Friday, March 9, 2012

Not So Extreme Couponing

I don't know about you, but for me... The economy sucks and so does my bank account. In attempt to save a penny where I can, I started clipping coupons. I question if the time and energy spent on it is really worth the savings, but even if it's not... I do feel a small sense of accomplishment when I check out at the grocery store and hand them a stack (and by stack, I mean 3-4 coupons max) of coupons -- even if it is just a couple bucks in savings.

I used to coupon all the time. My sister would even send me coupons in the mail to help out, but for some reason I got away from it. I guess I started making enough money, I didn't think it was necessary anymore. Anyway, when I couponed before, it was organized. I had a little wallet sized accordion file thing that was labeled with different categories so it made it easy to look for the coupons.

Since being back on the couponing wagon, my coupons have been a frustrating mess! Every time I wanted one, I literally had to stop in the middle of the aisle, grab my stack of coupons, and begin shuffling through them - dropping several in the process. It was painful. One or two times to the store with K experiencing my coupon mess and she insisted something be done.

The whole point in couponing is saving money, right? So I was having a hard time justifying buying a coupon organizer. I did buy one lame thing that didn't work at all for like $1 somewhere, but I wouldn't allow myself to spend more than that.

So I got resourceful. I googled DIY Coupon Organizers.

The coolest coupon organizer I found was this one to the right.

But - forgive me if any of my (four) readers out there has one - it's a little dorky. I'm not sure I would have the guts to walk around the store with it attached to my cart.

I definitely needed something small enough to fit in my purse because I can't tell you the number of times I have gone into a store and bought something I knew I had a coupon for, but it was sitting at home or in the car I didn't drive that day.

I needed something simple, easy, cheap, yet durable. That's when I found this one:

 Perfecto! I knew I had all of the supplies at home. Even if they were white envelopes, I didn't need it to be fancy. As soon as I got home, I checked our supply of envelopes and ended up finding some old purple ones that would work great!

 Please check out the Paper Source website for more detailed instructions, if you need them.

Here's what I did:

  1. Glued the envelopes together with a glue stick - put the glue on the flap part of the envelope and attach it to the "front and bottom" of the envelope (by front, I mean the side that you put the mailing address on.)

    Side note: the original instructions said you need an odd number of envelopes between 5-9. I used 9 envelopes on mine.
  2. Once all the envelopes are attached, I let the glue dry and then grabbed the exacto knife. Make a small slit (the width of the ribbon you chose) in the bottom of the last envelope and also through the top part of that same envelope.
  3. String your ribbon through, fold it like an accordion, and tie the ribbon.
Vuala! You have your un-labeled coupon organizer! :o)

You could step it up and really embellish it if you wanted to. I just got some labels I had, printed out the labels I thought would work best, and slapped 'em on.

I should have staged this one different so you could see how the ribbon is strung. Go to the Paper Source I linked above for a better picture of that step.

For the most part, I like it. K says I didn't make the ribbon long enough. (OH! I also put a little anti-fray stuff on the ends of the ribbon so it didn't become an unraveled mess.) My only complaint is that to have to tie a bow every time you want to re-close it is kind of a PITA (Pain In The Arse). Especially when you have a shopping basket in one hand and your cell phone, wallet, and coupon organizer in the other hand. It's another stop-in-the-middle-of-the-aisle scene. Granted, less of a mess, but still a nuisance.

This could be used for other organizational things too. Like if you're one of those people that breaks out your budget in categories and allows a certain amount of cash for each thing. You could separate and keep your cash in the different envelopes.

Possibly a daily to-do organizer. Keep a piece of note paper in each one and make to-do lists for each day of the week. Might make your to-do list feel less overwhelming.

Anyway, that was my most recent project. Nothing spectacular, just a little organization. It was free (kind of - I mean I had to have bought all the stuff at some point, right?), took me less than an hour to make, and my grocery shopping and couponing experience is much more pleasant. Well worth it.


  1. :P
    I walk around with this one:

    1. It's super cute and crafty! Don't get me wrong! LOL It's just not really ... me. :o)

  2. Sounds pretty awesome and looks really cool!

  3. I just made one! I didn't want to spend money on a coupon organizer (something that supposed to save money) haha. Thanks!!

    1. Right?! I felt the same way! I have since stopped couponing and therefore don't use this guy anymore, but it was perfect while I needed it!