If you’ll recall, I returned home from the homeschool convention a couple of weeks ago, not with curriculum, nay, but with the pretty pink box which now serves as my new coupon organization system.
I also told you that I’ve long considered myself the coupon queen, with “no expiration” coupons dating back to the early 80’s. I’ve since learned that all those years? Wasted.
Now I’m couponing with a purpose. And for the sake of full disclosure, whenever I type the word “couponing”, my computer auto-corrects making the word “coupling”. Which makes me laugh every time.
Because I’m 6.
Anyhoo. In my couponing past, I’ve simply cut wanted coupons out of the Sunday paper and filed them in a small plastic index file box, under the requisite categories. Categories typed on paper dividers that have been in that box for a good 25 years or so.
With this new system of couponing, I no longer cut coupons as soon as I receive a paper, but file them by week in the pretty pink coupon box. Which, by the way, I saw at Office Depot for $9.99, in other pretty colors as well. All you would need to do is add your own hanging files with weekly dated file folders. And viola, you have your own pretty coupon file box.
There are a myriad of wonderful websites that will list all the different sales, and will tell you what coupons to use and from what week to pull them from. I’ve compiled a list from you all and from my girlfriends, and I’ll post them at the end.
For example, I can go to a website that lists what’s on sale at Publix for the week. They will tell you if the deal is buy-one-get-one, etc. You can use TWO manufacturers coupons for bogo offers, plus you can “stack” another coupon if it’s a store coupon (either from Publix or Target).
I want to be super clear about one thing. I do not watch, nor will I ever watch the show Extreme Couponing. To me, it reeks of hoarding. What I’m talking about, and what these websites that I frequent talk about is buying what you need. Not clearing the shelves off so that no one else can take advantage of the offer.
And then, when you have what you need, you are in a position to give to others in need. I love that concept.
So. I’ve been using this new couponing with a purpose method of savings for the last couple of weeks, and I’ve been very very proud of my grocery bills. I’m still on a learning curve, but I think I’ll be able to whittle our budget down a good deal.
What I wanted to brag about was the coupon box that I just came up with. Besides the pretty pink file coupon box, you also need something that you can carry with you to the store.
I found this box at Office Depot:
(It measure approximately 7 1/2 ” x 4 1/2 “)
I shelled out about $2.99, after using a 20% off coupon. It clips shut, and will hold not only all of my dividers, but a small stapler, calculator, staple remover, and a coffee maker. Okay, rather, change for a senior coffee at McDonald’s. Even though I now only clip coupons the week of the sale, I still need a place to stash those, plus any print-out coupons, and “blinkie” aisle coupons that I find at the store.
Then I made my own dividers. I could not find any coupon dividers, and looked online but could not find what I wanted. So I took some card stock and cut it to fit the box. I used a label maker to print customized labels (such as Beauty Products, Cereal, Coffee/Tea, etc. And because I’m one to take things too far, I laminated them. They should see me into the next century, I think.
I also created a divider for Publix, Walgreens, and CVS for in-store coupons, Register Rewards (from Walgreens), and Extra Care Bucks (from CVS).
My shopping list does take a little planning, but I’m getting a little faster the more I do it.
Here is a list of a few websites that do a tremendous job of alerting me to sales and specials:
If you know of any others, please share them in the comments section.
Post Script: I have to apologize for something. I am completely convicted of sounding all judgmental about the show Extreme Couponing, especially since I have NEVER EVEN SEEN IT. Shame on me. Please accept my apology!
Post Post Script: Y’all, my sister in law, Cathy, just sent me this website for beginning couponing! It looks awesome: