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!

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