I have been using coupons for at least 13 years and in that time I have saved many thousands of dollars and as many of you do I take full advantage of CVS, Walgreens, Target and Kroger. I send in rebates and send off for samples. I am not an expert but I spend very little on groceries and toiletries thanks to coupons; yet I have never been happy with how they were organized. I dreaded clipping and putting them away, in fact I would sometimes miss out on deals because of how they were set up or because I had not cut them out and put them away. Then came trying to find the ones I needed,that was almost as bad. That is until now.
About two weeks ago I decided to give using a binder a try. After all I had used shoe boxes, clear sterlite containers, recipe boxes, coupon holders and my most recent prior to the binder was two accordion check filers. I am a visual person so the binder idea has appealed to me for some time just for some reason I never tried it. I think some of it was cost, I had in my mind that the inserts would be outrageous and that I would need hundreds, the binder would be heavy, it would take too long to set up yada yada,yada you know how it goes.
First I pulled out an old binder that I had and wiped it off and cleaned it out, then I went by Hobby Lobby with two 40% off coupons and picked up two packs of baseball card sleeves for less that $10. My kids got such a hoot out of the fact that I was buying coupon stuff with coupons. Not sure why they found that sooo funny but they did.
Armed with a clean table and big glass of ice tea I announced that I was going to be organizing coupons, all three kids ran faster that I have ever seen them run. My daughter did come back and snap a picture of me when I was done but for a few hours the dinning room was empty except for me and my coupons.
I went slowly, and to make things easier as I got rid of expired ones I made piles on the table with my same categories. My table quickly filled up and once I had most of them cleared out of the accordion holders I started putting them in the sleeves, that way if it took too long the table would still be usable for breakfast. The stack of papers on the right is two weeks worth of inserts that I had grazed through but never fully clipped. I saved those for the next day.
I must say I am very happy with how it came out! In addition to the sleeves my binder has accordion type pouches for me to keep circulars in, a note pad and a pencil pouch that includes: calculator, pens, pencil and some small scissors.
I can quickly flip through the pages and see exactly what I have, no more guessing and no more flipping through stacks in the store! As you can see in the top picture I even set up a sleeve for CVS! ECB'S right at my finger tips, folded so I can see when they expire.
The binder has been so easy to use that last Friday while grocery shopping I was able to give away coupons I had extra of! It was such a great feeling to be able to bless others! So much so that I am going to give some away on my blog Monday so be sure to stop back by then! They will include formula checks, baby items and lots of toiletries ones!