Does anyone else have a love / hate relationship with coupons?
I totally do. Obviously I love the fact that coupons in a sense are like free money. I've used them off and on for years and I have seen the bill go down quite a bit as a result. However, I hate (okay hate is a pretty strong word--but you get the point) trying to come up with an effective way of organizing them. Yes, me...the girl who organizes in her sleep.
I have tried more ways than I can count--One of the most recent was the above picture.
I created individual envelopes with tabs for each category. Among the envelopes were specific stores that I shop at more frequently as well as a general "groceries" envelope. The thinking behind this was that instead of carrying an entire binder or bulky case, I could simply pull an envelope if I was going to one of "my stores" or pull the appropriate coupons and put them in my grocery envelope before heading to go grocery shopping.
While this seemed like an effective method at the time (and while there are still portions of it I like), it was honestly more time consuming than I was willing to spend and I often forgot my coupons at home. Sound familiar?
I have also created (and still use) this Restaurant Menu and Coupon Organizer and coupon wall pockets inside my pantry. These I actually still use and love. The Menu/Coupon Organizer is for Take-out menus and coupons for those specific restaurants. The coupon pocket below hold coupons as they come in the mail--before I have a chance to look them over or clip them.
Let me introduce you to something I have recently found and am really excited about.
So cute right? Guess what? It's a coupon holder made by my friend over at Handmade by Hilani! I bought it last week and instantly loved it and told her I thought this was something I needed to share with my readers. (I might add that I am in no way being compensated. I Just really like it.)
You might be thinking (other than the fact that it is totally cute) it is really just another version of the accordion file many of us have tried in the past.
Oh but it is not.
Along with the organizer, she includes 15 large, tabbed dividers. I love these because they are large enough to fit larger coupons. In fact, I changed up my dividers to include other types of store coupons (including the enormous Bed Bath and Beyond coupons that come in the mail. Seriously, why are they so huge?)
Here is a list and brief explanation of my categories:
Car--includes oil change and car wash coupons.
Clothing--pretty self explanatory.
Craft Stores--weekly coupons I get from some of my favorites (you know who you are.)
Eating--Coupons for places we may decide to stop at if we're out and about.
Entertainment--these are typically for my kids such as deals to indoor playgrounds, the children's museum etc.
Groceries--I'm tired of categorizing them. I am not an extreme coupon-er. I basically just clip them from the Sunday paper and use what we need.
Home Decor---Giant Bed Bath and Beyond (and others of course. :)
Home Repair--Deals for Lowes, etc.
Kids--This is mainly for toys and educational materials.
Office/Organization--Need I say more?
Safeway--They have specific coupons and is often part of my weekly run.
Target--Same idea as Safeway.
Other--Anything else that doesn't fit a category.
Hilani also created a smaller front pocket for those coupons you pull and plan to use at the store that day. I figured I would keep my grocery list in there and a pencil as well. Maybe a little calculator if you're really serious. So handy.
My favorite part? (Wait for it...) ***It straps directly onto the grocery cart handle!!*** Pure genius I think. (Btw, please excuse the fact that I had to use my daughters' grocery cart to demonstrate this--I wasn't willing to take another trip to the store. Plus this is cuter anyway, right?)
Just like that and you have everything you need right in front of you. no more fumbling through bulky (not to mention ugly) accordion files. It's not only practical but cute. Makes me actually want to go grocery shopping. Okay maybe I won't go that far but I do get a little smile when I look at it. I mean, it is pink. :)
Now, if they would just start making pink carts for grown-ups---I'd be set!