Thursday, November 19, 2009

Setting the Table for Savings: Step #6







Organizing Your Coupons

If you have started getting papers, I am sure that you are starting to accumulate a nice stash of coupons! They get overwhelming-so I want to share how I keep mine organized. After all, I am an organizing, list making freak. Not kidding, I really am! I have a color coded index file system for my housework. I create lists of chores for myself and write things down that I have already done just so I can have the satisfaction of crossing something off! Ohhh, that makes me feels wonderful! I know, it is sad, but hey, it is me!

Enough about my weird personality... on to coupons. As you can see, I love organization so I immediately began searching for something for my coupons. Many people start off with just an envelope. That works great until you are searching for one and you spill them all on the floor (yes, I am speaking from experience). Then you have to gather them up and try again. Several times of this and you move on to the accordion coupon file thingy. That works for a little bit, but they maybe have 8 or 10 sections, so you are combining sections together and running out of room.

I quickly moved on to the third thing, and I love it! I bought a zippered 3 ring binder (it is hot pink, and oh so cute!) from Wal-Mart. I filled it with different colored tabs and baseball card protectors. I love it because I put my coupons in the baseball holders and I can see all of them. No more spilling them on the floor! It cost me about $20, maybe a little less, to get started. If you are really into couponing, it is worth the investment. Now, I suppose you could buy a not so cute binder a little cheaper, but I figured if I am toting this thing to the store every week I need to make it cute =)

I divided mine up in different categories and then grouped them next to similar categories. I have also heard of people doing them alphabetically, like all the pickles wouldn't be in canned goods. The Mt. Olive's would be under M, and so forth. I say, whatever works best for you is what to go with. I am going to give you my list, just to get you thinking of different category ideas.

Cleaning Supplies
Dish
Laundry
Body
Shaving
Hair Care
Oral Health
Make-up
Medicine
Plastics
Paper
Air Fresheners
Samson (yes, my dog needs his own category)
Misc.
Candy/Gum
Baking
Canned
Condiments
Grains
Beverages
Meat
Frozen
Dairy
Snacks

For a while I started making my list and gathering the coupons that matched my list and just heading off to the store. I quickly realized that I need to take all of my coupons with me. A lot of times there are things that are an unadvertised sale or on clearance. Without your coupons you miss out on that stuff! There have been several times where it has really paid off to have them all with me!

10 comments:

Misty said...

I LOVED your binder idea, (I too am a list organizing nut... guess that is why we are such good friends) yet when I first started couponing I thought I could do it the old fashioned way with the accordian organizer (and save money)... It worked ok until Hope decided to play with it while in the grocery cart and out my coupons came... all my time organizing LOST in one swift moment!

So, I went that day and bought the material to make my binder and I have NEVER regretted the purchase since... It is SO handy!!! I just take it out (I have a bag I carry to the grocery) and unzip it, flip through and viola... zip it back and Hope can try, but she can not mess my coupons up! It truly has been WONDERFUL as well as time saving! (And of course... PRETTY!)

For those of you thinking about making a binder... just do it! It is a costly investment (I believe I paid $25 for my material), but the time it saves you in the end is... PRICELESS!

Katie, I LOVE your categories... I made mine based off the accordian organzier I had... but will be changing a few now... like "Household Products"... they can be divided like you have. THANKS for sharing your list...

Heather said...

I have been using a binder for quite some time now. Mine was real cheap. It's not as pretty as Katie's. LOL. It truly works better than anything else. Plus it makes it real easy for the kids to help when organizing or looking for the coupons.

Heather said...

I too am a list maker. Love lists:) Of course, it is the only way to make sure everything gets taken care of. Also, I love your blog. I have already taken away alot of good receipes and tips in the kitchen. I have always couponed so I enjoy talking to others who do as well. Misty glad you have started couponing...it can be a little addictive:) I love a good bargain...especially free!

Katie said...

Heather,

I just love that you get the kids so involved in cooking and helping out with the coupons. That is so cool, I will totally do that when I have kids :)

Thanks so much for reading the blog, I started because I couldn't contain my enthusiasm for saving money!!! I love it, and I wanted to share it with everybody. It is something every woman(or man) can do to save their family money!

About Misty... she is becoming quite the couponer and cook!!! I am so proud of her!!!! We can spend hours talking about all this coupon/cooking stuff at Panera!

We will have to get together and talk coupons and cooking sometime!

Misty said...

hahaha... If you can believe it I had never clipped coupons before until talking to Katie! I would use coupons people gave me but bought a lot of Kroger brand items... but now, I am addicted! I am LOVING it and it is so fun to see the savings and feel like you just accomplished something... weird, but true.

I am turning into Little Suzie Homemaker... as Katie would say!

We can sit for HOURS at Panera... hahaha. I LOVE it though... tea and fellowship... nothing better!

Heather said...

Let me know next time you go to talk coupons! I would love to go. Like I said it is addictive. I have always tried to get the most for my money, but when you get the "couponing game" down it is sooo much fun. It is so exciting to get things for free or next to free. It is fun not just smart money! We look forward every week to getting your new recipe so that we can try it. That way we can try ones that have already been tested and tried. It is so nice to start "real" cooking again. My kids will finally eat something besides hot dogs, mac and cheese, and pizza. And Cole loves to cook so I am really having to step it up for him. But I welcome the opportunity I didnt realize how much I missed cooking real food and meals.

Katie said...

I will have to talk to you at church about getting together! That would be fun!

I will make sure I post a lot more recipes for Cole!

Heather said...

Thanks Katie. I love your blog, your recipes etc. It has been very good for us. Thanks for sharing some of your info, recipes etc from all you research and experience.

Lynzie said...

I'd love to hear more about this color-coded index for housechores.

Katie said...

Lynzie,

You know, I talked about those recently in a post and I had several people ask about it. I have it on my to-do list. Hopefully I will get it up in Dec or the firt of the year!

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