Thursday, March 25, 2010
I am an on-again, off-again couponer. I go through phases where I'm either clipping every coupon in sight, or not bothering at all. It seems as if I slack off when I am overscheduled because it's always such a hassle and time-drain to go through the circulars, clip the coupons, sort them out and file them in my lame coupon organizer (pictured at right). And when I am in a rush, it just takes too long to go through the envelope in the store.
Recently I was inspired to pick up the scissors again when a friend of mine on Facebook was touting her coupon savings. She paid $10.72 for some items at Target and saved $112!!!! The gauntlet had been thrown!
I immediately went to Coupons.com, printed off a dozen or so sheets of coupons and shoved them in this floral ensemble (pictured left) because I could not find my organizer on that particular day. What a disaster--both fashionably and functionally--as the coupons were just shoved in there in no particular order and I wound up not using a couple because they I couldn't find them. I knew it was time to get serious.
I went back to Facebook and saw that my friend had friended Mad Coupons. So I went and friended them, as well. On this particular day Mad Coupons had posted a photo and a link to a site that had these gorgeous totes from Stylin' Binders that are specially-designed to hold your money-saving coupon binders. I ordered one right away! Created by two moms, Kelli and Melissa, the bags are designed to hold either two- or three-inch binders (which you can purchase inexpensively at WalMart). There are side flaps that allow you to fully open your notebook and place in the basket of your shopping cart. There are also two pockets on the inside cover to hold money, pens, store cards and debit cards. Each bag is really well-made, and lined with interfacing and cotton batting to make it durable. You can use either photo album inserts or baseball card sleeves to organize your coupons. (I have 4 x 6 photo inserts in mine as I have yet to locate the baseball card sleeves.) I use dividers to separate the coupons into different groups, such as Canned Goods, Pet Supplies, Dairy, etc. Each coupon has its own slot, so there's no more rooting around in an envelope.
Ready-made totes are available on Kelli and Melissa's Etsy storefront--Chic Chick Designs. The ladies also do custom orders on any fabric of your choice. Since I am Suzi Homemaker, I just had to monogram my Stylin' Binder tote! I used a cream-colored thread and embellished my monogram with a design that was similar to the one in the fabric. Now I am just waiting to receive my advertising circulars from Mad Coupons and I will be all set to go couponing in style!