Thursday, May 28, 2009

Coupon Organizer

Everywhere you look it seems we all are trying to tighten our wallets & purse strings to make our money work harder for us. One way that I do this is through using coupons. If you really look at things closely you can save a bundle using coupons, especially if you take advantage of the double and triple coupon offers. Now I know what you might be thinking..."ok, coupons are good but it's so much hassle." I couldn't agree with you more. One thing I found hard about using them is going through the piles of them to see what I have and when they expire. It's such a pain when I'm at the grocery store to fumble through the piles just to find the coupon I know I have in there for a certain item. Here's how I solved that issue over a year ago and haven't looked back since...

With a mission in mind, I wanted to see if I could "build myself a better coupon organizer," so I headed off to Walmart. I wasn't sure what I wanted or how I was going to do it, but as I looked up and down a few isles, it hit me! So here is what I came up with to make my coupons work for me and not against me...

I took a regular 3 ring binder that I had at home and printed out a front cover and side binder to dress the notebook up some. I used a binder that has the clear cover on it that allows you to slip paper under so this was perfect for the spine & title covers. I personalized mine with my name and a few scriptures that I liked.

I had some inexpensive tab dividers at home already but I did pick up another pack to have on hand in case I needed it. For less than a $1.00 I thought I would splurge on it. *grin*
On each divider I wrote out the sections for the categories I thought would be most useful for me. For example, "Produce & Deli," "Canned & Prepared Goods." "Pet Supplies," "Health & Beauty," "Dairy & Refrigerated," "Meat," "Beverages & Snacks."

While at Walmart I went to the section where they sell photo albums and I found the 5x7 - 2 pocket replacement pages that hold up to 40 pictures per package of 10 sheets. I though this would work nicely for my coupons. Best yet they were only $1.00 per package! You just gotta love those clearance shelves. So in each section of my binder I have placed the clear pages. Now I can easily put the coupon in the slots and they are easy to view at a glance, not to mention easy to know the expiration date so I can use it or pull it out if it is expired already.

This is so much easier for me to use than the old organizers that are out on the market. The binder itself has a pocket on the front and back inside covers which is where I put the envelope that my coupons I am using at the time of my shopping trip go. This keeps them together & readily available when I get to the check out counter. The pockets as well as it's ability to hold regular size notebook paper will be great to use for holding my shopping lists,as well as the sale ads.

I also have a zipper type pencil pouch in the front of my binder that clips into the binder itself. This holds my pens, pencils, calculator, notepad, travel size hand sanitizer (this helps with those drippy meat packages you might encounter-- eewww!) and just about anything else that you might need for shopping.

Granted it's not the most fancy of organizers & it is bigger than the purse size coupon holders, but for me I don't care about size. As long as it helps me stay organized and save money, it's fine with me.


Pamela said...

What a terrific idea! I have one of those fiddly little accordion-style coupon organizers and I'm constantly dropping my coupons on the floor or ripping my cuticles trying to get in the little slots. This is the best idea I've seen yet and I'll bet you can open it wide and rest it on the front of the shopping cart (unless you have a little one sitting there!).

Thanks for sharing.

Sarah said...

Clever, clever! THat is exactly why I hate coupons - but still try to use them. I throw them in a folder, and then, bam - they're expired, or I can't find the one I need. This is a great idea!

I have to say, though, that since we started eating a bit differently and trying not to eat processed foods, I find very little coupons available for the stuff I have left to buy. :(

cranky grandma said...

Love it! And I agree with you, Sarah - it seems like the "regular" food coupons are getting few and far between! I used to LOVE the "ten for a dollar" and so forth coupons, but I think the grocery store coupons are getting slimmer. Sigh. I guess it's a sign of the times - another reason to pay close attention to your finances - and READ THIS BLOG! :-)

Evening Shade Morning Latte said...

Thank you so much for visiting. I hope you enjoyed your time here.

I know what you mean. When you eat better less things go on sale.

You never cease to crack me up. I am so glad you enjoy my blog. I sometimes wonder if it really helps anyone or at least entertains others.

~Warm Cozy Wishes

Sarah said...

If there has ever been a doubt in your mind, forget about it - your blog has helped me tremendously!!!