How I Organize Coupons Delightfully (OCD)

My husband should be considered a saint.

If I were the Pope I would give him Pre-Sainthood.

Why?

Because he puts up with me and my OCD coupons.

“Honey! Why didn’t you tell me you were going to stop and
pick that up? I have a coupon!”

I already told you that I coupon.   How
I Coupon Like a (Kinda) Sane Person

I told you where I get my coupon inserts.   Coupons
– Insert Here

Today, we are going to talk about how I organize my coupons
OCD style.

When I first started to coupon, EONS ago, I went to the
Dollar Tree and picked up a little accordion envelope thingy that had little
slots to put my coupons in.

I liked it okay.

It fit in my purse.

When I had kids, it fit in the diaper bag.

The problem with those accordion thingies?

They sometimes “lose” coupons.

They tear.

I moved up to a spiral bound booklet holder.

I liked it!

The coupons stood up! I could see them much better!

It fit in my purse…

…along with fifty million other things that go into purses
when your kids graduate from a diaper bag to your purse.

So a few months ago I was watching that couponing show on
TLC (you know the one) and I heard the angels singing the hallelujah chorus
when that lady pulled out her coupon organizer!

It was a BINDER! With special sheets that held coupons in
clear pockets where you could see each and every coupon she owned!

My little OCD heart did a pitty pat!

It was so beautifully organized!

I had a quest!

I immediately set out to find those holder thingies!

Turns out they are baseball card holders.

I bought’em on Amazon.com

They look beautiful in my new binder with all my coupons in
pretty little rows!

(This is where I would normally insert a photo, but
wordpress isn’t allowing any of my pictures right now due to technical
difficulties, so, use your imagination!)

Basically I took a plain 3-ring binder that I bought at
Wally World.

Put in some page separators and started adding the (wait for
it) clear coupon pocket sheets!

(Did you just hear the –Aaaaahhhhhhhsssss! – I think I did)…

I labeled each section with the following basics:

Breakfast

Dairy

Frozen

Fridge

Snacks

Drinks

Baking

Housekeeping

Personal Care

Pets

Miscellaneous

It is a beautiful thing.

When I check the blogs to see what specials there are at the
stores I shop, I just flip through my binder, pull out the coupons I want (cuz I can see’em and they are right there!) and stick
them in envelopes that correspond with the store so I’ll be ready for
shopping!  (My next couponing blog will
be all about the websites I use to find the deals!)

Sadly, my coupons are better organized than my filing
cabinet.

I promise I will post
a picture when I get over my technical difficulties!!!

 

 

Happy Father’s Day!

Father’s Day.
A day to celebrate all things Dad, Daddy, Popsi, Pop, etc. etc. etc.
Today I am celebrating two very similar, but different men

The Ranger and My Daddy.

I’m crazy about both of them.

My Daddy is AWESOME! If you want to know what I think of him check out my past post My First Valentine (from Feb. 10, 2011).

This post is about the other man in my life, my husband, the Ranger.

You won’t be seeing a whole lot of Ranger pictures on my blog, because he just doesn’t like to have his picture taken. I swear I have more unusable pictures of him than I’ll ever have of usable ones (something about a middle finger absently scratching the side of someone’s head that makes it not quite shareable).

With the Ranger and I, it was love at first sight.

With the Ranger and his girls, it was love at first heartbeat.

The Ranger is the kind of Daddy that every little girl dreams of –

He plays…
He listens…
He will hide behind you and let you shine…
He advises…
He teases…
He supports…
He is fun!
He is calm…
He is embarrassing (on purpose)…
He encourages…
He teaches by example…
He is adventurous…
He is sympathetic…
He is SMART…
He holds your hair when you are puking…
He holds your hand when you are sitting by him…
He plays pirates on the playground…
He will hold you and sing Frank to you when you are crying…
He will give your friends a roll of toilet paper as a birthday party favor…
He will talk to “that boy!” for you…
He plays board games with you…
He groans at your jokes…
He makes you laugh…
He is private and this post will probably embarrass him (sorry)…
He loves his Mama…
When the girls grow up, they’ll never have to wonder is their Daddy loved them. They will know.


So, Happy Father’s Day, Ranger Man!
We love you.
I adore you.
Always have…
Always will.
And, now, everyone knows.

Crazy Days of Summer Photo Challenge Week 3: Water

Today I’m participating in the Crazy Days of Summer Photo Challenge with Live and Love…Out Loud and Project Alicia – the subject is Water.

Have I mentioned it’s been hot in TN?

Well, if I haven’t, let me tell ya…

It’s been HOT!

So for the Crazy Days of Summer Photo Challenge for Week 3: Water, I decided to try to get some nice pictures of Big and Baby jumping into the water at the pool.

Try would be the key phrase here.

I got lots of pictures of other people’s kids getting ready and lots of water pictures of the splashes my kids made!

Finally…FINALLY! the camera and the child cooperated at the same time…

It didn’t thrill me. Oh, the fact that she actually jumped off the diving board more than 20 times in one day without any bribery or threats thrilled me and I was so proud!

But the picture itself…not so much. I think it could have had something to do with the camera. I don’t like taking my “good” camera to the swimming pool so I use a small point and shoot that I stole from Big.

Unfortunately, this…

…was my best water shot of the day. On a hot day in TN there is nothing that looks better than ice water!

However, since I’m a mom and this is MY blog…

…look at all that water dripping off Big!

…and look at all that water rolling down Baby’s arm!

There ya go, pictures of water.

Coupons – Insert Here!

So coupons.

We’ve established that I 1.) like my coupons and 2.) and I am OCD.

I’m still sorta sane about my coupons.

I don’t go crazy – clearing shelves, hording cleaning supplies, arguing with store managers…

Yet.

Today I’m going to share with you where I get some of my coupons.

Newspaper insert coupons are my coupons of choice.

Almost everyone accepts them! There’s nothing more frustrating that going to purchase an item only to find out that, “Oh, we don’t take those coupons!”

There are a couple of places you can get these coupons – 1. Buy a newspaper! 2. Purchase individual coupons through a clipping service or 3.) Purchase coupons through eBay or another online auction.

Most newspapers carry Smart Source (SS), Red Plum (RP) and monthly Proctor & Gamble (P&G) coupons. These are commonly referred to as coupon inserts.

In our town, we don’t have a Sunday newspaper. I could subscribe to the big city papers or I could probably go to the store and buy 4 or 5 of them. But if I did that then it would be definitive proof to the Ranger that I am losing my mind over coupons.

The BIG city papers typically have the same coupons as small town papers, but the amounts on the coupons are sometimes higher. For example, the Pittsburgh papers would have higher discounts than Johnstown newspapers. Also coupon inserts are sometimes regional with Dallas, TX having a few different coupons than, say, Seattle (my Sissy reminded me to mention that…I forgot).

Now, it is illegal for these people to “sell” you the coupons themselves. What you are paying for is the sellers’ time to clip, package and ship you the coupons.

Clipping Services

For clipping services I, personally, like Rachel Woodward of the Coupon Clippers. I’ve used her clipping service for YEARS and I’ve never had a problem or been disappointed in any way! She is the way to go if you only want a couple of a particular coupon.

Another service I’ve heard good things about is the Kuntry Klipper. This service is better if you want to order a LOT of coupons! From the looks of their site, they sell coupons in 20 coupon bundles starting around $1.00 for each bundle. This service also offers free shipping on orders, but will charge you an extra “handling” fee if your order is less than $5.

Clipping services are nice if you don’t want all of the coupons in insert that week or if you don’t have a whole lot of time. I check the preview of coupon inserts from Ms. Couponista (I’ll have more on my dear Ms. Couponista in another blog). That way I know if I want to buy the complete insert or just individual coupons.

They do the work for you! All you have to do is spend 10 or 15 minutes scrolling down the list of “new” coupon, pick how many of each you want, and pay! They stick the coupons (pre-clipped) in the mail to you! When you get them just plop them in your coupon organizer (another blog waiting to happen)!

A couple of things to keep in mind when ordering from a clipping service…

  1. Look at the coupon expiration date! Will you have time to use the coupon after you get it? I like my coupons to have an expiration date of at least 30 days from the time I order.
  2. How much is the handling fee vs. how much is the coupon going to save you? I tend to stick with coupons with a handling fee of $.10 or less that are worth at least $.50. This still gives me an overall saving of at least $.40 per coupon.

eBay

Now, my Sissy turned me onto ordering my coupon inserts through eBay.

I just started to use it.

I’m hooked!

I L-O-V-E it!

I use this when I want lots of the coupons that will be inside the inserts that week!

So far I’ve only used the same seller for all of my purchases, but I liked her so much that I just stuck with her for the rest. Besides, it gives me the opportunity to combine shipping charges and saves me money! (and, remember, saving money is what this is all about!)

With eBay you have the opportunity to either purchase entire inserts or individual coupons.

This last week I purchased 10 extra $.50 off Nesquick coupons for $5 (including shipping). This works for me because I will use them at a grocery store that will double my coupons to $1 each. I can’t use them all at once, but this coupon is good until the end of August! Lots o’chocolate milk for us! Over the life of the coupons I will save $5 over the amount I spent on the coupons. All good!

I also purchased 5 complete coupon inserts for both Smart Source, Red Plum and Proctor & Gamble for $12. These inserts will save me a WHOLE lot more than I spent! I can’t give an exact total, but my estimate is over $100. The only issue with this is that I had to clip ALL the coupons myself! ACK!

So, things to remember when buying on eBay…

  1. Always, ALWAYS, ALWAYS check their feedback! NEVER and I mean EVER purchase from someone with less than stellar feedback!
  2. Sissy advised to buy from someone who is selling from a larger city that is relatively close to you. She shops from someone around Seattle. I shop from someone in Chicago (I couldn’t find anyone closer).
  3. If you want your coupons in time to use for a current sale, be sure to use “Buy It Now” and let your seller know you are on a time table. They will usually try to work with you to be sure your coupons are shipped quickly. This is also why it is good to buy from a seller somewhat close to you, the closer their proximity the sooner you get your coupons!
  4. Never EVER buy coupons printed from the internet from eBay! This is coupon fraud – computer generated coupons as a whole different story! Very, VERY naughty! (I’ll have more on internet coupons in another blog).

I’ll be back another time to let you in on a few more places to find coupons and what to do with them once you’ve got them! So, all those places I mention “…in another blog” means I’ve run out of room and had to break things up.

Oh, and for the record, I haven’t received any compensation a’TALL from any of the websites I’ve mentioned here.

Crazy Days of Summer Photo Challenge Week 2: Refreshing

Today I am participating in the Crazy Days of Summer Photo Challenge with Live and Love…Out Loud and Project Alicia – the subject is Refreshing.

Ahhhh…heat waves….

Glorious heat waves…

It’s not even summer yet and we’ve consistently had a real temperature over 100 degrees.

This stinks.

There is a community pool nearby, and if you’ve been my blog, you’ve seen pictures of these adventures.

But at home…we have some air conditioning, ceiling fans, and…

A Hose!

We are trying not to waste too much water, but it’s hard not to…

Especially when you are watering your flowers!

We try to water the flowers every night!

It helps them grow!

Maybe that’s why none of Big’s clothes fit anymore…