Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year & Cleaning Out

Hope everyone had a safe New Year and has been enjoying their holiday time.  I am never able to stay awake to welcome the new year, but I do get up early to get a jump start on the day (& the new year).  One area I tackled this morning was coupons.  Coupons are my friend, my enemy, my source of clutter and frustration as well as entertainment.  I'll explain.
Coupons as friends -- they save me money (who doesn't like saving money)
Coupons are enemies - they are often for products that I don't use and they tempt you to buy something just because you have a coupon (too much for many people)
Coupons are clutter - there are times when coupons (& sales ads) are the only thing you see on my kitchen table - they become the kitchen table
Coupons are frustration - whenever I'm not able to keep on top of the clutter of coupons they tend to pile up very quickly, sometimes I overlook a coupon that I could have really used, other times life gets in the way & I'm not always able to use my coupons before they expire
Coupons are entertaining - in our house it is almost a game - how much can we save?  Mind you we are not extreme couponers (not even close), but saving an average of $20+/month on things we normally buy - pays for a family outing (entertainment) - maybe the movies. 
The above picture shows coupons that I threw out because they expired.  No, I don't feel guilty about throwing them away (some would say I'm throwing out money) because I didn't buy those items anyway (coupons again trying to be my enemy - making me feel guilty for not using them)
I've posted before how I don't agree with those extreme couponers (especially shelf-clearers), but I also feel that putting forth a little effort in clipping coupons & combining with sales for items your family already uses (that's my sole guideline) does add up.  Sure a $.25 coupon doesn't sound like much, but combine that with a few other coupons (and possibly a sale) and savings adds up quickly.  The economy hasn't bounced back yet for us, so every penny saved is a bonus.  I've always used coupons and probably always will.  I just wish I could be more organized with them (my friend has a nice binder system that I just can't get used to using - I have the binder, the pages, etc. - but end up with my own simpler system). 
What did you tackle today in terms of cleaning out & preparing for the new year?

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