Thursday, June 3

coupon organizer

i've always liked coupon clipping. the weekly ritual of sitting with the paper, flipping through flyers, cutting on the dotted lines... dorky, i know, but i really do enjoy it. plus, it's a principle of frugality. i'm a big believer in the "every penny counts" & "a penny saved is a penny earned" philosophy. although, being a big practicer of it is a little more difficult sometimes. coupons help alot!

now, i'm not one of those coupon queens who pay $20 for $200-worth of groceries. i'd like to improve my skills, but for the time being, i stick to what coupons i receive in the mail, coupons that i receive from the store, & taking advantage of double/triple deals. we love a bargain around here at the casa, & coupons are like a make-your-own-bargain tool. so, that's a snippet of the frugality side.

then there's the issue of organization because keeping those little pieces of paper straight take serious effort. i separate mine into six categories: restaurants, cleaning, household, food, personal, & miscellaneous. restaurants & cleaning are pretty self-explanatory. household includes paper products, pet supplies, batteries, plastic bags, etc. personal is for toiletries & first aid items. miscellaneous is generally for those fabulous store coupons, like the 20% of one item at beth, bath, & beyond.

one of my pet peeves is organizers that aren't long enough to hold those longer store coupons. i found this perfect organizer at barnes & noble. it's actually a photo album for panoramic pictures turned coupon book. it even has six pockets - perfect for my categories!

[my photo album turned coupon book]

[opened up to the first picture pocket]

[coupons are in the pocket behind the pretty paper label]

[the next pocket & a view of the back of the first]

each pocket has two sides [to put in two back-to-back pictures], but i generally use only the front one. i always keep my coupons in order by expiration date. each week before i run errands, i look through each pocket, with especial focus on the coupons expiring that week, which are in the very front. i also throw out any expired coupons. it takes a little extra time to organize them this way on sunday, but it's well worth the effort come wednesday!

my coupon book worked great as is, but i felt it warranted some jazzing up. insert craftiness! i cut down fun, coordinating scrapbook paper for the front of each pocket & labeled the category with stickers. i also cut down double-sided scrapbook paper for the cover, then i added "to save a buck" to the front with more stickers. i glued it down with tombow permanent scrapbooking adhesive tape from the inside. it's not only functional, but now it's FUN!

i imagine i may need something bigger as my couponing expands [i'm thinking when we have kiddos & need things like diapers...], & i really like the following idea of a coupon BOX with room for a notepad & your wallet!

[don't remember where i found this pic...]

but for now, this is all i need, & it's perfect! when form meets function, life is good...


Jessica said...

Your penny-pinching puts me to shame! I am very impressed by your long-enough and cute-enough coupon keeper. Very nice. :D

Christine said...

i love your idea of that coupon book. i did one, myself, a couple of months ago. i use a wirebound photo album (only $5 on clearance at Target) that holds 4x6 photos and i use Avery NoteTabs (they are reusable & re-positionable). i use categories like you do toward the front and the back has all of my store specific coupons (Hallmark, Family Christian, LifeWay, Starbucks, BedBath& know, the important ones). i also leave the front panels open for any receipts i'll need for store returns. (yup, i'm actually making it back to do store returns now!!) your blog! you have such a gift for writing! keep it up and i'll keep checking it!
love you!