Saving Money 101

I have been asked by several people recently about how I keep my coupons organized, how I plan my meals, what saving money sites I use, etc.

Stemming from those questions, I thought I would do a series (rather than one long mammoth post) that answers all those questions.

Sort of a Jennifer's Guide to Saving Money 101 =)

1st Question: How Do I Keep My Coupons Organized?

I have tried 3 different organizational systems and returned to my original plan every time. It just seems to work best for me.

I use a divided binder that I bought from Staples:










I organize all my coupons into the following alphabetical envelope categories:

  • Baby: Diapers/Wipes/Lotions/etc.
  • Baking/Bread
  • Box Goods: Cereal/Pasta/Rice/etc
  • Can Goods
  • Cleaning
  • Condiments
  • CVS
  • Dairy Aisle: Yogurt/Cheese/Butter/Refrigerated cookies & biscuits/etc.
  • Drinks/Mixes
  • Entertainment: Restaurant coupons/etc.
  • Frozen Aisle - Sweet
  • Frozen Aisle - Other
  • Health/Medicine
  • Laundry/Kitchen
  • Misc: Batteries/etc.
  • Meats
  • Paper Goods
  • Produce
  • Snacks - Salty
  • Snacks - Sweet
  • Toiletries - Hair/Bath & Body/Deoderant
  • Toiletries - Teeth/Feminine
  • Toiletries - Make-Up/Shaving/Misc.









When I actually go shopping I usually have pulled all the coupons I know for sure I'll be using and set them inside a folded up piece of paper that has all my list items written on front. I also bring my binder with me just in case. The only exception to that is CVS. I usually just pull my CVS envelope out and take only that in with me. I'll leave the binder in the car just in case.










I typically weed through all my coupons about every 6 weeks and throw away all expired ones. I usually do this at the same time I am filing new ones. I never (knowingly) use expired coupons. As a Christian I strive to show integrity at all times, even in the smallest of issues. Even if the stores don't notice.

I spent a lot of time those first few weeks getting things into a system that actually worked for me. I won't lie...it does take a pretty big time commitment when first starting. However, I now have a system that typically takes me about an hour a week (give or take a little) to do everything I need to do.

Click here to read a good article on all the organizational methods out there. I read it when I was first starting and it was a great resource!

4 comments:

Kelly Via said...

You are awesome with your frugal ways Jenn!

Bobbie Grant said...

Wonderful! That is exactly what I've started doing and this week it's worked great. I used to do it in a small binder and could never keep up with what I had.
I am really looking forward to these posts!!

Tasha Via said...

I'm so proud of the money saver that you have become!

Andy, Michaella, Emma Lee (4 1/2), and Kerri (3 1/2) said...

So, have you heard much about the up to 1.98 doubling next week at HT?? Casey and I talked about doing a midnight run if there's a lot of good deals! :)

I didn't get to finish telling you the other night - but I was inspired by you to start doing meal plans. It's going good so far. I didn't really cut down my g-bill any yet,(except for not really having to buy too many groceries for this week!)but I've definitely saved by not going over budget running to the store for "one more thing," which always ends up being at least a $20-$30 trip!

 

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