I am a realistic couponer. I do not have a stockpile that can support an army. I don't like to carry too much or spend too much. I am couponing because I like to save money, I would like to be a successful one income household for a while, and I like to help people. I am also a person that wants to minimize my families carbon foot print.
With couponing comes a lot of opportunity to recycle paper. Getting a couple of newspapers 5 days a week adds up. Thankfully, both the elementary school and the local library have a paper recycle bin that they use to raise funds. So far I am saving money, contributing to local fundraisers, and recycling. Yeay me! Want to reuse some before recycling? There are a lot of different ways that you can reuse a newspaper. I love those of you who have a green thumb! Judging on my planting skills, I am surprise I have thumbs at all. The newspapers make wonderful underlay for flower beds and landscaping. The allow water to flow, they keep weeds at bay, & they keep your stone or mulch from getting buried. I even heard of someone using it in the compost. I can't plant, so you have to know that a compost is way out of my league. Shipping and moving are obvious uses for newspaper. Donations to animal shelters, pet stores, or anything related to pets is usually a good idea. Even donations to schools for current events classes, paper mache art classes, for art messes, or collages.
Some people wonder about the cost of printing coupons. They figure between buying paper and not using the entire sheet, it can get pretty wasteful right? I suppose it can for some but I don't ever buy computer paper for couponing. I use the back side of used papers for all my coupons. I know certain businesses that I can get this paper from, when my daughters in school, I use the papers she brings home, and the mail is a great source for this. Especially junk mail, they never seem to use the back side of paper.
Once the coupon is printed on my already reused paper, if the entire page was not used, I cut and save the unused area for reminder notes, to do lists, shopping lists, filer labels, I use it to label and reuse shipping envelopes and packages, art paper for my daughter, and so on. Then it gets put into the box of papers to be recycled for the week.
On a similar note, cross cut or any shredded paper also makes great shipping stuffing. I prefer cross cut for security reasons. Regular shredded paper that is tea stained looks a lot like raffia and is great for interesting napkin rings or packaging. It just does not have the strength so this is only for the look. Stain it a different color and you have filling for gift or Easter baskets (there is no point in buying this throw away item!). To make it easy, use tea, beet juice, or any inexpensive stainer, get a spray bottle and lay the paper out in the garage or an old sheet or plastic tarp. It can sit there and dry for a bit before you actually use it.
I had so much to write about this topic that I decided to write the donation info in its own hub! Hope you don't mind! Many Blessings.