Organizing Coupons

I have always had the intention of using coupons, but honestly it seems like so much work. I can get over the time I take at home sorting through them and putting them into categories. I've never had anything against coupons. My mom used to use them all the time. I recall her saving $25 regularly on her groceries. She was very frugal with our food budget as she dragged me to two or three supermarkets on Saturday, which was the only day I'd go because it was free sample day. My mom then took the money she saved and we went out to eat at Friendly's.

The problem comes when I am at the store. I have kids in tow, I'm tired, and I just want to get out of there as soon as possible. See I have the problem where the longer I am in the store the more money I spend on groceries. I'm not sure if the food just jumps off the shelf into my cart, random people walk by and place their unwanted goods into my cart, or if my groceries simply reproduce like rabbits. The problem is always made worse when I have coupons. I always THINK I have a coupon for everything I am going to buy. Then I get to the checkout, pull my cart to the side, sort through my coupons, and then realize half my coupons wouldn't work because I picked the wrong size, a brand with deceptively similar packaging, or I had to get two or more of something.  As I mentioned at this point I'm tired, so it is no wonder I gave up on any hopes of saving money with coupons...well until now.

What changed: two things really. #1. Right before we moved to London my neighbor, who seemed to have very similar shopping habits as me, went on a coupon kick. She saved a shocking amount of money and her kids didn't complain; they were actually bragging about how much money she saved at Target. #2. Well we moved to London and food is outrageously expensive. Sadly when I arrived I was all ready to start couponing here in the UK, but I realized their coupons (or vouchers as they call them) are not really what we are used to in the US. Its more like entering a discount code to get free shipping. I've come to the conclusion it is because they do not really manufacture many of their foods here in the UK.

Fortunately I found out that the commissaries over here except coupons 6 months past their expiration date. So I asked said coupon clipping neighbor to send me her old coupons. She gladly did, but then I had to find a way to actually use them. I decided that if I could see every coupon and easily flip through as I went shopping it would help elimatate the dreaded end of shopping coupon search. So I decided to use a photo album. This lets me see each and every coupon I have, the exact details, terms, conditions, and I'm added a pocket on the front to store my coupons as I go through the store. I'll keep you posted on my saving.

So here is how I made the pocket. I cut out a rectangular piece of fabric. The size depends on the size of the photo album you select. I cut out a piece of iron on stabilizer just less than half the size of the rectangle. 

As I iron down the stabilizer, I turned the corners down and ironed them down as well. I then just put a small line of fabric glue on the three sides of the pocket and glued it down to the front of the coupon book. I then just wrote the word COUPONS in white puff paint on the front cover. 


Amazing stuff. I really appreciate your work. Thanks for sharing.
Jen said…
Whoo hoo! It takes a little while to get the hang of it, but once you do, it will be SO easy to save that money. I actually cringe when I have to pay full price for something now!

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