Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Organizing Jewelry


I have quite a few pieces of jewelry, but I seem to wear the same rings and earrings all the time. On a special occasion I will change the earrings and add a necklace, but those occasions are few and far in between. And when I do decided to wear a necklace, I would spend my precious time untangling jewelry. One day I had enough and I decided to get organized.

A while ago I acquired free plastic you can stick anywhere types of hooks, thank to coupons. I figured it was time to put them to use. I have glued the hooks on the wall in my closet and hung necklaces that took up too much space in jewelry box. The result is wonderful. I no longer have to spend my precious time untangling that one necklace that I want to wear.

If gluing hooks is not for you, I have another option. You can organize your jewelry by using bulletin board with tacks attached to it. You can then hang your precious trinkets tangle free on the bulletin board.

Do you have jewelry organizing tricks?

Monday, August 30, 2010

Energy Saving Tricks



Photo credit: http://www.xbmlinnovations.com

Every month we receive a magazine from our power company and one month the magazine had a brochure 101 Low-Cost/No-Cost Home Energy-Saving Measure. I have read through brochure in no time and kept it in my money saving binder for later use. I will split the serious in several sections and each will share the tricks from the booklet to help you save money.

Water Heating

1. Set water heater temperature no higher than 120F
2. For household with 1 or 2 members, a 115F setting may work fine
3. Install water heater wrap per manufacturer’s instructions
4. Drain 1-2 gallons from bottom of water heater each year to reduce sediment build-up
5. Install heat traps on hot and cold water lines when it’s time to replace your water heater
6. Insulate exposed hot water line
7. Limit shower length to 5-7 minutes
8. Install low-flow shower heads
9. Fix dripping faucets
10. Don’t let water run while you are shaving
11. Don’t let water run while brushing your teeth
(info taken for Blue Ridge Electric brochure)

To help us reduce the cost of our electric bill, we installed water heater timer. When we are at work the water heater temperature drops. By the time we come home, the water is warm!

Do you have a money saving tip on water heating?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Lead Me to the Cross





I am beautiful! Why would I say that?! Well, because the God that I serve is beautiful, and His beauty is hard to miss. All it takes is for me to look around at His creation and I stand in awe at the works of His hands. Now, God’s Word says in that I was created in His image (Gen 1:27) and since I find God beautiful…that makes me beautiful too. By the way, you are drop dead gorgeous, since you were created in His image too!

Sure, I can look in the mirror and find a million things that I would like to change about my outer appearance. If only I had a flatter stomach, my garnet shirt would look so much better on me. Or if only I had silky straight hair, I wouldn’t then have to worry about my fuzzy uncontrollable hair during the rainy days. Or if only … and the list continues. My outer appearance is not of an importance to God.

To be accepted by God I do not have to spend hundreds of dollars on hair products or do crunches in vain. He loves me just the way I am, because He carefully crafted me. And I find it amazing that He knew me before I was born. Jer 1:5 says, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.”

Knowing that my body is just a temporary dwelling place, I find that the real beauty lies within me. Proverbs 31:30 gently reminds us that “Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing.” I can spend 5 hours in front of the mirror applying the most expensive makeup, hiding pimples, blemishes and wrinkles just to know that when I wash my face all the imperfections will still be there. In the same way, as a Christian I can spend hours, days or years covering my sin. I can fool you, but I can not fool God. He knows my heart and my imperfections!!! In His Word God clearly underlines that the state of one’s heart is of greater importance to Him. 1 Samuel 16:7 says, “Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart”.

When God is looking at my heart, I want Him to be pleased. I do admit that I am a sinner, who falls short of God’s glory. However, I find comfort in knowing that when God looks at me He sees beauty, because I was created in His image.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Tightwad's Savings








I had a pretty good grocery shopping week and I didn’t use any coupons. Mostly I concentrated on purchasing meat and fruit. Thankfully both were on sale! This week I shopped just at Ingles and bought chicken, corned beef brisket and ground chicken. I used chicken for pizza topping, cooked corned beef in crock pot and made taco meat out of ground chicken. YUM!


Eggs were on sale this week, so I stocked up. Daniel can eat his way through eggs in no time, so I bought 3 dozen eggs. My co-worker shared her garden crops with me and we enjoyed fresh okra. I also enjoyed buying 10 lbs of apples and used apples to make homemade apple sauce. Bananas were used for banana nut muffins and I froze a few to make peanut butter smoothies. Grapes were yummy too and the best part all fruit was on managers special for $1.49!

Total spent: $39.92

Total saved: $29.05

Friday, August 27, 2010

Compost anyone?!


GUEST POST by Jennifer Iseli

Compost is like GOLD to gardeners! It’s like free fertilizer and soil amendments all rolled into one! (no pun intended, lol)
Plus, when you’re not putting all of that stuff in your trash bag, think of how many fewer trash bags you’ll use!
Composting can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be.
I have just recently started my composting adventure so I don’t exactly have a complex system set up yet. I simply dump all of my “scraps” into a pile in the corner of the yard. I have a few different piles and plan to spread them out on my garden spot as they decompose.
Ideally, you could build or buy a compost bin where you ‘turn’ your compost. You will get results much quicker this way!

What can be composted?
For the most part, anything that was ever alive or came from a living body can be composted. Here are some ideas:

- Any fruit and vegetable scraps
- Paper napkins & Paper towels
- Old Bread
- Old spices
- Tea Bags
- Egg Shells
- Old Pasta
- Q-tips (only the ones w/ cardboard sticks)
- Coffee Filters
- Liquid from canned vegetables & fruit

What can NOT be composted?
- Chemically treated wood products: some of these may contain arsenic, chromium and copper
- Diseased plants: you don’t want to re-infect next year’s garden
- Meat, Bones and Fatty food wastes: Very attractive to pests & can be quite slow to break down
- Weeds: some can re-sprout from seeds, roots & stems in the compost pile
- Pet Waste / Animal Manure: May carry diseases that can infect humans.

If you’re interested in composting, here are some websites that will help:
www.mastercomposter.com
www.composting101.com
http://vegweb.com/composting/

Do you have any experience with composting?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Pelmenu/Vareniku

When I was a little girl, my mom would buy pelmenu (like dumplings filled with meat) from a grocery store. I liked them boiled and pan fried. When I moved to the US the only way that I can satisfy my craving for pelmenu is to make them myself. I was too chicken to follow the recipe with Russian measurement by myself, so I waited for my mom to come over and we made pelmenu together. Ohhhhhh…the homemade pelmenu taste sooooooooo much better than store bought.

Ingredients:

3 drinking cups of flour (In Belarus we do not have measuring cups, thus we use any drinking cup. We then use the same cup to measure the rest of the ingredient in proportion)
¾ of the same drinking cup of fridge chilled water
2 eggs
salt to taste
ground beef/turkey
finely chopped onion (to taste)

Add salt to the flour then lightly beaten eggs and water

Then let your hands go to work and start mixing all the ingredients together until the dough is no longer sticking to your hands.


Once the dough ball is formed, cover it with a lightly wet napkin and let is rest of 30 minutes.


While you are waiting on the dough, mix finely chopped onions and ground beef together in a bowl.

When the dough is ready, cut a little piece of the dough and roll it out.

Using a cup, stamp circles and fill the circles with meat mixture.

Then using your fingers connect the ends of the circle together to keep pelmenu from opening up when cooked.


You can either cook all pelmenu right away or freeze them. We made enough for me to freeze several batches.

When you ready to cook pelmenu, fill up the pot with water and let is come to a boil. Drop fresh/frozen pelmenu and let them cook for approximately 7 minutes. Serve them hot with melted butter or you can deep them in a sour cream. I prefer melted butter.



While we were making pelmenu, we used the same dough and made vareniku (dumpling filled with fruit). The process is the same, only you fill the dough with spoonful of berries and half a spoon of sugar. Boil vareniku and eat while they are hot.

Hope you will enjoy it!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

August Garden


GUEST POST by Jennifer Iseli

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under Heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1

For many of us, the thought of gardening in the month of August does not bring pleasant thoughts. Truth be told, it’s hot, sticky and there are bugs… But for those who will be faithful, you will be able to enjoy beautiful flowers and tasty veggies right up until frost.

• Start to order spring bulbs and bulbs for indoor forcing.

• Plant fall blooming bulbs

• Clip Spent Blooms off of roses so that the plant won’t waste energy producing rose hips.

• Make sure that your mulch hasn't decomposed too much. If you have any plants that are borderline cold hardy, you will want to make sure they are well mulched.

• Keep deadheading and harvesting, but make sure to leave some annual seeds to self-sow.

• If you haven’t already, start saving seeds from any vegetables or flowers you would like to plant next year. Keep in mind that if you are saving seeds from a hybridized plant you may not get that exact same plant from seeds.

• Continue to prune summer flowering shrubs as the flowers fade. (don’t prune spring flowering shrubs at this time, you may cut off next spring’s flower buds)

• If the rains don’t come, Make sure Camellias and Rhododendrons are high on the watering list – they are setting buds for next years flower show. Hollies and Pyracantha could also benefit, as extremely dry weather could cause berry drop.

• If your hanging baskets are looking a little sad, cut them back and fertilize them to keep them looking beautiful until frost.

• Take a picture of any annual plantings that you want to repeat next year. If you saved the tags, make notes about varieties and specific plant names

• Begin dividing perennials. Bearded Iris is a good place to start.

• Clean out and refill bird feeders often, especially after rains.


Thrifty Tips

• Perennials, and sometimes trees and shrubs are often discounted this time of year so take advantage of the sales! Make sure to plant them right away so that they can take root before the winter, Make sure to keep them well watered!

• Collect Seeds! Throughout the season, deadhead your annual flowers (remove the spent blooms) to promote flowering. Towards the end of the season, let some of the flowers go to seed and collect the seeds. Store them in paper bags, in a cool, dry place. The freezer works great. Also, some annuals will reseed themselves (Vinca, Impatiens and sometimes Petunias) so plant them in a place where you don’t mind them coming back next year - you may be surprised.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Unplug Everything


The first year Daniel and I were married, I didn’t pay much attention to our electric bill. All I did was write a check, stick a stamp and take the envelope to the post office. The second year of our married life things have changed and I began to really monitor our monthly electric bill. Hours of research have helped me understand what was causing our bill, especially during the winter months, to climb up.

I began to pay closer attention to our habits. Sometimes I feel that I am a drill sergeant at our home, when it comes to saving money on electricity. My poor Daniel gets to hear my lovely voice when he keeps the fridge door open for more than 10 seconds. When my hubby stares at the contents in the fridge for what feels like 10 minutes he sees food and I see dollar signs flying out of the fridge. Although the fridge has to work harder to keep the air cold during the 10 seconds that Daniel tries to decide what to eat, I found that something else can have enormous impact on electric bill.


That something else is your plugged in appliances and electronics. After reading that approximately ¾ of the energy that appliances and electronics burn happens while they are turned off!!! Within minutes every single item that was plugged in into the electric outlet in our house was unplugged. Over the course of several months our attitude towards reserving electricity has changed. After coffee is made in the morning, we turn the machine off and unplug it. If we do not use our laptop, we unplug it. During the summer time, we only use one alarm clock, thus the second one stays unplugged for 3 months.

The only thing that I have yet to do is to invest money in a Smart strip. Because we have too many cords behind our TV, it is practically impossible to plug and unplug X-Box, DVD player, TV and tons of other never used gadgets. Smart Strip automatically shuts off the power, when you turn off electronics or appliances. The power returns when the item is turned on again. You can purchase a 10-outlet strip for $31 dollars at amazon.com. Purchasing one is my next project as soon as I am done with school. Also I am planning to make a solar pannel out of copper pennies with my father in law in the fall. I will make sure to document the project.

How do you save money on electricity?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Cooking/Freezing/Canning

There are days that I stay so busy that I can barely find time to take a breath of fresh air much less find the time to cook. Recently I have been fascinated with the idea of cooking ahead and freezing, but have been too nervous to try it. We are not very good at eating frozen leftovers.

But this weekend I was involuntary forced to make several meals ahead, because I will be traveling to Spain for work in a week (I will schedule posts ahead of time). To prevent my hubby eating out too much, I decided to make several meals and freeze them

- taco meat
- chicken (will make pre-made pizzas before I leave)
- banana nut muffins


I was so motivated to cook that I even decided to can! I used my very first tomatoes to make can homemade tomato sauce. Only I was very disappointed to learn that 10 tomatoes make only 1 jar of tomato sauce. You should see my face when I filled up a jar that was way too big for the amount of sauce that I made. I had to run to the garage to get small jars.

In between cooking I was typing up a paper for school, so my next mission was making apple sauce. I purchased 10 lbs of apples for $3 and was thrilled to make 4 jars of homemade apple sauce. At work I love snacking at apple sauce instead of the very tempting vending machine snacks!

So my friends, I need your help! Have you tried cooking ahead and freezing your dinners? If so what sources for recipes do you use?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Lead Me to the Cross


Today I would like to take just a few minutes of your time and to share with you the process of packing a shoe box. As a teenager, who received a shoe box at the age of 13, I remember smiling for ear to ear as I asked other kids from school about the content of their box. The joy of receiving a shoe box was unforgettable. Now, 13 years later, my husband and I participate in this wonderful ministry by packing the shoe boxes for children around the world each year.

Before you go shopping for shoe box items, say a prayer. Ask the Lord to draw you to items that you should pack in your box. This is very important step, because there maybe a child somewhere in China praying for a specific item and God can use your shoe box to answer the child’s prayer. Are you excited yet? Well, my friend, I am so excited that I just can’t seat still. To know that my God can use something as small as a shoe box to answer a child’s prayer across the world blows my mind. Furthermore, I feel humble that God would even consider using me as a part of His divine plan!

My God is bigger than a box, so let your imagination go wild when packing a shoe box. You can include school supplies, toys, candy, and toiletries. Now, you can’t pack war related toys, chocolate candy or liquid toiletries like shampoo. Even though the program is called Operation Christmas Child, most children receive their shoe boxes after Christmas. As I child, I received my shoe box in the spring. It takes a long time for boxes to travel, thus if you include liquid items and the bottle breaks, the content of the box will be ruined. The same goes for chocolate that can melt when the box travels through hot countries of Africa. As far as war related toys like soldiers, just be mindful that some children see real life soldiers every day and probably do not want to be reminded of their circumstances by seeing war related toys in the box.

You can visit Operation Christmas Child website for more shoe packing ideas.

Finally make sure to include a letter in your shoe box. In my classroom only one or two people received a letter from the family who packed a shoe box. Everyone was so jealous because we all wanted to write back and thank the family for the gift. And what an amazing opportunity this presents to minister to a child in a foreign country, who may never otherwise hear the name of Jesus.

Before you close the shoe box, spend some time in prayer. Pray for the child who will receive the shoe box and ask the Lord to touch this child in a special way. Once again, God can move the mountain with a simple shoe box.

If you have any suggestions as to what items to include in the shoe box, please share with us!

Acts 20:35, “It is much more a blessing to give than to receive”

Matt 25:40, "... whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me."

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Tightwad's Savings


This week I enjoyed shopping only at one store, Ingles. We didn’t need anything, so I mainly picked up items that we wanted. Since I had several of coupons for free items, I made the executive decision to redeem them. The coupons covered the cost of Amy’s pizza and Newman’s Own Fig cookies. Requested Chef meat was on sale, so the coupons covered the cost of meat as well. Chex Mix and Bugles were on sale and after coupons cost me pennies. I also picked up staples like milk and eggs for breakfast. We were out of raisins and I have made plans to make curknuku, which my father in law absolutely loved. Sour cream for tacos rounded up the shopping trip.



Later in the week I picked up reduce for sale ground chicken and on sale chicken breast. I have taken yet another week off from CVS, so I need to brush up my skills and start utilizing my ECB and coupons there. But at this point I can’t think of anything that we need, so I am grateful for the break!

Total spent: $26.32
Total saved: $63.55

Friday, August 20, 2010

Making a house feel like a home


One room in particular that I can not wait to decorate using my “it came from nowhere country taste” is our future to be kitchen. I would like to have off white cabinets, tile floor and energy saving appliances. Ok…I am already feeling broke. But I know that decorating doesn’t have to be expensive. While browsing through kitchen table section of Dining Rooms Direct, I found a lovely movable kitchen island. I really want to have one of those in the near future. I can surprise myself by purchasing it and then surprise my husband when we receive it in the mail. I can already see his “happy” face. Perhaps I should discuss my wants of movable isle with Daniel first.

After we said “I do”, Daniel’s parents blessed up by letting us to stay at their vacation home rent free. Since the house was furnished, we didn’t have the financial burden of buying any furniture. I was able to add a few personal touches to the house, so we can call it our home for the next 4-5 years. Occasionally if I see a good deal on an item that I think we can use a few years from now, when we have our own place, I buy it.

I started to particularly think of our future home, when I read Heather’s post on redecorating her mom’s room. The girl has a talent and if she lived a little bit closer, I would have asked her to give our home a makeover. The desires to make a house feel like a home continued grow on me, when my friend Dora asked me about my decorating style. We exchanged a few e-mails and pictures letting one another know what we would want our home to look like one day. Dora, who can host her own interior decorating show, preferred more of a modern style d├ęcor, while I shared with her my modern day country style taste.



I am not the world’s greatest decorator and thrifty shopper when it comes to furnishing home. I would like to hear from you, my friends. What tips do you have on saving money, while making your house feel like home?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The BEST Homemade Thin Crust Pizza

I have searched for a perfect thin crust pizza recipe for months and 10 recipes later I found one! Every single dough recipe that I have tried tasted doughy and was not the thin crust that I was looking for. Many times Daniel would eat one piece just to be nice and we would throw the rest away, because it just didn’t taste right. And when I tried this recipe, the pizza was all gone in a matter of minutes. If you can just trust my words and try this recipe, I promise you won’t regret it. My husband and I love thin cracker like crust that crunches as you take a bite. Let me clarify something. I do not like pizza, because I do not like the taste of cheese (however I like farmer’s cheese, cottage cheese and my favorite cheesecake). If offered, I do take a piece of pizza and nicely take the cheese off. So when I make pizza for our family, I leave the cheese off my piece of pizza.

Ingredients:
½ cup warm water
½ teaspoon of dry yeast ( I use one packet of yeast)
2 table spoons olive oil
¼ teaspoons of salt
1 ¼ cups of bread flour
cooked chicken
cheese
BBQ sauce

Add yeast to warm water and let it stand for a few minutes until the yeast is dissolved.

Add olive oil and salt to the yeast mixture and mix it up with a fork

In a separate bowl measure out the bread flour; level your scoops with a knife.

Add flour to the yeast and start mixing with hands.

I prefer to take the dough out of the bowl and kneed it with my hands on a clean counter surface.

The dough will be very soft and elastic. Place dough in a bowl lightly coated with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rest in the fridge overnight.

An hour before cooking pizza, take the dough out of the fridge, punch it down and let the dough reach room temperature.

Once again I prefer to work with the dough on a clean table surface. I roll out the dough in a rectangular shape (I just haven’t mastered rolling out the pizza in a circle).


Transfer the dough unto the lightly coated with oil pan and punch holes with a fork to avoid bubbling cooked pizza dough. This is a very important step!!! I know that you can buy a tool that rolls and punches the whole, but I have been unable to find it yet.


Preheat oven to 550F degreed, but I personally keep it at 450F. Bake the dough only for abut 4 minutes until the dough becomes like a cracker with a bottom a little bit golden brown. I usually stay in front of the oven as my pizza cooks. If you let the pizza cook for too long, it can burn.


Take the almost cooked dough out and cover the surface of pizza with your favorite sauce. We love Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce.

Add chicken. We like our chicken to go through food processor cycle. This way we can cover the whole pizza with little chicken pieces, and they don’t try out as fast as big chunks of pizza.

Cover your pizza with cheese. I use mozzarella cheese.

Bake for additional 3-5 minutes until cheese is melted. Serve right away and I guarantee you won’t have any leftovers.

My next step is to try to make the same pizza dough recipe using whole wheat flour…

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Coupon Adventure


                                                 (freebies after sale and coupons)

Because I am busy with school, work and being a wife 24/7, I may not always have the time to study a grocery ad. So I rely on other moms, who offer free services of doing that for me. On Tuesday evening, southernsavers.com posts a detailed list of items that will be on sale along with coupons that match the sales item. Now, southernsavers mostly covers grocery stores in the South. But there are many blogs that cover grocery stores in other regions of the US. Next to the sales item, southernsavers matches a coupon that you can use to help you reduce your out of pocket expense. If you see a link, that means that you can print the coupon. If you see funny wording like SS, RP or PG and a date next to it that means that the coupon came from a Sunday paper. This is why it is important to write down the date on your cert if you are not planning to clip every single one of the coupons out.

SS – Smart Source
RP – Red Plum
PG – Proctor and Gamble (comes out about one a month)

So if you see SS 8/1 that means that the coupon can be found in Smart Source that came out in the newspaper on August 1st. Please note that coupons vary by region, so some coupons that she posts your coupon cert may not have received. Try to buy the largest published newspaper in your area, because it will have more coupons in it.

Let’s say, now we want to go grocery shopping at Bi-Lo this week. Familiarize yourself with store coupon policy (southernsavers posts at the beginning of the coupon matching list). Bi-Lo double coupons up to $0.60, which means that your $0.60 off coupon now becomes $1.20 off. Also, when Bi-Lo ad states B1G1 (buy one get one free), the item will be selling at half price, thus you do not have to buy two items in order to get a discount. For example, if apple juice is on sale for $5 B1G1, that means that you can buy one bottle of apple juice for $2.50. Now if you have a coupon for $1 off, your total out of pocket cost would be $1.50 and you will save $3.50. If you have a coupon that states B1G1 apple juice and you have a coupon for B1G1, you can acquire apple juice for free. You do however have to buy two items if you have B1G1 coupon. When you scan your loyalty card (the card that says you are a Bi-Lo customer and entitle to store savings), both of the bottle of apple juice will ring up as $2.50. So when you present B1G1 coupon, the cashier will only take off $2.50. Now if you want the cashier to take off $5 dollars (the manufacture will reimburse the store), you need to scan all your items first and only after you scanned all your items scan your loyalty card. The savings will then show at the bottom of the receipt, but the apple juice will now ring up as $5 dollars and not $2.50. So when the cashier goes to scan your B1G1 coupon, she will take off $5 (that will cover the cost of both bottle of apple juice) and not $2.50. I read about this trick on southernsavers and feel like it is a win-win situation for the store and a customer, since the store will be reimbursed full value. Now make sure you read the fine prints of the B1G1 coupon. Many times the manufacturer puts the value such as “do not exceed $3.50", which mean that the store can only take off $3.50.

Before I go shopping, I log on to southernsavers and create a list of all the items that I want to purchase. I then match my coupons and head on to the store. The whole process can take less than 30 minutes and the rewards are worth my time and effort.

Do you feel that the couponing is worth your time? Do you have a coupon trick?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Coupon Adventure


When I first started to shop with coupons, I had people stop me and ask me how I do it after the see my total drop to nothing. I recall one time I was shopping at Target and my buggy was full of yogurt, breakfast bars and juice. My total was less than a $1 dollar and I had a shopper behind me make a comment, “I am very impressed, but do you have children?” I responded politely, “No ma’am, it is just me and my husband”. She didn’t stop and went on to tell me, “Well, you probably won’t have time for coupons once you have a baby and that’s why I don’t use them”. I smiled and remained silent, because I am planning to use coupons when we have children. I guess my argument is that where there is a will there is a way. Yes, we don’t have children yet, but I am busy Monday through Sunday working, studying and being a wife.

As we all wear many hats, I know that couponing is not for everyone; however I truly believe that every single family can rip benefits from using them. And yes, it takes time to learn all the ropes of the coupon world, but the rewards are great. Do you remember the first time you learned to ride a bike? It did take time along with a few bumps and bruises before you felt the freedom of peddling without falling down. The same way with coupons, it takes time and determination and I promise if you stick with it, the reward of saving money for your family is just around the corner.

Today I want to take you step by step of shopping at a grocery store…without spending hours of hard work. Oh and if you want to learn how to shop at CVS, you can read a step by step guide, here. First, you want to have coupons on hand. You can read here on where you can acquire coupons. I would suggest to buy at least 2 Sunday newspapers each week with coupon certs. Some weeks I buy only one paper and there has been weeks that I didn’t buy any. I have two co-workers who bring me their coupon certs. And my absolute favorite way of acquiring coupons is by simply e-mail to the company’s directly.

After you have all your coupons on hand you want to choose the best method of storing them. I personally prefer a coupon bucket method. It takes no time for me to sort and pick out the coupon that I need. I know that some people love to use a coupon binder. After doing some research it seems like coupon binder is the most time consuming way to keep your coupons organized. Now you don’t have to pick any of these methods and can simply store your coupon cert by date and clip coupons as you need. Let me share with you how I keep my coupons organized. I do not have extra hours to clip coupons (however, my mama sure clipped quite a few coupons when she visited me), nor do I want to spend hours clipping and organizing coupons.


So when I buy a newspaper, I look through the coupon cert and clip only those coupons that I know right away that we will use. Once you coupon for a few month you will also learn which coupon will get you a free products. If you do not use the product, you can give it away to someone who does use it. Once I clip the coupons that I need, I organize them in my coupon box. I never throw away the rest of the coupons that I did not clip. Instead, I write down the date of when the Sunday paper came out on the front of the cert and book it in the grocery bag. This way when I know that if I need to clip a coupon that will give me an overage on a product, I don’t have to kick myself for throwing it away. I then keep all the coupon certs marked with dates in a big bag in my trunk. Every 3 months I recycle the oldest certs. Yes, by not clipping all of the coupons, I may miss out on a clearance item, but my time is more valuable and I am ok if I do not get every single free item.

Now are you ready me to take you grocery shopping with me? Come back tomorrow for a grocery shopping adventure with coupons.

But today I would love to hear how you manager your time with coupons! Do you think the pay off of using coupons is rewarding?