Sunday, January 16, 2011

Hook it up and get organized!

Each line represents a different envelope. I combined some smaller categories into one envelope to save space (example: batteries, light bulbs, & office supplies).
Food envelopes are at the front of my box, followed by household envelopes in the back.
These categories are also posted in the “resources” tab at the top of the page for future reference.
Coupon Box Categories:
baby food, snacks
baking ingredients (oil, sugar)
baking mixes (cookies, cake, frosting)
bars, breakfast items (granola, breakfast, protein, oatmeal)
canned (soup)
canned (vegetables)
cereal (General Mills)
cereal (Kellogg’s)
cereal ( Post)
cereal (Quaker)
dairy (milk, soy, creamer)
dairy (other: sour cream, cream cheese, eggs, butter, cheese)
dairy (yogurt, smoothies)
dough (bread, rolls, cookie)
frozen (meals, meat, dinners)
frozen (snacks, ice cream, appetizers)
frozen (veggies, fruit)
frozen (misc.)
fruit (canned, sauce)
health, organic
meat (hot dogs, refrigerated meals)
peanut butter, jelly, honey
rice, dinner mixes (mac & cheese)
salad dressing, sauces, seasoning
snacks: sweet
snacks: salty, other
air fresheners
batteries, light bulbs, office supplies
first aid
food storage (bags, containers, foil, wrap, baking cups)
make-up, beauty products
medicine (allergy, eyes)
medicine (cold, cough, flu)
medicine (pain)
medicine (stomach acid, fiber)
paper products: eating (plates, napkins)
paper products: towels, tissue, toilet paper
restaurants, stores
soap, lotion, sunscreen
toothpaste, floss, mouthwash, whitener
I picked up this awesome system from the class I took from Angela over at Frugal Living NW
There is also a binder system.  That is sometimes easier to deal with if you are going to the store.  If you saw  Extreme Couponing on TLC, you saw Joanie from and her binder system.  You take any binder and get clear plastic sheet, like the kind you would keep baseball cards in.  Each section has a different title, one page could be frozen foods, but then broken up into subsections frozen (meals, meat, dinners), frozen (snacks, ice cream, appetizers), frozen (veggies, fruit), frozen (misc.) and so forth.  
I have gone back and forth between the two, I like the compact nature of the binder, but I feel better organized with the tub.  Both can be time consuming, I'm not going to lie and say they aren't, especially if you let your adds sit for a week or two before clipping, which I have been known to do,  but most of us have  an hour or so on a Sunday night after our kids are in bed or we're winding down for the night to sit and clip out their coupons.  Either way, it's all TOTALLY worth it.  I used to only clip the coupons on a few items, but than I realized I can get things I may not usually buy, but I figure I can give it to a friend, family member, my church, or a local food bank.  You may not be able to contribute financially to certain organizations, but if you see a coupon deal for free cat food...even if you don't have a cat, that's something that you can donate to a local foodbank.  

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