Legal Theft with Coupons

A simple tutorial for the person who wants to put in little time and effort but still save some money.

I feel like a thief today because with just a few coupons I got basically half of my purchases for free with very little time or effort spent! Too good to be true? It’s true, check out my photo below! I thought I would share/brag about this so my readers can see that you don’t have to be an “extreme couponer” to save a little cash.

Today, I got $82 worth of items for only $44!! This savings is a dinner out with my hubby or a new outfit for the baby!! So worth it!

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6 toothbrushes, 2 Aveeno baby sunscreens, 2 bottles of shampoo, 3 birthday cards, 24 laundry pods, 6 bars of soap, a box of salt, a jar of Alfredo sauce, a bottle of honey, 2 bags of chips, and an antibiotics prescription!!

Resources:

-One Sunday paper

-Some leftover coupons from a recent trip to CVS

-A little organization

-A little math

-About 40 minutes (10 minutes cutting coupons/looking through the flyers, 20 minutes making smart purchases in CVS, 10 minutes in Shop Rite)

The Process:

On Sunday mornings, I go through the coupons in the paper and cut out only the ones we need or may need before they expire (I don’t clip dog food coupons because I don’t have a dog; I only clip coupons for items that we would have purchased at some point anyway, coupon or not) Once I get them all cut out, I put them into a little coupon folder I made, which has them categorized. I don’t go crazy with a binder or anything like that; I just separate into a few categories. There are not ridiculous amounts of them so this works well for me.

I then move on to the flyers for the week. I mostly use CVS and Target because they have my favorite kind of deals (they give you extra bucks or target gift cards when you make certain purchases). These extra bucks or gift cards are basically “free money” that can be used for things you need right then or things you know you will need. I try to use them for the types of items that don’t usually have coupons. The flyers may have a few coupons but they mostly just let you know which items have deals associated with them or which items are on sale that week. I usually cut out the really good sales/deals and bring them with me shopping, just to remind me. This way I don’t have to remember the deals I wanted to take advantage of or have to sift through the entire flyer in the store.

*Tip: both CVS and Target let you make 2 separate purchases in one visit so make one purchase (items for which you will get extra bucks or a gift card) and then with a second purchase, use the extra bucks or gift card you just got! This way, if you don’t make it back to the store right away, your “free money” won’t expire! Genius!

I never save insane amounts of money like the people you see on TV but they spend so much time and effort (I have to balance my life and doing anything in excess is too much of an investment for me). If my Sunday paper gets paid for with a coupon or 2 and I can stock up on things while they are cheaper, I don’t have to make impulse purchases for things when they are not on sale; avoiding impulse purchases saves me money!

Again, every one of the items I bought today are our preferred brands, few of these items will expire, and the effort/time investment was very small!

Successful trip!

Feel free to comment for specific details about this!!

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Get Organized: File Box Project, Part 1

My husband and I bought our first home (as mentioned in previous posts) and ever since we signed the papers I have been researching some organization techniques. I can’t wait for every single item in my new house to have “a home”, a place where it belongs. I have been very inspired by many different projects but need to prioritize and make moves to actually do some of the projects I have been reading about.

I decided the first thing I NEEDED to do was to create a filing system for all of our paperwork. Piles of papers give me agita (Italian slang for stress or aggravation) so with all these new documents making their way into my life (home insurance policy paperwork, medical bills, utility bills, etc.) I needed to get organized.

I first decided that I would be purchasing a file box instead of a filing cabinet because we do not need anything too big at this point. I purchased a blue filing tote from office max for $10.40. (The exact one I purchased is not on the website to tag for you but this one would work just fine as well).

The next step was to write out all the categories for which I would need folders and then lump them into groups. I ended up with 10 groups.

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Once I had the groups all labeled I researched some file folders. I found these (Smead Hanging Folders) which made perfect sense for me! I purchased 2 boxes of the “brights” variety ($11.78 for each 25 folder box) and 2 boxes of the “jewel tones” variety($12.97 for each 25 folder box) to total 10 colors for 10 groups. I bought these from Amazon and got FREE Super Saver Shipping!

Next, I created a key to tape to the front of my box with all the names of the groups and their folder color. I did this in Microsoft Word by inserting a 10×2 table into a document, putting the colors in one column and their group name in the other, see below.IMG_0338

The next step was to use a label maker and actually create the files. I used the Brother P-touch H100 labeling system, which I got on sale at OfficeMax for $24.99, regular $34.99! The link I attached is actually cheaper, from Amazon for $22.93.  I had to buy 6 AAA batteries for this little guy but I really like it and will be using it very often! So worth it!

I attached the labels to the inside of the file tabs and inserted the tabs into the folders.

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Finally, I filed my paperwork into the folders and then I cried because I was so excited!! Just kidding, of course, but I feel so good about how this came out!

I am still waiting for the boxes of the jewel tone folders to come in the mail so I still have a little more work to do and will post a picture when the entire project is completed!

I put the folders I am not currently using behind the labeled folders and I put the unused tabs into a baggy for safe keeping. I put the baggy into the tote with the files for now but when I move into the house I will put them into their own “home”. I cut the rectangular pieces of cardboard from the boxes in which the folders came, to use in the future; they are good for other projects. I like to be resourceful!

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Total cost for this project, excluding printer paper & printer ink for the key and batteries for the label maker: $84.89!

*Tip: I am planning on attaching a list of brands and some notes about this project to the inside of the box in case I need to order more folders or makeover this bin in the future.

This was so fun! I will be storing this bin in my office closet next to a safe with all the very important documents (birth certificates, SS card, passports, etc.)

Check back in for the photo of the completed project!