Thursday, January 6, 2011

How to Organize Your Coupons

How to Organize Your Coupons

Once you start collecting your coupons from the sources that I previously posted about, you will want to find a way to organize them. Believe me, it’s much easier to start organizing as soon as you start collecting coupons…I had a stack of coupon inserts/printed coupons about 4 inches thick before I figured out what worked best for me, and it took many hours to get everything like I wanted it.

There are many, many ways to organize your coupons. I am only going to touch on three, and they are the ones that most people online seem to use.

1) Coupon Binder – This one will be in the most detail, because this is the one that I use. If you have ever seen the shoppers with a big notebook in the “kid seat” in a cart, this is what it was!

***Purchase some form of binder. I highly recommend a zipper closure so that nothing falls out, but get whatever your finances allow. To start with, if you want to use a binder that one of the kids used in school last year, that works just fine. I also have a zipper pencil pouch in the front of my binder where I keep a pair of scissors, store coupon booklets, rain checks, extra pens and store coupons (like ECB’s from CVS or UP’s from Rite Aid).

***Purchase a pack or two of plastic sleeves. You can get various sizes of plastic sleeves…my binder is full of baseball card pockets (plastic sleeves with 9 pockets on each), but you can also use plastic photo sleeves, and these can have from one pocket to twelve pockets I believe. The coupons are “clipped” and folded into the slots of the sleeves so that you can just flip through your coupons page by page. If you cut along the edges of the printable coupons, they tend to fit perfectly in the 9 pocket pages. You can purchase these in bulk on eBay, but I usually get them at Wal-mart on the baseball card aisle up with the check-outs.

***Decide how many categories you want to use in your binder, then purchase that many dividers. (Just like what we used in school.) I have seen people saying that they think the fewer categories you have the better, but I completely disagree. I have my binder divided into 35 sections (which I will list at the bottom of this page) and I must say that I think the more categories you have the better. If you run into an unadvertised sale on toothpaste at Kroger, it’s much easier to flip to your “Dental” or “Teeth Stuff” category and scan 2 pages than it is to flip to your “Toiletries” category and flip through 30 pages!

Now, what do you do with your binder once it is set up? (Keep in mind that this is strictly what works for me…you may find something completely different is best for you!)
When I print my list of what I plan to buy (usually from Southern Savers) I pull the coupons I plan to use. I keep a dozen or so empty pages at the front of my book, and I start filling them with the ones I will need. This way I don’t have to flip all over the book, what I need is right there in front of me. When I put the product into the cart, I will either pull that coupon out and put it in an envelope or pull it out and clip it to the page. This way I don’t get to the register and wonder if I have all of the coupons I need, and whether I forgot to get something. At the end of my shopping trip, if there is still a coupon in a sleeve, I know that either I forgot to pick something up or else the store was out of it.

2) Coupon Box – With this form of organization, you would clip your coupons and separate them into different labeled envelopes. The envelopes are then stored in a small plastic box, which sits in the child seat of the cart. I would highly recommend a box with a secure lid! This is a plastic box (preferably with a secure lid!) This probably works best if you are only clipping coupons for the products that you know you will use. If you are like me and clip everything, this would probably get out of control very quickly! (I clip everything because you never know what you can get free ~ and even if I can’t use it, someone can!

3) Coupon Insert Method – This is where you pull the inserts from the Sunday newspapers out and don’t cut them right away. You would write the date on the front of the insert and file it , usually in an expandable file folder. You could label files for the types of inserts they are (RP ~ Red Plum, SS ~ Smart Source, P&G ~ Proctor & Gamble, etc…)
What do you do after you file your inserts away? Well, typically blogs/coupon information sites will tell you where to find a coupon that you need to complete a deal. It may say “Use the .50/1 Crest Coupon ~ 1/2 SS”…so you know to go to your Smart Source file and pull the one out that you got on 1/2 and clip your coupon. You can then put it in an envelope, a coupon box or one of those small coupon billfolds some people carry. A lot of people swear by this method. My only problem with this method is this…if you are only taking the coupons that you plan to use to the store, you can miss out on a whole bunch of great, unadvertised deals! When you see Crest at Kroger for .99 and your 1.00 coupons are at home, it doesn’t do you any good! That said, if you don’t have time to clip all of the coupons when you get them, this is a really good way to stay organized and still get really great deals

Again, these are just a few of the different ways that people organize their coupons…maybe one of these will work for you, or maybe a combination of these three will work for you! It’s all trial and error, but hopefully this will give you a little insight into the best way to get organized so you can start saving big $$!


These are the categories I use in my coupon binder:

1) Razors
2) Teeth Stuff
3) Deodorant
4) Makeup
5) Lotion
6) Bodywash & Soap
7) Cleansers, Moisturizers, Skin Care
8) Fem. Hygeine
9) Hair Stuff
10) Baby Stuff
11) Vitamins
12) Medicines
13) 1st Aid
14) Air Fresheners
15) Candy
16) Dish Soap
17) Kitchen Cleaners
18) Bathroom Cleaners
19) Etc. Cleaners
20) Clothes Washing
21) Etc. Drug Store Items
22) Paper Products
23) Pet
24) Salty Snacks
25) Sweet snacks
26) Drinks
27) Cereal
28) Pasta/Cans/Etc
29) Condiments
30) Refrigerated Section
31) Baking
32) Ice Cream
33) Frozen Pizza
34) Frozen Foods
35) Dairy

Free Waffle from Waffle House!

Waffle House is offering a free waffle to all of the members of their "Regular's Club" can print your coupon HERE!!

There is also a link to follow Waffle House on Facebook. You can find the link to sign up for the Regular's Club on their FB page, or at their website Waffle House.

The coupon is good through March 1, 2011.

Ice Cream coupons!

Yes, it's a little cold for ice cream, but when does that stop most of us?! Blue Bunny makes some great products, and if you join their iScream Team, you can print coupons too! When you join, you can print $1.00 coupons right away, and they will email you coupons throughout the year. Occasionally they will send you a link to take a survey on their products, but it doesn't take long and you don't *have* to do it.

Be sure and check Blue Bunny's iScream Team out!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Kroger deals 1/2-1/8

Courtesy of Southern Savers

Kroger is still running their P&G deal. When you purchase 4 participating P&G items, you will save $4 off of your grocery total. The prices are already really good, but when you add in the coupons that were in the P&G newspaper insert last week, it is even better!

A few of my favorite deals:

**Charmin Bathroom Tissue 12 Double Rolls $5.99 ea
**Charmin Bathroom Tissue 30 Double Rolls $15.49 ea

Available Coupons:

-$1 off Charmin product, P&G Have You Tried This Yet? booklet
-.25/1 Charmin product, PG 12/26
-$3 off Charmin bath tissue, 24 roll +, PG eCoupon
-$1 off Charmin Sensitive bath tissue, PG eCoupon
-$1 off Charmin Sensitive, Upromise eCoupon

(It was 5.99, I had the $3 e-Q and the .25 paper Q, making my 12 double rolls $2.45!)

**Crest Toothpaste 4-6.2 oz $1.50 ea

Coupons Available:

-.75/1 Crest Pro-Health or 3D White toothpaste, PG eCoupon
-$1 off Crest toothpaste 4 oz + or liquid gel, Proctor & Gamble $110 booklet
-$1 off Crest toothpaste, 4 oz +, P&G Have You Tried This Yet? booklet
-.50/1 Crest toothpaste, 4 oz +, PG 12/26
-.75/1 Crest toothpaste, 4 oz +, PG 12/26

(I had the .75 e-Q and a .75 manufacturer's Q, making this, yes folks, FREE TOOTHPASTE!)

A few of the food deals:

**Fage Greek Yogurt 5.3-7 oz $1

Coupons Available:

-$1 off Fage Total Greek Yogurt, (facebook) printable
(makes it FREE)

**Athenos Hummus 7 oz., (near Deli) 98¢

Coupons Available:

-$2/2 Athenos product printable
(makes it FREE)

To see the complete list of the participating P&G products along with the rest of the great deals available at Kroger this week and to find the clickable links to print the coupons you need, please visit Southern Savers!!

T.G.I.Friday's Coupon ~ Save $5 off purchase of $15!

T.G.I.Friday's ~ Save $5 off purchase of $15!

Monday, January 3, 2011

CVS deals 1/2-1/8

CVS is where I learned to frugal, and it is still a great place to get great deals!

Some highlights this week are:

**$10 ECB WYB $25 in listed products: Limit 1

Wisk Liquid Laundry Detergent $5
-$2 off Wisk laundry detergent, RP 1/02
-$1 off Wisk Laundry Detergent printable or printable
Angel Soft Bath Tissue, 24 big rolls, $9.99
-.50/1 Angel Soft bath tissue, 6 pk double roll +, RP 11/14 or printable
Planters Mixed Nuts, Cashews, Nutrition or Smoked Almonds $3.50
-$1/2 Planters nuts, Kroger Giving Thanks home mailer
Sparkle Paper Towels, 8 pk., $5
Quilted Northern Soft & Strong or Ultra Plush, 12 rolls, $7
-.50/1 Quilted Bath Tissue printable
Nabisco Chips Ahoy, Lorna Doone or Nilla Wafers, 9.5-15.25 oz., $2.50
-$1 off Nabisco cookies WYB milk 1 gal printable
**Deal Idea**
(5) Wisk Detergents $5 ea
(5) -$2 off Wisk laundry detergent, RP 1/02
Total Due: $15
Get Back: $10 ECB, makes it $1 ea

**$10 ECB WYB $20 any Excedrin Products Limit 1

Coupons available:

-$1 off Excedrin Express gels, 20 ct + printable
-$1 off Excedrin Migraine product, 24 ct + printable
-$1 off Excedrin product printable
-$2.50 off Excedrin PM, 20 ct +, SS 12/05
-$3.50 off Excedrin PM product printable (limit reached)
-Free Excedrin Extra Strength product, home mailer
-Free Excedrin Migraine product, home mailer
**Deal Idea**
(4) Excedrin PM 20ct $5.49
(4) -$2.50 off Excedrin PM, 20 ct +, SS 12/05
Total Due: $11.96
Get Back: $10 ECB, makes it 49¢ ea

**$7 ECB WYB any (2) Revlon Cosmetics or Beauty Tools Limit 1

Coupons available:

-$1 off Revlon Beauty Tool printable
-$1 off Revlon Color Cosmetic, October Marie Claire magazine
**Deal Idea**
(2) Revlon Nail Clippers starting at $2.99
(2) -$1 off Revlon Beauty Tool printable from (limit reached)
Total Due: $3.98
Get Back: $7 ECB, you make $3 profit!

Check out Southern Savers to see the rest of the great deals available this week, as well as get the links to the printable coupons for these products!

Rite Aid Deals, 1/2-1/8

Rite Aid has quickly become my favorite place to frugal! They now have "UP" rewards, which are used like ECB's at CVS. Meaning that you make a purchase and your "UP" reward dollars will print at the end of your receipt. You can then use them on your next purchase.

Rite Aid also offers "Video Value" coupons. You go to their site and watch short videos, and then you receive a coupon from each product. The amounts are not huge, but because they are actually Rite Aid coupons, you can stack them with a manufacturer's coupon and get some amazing deals.

My favorite couponing/deal site ~ Southern Savers ~ has posted the great deals at Rite Aid this week! A few of the ones I plan to take advantage of are:

**$2 +UP WYB $12 or $10 +UP WYB $20 worth of Aquafresh Toothpaste, or Actiflex Manual Toothbrush at $2.50

Available coupons:

-$1.50 off Aquafresh IsoActive toothpaste 4.3 oz or Advanced toothpaste 5.6-6 oz (Rite Aid coupon), printable
-$1 off Aquafresh Advanced 2x Whitening printable
-$1 off Aquafresh Advanced Enamelock Formula printable
-$1 off Aquafresh Advanced or Advanced 2x whitening, 5.6 oz + printable
-$1 off Aquafresh Extreme Clean product printable or printable
-$1 off Aquafresh Gel Fresh or Deep Action Toothbrush printable
-$1 off Aquafresh Iso-Active foaming gel, RP 1/02 or printable
-$1 off Aquafresh Iso-Active, 4.3 oz + printable
-.50/1 Aquafresh Extreme Whitening Action printable
-.75/1 Aquafresh Advance, Extreme Clean, White & Shine or Sensitive toothpastes, 5.6 oz, RP 1/02
(buy 8, use (1) store and (8) mfr coupons, makes it 50¢ total)

** $1 +UP WYB Wet Ones Wipes 40 ct. or Singles 24 ct., or Vanity Fair Napkins 100 ct., at $1.99

Available coupons:

-.75/1 Wet Ones canister 40 ct +, singles box, or Big Ones wipes printable
-$1 off Wet Ones 40ct. + printable
-$1/2 Vanity Fair napkins, December Taste of Home magazine or November Cooking Light magazine
(use $1 off, makes it FREE)

** $2 +UP WYB (2) Tums Antacid 60-150 ct., or Beano 30 ct., at $4

Coupons Available:

-$1 off Tums Antacid tablets (Rite Aid coupon), 36-160 ct, printable
-$2 off Beano product (Rite Aid coupon), 15-100 ct, (no longer available to watch) printable
-$1 off Tums product, 24 ct +, (register) printable
-$1/2 Tums product, 24 ct +, RP 11/14
-$1 off Beano product, 30 ct +, RP 1/02
(use $1 off and $2 off store coupons and (2) $1 off mfr., makes it 50¢)

These are just a tiny taste of the amazing deals available at Rite Aid this week...please check out
Southern Saversto see the rest of the deals, and to get links to the printable coupons that you will need to make these deals work!

CVS trip, 1/3/11

OK, I posted yesterday the plan I had for CVS. Yeah, it didn't go like that, LOL! I re-figured the toothpaste/brush/floss deal and I was going to have to pay $2 for it...yes, I know, that's nothing, but when I don't actually NEED the product, it's more than I am willing to pay.

Also, in the mail today, I received a coupon for a free bottle of Excedrin, and via email I received a printable coupon to save $4/20.

So my deal went like this:

3 bottles Excedrin PM @4.99 each
1 bottle excedrin migraine @ 5.49
2 (4pk) Olay Age Defying bar soap @ 2.99 each
6 Christmas wreath bows @ .49 each
3 packs skittles sour @ .50 each

-2.50 (Excedrin)
-2.50 (Excedrin)
-2.50 (Excedrin)
-5.49 (Free Excedrin)
-2.00 (Olay)
-2.00 (Olay)
-10.00 (ECB from previous purchase)

Total OOP: 1.83 (this is only tax)
Total saved: 42.85 (96%!!)

Not only that, but I also earned another $10 ECB for my next purchase. And in case you were wondering, I only added the Skittles to the deal because I hadn't spent enough to use my entire ECB...he was only going to use $8.39 of my ECB, and I wasn't about to lose any of it, so I added the Skittles cause they were going to be free anyway. The kids had a nice treat tonight. :)

So, to start my running total of savings:

Paid OOP: 1.83
Saved: 42.85
Total %: 96%

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Where do you find coupons?

One of the questions I am asked most often is where do I find all of my coupons. The following is an article I did for a local frugal site...

Congratulations! If you are reading this, then hopefully you have decided that you are ready to stop paying full price on your groceries and your toiletries. You are ready to learn how to save 25, 50, even 75% or MORE on your groceries each week! Once you get started using your coupons and deals, you will begin to wonder how on earth you ever just went to the store and filled your grocery cart, with no regard to the prices.

Now that you have decided to start saving money on your grocery bills, your first question is probably going to be “where do I find coupons?!” Well, I’ll help you out with that!

The first place to look is probably the most obvious, but it is the Sunday newspapers. Most of us get at least one Sunday newspaper, and if you don’t, it’s easy to find a store close by to purchase your papers. I would recommend getting a copy of all of the papers that your store sells that contain newspapers…here in Rome/Floyd County, that would include both the RN-T and the AJC. I recommend both newspapers for several reasons. The first reason being that while the newspapers may both have the same coupon inserts, the AJC will most likely have more coupons. The second reason being that if you find a really good deal, you will want more than one copy of that coupon!

In your newspaper, you will find several different coupon inserts. These include Red Plum (RP) and Smart Source (SS), and the first Sunday of every month you will receive the holy grail of coupon inserts, the Proctor and Gamble (P&G) insert! There are also sites that you can go to to purchase only the coupon inserts for much less than the cost of a paper…you can check that out at

The second place to look for your coupons is on the internet! There are hundreds upon hundreds (probably even more!) of sites that give you the option to print coupons. Unfortunately, a lot of them are not legitimate and when you get to the stores, the coupons will be refused.
A few of the best sites for printing coupons are as follows:
(1) ~ On, you will see a variety of coupons. When you find one you want, just click “CLIP” and continue perusing the pages of coupons. When you have selected all that you want, click on “Print Coupons” and your coupons will print.
(2) ~ You just select your coupons and click “Print Now.” Super easy!
(3) ~ At, you can select “Grocery and Drug.” You will be prompted to enter your zipcode and submit, and then you will be presented with coupons tailored to your area. Just select the ones you want, and print!

When printing coupons offline from these sites, you will be prompted to download a free software application to print your coupons…this is perfectly fine and will enable you to print very valuable coupons!

There are other legitimate sites, but these are the ones I tend to use most.

If you do choose to download from another site or are sent a coupon via email, you want to make sure that it is legitimate! There are several things you can look at: (1) Is there a limit to the number of times you can print the coupon? If no, it is probably not legitimate. (2) Is there an expiration date? If not, then it is probably not legitimate. At one time coupons did not have expiration dates, but it’s hard to find coupons these days without an expiration date. (3) Is it for a free product? If so, then again it is probably not legitimate. Very, very few coupons that you get online are for free products. And also, be sure and check the spelling on the coupon…if there are misspelled words, toss it, because it’s not real!

Do stores accept printed coupons? Yes! I have not found any local stores who just flat out do not accept printed coupons. Most of the stores do insist that the coupons scan ~ if they do not scan, then they will not be accepted. Kroger also will not accept any printed coupons for “free” products. Just check with your local stores to get their coupon policy. If the local stores do not have them, then either call or email their corporate offices. Most of them are very happy to provide you with a copy of their policies.

While we are discussing internet coupons, be sure and check out e-coupons! E-coupons are electronic coupons that download straight to your store card (Kroger, around here!) If you go to and register your Kroger card, you can go to their page of e-coupons. It’s as simple as clicking the ones that you want and telling it to “load to card.” After you choose your coupons, you can then print out a list showing which coupons you have on your card to use. When you check out with these products, watch your receipt ~ the coupons will automatically come off of your total! And what’s really cool about these e-coupons is that they are considered store coupons…and that means you can take one of your paper coupons along with you for additional savings.

Also online is This is a rather unique site, in that these coupons do not reduce your total at the grocery store or drug store…what it does is credits you money to a savings account! You load the uPromise “coupons” to your store cards, and when you buy the products, the amount of the coupon is automatically put into an account for you. It’s a great way to save money for the kids’ college funds!

If there are certain products that your family really enjoys, by all means go to their website and request coupons! Studies have shown that more than half of the time, the companies will be happy to send you coupons for cents off or even free products! (What can be better ~ or easier! ~ than that?!)

When you are in the store (be it Kroger, Walmart or even Dollar General!), you have surely seen the little blinking red boxes with coupons in them along the aisles. Even if you don’t plan to purchase that particular product that day, be sure and take a couple of these coupons! Most likely the products will go on sale soon after the blinkies are offered…and even if they aren’t, you can still file them away with the rest of your coupons to use at other stores when they have sales on these items! Just because you get your blinkie coupon at Kroger doesn’t mean you have to use it there!

If you look closely, you can also find tear pads of coupons at these stores. Again, be sure and tear off a few of these! In most cases, these will not have a store name on them and you can use them anywhere!

And lastly, I get a lot of my coupons from samples! I visit a lot of free sample sites and request freebies…most of the time these freebies are delivered with not only a free product, but also with great coupons! (Usually better than the newspapers and internet printables!)

So you see, there are so many coupons out there in various places, just waiting for you to find them and use them to help save you money!!

Next time, we will discuss the best way for you to store/file your coupons now that you are beginning to collect them!

Planned CVS trip, week of 1/2/11

I have to hit CVS tomorrow because I have a $10 ECB that expires tomorrow. My current plan is this:

(4) Excedrin PM @ 5.49 each


(4) 2.50 q's

Total before Q's: 21.96
Total after Q's: 11.96 - $10 ECB = 1.96 + tax OOP and I will receive another $10 ECB

I then plan to turn around and purchase:

(4) Reach total care toothbrushes @ 3.00 each
(1) Reach floss @ 3.00
(1) Listerine Total Care @ 5.00


(2) B1G1 free Reach total care toothbrushes q's (-6.00)
(2) $1/1 Reach toothbrushes q's (-2.00)
(1) $2/1 Reach floss (-2.00)
(1) $2/1 Listerine Total Care (-2.00)

Total before Q: $20.00
Total after Q: 8.00 OOP

I will find another item for around 2.00 (hopefully that offers an ECB), and then will pay with my 10.00 ECB that I got from my Excedrin. I will be paying tax on this purchase, and then it will print me another 5.00 ECB to use next week.

I have to keep an open mind, though, because it's often that I get to the store and they don't have what I'm looking for. My goal is to spend the $10 ECB and as little OOP as possible, and then have more ECB for next week. :)

About Me

I am Juli, a 30-something stay at home mom with three kids, ages 11, 9 and almost 4. I love being at home with my children, and in order for that to happen, sometimes we have to get creative! For years, when my husband got paid, we would go immediately to Wal-mart to buy groceries, and were always proud to get out of the store with a bill less than $200 (for one week of groceries and toiletries!) If we managed to get out with spending less than $150, it was cause for celebration!

I have seen for years online how people save a lot of money using coupons, and even dabbled around with coupons for a few weeks in 2009, but got confused and never really understood it enough to start saving much of anything.

In the summer of 2010, it started looking like I was going to have to find a job. I'm not against this, but let's face it, in this economy, I'm not likely to find something that will work around my "kid schedule" (baseball, karate, schools, etc). So I started researching couponing. I started with one site that taught me one particular way to organize coupons...I saved some (enough to thrill me!) but not what I was hoping to do. After a little more research, I found the organization that worked for me, and I was off!

Currently I have both a toiletry and a food stock pile.

My toiletry stockpile includes: 32 men's body wash, 24 men's deodorant, 14 women's deodorant, 30+ tubes of toothpaste, a dozen toothbrushes, 16 nice razors and shaving cream, a dozen shampoo and a dozen conditioner plus kids shampoo and detangler, multiple packs of toilet paper...and much much more. Of the hundreds of things in my stockpile, I have less than $10 in it. I will never again pay for toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, bodywash or razors. When people question why I need so much stuff, my first question is this...when you run out of toothpaste what do you do? Their answer is typically "I go to the store and buy a new tube." At regular price? Well, of course. That is $4 right there, and at my house when we run out of toothpaste, we go to my closet and grab another tube that I got for free. I am not a hoarder, in fact just last week I donated several boxes of toiletries to a local homeless shelter. When I am able to get things for free, I get them even if it isn't something that I can use, knowing that there are so many people and shelters that can use it.

My food stockpile includes: 10 jars of spaghetti sauce, 25 boxes of pasta (all free, plus profit!), 20 boxes of cereal (my 3 kids eat it for breakfast and for snacks), shelves of hamburger/chicken helper, canned foods, salad dressing, muffin mixes, etc...I rotate it out so that nothing goes bad. I also have frozen meats, vegetables and shredded cheese. In all honesty, my family could probably go 6 weeks+ without buying anything except for dairy and bread. I hope not to have to do this, but we could do it if we had to.

And guess what? It's all brand name stuff, not off, store brands. Not to say there is anything wrong with store brands, but I get the brand name stuff for much cheaper than what the store brands cost.

At drug stores, I tend to save 90-95% on my purchases, and my grocery bills tend to show a 60-75% savings. I'd like to save more, but for now I am very content with this.

My family has gone from spending $150-200 a week on groceries and toiletries to spending $150-200 a MONTH on groceries and toiletries (and sometimes less). I am here to tell you that it CAN be done, and the happiness that I get from knowing how much I am saving is something I cannot explain.

In 2011, I am going to keep a running tally of how much I spend and how much I save. I will post my good deals here, along with how I got them, and I will post links to my favorite sites that I use when setting up my deals.

Here's to a great year of saving!