need y'all to help me out here. I've looked at a few coupon-organization options online (blogs, message boards and such) and decided I'd like to try the binder option. This is where you use a 3-ring binder with baseball card pages--the kind with 9 pockets. Then you've got lots of small pockets to organize your coupons (I'll use dividers to make alphabetical sections). OK, so I've been keeping an eye out for a zippered binder (because the last thing you want is for all your coupons to fall out if you accidentally pick it up the wrong way). Haven't seen one for the last few weeks, at least not for a price I wanted to pay. I've kept an eye on eBay and Amazon, too. Well, I'm so desperate to have my Q's organized, that I was ready to pay for one.

So, I went to Walgreens tonight and found a zippered binder with a nice expandable file section that you can access from an outside zipper, or inside the binder when it's open. I would love to have that file to hold copies of store coupon policies, organize shopping lists and 'intending to use' coupons, store fliers, restaurant coupons, etc. It has 2" rings and is made by Mead.

My dh looked over it and thinks it's a good quality, with plastic sides instead of cardboard inserts. It cost $15 (heart attack), but I bought it. I figured if I could get one on eBay or anywhere else, I could make do. I was really hoping for a Case-It brand, because they have a handle on the spine, as well as a shoulder strap. Since I often shop with kids, having one less thing to hold onto is just good.

Well, next I went to Wal-Mart. After picking up the things on my list, I had some time to check over the clearance section. Guess what I found:

A bunch of Case-It binders for $9. I couldn't resist.

Now, I'm still not completely convinced I should use this one. I read some reviews on Amazon saying the zippers broke soon after putting them into use, and there were other complaints about the durability of the binder rings themselves. Aside from that, I'm not sure what to make of the fact that there are two sets of binder rings. You can see them in this photo: Each set is about 1.5" deep, so I'm getting a total of 3" of capacity, as opposed to the Mead's 2". But I'm afraid the fact that there are two sections will be a pain.

The other thing I really like about this one, though, is that there are way more pockets to hold stuff.

I can keep pens and my calculator, scissors, even the contents of my wallet in there, if I'd like (not sure I would, though). The Mead only has one velcro pocket and one mesh zipper pocket inside of it. (But it's got the file!) I'm not sure where I would keep all my larger papers in the Case-It binder. I guess I could just put those things in regular page protectors and keep them at the front or back of the regular coupons.

My Dh feels that the Case-It is a lesser quality, with a lot of extra pockets that I wouldn't use.
(note the extremely shallow outside pocket)

I'm not entirely sure he's wrong, but I sure would like that shoulder strap!

So, I'm debating on whether to return one and use the other, or just return both and buy a different model of Case-It binder on eBay. There is a different model that has the interior/exterior file section (and the shoulder strap/handle), but it runs about $20 plus shipping. Any ideas? What do you all think?


  1. I read this after you posted, but I didn't comment because...well...I just couldn't make up my mind either!!! I would go with the one you think you'll use the most...the one that is easiest to get things into and out of, cause as couponers, we're constantly digging around in our binders for this or that.

    Can't wait to hear what you decide!

  2. Hi, I read your comment on auburnchicks blog & decided to reply. I, too, decided to get a zippered binder due to spilling my coupons and also due to my old binder being too thin. I was in Office Depot yesterday and there in the up to 75% off bin was a really nice "tug" brand binder made out of the heavy backpack material. It was really thick and holds all my pages and has a sholder strap. I just love it. Both of your look nice but you migh check at Office Depot also if you have one. Mine cost $3.75!!!!

  3. Thanks, Carolyn! I don't have one near me, but I'll check out that brand online. :)