Chic on a Shoestring Decorating: Being Organized Can Save You Money! No, really!!

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Being Organized Can Save You Money! No, really!!

Hello lovely friends.  Have you fallen off the organizing and decluttering bandwagon yet? 

I hope not because there is much more to do.  This post in my Organizing and Decluttering for Unorganized and Cluttery People series we'll discuss one way being unorganized can cost you money.

What does that even mean?!

Let me clarify with my story that maybe you can relate to...

I was at the grocery store the other day and realized I didn't have the coupons that I needed.  I had a few things on my list that I remembered seeing the coupons for but had no idea if I even cut them out.  I probably could've saved myself $7 or $8 bucks, darn! 

I realize $7 or $8 is not a ton of money to many people but I'm cheap, I don't like to spend money for things I don't have to.  Coupons to me are like free money, why not take advantage of it and why havent I been?

Now don't worry, this isn't going to become a post about how I paid .12 cents for $350 worth of groceries which are mostly tubes of toothpaste and cans of generic energy drinks. I will never be an crazy person"extreme couponer". I don't have the time, energy or storage space for that much toothpaste (don't those people know that toothpaste expires!! you will never use 250 tubes of toothpaste within 2 years!) I know some of those folks are using their couponing "hauls" for good and donating the excess products to charity, that's great, more power to 'em!   It's a great way to stock your local food pantry.

Anywho, back to why yours truly hasn't been taking advantage of coupons... first, I forget to cut them out.  I always grab the coupon inserts out of the Sunday paper and stick them in a drawer.  Six months later when I can no longer shut the drawer, I go through the coupons, find that 90% are expired and throw them in the trash.  I'm lucky if I find 3 or 4 that will work and stick them in the black hole where they are never to be seen again my purse.

The second reason I don't take advantage of coupons often is that I forget to bring them with me to the store.  This would seem to be the easiest part, duh.  But, I forget them all the time because I don't have a consistent place to keep them or carry them, they are stuck in that drawer I was talking about earlier, just waiting to expire. 

Forgetting my coupons is costing my family money.  I never really thought of it before but this money adds up over time.  If I am an average coupon user (as opposed to the the crazy people extreme couponers seen on the show of the same name) I could save an extra $8 (or hopefully much more!) each time I go grocery shopping (3 to 4 times a month).  This is almost an extra $400 (or more!) a year!  And this is estimating low!!

The last reason I haven't been taking advantage of coupons is that many of the coupons that come in the newspaper are for junky stuff or things I don't use.  Check out this one from the Sunday paper. 


1985 called and they want their wigs back.

You, too, can look like you stepped right out of 1985 by wearing one of our fine $30 wigs... ;)

This kind of stuff mixed in with a few useable coupons have turned me away from being a coupon clipper over the past few years. 

As part of my organizational goals this yearI've decided to get my coupon system organized so I can and will use it.  This goes along with my organization goals of being more intentional with spending, meal planning and less waste (unused food)... which will be a future blog post.

So, I need some kind of simple system for couponing. I've seen people carrying around huge 3 ring binders in the grocery store full of coupons.  Uh, that ain't happenin'.  I'm not interested because I know I wouldn't keep up with such a complicated and time-consuming system.

I've come up with a little uncomplicated system to help me stay on track.  For me, it can't have too many steps or be too complicated because I know myself, I won't take the time to do it and then I'll give up.

Here's the system:

  • Remove inserts from Sunday paper and cut them on Sunday or Monday... if I don't do it right away I never will.   Print online coupons (see below for more info. on online coupons)

  • Add uncut coupons to my "uncut coupons" file.

  • Put coupons to be used this week in my coupon holder of my grocery list notebook,

  • Add clipped coupons for future use to small accordian file.


This is a whole other money saving opportunity that I haven't been taking advantage of until just recently.  I've decided to add some coupon resources on my blog to help myself (and you) use more coupons.  These are sites that I use and trust, (click the buttons below to visit the sites).  Free printable coupons for namebrand food and mostly grocery items.
Redplum: Free printable coupons for namebrand food and mostly grocery items.
Cellfire: Loads E-coupons onto your grocery store rewards card (includes many grocery chains)
Ebates:  Earn cashback when you shop online at hundreds of major retailers (a money making opportunity for things your buying online)

Again, don't worry, my blog is not going to become a couponing blog, it's not my thing.  I just know that when I go to some of the couponing blogs I am overwhelmed by all the deals on everything under the sun, the majority I don't need.  

I just want coupons for food/cleaning products/TP, etc. on brands and items that I'll actually use.  All the ones I picked have these types of items and you don't have to sign your life away to print them. 

I hope I have given you an idea of how to organize your coupons and save money in a way that will be easy to use and stick with.  I'll let you know how it works for me. 

What are your tips to make couponing easy?

Read all of my organizational posts:

Linking: Tatertots & Jello

*Disclosure:  I am part of an affiliate program with the coupon sites listed above.  However, I only included the sites that I personally use and trust and feel my friends (readers) would benefit from.  All opinions are 100% mine and I was not paid to write this post.


  1. I think the mail order wigs and clothes in the newspaper inserts are marketed towards shut in elderly women. The styles are from when they were younger.

    We will be their age soon enough, just saying....

    1. I'm not an extreme couponer either. I only clip coupons for things that I will normally use, but have found it very useful to always have all my coupons when I shop. So here's what I've done:

      Purchased a small and cheap photo album that would hold 4"x6" pics. You can usually find them at any store for $1-$2. All my coupons are slid into one of the photo sleeves. If I have duplicate coupons, they go into the same sleeve in expiration date order.

      To make it easier to shop, I created this tabs for the various sections of the store, Produce, Dairy, canned goods, baking, cleaning, paper products, etc. Since I tend to shop at the same stores (and I'm a bit OCD, hehe) I also organized them in the order of the store. Makes flipping through the book super easy.

      Lastly, I created two small pockets, one on the inside of the front cover that holds the coupons I plan to use during that visit. The other is on the front of the album. As I put the items into my cart, the coupon is moved to the front. Then I know that once I get to the cashier, all I have to do is pull the front coupons.

      The album is small enough to get tossed in my purse any time I'm out shopping. This way I always have my coupons in case I see a great price on something that wasn't necessarily on my list.

      Have fun couponing!

  2. Good luck on your couponing - I know once I really organized mine better I really use them a lot more. Coupons are the only way that I can afford to craft and do home decor projects, without coupons I don't think I'd have much if any 'fun' money each week.

  3. I totally stopped and read that wig ad on Sunday, too! Funny stuff. I'm more of a heavy coupon user in that I will buy extra copies of the paper at Dollar Tree when there's a lot of coupons that week, or there are Huggies q's. Definitely not an extreme couponer though, no space in our townhouse for that! This is what works for me:

    -I only cut coupons I KNOW I will use. For me that diapers, shredded cheese, Hot Pockets (LOL). For the rest, I use coupon search engines (mainly, coupon tab) to look for coupons that go along with my shopping list that week.

    -If there are no insert coupons for my shopping list items, I search for printable coupons on I only print coupons when I know for sure I will use it or when it's a rare higher value. I also have stores that double so sometimes the printables are better than insert q's.

    -Any unused coupons that are clipped go in my coupon holder in my purse.

    I've tried various different methods and that seems to be what saves me the most money in the end. Which I think is the main point. Happy couponing!

  4. These are great ideas! I really need to be better about couponing- it really is like throwing free money away!

  5. I cut my coupons right away and put them in a slot in my wallet. That way I always have them. I don't use many - just a few per month. I even stopped going to coupon websites because it takes too much time. I am looking forward to trying Ebates.

  6. ...and I keep my Bed, Bath and Beyond coupons, and pet food coupons, in my glove compartment in my car!

  7. Good Luck with your remembering your coupons. Make sure you read the coupon at least a dozen times. I started using coupons but all the cashiers treat you as a thief (thanks to the television show). Also, most of the time the item that you have a coupon for is sold out. I don't mean sold out for a day, I mean for weeks. I have decided not to shop my local Walmart anymore because nothing is ever in stock if there is a coupon floating around. Stick to your list and if you have a coupon.....GREAT!!!! Every little bit helps. Good Luck!!

  8. I follow a similar method to reader Kelly. I'll also add though that I have an old organizer, just a smallish one that's a 6-ring binder. I think it's about 5 by 8 inches or so. In it I have added a bunch of those plastic pages that have 3 pockets for business cards. I labeled each page with a letter of the alphabet. I file the coupons for products I think we're likely to buy on the appropriate page. It sounds more complicated than it is but really it is just small and keeps my coupons easy to find. It fits easily in my purse (which isn't huge, I'm NOT a big purse gal) so I always have my coupons close at hand.

    I also always shop with a list. I buy when things are on sale and use coupons. I love that method because our pantry is always stocked and I know I get the best deal. Plus, shopping with a list and sticking to it keeps us on a very very tight budget and the 3.5 year old even knows that if it isn't on the list, it isn't going in the cart. That sure saves on in-store whining. It's kinda cute though - when he sees me looking at the store ads, he likes to point to the pictures and alert me to his favorite products being on sale. "Mommy, apples are on sale this week, put those on the list." (as if apples aren't on the list EVERY week)


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