Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Coupons

With all the latest craze over couponing shows, classes, and blogs, it's hard to not realize that couponing is super "hot" right now. Personally, I've always despised coupons and couponers...they go in the store with their little binders and take darn near everything off the shelves. It's disappointing for the rest of us who just want a box of cereal!

Needless to say, I have had some bad experiences with coupons and couponers. I always figured I could get the generic brand stuff for cheaper WITHOUT using a coupon anyway, so what's the point? Besides, I'm not clearing the shelves for my personal stockpile; something that irritates me to the max about some couponers out there.

However, my church put on a couponing seminar for our Women's brunch a few months ago, and since then, I've dabbled with coupons. When I play my cards right, I've discovered that I really can save some money.

Now, most couponers use a binder to organize their coupons. The thought of walking through a store with a giant 5 inch binder full of coupons literally put a pit in my stomach. My thoughts were "Everyone will know what I'm doing, and I'll get treated badly because they'll think I'm trying to buy the store's entire stock of B1G1 hotdogs". The other issue is that when grocery shopping with 4 kids ages 6 and under, the LAST thing I need is to have to juggle a giant binder full of tiny pieces of paper! So...I devised a strategy!

I went to Michaels last night (40% off one item coupon in hand) and I had every intention of purchasing baseball card protector sheets for couponing...I had warmed up to the idea of a binder after spending probably an hour sifting through coupons in my little envelope while at Albertsons :( Something needed to change. Unfortunately, Michaels didn't have any of the baseball card thingies that I was looking for, so I went to the scrapbook section thinking some plastic inserts might be over there. Lo and behold, on sale for $2.99 were some lovely top-loading photo albums. Holding up to 36 photos each (I promise I'm not getting distracted) I figured this would be my solution. Guess what? IT WORKS and it works beautifully. I loaded all of my personal care/laundry/dish product coupons in to my lovely blue photo album:

36 capacity photo album: $2.99

Works beautifully!

Obviously, this would not work for someone who coupons on a larger scale, but since I am just getting started, I can make this work. I can put the coupons in my album, have it handy when I'm going through store ads, and I can just pop them in my purse when I go shopping. I have one for the personal care/cleaning products and one for food items. So far, the system is working great! For those of you who are new to couponing or aren't that serious about it, I highly suggest this as a method for organizing your coupons. You can probably find top-loading photo albums at the dollar store, but the price on these with the 40% off was too good to pass up.

2 comments:

Cassiopeia said...

You crack me up. :) I too, despised the people who stood in the checkout line, making the rest of us wait for 20 minutes while they sifted through their coupons...BUT, I am now an avid Coupon User. (I have them all sorted BEFORE I go to the store, so that as I grab the item off the shelf, I set the coupon with said item). Honestly, if you play your cards right, you CAN save a TON of money. Another thing I've been doing to save money is making my own "household stuff". I'm now making my own laundry soap, dishwasher soap, and bath products. If you want any of the "recipes" i'd be more than happy to share!

The Mrs. said...

That would be great! I'd love some recipes for homemade household stuff!