1.03.2010

couponing

A while back (as in last May), Marta at m.writes posted a collection of crafty envelope projects from other blogs, one of which was a cute little envelope book for receipts. Design*Sponge uses this envelope book to organize receipts they need to keep for tax purposes. This also happened to be around the time I was putting more thought into using coupons, but I didn't have a system. Perhaps you can guess where this is going. Instead of receipts, I made this envelope book for my coupons.

I couldn't find airmail envelopes anywhere. I briefly toyed with the idea of buying pretty envelopes, but after looking at the price I changed my mind. After all, I didn't know yet how well this would work. I bought a package of the binder rings, then just used #10 envelopes at home. I put the envelopes in with flaps in the front, and wrote the category on the flap. This makes it easy to open while I'm also pushing a shopping cart/carrying a basket.

inside the coupon book

To make it a little more sturdy I made covers, cutting cardboard rectangles a bit larger than the envelopes. I was going to cover this with cute paper then some sort of plastic protective covering but never got around to it. I think the cereal box look is appropriate.

coupon book cover

Because I didn't spend lots of money on the envelopes, I don't feel bad adding and removing envelopes as my shopping habits and locations change. In fact, I've made several adjustments since we got to Boston (removing the "vehicles" category and adding new stores).

Right now I go through the envelopes before grocery shopping. I put the coupons I need for the day's trip into an envelope in the front, which also has a reminder note to bring my reusable bags. I also use envelopes for non-grocery store coupons and store-specific coupons, to keep everything in one easy-to-find spot.

this trip
expiring soon
FREE
baking
beverages
boxed food
breakfast
canned goods
dairy
frozen
meat
snacks
personal care
cleaning
pets
pizza
fast food
restaurants
media
clothes
Stop&Shop
Walgreens
Target
miscellaneous

I'm glad I didn't end up using a box for my coupons, since my shopping is now all on foot and/or public transportation. The envelope book is really easy to toss into one of the reusable bags I take with me, and it doesn't add extra weight or bulk. Best of all, I don't forget to use the coupons, saving us money. Every little bit helps!
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