November 26 2010

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We ate to much and laughed it all off, hopefully. ;) I don't have any pictures to upload today, because I'm just too dang tired.  I did end up doing some shopping, but my main goal was to spread kindness. Taking a cue from the Brave Girls blog and Kindness matters, I printed up some cards and positive thoughts and left them in shopping carts and baskets, on shelves--anywhere I thought they might be found.  It was a great way to shop and spend the day and I hope they were found and enjoyed. 

finding coupons and deals

I told a friend I would send her some links for coupon previews and decided to turn it into a post for the blog. Here goes:

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Starting on Thursdays I check out my favorite links for previews  of the coupons and sales that will be in the Sunday paper.  That will tell me how many papers I want that week. Sometimes I don't buy any, and I've also bought up to four. 

On Sunday morning I check the pinching your pennies  forums for info on what other coupons are in the papers. Sometimes I will buy a paper from the big city up north because they will have some coupons that our paper doesn't.

Then I come home and get to work. Can't tell you how much time this takes me, but I consider my work. A fair trade for being able to stay home with the kiddos. I cut coupons out and sort them according to the categories in my binder. I like having them cut out and ready to go, I don't like just storing the inserts. In my mind I have to cut them out one way or the other and I want to get it over with. I don't cut out coupons for things I know no matter how good a deal we won't buy. If I also have quite a few coupons for an item, I won't cut them and will just pass them on. 

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Then I put them in the page protectors. While I put them in I also purge the expired or soon to be expired ones from the binder. On Sundays I will also go to Pinching Your Pennies and print out a shopping list for that week. They have great shopping lists! I print the internet coupons I need for the list while I am on and  check the forum for my favorite store in my state and see any good deals people are finding. Then I take the coupons out of my big binder and put them in the little accordion folder.  While I am doing that I will also write a shopping list by hand. I know complicated! Why do I do that when I already have one printed out? 1-It's been hard for me to read the little shopping list so I don't like having to rely on reading it in the store, that may change after my glasses get here. 2-I like to write out exact quantities of what I am buying and also how many coupons I have for that item. 3-Sometimes the sale is--buy $25 of this and get this, or buy 10 and get $$ off, etc. So I like writing separate lists. 4-I am a list freak! I like it.

Important safety tip I always have the big binder with me when I go grocery shopping. It has my ad in it and all my other coupons in case I see a good deal. I just like the little one for keeping my definite purchases in, less flipping around that way.

Also be nice to the stock guys. More than once they've seen us wandering around looking for something and gone back to the stock room brought out a case and asked us what else was on our list. Very nice.

Other tip Jack does not grocery shop with us if we are buying more than a few items. Just not worth it. The older kids can go if I have a job for them--calculator, counting items, etc. Zac goes just because he's cute.

Hope that helps someone.


my coupon binder

A couple people have asked about my coupon binder so I thought a post was in order.  It took me a while to find something that works, even then it was thanks to a friends help. I have a friend who gave me her old binder and set up a few months ago. It's a big zippered binder with the accordion folders in the front cover. 

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In the accordion files I store internet coupons that I haven't printed yet, restaurant coupons, coupon codes for internet ordering, and basically anything else I find a need for.

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In the big zipper section you can see the basics I always take with me: a small pair of scissors, a calculator, and a pen. The coupon was stuck in there when I was in a hurry.

The pen pocket, with the pink flap, is just the right size for holding internet printed coupons that have been cut but not filed yet.

After that I have a section with lined paper to make my lists on. Then the dividers start. At the front I have one for the main grocery stores I shop at. Costco isn't in here since they do not accept coupons. 

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In the store dividers I have two photo page holders with 3, 4 x 6 pockets. In the back page for each store I put store coupons I have. Then in the front page I put the coupons that I have separated out for a shopping trip in the two bottom pockets. While I am shopping I put the coupons in the top section as I find the products.

After the store section I have dividers according to product type, although some are broken down even more. In each section there is another 4 x 6 page divider for bigger coupons and then 2 or more if needed baseball card dividers. Some categories have been broken down even more depending on usage. Here are the categories:

  • bread
  • chips/popcorn
  • rice/pasta/sauce
  • cereal/granola
  • cookies/crackers
  • dairy/cheese
  • yogurt
  • baking
  • lunch meat
  • meat
  • frozen food
  • condiments
  • produce
  • canned goods
  • beverages
  • kids
  • candy
  • pet food
  • medicine
  • paper goods
  • cleaners
  • misc household
  • hygiene
  • lotion
  • hair
  • makeup

My other main tool is a small accordion file that I can fit into my purse. This is handy for when we are out everyday and I don't want to lug my binder around.

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In here we have the following tabs:

  • Albertsons 1
  • Albertsons 2
  • Wal Mart
  • Harmons
  • Target
  • Costco- for their store coupons, or list
  • redbox--codes or list
  • Smiths
  • eats-eating out
  • craft-craft store coupons or lists

In here I put coupons for small shopping trips, lists, or whatever comes to mind. If I know I usually buy a product at Target I will put the coupon in there, then when I am in the store if I see it on sale or clearance I can pick it up.