June 30, 2014

{Organize It} (Un)Extreme Couponing

I'll never be one of those extreme coupon-er people. That's just something I finally had to accept about myself. There was a time though when I thought I could pull it off. Yep. 

For about 5 (naive) minutes. 

Alas, I realized a few things. I really don't have the amount of free time that's needed to keep up with it. Also, I don't have the extra room in my house to store a bunch of items that I don't even need. 

Most importantly, I just don't think have the level of "shamelessness" it takes to haul 20 tubes of toothpaste up to the register, present the poor, unsuspecting cashier with 45 coupons, and listen to the people behind me huff and puff as I haggle my way into only paying .20. 


No? That's not how it works? Shows how much I know!

Just because I'm not able to pull off the extreme coupon-ing doesn't mean I don't love a good deal just as much as the next person! I love using coupons when I'm able to find one for something that I will actually use. 

My main problem? I just can't remember to use them! Or if I do remember, I end up realizing I've left the coupon at home. This happened to me most recently at Bed, Bath and Beyond. I was browsing for nothing in particular, found a rug that I loved for $100, and when I got to the register I realized I had left my coveted 20% off coupon at home. 

Talk about sucky. 

Luckily the Bed, Bath and Beyond people are awesome and let you bring your coupon and receipt back at a later time for a price adjustment. (If you didn't know that, well, you're welcome!)

Since I've been on a mission to get my life and everything in it organized in a way that works for ME, I decided to take this head on. 

And I was able to come up with a system that has helped me successfully coupon for the first time ever! Find out how I did it below. 

So here's a little back story. About a week ago I was going through my wallet and found all these gift cards that I thought had (obviously) been used and just never thrown away. So I decided to make a few quick calls and just confirm there were no balances. I ended up finding out I had over 30 bucks in gift card money to many places that I shop at regularly.

Don't ask me how you can forget about free money. I don't know, there's just no excuse.

That lead me to realize my issue. It was my wallet. I tend to just shove everything in there and it ends up lost for months until I finally clean it out (usually because I can't shove one more thing in there).

Another issue is that when I look at my wallet it triggers only one thing in my mind which is monies. That's it.

So I realized after some thought that I needed to find some type of coupon/gift card organization, it needed to fit in my purse and it needed to be something that would trigger my mind every time I saw it that I had coupons and gift cards just waiting to be used.

I found this little beauty in the bargain bin at Target. With a price tag of a whopping $1, how could I say no? I actually bought this quite a few months back and never found a use for it until now.

There isn't much to it. It has 6 pockets and I used my label maker to print out labels for each tab. 

The tabs I personally needed most were Beauty, Food, Tuck, Home, Gifts/Returns and Personal/Misc

Most of them are pretty self explanatory, but the Gifts/Returns tab is for all my gift cards and receipts of any returns or exchanges I need to do. It's really helped me a lot so far having these items separated from the rest of my purse. 

Now that I've been using this for a while I may change the Personal/Misc tab to an Entertainment tab so that I can separate grocery food coupons from eating out coupons. I'll also be able to use it for movie, ice cream, and all other coupons for fun things we like to go out and do.

And of course I had to pretty it up some to help me stay motivated to keep using it! So here's the finished product. 

This isn't a new concept by any means, but since it has helped me so much to keep everything organized and actually start using my coupons I thought I would share in hopes that it may help some of you as well. 

If you're interested in a quick tutorial on how to take your organizer from plain to pretty like mine, stay tuned for my next post. 

Do you think something like this would work for you? Let me know!

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