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...

2 comments:

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&Beyond...you 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!!)

btw...love your blog! you have such a gift for writing! keep it up and i'll keep checking it!
love you!