Friday, June 3, 2011

It started with a simple Google Search

Actually ~ that's probably not entirely true. It started by flicking through the On-Demand TV shows and stumbling across Extreme Couponing.  My friend, Shannon, had mentioned the show to me months ago but I never was able to catch it when it was on and I never really thought it would be On-Demand.  When I saw it on there, I decided to watch an episode . . . it was only 30 minutes.  :)

Now, when they say EXTREME they mean INSANELY EXTREME.  These people spend more time than I have and they store more than I would ever have room for in this house (although we are adding room for a large pantry to the qualifications for our next house!).

I couldn't help watching and thinking, "I can do that" the entire time.  I had tried The Grocery Game a while back and actually started to have some success with it.  I just got lazy - pregnant and lazy - and decided to shop at Aldi's instead.  Then, well, I just kind of stopped using coupons.

One of the biggest problems I had with coupons was that I could never find them.  I tried saving the inserts and writing the dates on them but I never wanted to put the effort into finding the coupons when I needed them and clipping them out.  I also tried putting them all in a shoe box alphabetically - but they would stick together and I would end up with a lot of unused and expired ones.  I never really wanted to do the "binder method" because I really thought that was for those "Crazy, Die Hard" coupon ladies.

Then I started talking to some friends on Facebook.  I started exploring different ways to organize my coupons.  I started looking at pros and cons...and knew what I had to do.

I'd now like to introduce you to my coupon binder.  I'm contemplating naming it because I have a feeling we are going to be spending a lot of time together.  :)

After I decided I wanted to go the binder route, I headed to Staples and came across this zipper up binder.


One of the things I liked about it is that it is like having 2 binders (back to back) with 2 separate set of rings and pockets.  It was $19.99 at Staples - but if you consider that's sort of like buying 2 binders, I didn't think it was a bad price.  Plus, it's pink.  :)


So, here's the inside of one of the sides of my binder.  I put coupons to be clipped, scissors, my price book, and then the actual "meat" of the binder - the clipped coupons.

*see those paper clips?  1000 of them for $3 at Staples! 


I have a real issue when it comes to where to put coupons when you organize them by categories.  Like, where do you put jars of fruit?  Do you put it with jars of spaghetti because they are both in jars?  What about hot dogs?  They are considered meat but are in the dairy aisle...it just drives me crazy.  I'm sure that there are simple answers to my questions and really it would be up to me because it is MY binder and as long as I know where it is it and could find it what's the difference.  Knowing me, though, I would forget where I decided to put it...so, to solve my obsessive need I just decided to alphabetize the coupons.


Here's a picture of one of the pages of my binder.  I don't have that many coupons clipped yet - but the ones I do have fit perfectly.  I'm really excited and can't wait to get my hands on some inserts this Sunday!


FYI - here's a video of how to make a coupon binder...




I'm not going to turn this into a coupon blog - but I'm warning you now that you will hear A LOT more about couponing in future posts.  :)