Coupons! An Organizing Challenge for a Thrifty Mom

One of the biggest black holes for money in our household is in our grocery bill.  We totalled up one months worth of receipts (back before there were five of us) and it totalled over $1200 for the month!  (We went a little nuts at Sam’s Club)
Coupons
That was a while ago, and we’ve added more people to the family since then.  Still at $800, which included toiletries and diapers and such, it was more then I wanted to spend.  With the help of The Grocery Game I have managed to bring it down to $600 or less, with much of that still going towards Domino’s and the occasional cheese wonton from China Xing.
The key to the “game” is couponing and using Teri’s List.  The list is easy, the coupons though…wow, they get out of hand fast!
First I tried a basic coupon sorter. You know, the kind you pick up from the dollar store.  Well, when you’re buying or acquiring multiple sets of coupons every Sunday those little sorters don’t last long.
Then I stole my husbands baseball card holders and recycled an old binder and created my GIGANTIC “WATCH OUT KROGER HERE COMES THE CRAZY COUPON LADY” BINDER.  He was never going to put his baseball cards in there anyway.
It’s sorted by aisle, because I always shop at the same two or three stores, with the bulk of my shopping being at Kroger.  So I formatted it after that stores layout and after a while, finding what I needed at other stores was a breeze.
The baseball card slots are perfect for most coupon sizes.  The others can easily be folded to fit and still show what the coupon is for.  This has made it so much easier in the store, even the Mr. is willing to flip through the book and look for the picture of his favorite pickles.
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Then came the holidays.  We actually lived off our stockpile for 6 weeks only buying milk, bread, and ‘I just want that now’ type items.  So I had SIX WEEKS of coupons building up that had not been cut, sorted and filed.  Not only that but I had a binder full of mostly expired coupons.
The pile was getting bigger, and I was less and less inclined to touch it.  So I met my coupons in the middle.
I took out a bunch of envelopes, just plain ones, and labeled them to match the dividers in my binder.
Doodlebug and I cut coupons, Taderbug and Bubbagirl played in the scraps.  We had a SEA of paper on our living room floor.  Then I simple shoved them into the appropriate envelope.
Every day for the next week, I made it my goal to empty ONE envelope into the binder.  By the time my usual shopping day rolled around my binder was back in business!
I’m keeping my envelopes to use as a ‘presorting’ place, so I can get my coupons in order in case they are needed for a quick purchase between normal shopping dates.
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Do you use coupons?  How do you organize them?
(if you decide to try the grocerygame.com , please help a momma out and use me email as a reference.  memrband3 at gmail dot com.  I receive no cash, but will earn a free week of the game if you subscribe AFTER your FREE trial)

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5 thoughts on “Coupons! An Organizing Challenge for a Thrifty Mom

  1. Kelly Hoosier says:

    I don’t use coupons, I’m a rebel. I do shop sales though. And I do all my main grocery shopping at Aldi’s. We only spend about $450 a month on groceries, for a family of 4.

  2. Honey says:

    I don’t use coupons. I can’t seem to find any for the products we use. We are also in Canada and not all of the stores and great deals that everyone finds are available here. Boohoo!
    We have a family of seven (and then add on the grandparents) and our grocery bill is between $350-$500 every month. I shop once a month. I shop at a warehouse store and buy pretty much everything in large quantities. I cook from scratch because of our daughter’s allergies to dairy, eggs, and nuts.
    Blessings
    Honey

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