Sunday, January 30, 2011

Coupon Organizing *Lite*

Once Upon a Time I went on a couponing kick. I spent $25 monthly on a "membership" to a coupon "game" website....I spent $5 weekly on 2 sunday newspapers....I bought a 2 inch 3 ring binder and sports card page protectors...I then spent HOURS cutting. Filing. Researching. Listing & comparing making sure I was getting the BEST deals...then with my giant binder in toe, to the store I went...and thats where I stayed for the next 3 hours.

yes. I spent 3 hours in the grocery store.

and though i did end up with "$88 in savings" I also managed to come home with like 5 things of salad dressing (that we still have not used) and 10 toothbrushes. and a boxes upon boxes of pasta salad and boxed meal-maker dinners......WE DON'T EVEN EAT THAT STUFF! but. because it was "a good deal" i just had to get it.

two weeks later. the coupon book was shoved in the back of my bookcase.

Point being, I just don't care to be an extreme couponer. I'm sorry. for those that are on the extreme couponing bandwagon, more power to ya...I know what it takes for you to get some of those "big saves" but its just not for me. I feed a small family and I don't have a ton of extra storage space for a stock pile...nore do I really want to be eating BBQ sauce that I bought last March.

So right now, I'm going to try a new coupon system...Lets just call it, Couponing Lite :)
its a mix of my own couponing organization and some storage/cuteness ideas from Jen at I Heart Organizing (I'm def. copy catting her cutesyed up envelope system...she has a great tiny-tutorial on how to make stationary envelopes work for you as couponing envelopes)

I  buy ONE sunday paper, I thumb through the ads and heres the key part...I ONLY CLIP THE COUPONS FOR ITEMS THAT WE EAT.....I don't care how cheap I can get cans of tuna...I don't eat the stuff so the $1 off coupon is not going in my envelope!

Then I take my few (typically 15-20 coupons per week) coupons and paperclip them together. The only sorting I do is by category:
-Grocery (food, toiletries)
-Shopping (department stores)
-Services (oil changes, hair cuts, etc)
-Restaurants (duh.)
I don't sort them by type of food (cause think about a can of pillsbury biscuits a bread item, bakery item or refrigerated item?.....mind boggling, i know) I don't sort them by expiration date. I just clip the stack together. put them in their respective enevelope and walk away.

thats it.


Then, when its time to make my weekly menu plan and grocery list, I bring out my envelope of coupons, sort through the ones that I need and put them in to my "This Trip" file.

THEN I LEAVE THE REST AT HOME....I can't tell you how tempted I would be to buy 4 bags of chips cause they were on sale at the store and I had a coupon for $.50 off....but if i don't have the coupon for it, I'm not getting it. its that easy. and its a great way to help you stick to your list and your budget......and your diet.

As I said before, this system is not for everybody. Its far to simple for a die hard, and it might be a bit more complicated than a 'scan and save' clipper. but it works for me, and I'm sharing it with you because I'm sure there are a few others out there that are in the same [shopping] cart as me :)

Then when your all done and you have your basket of neccesary foods and your reciept of marginal but good can stick it in your fancy shmancy reciept envelope :)

then you can go to starbucks and justify spending $5 on a cup of coffee cause you just saved $20 on groceries. :)


I'm pretty sure that me and Toni @ a bowl full of lemons are on the same wave length. we are both thinking about organizing our organizers! I'll be linking up with her on her weekly challenge about Household Binders and posting lots of stuff this week about how I made my MOMager. Follow along and you can make your own MOMager!


  1. Thank YOU!!!! I love your method. I just started the coupon thing and I was shocked by the coupon craziness. I have a small family and we eat alot of fresh produce and food anyways so it doesn't work for us all the time but I do like a savings or freebie. I am stealing your idea. Thank You!!!!

  2. can I just say DITTO DITTO DITTO!!!! love your style. thanks so much!!