Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Helpful How-To: Making Couponing Easy

My friend, Debbie has been begging my for months on end to teach her about couponing.

But I am a really lame friend....

With very little free time. 

{That isn't spent running.}

And I'll just be honest and admit that I have really slacked off in the coupon department.

Mostly because it's time consuming and it takes effort.

And hello?  I have been using all my free time and effort to run 9 miles??? 

But....

My sister came to visit me this weekend.

You know, my sister...the finance queen?

Yeah.

And she brought with her, her coupon binder.

Apparently, my aunt has been teaching her the ropes of couponing.

And this binder...

Well, she opened it up and I lost my mind.

Cue angels singing...

Cue heavenly lights glowing all around...

Cue children laughing and birds singing....

It looked a little something like this....


A regular sized notebook, with sections and baseball card sheets.

BUT this magical binder had me gaping with awe and jumping for joy, all at the same time.

Which.  Was a little weird to the staff at Chili's who kindly asked me to sit back down in my booth as soon as possible 3 times.

And to stop crying.

And if they could, "Get you a Kleenex, are you gonna be alright?"

And "Ma'am, we would appreciate it if you would stop hi-kicking in the middle of the restaurant..."

But I just couldn't help it.

Up until that moment, I didn't realize that my life-long quest for excitement and thrill could be found in a 3 ring binder.

A three ring binder that allows you to see all the coupons you have for each section of the store - AT.A.GLANCE.

Yes, I may be a little dramatic, but seriously?!?!?!  Who wouldn't be?!

As if I wasn't convinced enough, Friday night, she let me take her binder for a test drive at Target.

Um.  Yeah.

Within minutes of that trip, I was devising how to make my own.

I went home, collected an old binder, dividers and business card sheets.

Because that's all I had handy.

But I can totally see how baseball card sheets would work better - bigger pockets.

I created my sections and marked them up.

I divided mine up by how I shop in the store.

Because for years, I have been making grocery lists based upon the sections of the store.

So I figured that couponing should follow the same method, since I am already used to it.

Baby, Baking, Bread, Canned, Cereal, Cleaning, Dairy, Drinks, Frozen, Health/Beauty, Meats, Miscellaneous, Paper, Pasta, Produce, & Snacks

Everyone's different though.  Maybe you just want to alphabetize by product name....

Whatever works for you.

The goal here is to make it EASY.

And then in the back of each section I put a regular, undivided sheet protector for things I don't shop for on a regular basis. 

Then I collected my coupons.

(For the record, I envy you people who get the paper every Sunday, but for now, I neither have the time to go pick one up, nor do I have the memory capacity to remember it on my busiest morning of the week.)


I went to Coupons.com, Smartsource.com, Redplum.com, and then stores who have online coupons - in this case, Target.com - but I know other stores do it too....  Shoprite, Food Lion, Kroger, etc. because, hello!?!  What's better than COMBINING COUPONS? (Manufacturer's Coupons + Store coupons=double whammy amazingness!!!)

Not much, I tell ya.

Not much.

And last night I took my binder out for a spin....

And no, my bill wasn't $1.57 for $600 worth of stuff, but I did wipe $30 off my bill with coupons.

And for now, I am happy with that.

Oh, and just so you know, I got 4 men's deodorants for about $1 each.  And we are talking name brand - Dove, Degree, and Old Spice....   

AND I got $6.50 off a 100 pack of Huggies.

(If you are signed up at Target Baby, the most recent set of coupons has a $3.00 target coupon, plus the $3.50 at Coupons.com....)

So...yeah.

That's how a 3 ring binder changed my life.

You don't think I am crazy, right?

Cause I'm not.  And just to prove it, I am linking this up to Amanda's Weekend Bloggy Reading Party.

Weekend Bloggy Reading

Head on over and check out what everyone else doing this week!

4 comments:

Roberta said...

Leah you just make me smile ;) No I don't think you are nuts for wanting to save money...all though I don't want to lug a binder around when I go shopping...lol I use a little organizer that fits in my purse and I buy only those items that are on sale and at those stores that double/triple the coupons. I also tend to stay clear of the junk foods which a lot of the coupons are for.

Rikki said...

I like this idea. I have a coupon envelope that I put my coupons in and then I go through them before I go to the grocery and take what I need for what I am planning on buying. This would definitely save some time!

Meri said...

I always always applaud dedicated couponers. I can never seem to get the hang of it. lol This is a great idea to keep everything organized though! :)

Stopping by via Serenity Now!
~meri

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

I'll ditto Meri. I am always in awe of people who seemed to have figured out the system! I'll clip the coupons in the paper, but then I forget to use them. :s I am a mess! But I do love binders, so I am intrigued.

Thanks so much for joinking my Weekeend Bloggy Reading party. :)