Wednesday, July 10, 2013

33 Reader Space: The Crazy CUTE Couponer

I gotta know, how many of you resolved to be a better couponer this year?  And now that the year is half over {sorry for that crazy realization}, how are you doing?  Do you need a little inspiration to get your excited pants back on?


So, I know this girl.  Her name is Jaime and she blogs over at Raising Up Rubies and she also runs one of the most adorable Etsy shops ever.  Like myself, Jaime has this amazing love for taking organization to the next level, and adding touches of pretty and personality.  In fact, I shared her awesomeness once here, her spice drawer still gives me happy tingles.


Today I am excited to welcome her back.  Jaime is a couponer.  Not a super intense crazy couponer, but someone who does like a good deal and the money she saves when using coupons.  And she made her process crazy cute.  Did you know couponing could be cute?  I invited her here to prove that it can be!


"So let's talk coupons!

Such a touchy subject for some, I know... if it works for you, great!  If it doesn't then that is great too.  I started using coupons last year {as in planning and checking flyers} and found I really save some money if I stick to it and stay organized by being able to see which coupons I have and applying them to what is on sale every week

Now let me start off by saying that I am not a die-hard couponer.  I don't buy things just because they are one sale or because they're free even though we don't use them.  And I don't go to 14 thousand stores every week just to get a bargain.  I generally shop at Target and our local grocery store, Wegmans.  I am brand specific for some things, when you have found a soap that doesn't irritate your skin or a shampoo that works great for your hair, I think you should be brand specific.  Just be smart about buying those particular items when they are on sale, and preferably when they have a coupon circulating... double savings!"



What is the main function of your project?

"I have found over the years that if I coupon without some sort of system in place, it doesn't work for me.  I am forgetful.  Like the absent-minded mama forgetful.  I will over-buy and over-stock!  When I keep up with this process, it helps me remember what we have in stock and what I need to buy, all while saving a bunch of cash on groceries.  Yee haw!"



Any superstar tips for keeping it organized?

"Maintenance!  Cutting and sorting coupons weekly, if not bi-weekly.  It just has to be done, or it all goes downhill.  Last year when summer hit, I got lax on the coupon system... Well four months later and I had a pile of {mostly expired} coupons, and a grocery bill that started to mount, since I was just buying what we needed when we needed it.  As opposed to buying items when they were on sale, or when there were coupons available for them.  On Sunday afternoons, I'll kick my feet up and spend about 30 minutes going through the weekly paper, checkin' out what is on sale and what is in the binder... that is it!  Not much time at all."



What items did you find were essential when organizing your coupons, and why?

"A binder is essential.  A pretty binder is way more fun.  And trading card pages {for baseball cards} are also a must-have.  The card pages, divided up into sections, allow me to see what coupons I have all spread out at a glance.  With an accordion folder, I was always shuffling and pulling out coupons that mostly got stuck together.



I do carry a small coupon folder in my purse that holds every day coupons {I use the binder when doing my major grocery shopping trips}.  Craft stores, restaurants or just general shopping coupons are all tucked into this cute little aqua organizer right inside my purse for easy access, or when I am on a spontaneous lunch date with the hubs.  I used to always forget my coupons when I am shopping and having fun, guess I was only in coupon mode at the grocery store."

 

What did you do to go the extra mile and "Make it Pretty"?

"I used the Martha Stewart binder and labels from Staples just because I love the whole line, it makes functional seem easy, affordable and way cute!


The section dividers were made by me, just to give the whole system a little bit of extra pretty, because who doesn't love polka dotted page dividers?"



How has this system impacted your life for the better?

"Grocery shopping, meal planning and cooking is not my thing... well, it's not my favorite thing!  And since all of those tasks tend to mesh together, keeping this system going and organized means we don't do cereal for dinner.  Again.  {Although we love us some cereal every now and then!}."



Yep!  I think I may be sold on the binder system for our grocery coupons as well.  Especially after seeing this.  She is SO right.  I use those accordion folders and although they work really well for toting to the store or storing the coupons, they are not the most convenient when it comes to searching for coupons or for purging down and restocking coupons for the next trip {especially for those bigger trips}.  That Jaime is a smart, sweet cookie!  And DIY binder dividers?  Extra credit points for all of that polka dot cuteness!

What I love most is that I thought I was listening to myself when reading her answers.  I don't love couponing and meal planning either {it's like saying I love to clean toilets or put away laundry}, but I do find benefit in it, so I just do the basics like she does.  Nothing over the top or cray cray, but just enough to save some time and money each week.  Her system and setup is simple and effective enough for anyone to do, and who wouldn't want to grab for the binder each week when it is as darling as hers is?

You can snag all of Jaime's couponing details and even some printables on her site here.  So now that this post is over, I have to know, did she inspire you to take another look at the couponing process?


ATTENTION!!  Want to be featured in a Reader Space edition?  Have an awesome organizing story to share?  I am looking for projects that have made a positive impact to your life.  Please submit your story and photos here and I would heart to feature them right here, on the blog!!  Photos should be high resolution and unedited.  Please include a description of the project, including any costs, inspiration, and how it has changed your life and routine for the better!  Oh, and no worries my friends, we will NEVER judge "before" pictures because that just wouldn't be nice!  Only love goes on at this blog!

33 comments:

  1. I've tried couponing several times, and I found I just spent more money than if I didn't have coupons. For me, I just stock up on things that we use a lot of - like pasta and sauces - when they are on a good sale.

    Though I admit, I wouldn't mind having a cute little planner hanging out in my kitchen....

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  2. This post could not have come at a better time. This past week, I have decided that I need to coupon and have been spending my week trying to figure it all out with the recent ads and coupons and some You Tube videos (who knew there where videos on couponing?! ). I picked up an accordion organizer at the dollar store and have been using that, but I might have to try this system. I am determined to figure this all out and save my family money!

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  3. I love the idea of organizing everything. Our problem is that we don't really see coupons for the items that we buy.

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  4. I envy those who can coupon well...it just never works for me:(

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  5. I def. notice a savings when I coupon and match up with the flyers for savings and price match. but like most people I've gotten lax on it as well. I need to start up again! Love you're binders!
    -Lauren

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  6. I have to admit, I am not really fond of couponing. Since I tend to buy a lot of organic products, many of the coupons just don't work for me. So I try to look for sales on the items we use often and use the coupons from Whole Foods on occasion. When things like meat and seafood are on sale, I buy extra and make a quick marinade for them and put them in the freezer. Quick and easy dinner - no meal planning required.

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    Replies
    1. I agree with the organic comment! Ugh, so wishing I could find more coupons for the healthier stuff!!

      xo,
      Jen

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    2. Hi Fran & Jen,
      One of the ways I get coupons for organic and healthy items are through: Mambo Sprouts & Earthbound Farms. I also use store coupons for Whole Foods and Sprouts which was mentioned by Fran. While there are only a few ways to get coupons for non-processed foods, they're becoming easier to find every day :).

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  7. Just the inspiration I needed! I was really into couponing (about the same level as Jaime) at the beginning of the year, but I got off track after buying and moving into our first house. I think I'm ready (and no motivated and inspired) to get back into it!

    And, how beautiful is her binder!!!

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    Replies
    1. thank you Sarah! too sweet... isn't it so easy to get off course and let things slide? and then it adds up into a huge pile just like that! yikes :) so happy to hear you're inspired! go girl!

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  8. Couponing has saved me so much money and I biult a tiny stockpile of shampoo, bath tissue toothpaste etc but in recent weeks I keep forgetting to get the paper, and forgetting to bring the coupons to the store and the stockpile is dwindling and the bills are going up again.

    so yep I need to get back on the wagon again too! This is a much cuter and efficient system compared to the accordion one I have.

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  9. I've definitely been inspired. Heading over to check out her blog for printables now!

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  10. I use the same system as Jaime and love it. Her binders are WAY cuter though! :-)

    ~Sarah

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    Replies
    1. awww...thanks so much for the sweet compliment! {hugs!}

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  11. Love her ideas! I have a Coupon Binder,.. hers is so cute!
    ( and I have a smaller one for my Purse ) - but I'm always looking for new coupon ideas!

    Thanks!

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  12. Binders are lifesavers. You can use them to organize and keep track of almost everything. Love her measuring spoons too. They're really unique.

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  13. I only use a binder, but use a small one. I made pockets out of scrape book paper and attached the pockets to the dividers. I have them organized by the isles of my grocery store. I also have pockets titled "this trip", "cashier", and "expiring this month"
    I could never stay organized with the accordion folders, or baseball card pockets. Using the larger pockets has made my filing time so much faster and it's effortless to keep track of what I need to hand over at checkout time. I also never miss using one before it expires this way. I save $30 to $40 on my trips and that is only using coupons for what I normally buy. My city does not have double coupons or store savings cards, but if I try and have a coupon for most things on my list, it helps with the cost of items like meats and produce that won't have coupons. I don't have a stockpile and never buy something I'm not going to use.

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  14. Love your binder! Checked out your blog too and so glad I did! Another blog added to my favorites. :) I saw you have free printables for the coupon divider pages - I'm so excited! Just 1 question, would it be possible to get a blank page (just the label part of the page for the category)? I had set up a binder a while back but never got my dividers set up - just some sad little stickies. This is perfect! And great motivation for me to get back into couponing. I've been lax the last few months and we're definitely feeling it. Thanks for the inspiration!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Sherri!
      Thanks so much! so glad you stopped over :) I don't have just a blank page in the coupon divider printables, but that is a great idea...might have to get on that!

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  15. Wow, that is so well thought-out.

    I'm not a couponer, but I you're making me want to become one!

    Annie XO

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  16. Jaime is from my town! I'm so excited- I have never run across a blogger from my area before.

    I try to coupon, but I never see coupons for the majority of what we buy. Still, I should figure out a better system for the few coupons I do clip each week.

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  17. Here in Canada the coupons always say, "May not be combined with any other offer." Can't figure out how you get FREE stuff! And coupons for fresh produce?! I've never seen that... I do grocery shop with the weekly sale flyer, but any coupons I do find and clip usually get forgotten in my wallet :)

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  18. Unfortunately, there just aren't enough hours in the day for couponing. And it seems the majority of coupons are 25 cents, and it just isn't worth it. That being said, I am tring to figure out a way to use these great binders in another way!

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  19. I love reading "Raising Up Rubies" and always enjoy the great tips and info I get here. It was nice to see a blog I love featured here too!

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  20. I haven't been much of a couponer but would love to start. This is very helpful as a way to get started! I don't buy the newspaper though...

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  21. I have gone through several "couponing phases" but I always seem to get away from it, probably because I don't have a great system in place like this. I'll have to give this a try and see if I can get re-motivated! Thanks for the tips, Jamie and Jen!

    ~Abby =)

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  22. the Martha Stewart binder is a great idea I’ll start using it, thanks

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  23. So obsessed with your blog! Where did you get the small binder for everyday coupons? I'm looking for a new system for my coupons and gift cards I carry w/ me b/c my current "gift card wallet" is bursting! Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. They are at Staples. But we just cleaned house in the dollar bins at Target. Some super cute designs, a couple different sizes and only a dollar :)

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    2. Wow what a lovely and fabulous binder. I am planning on starting to coupon and I love the way you organize the binder. What did you name each divider? I notice that they are several dividers.

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  24. Jen I LOVE your blog and this is the post that brought me here. I was in search for something better for my coupons and I stumbled across this on Pinterest. I know this particular post is a reader's feature (which by the way I LOVE that you do!) but it inspired me. I downloaded the free dividers, found an old binder, bought a few new things and now I love my coupon book!

    By the way your new bathroom is adorable! Seriously in love!

    I just started my own blog last month. It's a work in progress - I've probably changed the background 5 times by now and I still think it's just okay. I have a lot to learn about blog design and what works and what doesn't. It's blogs like yours that really inspire me to push for the best it can be. It still has a ways to go. Check it out - delightfullywifed.blogspot.com

    Really though I just wanted to say that your blog really has inspired me and for that thank you!

    ~Meghan

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  25. Hi Meghan!

    I sincerely appreciate the uber sweet and kind comment. I say it daily that I have the best of the best when it comes to readers. I changed a lot on my blog for a very long time, it is ok to keep tweaking it until you love it, and even after you do. :)

    Best wishes to you darlin!

    xo,
    Jen

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