(I had planned to take pictures while doing this, but my camera batteries were dead… Its the thought that counts though. Right? Right??!!)
My project for yesterday was to organize my coupon binder. I have been using coupons for about 2 years, and I have tried many methods for keeping my coupons, but for me, using a binder has been the most organized, and it allows me to get in and out of the stores faster. I also feel like I save more money this way because everything is in its place. If you want to organize your coupons this way, you just need a binder and some baseball card inserts. (Its also nice to have tabs, scissors, pen, calculator, and a notebook in the binder, but not necessary.) Easy peasy. I haven’t clipped my coupons for about 2 months, so my binder was kind of a disaster. I was embarrassed to shop with that thing. Papers sticking out everywhere and coupons falling out… All better now though!
The first thing I did was clean out all the expired coupons-which ended up being almost all of them. That hurt me. I even had to get rid of some free product coupons. Ugh. I was crying inside. That’s what happens when I’m so disorganized though. After my binder was empty but for about 5 whole coupons, I went to work clipping my inserts and internet printables. I cut all the coupons and just put them into one stack. Then I sorted them into piles-Health and Beauty, Cleaning, Baby, Target coupons, Grocery items, and Cold Grocery. This way works best for me since it normally takes me a whole day to get this all done since I’m kind of busy. :o) There have been multiple occasions when I sat here and cut and sorted at the same time, then tiny hands came and messed everything up. So this is working for me for now. Then I just filed them all away in the baseball card inserts. My favorite store is Target, and that is where I shop the most, so my coupons are in the same order as the Target aisles.
This is how I file away my coupons, but of course everyone is different. You can use one of those expandable file folders, or even just file your inserts in folders without clipping. This is what works best for me though.
I’ve heard people say its just not beneficial to use coupons-takes too much time, they don’t put out coupons for items they use, etc, etc. But by using coupons and shopping the store sales I saved over $13,000 last year. Yes- 13 THOUSAND dollars!! And that is a low estimate because I stopped calculating during the summer when I was around $10,000. I bought almost $4,000 worth of Christmas gifts (for over 30 people) and spent under $500. And they were nice gifts too, not things for the Dollar Tree! I love being able to see how far I can stretch my hubby’s hard earned dollars. Our HBA and cleaning stockpile is pretty well stocked, (more on that later-another project!) and I would be very surprised if I had to buy things like body wash, laundry detergent, OTC medications, etc. at all this year. I will of course pick up things that are free or pennies on the dollar, or items that will make me money. Having a stockpile allows me to donate items, give my friends and family things they need, and it saves me from having to run out and pay full price for pretty much anything. Plus I don’t have to worry about running out of things when I can’t get out of the house. If we get snowed in I don’t have to worry about diapers or anything else. I can just stay warm and cozy at home with my guys. (I love being snowed in. Hoping for a blizzard soon!!)
Don’t hate me for saying that. ;o)