Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Organizing Coupons

I’ve not been a large user of discount coupons but I do pay attention to those for big ticket items or for use at craft stores. Yesterday I used one of our entertainment book coupons to purchase two seats for the price of one for an upcoming symphonic presentation of Holst: The Planets. It’s not groceries or craft supplies but it’s my favorite of the classics so we’re going.

The coupons I tried to use at the grocery store were expired which frustrated me since grocery prices seem higher.

A quick stop at Jo-Ann’s for some needed interfacing left me paying full price because I found I’d left those coupons on my kitchen counter. While my interfacing was being cut, I thought about my need to organize my coupons more efficiently. And that’s when I saw free project handouts piled on the counter—and one was for making a coupon wallet.



Once home I made a quick selection of some pieces of fabric from my stash and made a new coupon wallet using the hand-out instructions.



Here’s my handy-dandy new coupon wallet.



I think the cover calls for a bit of embroidery so I’m going to think about what design to use, maybe simply my monogram.



I’ve been watching the rise in groceries, along with other things, and am rethinking my heretofore haphazard handling of our budget. Taking advantage of sales and using coupons more often may be helpful.

According to Kiplinger.com, “food and beverage prices are rising at a 4.4% annual rate. But dairy prices are up 13% (and 26% for a gallon of whole milk alone). Meanwhile, meat prices are up 6%, and bakery products are up 4.6%.”

Last night I looked online for advice about managing our grocery budget more economically. The following is just a few of the informational resources available; each has more links you can follow.

Resources

  • Numerous posts by Clarice at Storybook Woods
  • Grocery Shopping: What Works for Me” at Cheap Healthy Good
  • CVS 101” at Money Saving Mom
  • Chief Family Officer
  • Mighty Bargain Hunter
  • More Bang for Your Coupon Buck” at Mommy Gets Paid
  • Pat Veretto's Frugal Living Blog
  • The Frugal Freezer” at Savvy Frugality
  • The Art of Stockpiling” at Motherload

30 comments:

a pink-bee said...

What a great idea- I too sometimes don't have the coupon when I need it- or have it stuffed into my purse having to dig for it. Thanks Junie, it is getting more pricey on everything!
crystal
oxox

Storybook Woods said...

Oh how funny, I grabed that same pattern. Your organizer is lovely xoxox Clarice

rohanknitter said...

What a cute coupon book!
Those would make cute little gifts.
Thanks for posting the frugal shopping links, I'm going to have to check those out. I try to watch my budget, but with 3 boys (2 of them teens) it's getting pretty scary.

Sandra Evertson said...

What a great idea!
Sandra Evertson

Rosie's Whimsy said...

That is a cutie! My problem would be taking the time to actually cut them out and put them in there. You are right, though, before I got lazy i used to plan my menus around grocery coupons and it really helped :-) Rosie

African Kelli said...

Super cute! I think we are all feeling the rising prices. I keep and use lots of coupons, especially those for JoAnn's. Thanks for the great info!

see you there! said...

With a coupon organizer I might actually have a chance of using them. Besides that, it's CUTE!

We buy very little prepared or processed food and unfortunately 99% of the grocery coupons in our area are for that sort of thing.

I can't wait until out garden gets going this year.

Darla

meg said...

Great! I try to clip coupons whenever possible, but I throw away more than I use due to poor organization. Frustrating! Now I have a new little project to help me out. Thanks also for the links!

Pat said...

This is a great topic, June! Thanks for all the links to explore.
Somewhere along the line I acquired a small paper accordion type folder for my grocery coupons, and I try to remember to bring it along when I shop.

I like your fabric holder much better! :-)

Every weekend, when the newspaper is full of coupon flyers, I spend a few minutes cutting them out, sorting, and then checking the upcoming sales in the grocery stores to see if I can use those coupons and save even more. I also try to go to stores that double the coupon's value, and to do rebates and refunds. It requires a little work, but the savings do nadd up!

I love "clearance" racks in clothing departments, and "liquidator" type stores.

I always lament that there are no craft stores in Brooklyn, but then I think that might be a good thing for my wallet...lol!

Kristi said...

Funny you should post on coupons today. I rarely use them and just recently was thinking I really should. I have something to store them in at home, but not a travel case. I should make one!

I was so disappointed to realize that no Sunday paper (canceled because we went away for the weekend) meant no coupons.

I also get frustrated that they seem to expire so soon.

Thanks for the links, I will look at them! I think there is another blog I read that has a link for saving on groceries. I'll get back to you if/when I find it.

A could things I am involved with: an organic produce delivery service. Their prices haven't gone up over the last year. They seem much lower than grocery store produce (plus they are organic). Our is just in our area, but maybe there is something close to you? I also order from a food coop with some girlfriends. The company is Seventh Day Adventists run. They are mainly natural, healthy and do have organic/non-organic. Mostly dry goods and canned goods. Perhaps something like that in your area? Ours is in Michigan (we are in Illinois), so we have to get a minimum order together to get the delivery.

Kristi said...

Oops

could = couple

and I meant jarred goods, not canned goods (like peanut butter, fruit spreads, spaghetti sauces etc)

Jan said...

Great post June! I also find myself in stores only to realize that the coupon is at home, so making your cute organizer may help with that. As for rising food prices, I find that planning meals around weekly grocery specials saves more money than anything else I've tried. At this point in my life I'm trying to create more and consume less.

denice said...

cool coupon wallet, and thanks for posting the frugal resources -- grocery prices kill us around here!

kim said...

Very cute! Thanks for all the links too.

CalicoDaisy said...

Great information! I was at Jo-Ann's today as well - not being frugal - although, all the sweet flannel I bought was $2.00/yard, but then I purchased a lot! I picked up a couple of the instruction flyers, too. They caught my eye right away. I found "upholstery covered headboard" and drapery calculations. -- Michele
calicodaisy.blogspot.com

Thimbleanna said...

Gosh June, what a great idea! I'm getting kind of tired of finding my wadded up coupons at the bottom of my backpack -- maybe I need a coupon organizer LOL!

MammyT said...

I noticed you were making the Pepper Jack Chicken! It has certainly gotten popular. I have yet to make it, but am planning it for next week. I'm a member of SD and would encourage you to look into it. We have a lot of fun on the forums.
Nancy

Fiona @ Dragonfly-Crafts said...

Great idea for your coupons, we don't have that sort of thing here. Shopping dockets but they aren't worth having.

Kris said...

Thanks for the mention. That's an adorable coupon holder, too.

homespun living said...

I have noticed the price increases as well, sadly my husband's salary has not even kept up with inflation; so thanks for the helpful links.
I love your coupon organizer!

Deb

Jane said...

I bet that coupon organizer makes the task more pleasant!

I am constantly trying to balance coupons and sales. Here I swing between stores that are much higher priced, but double coupons and have great sales. VS. stores that are consistently lower priced but do not have sales or coupons. I constantly need to weigh time as part of the savings equation. But when milk is almost $5 a gallon it's so important to be mindful!

Lynn said...

What a fantastic idea. I need a coupon holder (i've been using an old ticketmaster envelope) and I love those bags. I really like how they stand up on their own. I may have to go to joann's and see if I can pick up a pattern...

Gumbo Lily said...

I've noticed that groceries seem to be much higher lately. I thought perhaps my mind was getting fuzzy(er) but now I realize it's true. I'm not much of a coupon clipper, but I love your wallet.

Jody

Mrs.Kwitty said...

Cute wallet--you are so cool JunieMoon!

Thanks for all the links--it's a full-time job just finding ways to save a few bucks on groceries around here (with 2 teenagers in the house..and friends).

Smiles, Karen

Chief Family Officer said...

Thanks for mentioning my site - I'm glad you find it useful and informative!

I freely admit that we are pretty well off, so while I do carefully manage our finances, I really don't watch every penny. That said, I've noticed that staples are rising in cost (foods like eggs and flour, toiletries like soap). But then again, I just spoke with another mom who said she found clothes for her daughter at a steep discount at Macys because retailers are really hurting.

One final thought: do you have a price book? If not, I highly recommend one - it's the single best way to cut costs on staples.

Paula said...

Oh this is SO CUTE! Of course as soon as I saw yours, I had to head over to Joann.com and grab my copy of the pattern. :) I got it and plan on making one to include in the reusable bag swap I am a part of. :)

As far as coupons go, here are a few sites that will help you:
http://hotcouponworld.com
http://organicgrocerydeals.com (please use the username lvg4him when signing up)
http://moneysavingmom.blogspot.com (don't have to be a mom to get in on these great deals
http://mygrocerydeals.com

Good luck!! :)

katelyn said...

Oh, I have been looking and looking for a coupon wallet because the little cardboard one I bought last year is falling apart. This one is perfect!
I can't live without refundcents.com, but I second the advice to check out hotcouponworld.com, too. Slow to load, but worth the wait.

Coupon said...

Junie,

Many a thanks for the ideas to manage coupon in a pattern to save.

It is really a good coupon book!

with regards,
Axel

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KB and Whitesnake said...

Very cool. Following you on twitter as KB1.