By Nicole Paitsel
Daily Press (Newport News, Va.)
One step at a time.
That handy cliche has become the mantra of our household, as my husband and I put in extra hours at nights and on weekends to build a playroom and, in general, improve the flow of our home.
From selling furniture to painting, moving computer desks and hanging TVs, it is a project that has stretched us for weeks. And it has brought to light a general disorganization that pervades our lives and costs us money.
It is in that spirit of improvement that I pledge to undertake one frugally-focused organization project each month.
Here’s my plan, along with some tips from the experts.
1. It’s the binder, baby
I’m blaming the clearance shampoo.
After months of testing what coupon shoppers call “the insert method,”, keeping the coupon inserts whole, I’m moving back to the binder.
Successful couponing hinges on an organizational style that fits your schedule and work flow. More and more, I need to cut down on the at-home preparation in favor of scanning the sales once I am in the store.
During a recent grocery shopping trip, I saved 73 percent on toiletry and pantry items, but I spent two hours wandering the store only to purchase a little more than a dozen items. Much of that time was spent searching for a coupon that would yield free shampoo since I found an unadvertised clearance sale.
Organizing my coupons in clear baseball card pockets will allow me to scan my stash quickly against the sales tags on shelves.
You can find tips on organizing your own coupon stash from local bloggers like thecouponchallenge.com and momondealz.com.
2. Budget-friendly spreadsheets
Keeping our monthly bill level below our income has, thankfully, never been a problem. Frivolous and miscellaneous spending, that’s another story.