The first time I bought a Sunday paper and an All You (December 2009), I sat down in the living room of my sister-in-law's house where we were spending Christmas vacation, and I cut out every single coupon. I put them in an envelope in no particular order. At that point, I thought that couponing might be more trouble than it's worth! Three hours of cutting, no organization, no planning for a shopping trip. Only cutting. I'm a busy lady; I don't have three hours a week to spend clipping.
Fortunately, within a couple of weeks, I read a post or watched a video about the whole-insert method of organizing coupons. I decided pretty quickly that I would join Team Whole-Insert. I bought an accordion file with lots of pockets and promptly filled it to over flowing. I have since purchased 2 large file boxes, a box of hanging folders, and a box of tabbed manila folders from Sam's for about $20 and created my expanded filing system. I have all the coupon inserts since the beginning of the year in varying quantities (some weeks I ended up with just one paper; some weeks I got six.). I have nearly filled my first box and am almost ready to graduate into the second.
Yesterday and early this morning as I prepared for my weekly Sunday morning shopping trip, I came across a Publix deal that used a coupon from the January 31 Smart Source. In two separated transactions today, I bought 6 travel-sized Zantacs. I used the $5/2 coupon from all those weeks ago. For each set of 2, I received $2.82 in overage. So, I had almost $9 total in overage today at Publix. I love this so much because with sales and couponing, $9 goes really far at Publix. Thanks to that coupon, I bought Zantac, bread, 2 brownie mixes, 2 barbecue sauces, and hot dog buns -- all without paying a penny. I also had a portion of the cost of Nathan's hot dogs and beef cube steaks covered by those coupons (about $2 out of $11 worth of meat).
For once, my new year's resolution has changed my life in a very literal sense. I have completely changed my perceptions of frugal shopping and spending. The whole-insert method of coupon organization has had a big part in that.