Extreme Coupons For Extreme Budgets
Everyone Can Extreme Coupon If You Stay Organized With This Binder
I used to use an accordion folder to manage my coupons until I was given a tip from a friend who is a borderline extreme couponer. She told me it was better to use a loose leaf binder and plastic pages that normally hold baseball cards. Since I usually end up wasting coupons or getting to the store and forgetting that I have them this made a lot of sense.
I took it further. I have several binders and use them for different things. This time of year I break out the Holiday Binder. Staying organized during the holidays is usually not easy, but with this binder you will save money and easily keep track of where the best prices are.
I want to say I am not an extreme couponer mostly because I don't have that type of time but, I am always looking for a good deal and I always buy with coupons. I do use a lot of the techniques that extreme couponers use and will pass on what I do.
photo credit: Rockinpicks.com
This is what your going to need.
1. A loose leaf binder that has the plastic that lifts up so that you can place pictures under it.
2. A pack of plastic baseball card holders
3. Sticker labels
5. A large Holiday photo. I have a family photo in front of my Christmas Tree for my Christmas Binder.
Photo Credit : Rockinpicks.com
Things You Will Need
Why Use A Special Holiday Organizer
During the holidays you have to concentrate on special holiday foods and making sure you have the right coupons is important or you will over spend. By using coupons you can cut your holiday spending by at least half. The key is to organize early. Even though it's November most people already know if they are hosting the holidays at their house. We are going to assume you are the host and are going planning as soon as possible.
My family expects special foods during the holidays. These are foods they get once a year and know they can look forward to them. They only get pumpkin bread pudding at Thanksgiving, they only get my crab dip at Christmas so right now I know I am going to need these special ingredients.
Saving Time And Money
When I first began using coupons it took hours to cut them out. If you cut the bar code or the expiration date the coupon is rendered no good so we purchased a paper trimmer and it has cut hours of time of coupon chores. What took hours now only takes minutes especially if your cutting 100 coupons or more.
We purchases the X-Acto brand paper trimmer because X-Acto has a very good reputation for being sharp. We have many of their knives.
This particular trimmer comes with a carry handle for safety. It is self sharpening too. That is very important because we have had other ones though the years that went dull on us pretty quickly.
It has a 10 Sheet capacity which is all we need. You don't want to pile up too many coupons as they move and don't line up perfectly. If you cut too many at once you may loose the expiration dates on the sides or cut the bar code.
Start To Organize
1 The first thing I did was put the picture on the front. This made this book special and when I take this out once a year it is the start of the holiday season.
2. Print out each recipe you are going to use and compile a shopping list of what your going to need.
3. The first thing you put in your binder is a front divider. I marked mine Recipes and I placed the recipes that I use at the holiday into plastic covers. made several copies of each so if I am asked for it, I have a handy copy. If one copy gets dirty I always have a new one.
4. After you put your recipes into the binder you add another divider and here you put the lists of food you will need. I have each food labeled 1-100 or what ever your number goes to.
5. Here is where you will become super organized. Behind the list of food place your baseball card holders. They are clear. Place a sticker with a number on each holder. This will cross reference your ingredients list.
6. Now, start hunting for coupons. I will give you some great sites next. Once you fill up the spots with coupons you know you have what you need.
7. Each week during the holidays food stores run sales on items you will need but, often don't run everything at once so watch closely for the sale. depending on the coupon and the special being offered can cut your bill by at least half. Stand firm. No sale, no coupon, no purchase.
How To Coupon Books And Binders
My favorite coupon site
So often you go to a coupon site and all you get is offer after offer that ask for your personal info. Some offers I will give and others I don't. I keep a special coupon email address because with coupon clipping comes a lot of spam. Coupons.com is different. It's a point, shoot and receive your offer site. It's easy to find things you need and keep track of your savings. You can print multiple coupons for one offer or make copies. It's the first place I check each week when I make up my grocery list.
Home Depot, Lowes, Target
Big Name Store coupons
You have to join this site, but it has all the big store coupons.
Know Your Store
Organize Your Coupons By Your Store Isle
We used to organize our coupons in alphabetical order. This was inefficient in the store. That is when my husband took photos of the signs at the beginning of the isles. On the day we go shopping we use a small pocket organizer that is set up for the specific store we are shopping in.
The organizer is very easy to use now and our time in that store is cut in half. As we go up and down the isles the coupons are in the identical order. The signs that organize the store don't change unless the store remodels so it is easy to in line with what is on the shelves.
Normally the more expensive items are located at eye level so be prepared to stoop or stretch to find items of equal quality, but are less expensive.