Couponing is a great way to save money and stockpile items that you know you will need and use, and by purchasing them on sale, combined with a coupon, you really do make out!
I wanted to share my nerdy coupon binder...seriously, I feel like I'm walking into the grocery store to do an inspection or something...but hey, it gets the job done, and I've gotten lots of oohs and aahs from fellow shoppers as I've walked the aisles...so there you go!
As you shop, you'll be able to quickly scan your sheets to see if you have any coupons that fit your needs. I love Harris Teeter b/c they double your coupons, and Giant does the same thing up to $.99/each. I also like checking out CVS every once in a while, b/c they do the whole Extra Care Bucks thing...
you will need
a 1" binder
20-30 baseball card sleeves (I found them at target next to the trading cards)
subject divider tabs
a zipper pocket to hold your scissors/extras in
I clip coupons from the regular newspaper inserts, as well as from online resources like coupons.com and target. I get emails from bettycrocker/proctor&gamble, etc, and I'll print those out as well. You can typically print out 2 of everything you have selected. I do this at the office and use the large paper-cutter (bonus!!) to get them done quickly and neatly.
First thing, clip your coupons and sort them into categories...I have my pates set up like the typical grocery store aisles are laid out...I'm sure I'm forgetting a few:
Produce/Meats (not many coupons for this group!)
Then start folding the coupons to fit in the slots...if I have any duplicates or similar coupons for the same item, I group them together with the earliest expiration date on top.
speaking of expiration dates, make sure if you can't see the expiration from the front, you fold them in a way that when you flip the page, you can see them from the back (this makes it extremely helpful to clear out the expired ones!)
Here is a page filled in, as you can see, the coupons are all different shapes and sizes, but you get the hang of folding them just-so, pretty quickly
Some categories are rather daunting in my book...there are tons of medicine/cleaning supplies/toiletries coupons out there, so sometimes, If I've blown off my coupon book for a few weeks, and have alot of clipping to do, I run out of steam and cheat by putting them in a snack-sized baggie...at least that way, when you are in the store, and see something on sale, you can quickly shuffle thru the baggie to see if you have a corresponding coupon...not as effective as the notebook, but sometimes you just have to wing it.
|(cheater, cheater, pumpkin eater!!)|
I keep a zipper-pocket thingy in the back for a pair of scissors, and any extra coupons that might be floating around
So, when you are planning out your meals for the week, and writing your grocery list, you can quickly flip thru to see what coupons you have available. Here is a link to the free meal-planning calendar/grocery list I use (cough, cough!). This website actually has a really great excel file you can download that you can plug your meals into, it has drop-down menus that you can customize with your favorite meals, sides, etc...pretty cool. Here is the link I
Works for me!