Monday, February 14, 2011

THE FILES & THE PILES ......................UNCOVERED.

One of the most frequent questions I get about "saving money" or "couponing" is how to organize things.  When I say things, freelancers know I mean "piles"  the piles of "things" that are necessary to the art of SAVING MONEY.    

  • coupons  (clipped and unclipped)  or how do I do this exactly?
  • rebates
  • printed store specific offers/deals
  • groupon type gift cards
  • gift cards
  • frequent shopper cards
  • magazines
  • receipts/bills/invoices

There are many tried , true and not so savvy ways to do the things I do,  I have tried most of them in my now almost 30 years of "doing my thing."  The VERY BEST system I had was learned in the days of "coupon conventions" and if you have been a couponer for a long time you FONDLY remember the days..........well.............. I know that I do.   ................but that is another subject...........

So let me start by saying that a "couponers work is NEVER DONE" and if you are one of those people that get frustrated with a lot of unfinished tasks going on then this hobby or lifestyle may not be for you.
There are piles of "things to do" "things pending" and "things that are complete" around my house and sometimes they end up in baskets like the one pictured  and oh yea did I mention closets, under beds and anywhere I can find are the perfect places for HIDING THE PILES when necessary?   LOL

My SYSTEMS have evolved to meet my personal need and technology.   Currently this is what I am using and what appears to work best for me.   GRANTED there are draw backs to every system and there are to this one as well.......but............... so far it works just fine for me RIGHT NOW

Cheap folders with pockets in them are 1¢ to 20¢ each depending on when you buy them.  I try to stock up at BTS time (august) when they are minimally priced.   I replace them often and do not expect a long life time out of them.  They are easily taken with me and fit nicely in a reusable shopping bag when I grab them out of their "file".

This is a tv tray that tucks under my kitchen island or is portable to bring anywhere in my house.  It has unfiled entire inserts, sharpee, scissors and magazines that I need to cut or tear out items from to put elsewhere, it is a WIP (work in process station)

This is a CLASSIC PILE of coupons, receipts etc that need to be filed ..........with my letter opener as a paper weight.  As I open mail the items that "need to be filed" go into a pile.  Yep another pile........if you are feeling panicky at this point, there is no sense in reading further , this is not the lifestyle for you...........if you are ok with this.......... then READ ON you are going to do just fine!

My CLUTCH that goes into my purse.  It has Credit Cards, Reward Cards, Punch Cards,  Loyalty Cards, etc etc in it

This is a peek inside ^^^^^^ note that the Carlton one is for stores that have long since gone out of business LOL ...........I think I need to throw that away...........or do you think an ebayer would want that?  LOL!

My Desktop Monitor with surrounding PILES of gift cards, loyalty cards and items that I need to "Input" and a few business cards that need to be filed in my roladex............I maybe convincing myself that an "assistant" would be nice .......LOL

CALENDAR :  at least 2 of these are NECESSARY AND NEEDED to "mark" so you don't forget to cancel , take advantage of , renew by dates, etc etc etc.........without this ...........I am LOST.  Note:  the "for dummies" book is for Photoshop 7...........My class is for CS5...........but I only have 7 at home this is something else I cannot do without "at this moment"   this area is yet another transformed TV tray stand.

This ^^^^ is my work in progress as I am "sorting"  I am going thru piles and putting them elsewhere.  either in their respective folders, my clutch ,  my snap wallet , TV TRAY or envelope that is for "items to share"
I also have a box that you cannot see for the expired coupons to send to Military Members that can use for up to 6 months after expired.

 This is a closer view of my clutch which houses my GC,  ECB, WALGREENS REWARDS, etc etc
this is where I place the CUT coupons that I intend to use when I go out............ so they are not flying all over the place.  If they don't go there they go with a paper clip into one of the folders.........

I hope this photo blog has helped "some" in the process..........but if you are wanting more.............


I wrote a blog that I add to and do not publicize much a long time ago that is a place that is a reference to couponing . It has a lot of broken links due to the time sensitivity of them but you can get some valuable answers to questions and the "general idea" about a few coupon related questions and answers. if you want to check it out it is located HERE and if you are really in the mood for reading check out the Frugal Diary from 2004-2006 posts HERE that discusses a lot of "how and why" but again the time frame in which they were written is important to remember.

I will search for some GOOD VALUABLE INFORMATION  and make more posts on this subject soon.
this is a good start!


Susan said...

Thanks for sharing your "How Tos". I enjoyed reading how you try to stay organized. I "met" you years ago when I happened to be home recovering from mouth surgery and you were on the Today show. I've been a follower ever since. We've come a long way from those blog and forum days with the introduction of Facebook and Twitter, haven't we? I do miss the old forum though. I loved to check it out every day. And we made some good friends along the way. I used to also love when you would report your "Box Man Cometh" items. :) And can't forget the "Operation Santa" or whatever you called it. Those were fun too. Thanks for all you continue to do for us. Hugs,
Susan Hatcher

Zippy said...

Thank you for all of those great organizing ideas. I'm sooo disorganized when it comes to coupons, that I'm sure that I miss out on a lot. Love your system.

sgmfreebie said...

Thanks Anjie! Ever since we "reconnected" last year, I have been following your suggestions/methods and I must say, I have saved a boatload of money! It took a while to get into the system, but, Im fairly comfortable with it now. I look forward to many, many years of close friendship/sisterhood. Love ya, Anjie!