Wednesday, May 19, 2010

My Coupon Book!

So after couponing for a couple of months, I came to the realization that my makeshift coupon book was not going to cut it. I started off with envelopes....I soon had too many coupons to fit into those without out looking like a mess carrying around 50 envelopes. So then I went to a photo album that I had that wasn't being used. It worked well for a while...but I took that thing everywhere and so it didn't last long. Coupons had started falling out and I had no system of organization in there. And so at long last....I decided my coupon book needed an overhaul. So I went to my husband's favorite card store (you know, where they bought those geeky Magic cards when they were teenagers???) and bought a box of clear plastic card cover sleeves. You know the ones--there's 9 slots and you can put in baseball cards, Magic cards, whatever your preference. Well, after having done my research, I found that coupons usually fit quite well into these sleeves. I also found 2 3-ring binders I'd barely used, one for my Sunday paper inserts, and one for the coupons I actually cut that I think I'll really use. (I still keep the never know what free deals might come up and you can get a product and donate it to your local food pantry/shelter if you don't use it!). So these are my materials:

I then took out all of my coupons and sorted them into categories: organics, breakfast foods, personal items, storage, drinks, desserts, etc can come up with whatever system works for you! It took FOREVER to put all my q's in the sleeves...I had way more than I thought! It was also hard to categorize them since some could go under several categories. Anyway, they all got in the sleeves, and then I went and made page seperators, just so I could flip to a category more easily, like so:
Oh, and you might ask what is that other piece of paper to the left? I have figured out that it is always a good idea to carry a copy of the coupon policy to whichever store you are going to. Cashiers have a tendency to not know how coupons work and think you are "stealing" from the store they work for--not true. If it is a manufacturer q (which most are), the store will get reimbursed for the full face value of the Q, plus 8 cents for shipping/handling. So they're actually making money by letting you use them! Now store q's work differently, but that's a story for a different day.

In these last 2 pictures, you can see the finished product. I rarely get in my car without this book by my side...I know, sad right? But, you never know when you might need to stop somewhere and they're having a great sale on something you have a q for, and then you're kicking yourself for leaving all those q's at home! Anyway, for those of you just getting started with this, there are tons of ways to organize your coupons, but I think this will work well for me. I used it for the first time at Publix this week and it was so much more manageable!

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