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Old 08-27-2009, 06:18 PM   #11
Mike
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I just saved money by switching to Geico on a cell phone while I was grocery shopping!

I tried coupons. Couldn't get any cooperation on keeping them organized and I was spending more time sorting through them and finding anything expired every time I wanted something than it was worth so I gave up. Plus the fact that I had a system that would allow me to go through the coupons a day or so before they expired so I could use them before they expired but that system was being ignored for the pile method caused me too much aggravation.
I don't buy that much in groceries anyway. I save my money in the backyard and woods.

Any suggestion for cheap and easy organization, so easy a caveman could do it?
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Old 08-27-2009, 06:40 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Mike View Post
Any suggestion for cheap and easy organization, so easy a caveman could do it?


First of all, I save my coupon inserts in folders like this...



Write the date of each insert on the front. The savings sites I posted before will tell you the insert (RP=Red Plum, SS=SmartSource) along with the date. You never know when you'll need something.

Let me copy and paste from my blog for how I made my coupon binder for the other types of coupons I find (internet, peelies, etc.)...

My daughter was in charge of cutting each coupon out while I made the binder. As she cut them, she organized them into categoriesÖ


Thatís a whole lotta coupons, eh? Can you imagine going through them one by one to find something in particular?

The day before we worked on this project, Chicky and I had gone to Hobby Lobby, armed with a 40% coupon, where I purchased a package of plastic baseball card pages.

I found file labels in my closet and wrote the names of different categories on themÖtwo per label (one on the left and one on the right side of each label). I used my paper cutter to cut a straight line through the middle of them.

I tried my best to alphabetize the categories, and I did a fairly decent job of it.

My original intent was to use all nine slots on each page; however, it didnít take me long to realize that many of my coupons are long, and some of my coupons would be hidden, so I had to come up with another plan.

I decided to place labels at the tops and bottoms of each page. I placed the coupons for the top labels in the middle slots. This allows me to see their category names. The bottom labels correspond with coupons placed in the bottom-most slots. The coupons cover the middle slots, but it doesnít really bother me because I can see those labels, which are at the very top of each page.


Another thing I discoveredÖyou can only use one side of these pages! Thankfully, my package came with a lot of pages, so I have plenty left over.

Hereís what it looks like when I turn a pageÖ


I added four new categories towards the end of this project, so I just stuck them on the last page. It bugs me a little that they arenít in alphabetical order, but oh well. I was not about to shift the labels and coupons.

All-in-all, this was at least a two-hour job. I just know the time will have been worth it the next time I plan a big shopping trip.
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Old 08-27-2009, 06:45 PM   #13
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Coupon Categories
Here is a list of coupon categories...

Before I list them, let me suggest something to you (something I wish Iíd thought of before setting up my binder). Keep all of your category letters separate. By that, I mean, keep the Aís together. If you have open slots at the end, donít automatically start with the Bís. Just leave them in case you need to add more Aís later.
When making my binder, I accidentally left out a few categories, and rather than moving my labels around (Iím anal in this way), I stuck the new categories at the end of my binder. Itís going to drive me nuts, I know, and I might eventually go back and slip them in.

OkÖnow for the categoriesÖ

Aís

Air Fresheners
Apparel

Bís

Band Aids
Batteries
BBQ Sauce
Biscuits
Breakfast Ė Frozen
Bread
Butter

Cís

Cake
Candy
Canned Meat
Canned Veggies
Cereal
Cheese
Chips
Cleaning
Contacts (here I mean solution)
Cookies
Crackers
Cream

Dís

Dairy Ė Miscellaneous
Dental
Deodorant
Dish Detergent
Dressing
Drinks

Eís

Eggs

Fís

Feminine
Flour
Foil/Plastic Wrap/Wax Paper
Frozen Dinners
Fruit

Gís

Garbage Bags
Grilling
Ground Beef

Hís

Hair
Hot Dogs

Iís

Ice Cream

Jís

Jelly
Juice

Kís

Ketchup
Kleenex

Lís

Laundry
Lotion

Mís

Makeup
Mayo
Medicine
Milk
Muffin Mix
Mustard

Nís

Napkins

Oís

Oil
Office Supplies

Pís

Paper Plates
Paper Towels
Pasta
Peanut Butter
Pet
Pizza
Plastic Baggies
Pop Tarts
Postage Supplies (could put these coupons under Office Supplies)
Poultry
Produce
Pudding

Rís

Razors/Creams
Rice

Sís

Sauces Ė Miscellaneous (I figure hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, etc. could go here)
Sausage
Soap
Soup
Spaghetti Sauce
Spices
Sugar
Sunscreen
Syrup

Tís

Toilet Paper

Vís

Vitamins (I donít have this category in mine, but you might need it)


Yís
Yogurt
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Old 08-27-2009, 09:11 PM   #14
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You have inspired me.
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Old 08-28-2009, 03:00 AM   #15
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Nathalie, it's truly inspiring how you work to save money for your family. But like Evona, I don't use most of the stuff you do. We make our own household cleaners, bake our own bread, go to the co-op for honey, maple syrup, etc. Now, once upon a time I did coupon shop, and several times came out with a basket load of groceries for a ridiculously small price, but they don't print the coupons and rebates for the stores here like they did in New Mexico.
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Old 08-28-2009, 01:17 PM   #16
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OMG Nathalie I am humbled by your organization!
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Old 08-28-2009, 02:15 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by evona View Post
OMG Nathalie I am humbled by your organization!



Being organized is one of my "things" I guess. Now, my house is not all clean and whatnot, but everything does have a place. Whether it gets there or not is a whole nuther story.

Truly, though, you can't do serious couponing without being organized. Most people give up because they can't put their hands on something they know they have.

This way, I know what I have and don't have to spend much time finding it.

We're all looking to save $$ and time. It's the best of both worlds.
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Old 08-31-2009, 09:50 PM   #18
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Nathalie, I am awed by your organizational skills.

Since my favorite grocery store only accepts one Internet coupon per day (avoiding fraud, I guess. They used to not accept them at all), they don't have a frequent shopper card program, and they don't put out a weekly flyer, I had to get creative.

I started a price book where I would keep track of the things I bought the most and what the unit price was and at what stores I went to frequently. The book "The Tight Wad Gazette" has a lot of info about price books. This way, I had in writing what something cost at my favorite grocery store and I could compare it to the sale flyers from the other grocery stores in the area and then plan my shopping around what was on sale and where. It also helped tremendously when I did have coupons. I'm not a hardcore couponer like you, but I admire your mad couponing skills tremendously.
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Old 09-01-2009, 03:53 PM   #19
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Holy Moley, Natalie! That's amazing.

Guess what? I got a few coupons from CVS (local drugstore) and got my conditioner free when I bought the shampoo for $3.99 (B1G1)and I got a 7.5 oz. hand soap for FREE!

Baby steps!
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Old 09-01-2009, 06:15 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Sunshine's Mom View Post
Holy Moley, Natalie! That's amazing.

Guess what? I got a few coupons from CVS (local drugstore) and got my conditioner free when I bought the shampoo for $3.99 (B1G1)and I got a 7.5 oz. hand soap for FREE!

Baby steps!
I agree...baby steps. Once you get a taste of saving, you get hooked!
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