Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Coupons, Coupons and more Coupons...

I follow a blog called The Days of a SAHM, I saw that she recently wrote about how she organizes her coupons and she uses a SPREADSHEET! Now this is a woman after my own heart! I'm a strong believer in coupons, if you are willing to invest your time, you will see the rewards immediately. There are several ways to organize your coupons, I'll list the ones I have used.
  1. The Coupon File:  This was a little plastic check organizer that I found at Target, it only had about 8 tabs that could be labeled. I would put the newest coupons at the back of the section so that I could use the ones that were about to expire first, and they would be near the front of each section. now I'm a little OCD, so I had to put all like coupons together and spend  hours organizing them and not using them (my eyes would get so tired). I only had to drop it one time to realize that it was not for me. I currently use it in the truck to keep all of my reciepts, I tend to have a lot of paper clutter in the truck without it (that is another system for another day).
  2. The Hanging File: I found a milk crate to use as a hanging file holder, and I had several green hanging files that were given to me from a previous job (the best price = free of charge). I don't recall what life changing event caused me to fall behind on my coupon clipping (oh yea, I dropped all my clipped coupons and decided to take a hiatus from clipping); so I had several Smartsource and Red Plum (back then known as Valassis) inserts that were stacking up. I noticed on the side (what would be the "binder" of a book) there was a date on each one. I was already using the website and she indicates the date that each coupon comes out  along with abbreviations for the inserts. Now I like to color code everything, so I used one color to represent Smartsource and another for Valassis etc. I used the same abbreviations that "Couponmom" used, and dated each label (in pencil of course, I didn't want to buy more labels). I would just cut out the coupons I needed to go with the list I printed out, and put them back into the file when I was done. I would just have to look at any old dates, pull the file and any unused coupons would be expired anyway, so I would toss it. So now you are probably wondering why I changed systems...I was throwing away a lot of expired unused coupons!
  3. The Binder: This is the system I currently use with Couponmom. The double binder I got on sale at Target (yes I do like Target a lot), and I bought some baseball card protector sheets (you can find them in the store near the check out where the Pokemon and Yu Gi Oh cards are found). Now this is were the correct dividers are needed. I couldn't find any that I liked so I made my own (if anyone knows where to find dividers that have tabs that stick out far enough to be used with these sheets, please let me know). I used some manila file folders that I cut and punched to fit in the binder. I also labeled both sides of the tabs, I didn't want to waste time flipping back and forth. I have all of my food product coupons on the left binder and the toiletries, cleaners etc. on the right binder. I also like to dedicate each page for the same product. For example, I have a "refrigerated" section, and I have two pages dedicated to yogurt, two pages have meat coupons, a page for eggs/butter and so on. it makes it a lot easier to find the coupons. Now that I have a baby, I can only clip one insert at a day, so once I get them clipped I separate them into stacks, one for each side of the binder. I'll put them into the sheets during nap times. Now if anyone announces that they are going to the store, I ask what are you buying and which store are you going to, and give the appropriate coupons to be used (I still throw out unused coupons, but not as many as before).
Now don't get me wrong, I'm probably not going to use the spreadsheet system, mine works for me, and I can do it blindfolded. I will say this, there is always room for improvement, and I love spreadsheets. I'm going to create a spreadsheet to use with the binder that will help me identify any spur of the moment coupons that can be used the next time someone announces that they are going to the store (I may even time myself).

If anyone needs any help with a spreadsheet or would like one created for them, please email me the specifics and I'll be happy to do it for you at the best price (the best price = free of charge)!
Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, November 22, 2010

It is OFFICIAL! I'm a SAHM!!

Ok, so I officially became a SAHM as of today. I can honestly say that I woke up early looking forward to starting my day. Last night my daughter and I discussed us walking to school together and we weren't exactly sure how much time we'd need to walk 1.9 miles to get to the school. (This will save me $15/week since we live too close to the school for her to ride the school bus, I have to pay for a weekly bus service to pick her up and drop her off at home) We got a late start this morning so it turned into a power walk. We can walk it in 20 minutes! The baby was content with the new route and was pointing at birds and trees the whole time. He would even giggle when we went over bumpy sidewalks. The only drawback is that we live in a humid climate, so my daughter's hear needed another visit with the flat iron.

When I returned home, I was tired, and needed to get my crock pot going, I'm making potato soup from a recipe I got off of crockpot365, I'll let you know how it turns out. I still wanted to finish my "to do list" and if I could finish it early, would mean that I can get used to this...The last major thing that I needed to do today was to go to the courthouse to pay for my registration for my truck. I don't know how I let it expire, and secondly how did I not find the time to pay it between August and now. Either way, the penalty for not taking care of it online or on time, was a ONE HOUR wait in line. Now I guess I'm a glutton for punishment, because not only did I add the baby to this wait, I did not bring a stroller. The best part is once I got to the part of the line that was against the wall that leads into the actual tax office to continue to wait in line;, I saw the sign that  read, " cash or checks only". I had to get out of line to go to the ATM which was in the same building, to return and start over again in the back of the line. I truly put the baby's diaper to the test today, and we made it home in time for what could have been a nightmare in a public restroom.

So now that I have put the baby down for a nap, wouldn't you guess it, I'm exhausted too! Why didn't anyone warn me about overdoing it on the first day. I still have another 1.9 mile walk to get my daughter and another to come back home. The house doesn't even look like I've been home today, and I'm hoping potato soup is going to be enough for dinner (My husband likes hearty meals).

I've got to hand it to all of you SAHMs out there, this is a lot tougher than I thought it would be. Don't get me wrong, I'm up for the challenge, I just need a nap first.  KUDOS!!
Enhanced by Zemanta

Sunday, November 14, 2010

1 Week Down, 5 To Go!

Grown Ups Enjoy Reading, Also.Image by New York Public Library via Flickr

I'm one week closer to being a SAHM! I had a good week last week, I talked to some other people that I work with, and they think it is a good thing for me. I'm still a little nervous, but I'm really looking forward to it now.  I truly am going to focus on helping my son raise money for his senior class activities, and my daughter and I are looking forward to our walks to and from school. The baby seems like he is ready to be potty-trained (he takes his own diaper off when it is soiled). This will keep me busy until the end of the school year.

I've also been very fortunate to find other "bloggers" out there that can help with this transition. I found another blogger named Darice Rene who described how overwhelmed I've been feeling to a tee! It has been a struggle in the morning since the baby gets up at the same time I do; no matter how hard I try to get up earlier than he does. I can't tell you how many afternoons I've been thinking of my 2 hour commute that ends with washing diapers. Fortunately for me my husband has been on diaper duty for me. Whew!

Since I've subscribed to Money Saving Mom, I've found other blogs that have been very interesting and informative. This has probably been the most motivational site, since she has become debt free and has several tips to help you do the same. Through her site I've found Crockpot 365  she is a phenomenon when it comes to crock pot cooking. I was so impressed with what she can do with her crock pot that now this is going to be my next project. I have a crock pot that gets very little use. I don't have time to prepare in the morning, and the times that I've prepared it in advance, I forgot to turn it on! Now that I'll have undivided attention to give to my home, I'm going to put that crock pot to work! There are several recipes that I want to try and there are several I can freeze. This is going to be a lifesaver for me since I'm going to have days that I'll want to spend away from home. I strongly suggest that if you have a crock pot, you take a look at her site. it will be time well spent. I pledge to never forget to turn my crock pot on again!

I want to thank all of the blogging moms out there, you have been a Godsend to me. I hope that you realize how much power is in your words.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Random Acts of Kindess

I attend Lakewood Church, and last weekend we had a visitor to our church, Dave Ramsey. Now I'm not a Ramsey follower (yet), but I know several people that do listen to him and have suggested that I listen to him. I did listen to his radio show briefly prior to last weekend, and he does give good financial advice. Last weekend when he was at our church, he mentioned doing Random Acts of Kindness. Basically, if we do what we can to help random people, it will create the "butterfly effect", which may end up helping someone else on the other side of the world.

We Walk By Faith

Well with that being said, I recently started following a blog called The Days of a SAHM. As you may recall from my more recent posts, I will be a SAHM starting in January, Jenn's blog has helped me realize that this is a blessing in disguise, and I need to embrace it! I was so concerned about the financial ramifications, that I didn't see the big picture. If you look at her blog and her pictures, she has a beautiful family and truly enjoys being a SAHM. I plan to be just as proud.

Recently posted that she has also learned how to create buttons for your blog,  and for a short time will create them for you at no cost! Would you like to advertise on her blog or do you need an ad on your blog? Well, you can with Jenn as well (I'm not sure for how long) FREE OF CHARGE! Now you'll need to be patient since I'm sure that she may have a significant number of people taking her up on her offer.

I know that there are several small businesses that can and will benefit from what Jenn is doing. This may be bigger than what she may have imagined! Should you decide to contact her, please make sure to let her know how much we appreciate what she is offering. Don't forget that you can sign up for her giveaway too!Once I get my button, I'll add it to my site, and I'll also add her button to my blog as well.
Enhanced by Zemanta
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...