Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Week One of Couponing
My question to you is, why not? It took me about three hours today to get completely organized and make all the things I used to get organized and cut the coupons(cutting the coupons only took like 45 minutes). That's three hours that would have been spent on pinterest any other day. As someone who is used to having a job, and who is really struggling with not providing financial assistance to my growing family, three hours is worth saving any money to me.
How I Got Started
So, I am a big organization freak. If I start a new project and it gets too messy, I lose interest very quickly. So I figured the best way to start this and stick to it would be to get organized first. Figure out a system that may work for me and then start the couponing.
I would love to use the baseball card filing system where you have a completely separate coupon binder and you have a bunch of those clear baseball card protectors that hook directly into your binder. From there you fill all the slots up with your coupons, making it extremely easy to flip between all your coupons. This system seems ideal to me, but I didn't really feel like dishing out the dough for the sheets. This is about saving money right? So instead I made myself a coupon envelope. See the tutorial here. I figure this will help me get started, and then when this turns into something real, I can get a little more obsessive with it.
Now where do I find those coupons?
That's what it is all about after all, those flimsy newspaper inserts that save you dollars and dollars when used in the right way. So where do you get them all? Normally, I don't get any. I always forget that it is Sunday and the paper is out, but since I checked my handy homemade planner I was able to remember it this week. So I forced the hubs to take me to the nearest gas station (I can't drive his car, it's a stick shift) and I bought two newspapers. Yupp, only two. This will give me enough coupons to build up a little bit of a stock pile, but not so much that I wasted too much money. The experts all say that you should start small so you don't get overwhelmed, and it is advice I intend on taking.
Time to clip coupons.
Since I bought two papers, I matched up all the inserts and cut them both at the same time. This was a lot easier than I thought it would be, it cut the clipping time in half, and it made organizing the huge stack a lot easier since they were doubled up in the pile. When I was done, this is what I had:
Organizing my coupons.
So I have my envelope, I have my coupons, but how do I work this into a usable system? I took notecards and I wrote different categories on each of them so when I looked through ads I could check that category and see if I had any coupons to make it a super sale.
The Krazy Coupon Lady but I adjusted some of them for my own use. The categories I made are:
• Produce: Fresh Fruits, Veggies, and anything else in the produce section
• Salty Snacks: Pretzels, Popcorn, Chips, Crackers, Snack Mix, etc.
• Granola Bars: And Fruit Snacks, Breakfast & Energy Bars, etc.
• Fruit: Canned fruit, Fruit Cups, Applesauce, etc.
• Vegetables: Canned vegetables, pickles, beans, etc.
• Pasta: Dry noodles and pasta sauce
• Soup: Canned soup, Broth & Dry Soup Mix
• Baking: Flour, Sugar, Oil, Cake Mix, Frosting, Chocolate Chips, Raisins, Evaporated Milk, Shortening, etc.
• Breakfast: Cereal, Oatmeal, Toaster Pastries, Syrup, Pancake Mix, etc.
• Prepared Sides: Rice, Instant Potatoes, Country Crock sides, etc.
• Condiments: Salad Dressing, Mayo, Mustard, Ketchup, Soy Sauce, etc.
• Drinks: Juice, Drink Mix, Hot Cocoa Mix, Creamer
• Refrigerated: Eggs, Cheese, Dairy, Deli Meat, Dips, Rolls
• Frozen: Veggies, Pizza, Meat, Ice Cream
• Storage Containers: Reynolds, Ziploc
• Cleaning: Surface Cleaners, Laundry, Dishwashing, Air Fresheners
• Health: Cold/Allergy Medicine, Vitamins, First Aid, Oral Health
• Hygiene: Beauty, Soap, Hair Care, Lotion, Shaving, Deodorant, Feminine Hygiene
For me this is just descriptive enough to fit into my coupon plan and searching for coupons, but not so descriptive that I spend more time sorting them than anything else. So now that I have cut them all out and made my coupon category cards, I laid them all out on my bed to match the coupons with them.
And week one is done!
Happy saving! ♥ Jess
I linked this post up with: Family Ever After and A Bowl Full of Lemons.