Monday, May 30, 2011

Make a Coupon Organizer from a Box in your Pantry

My mom has always been very frugal in her spending and my younger sister inherited those same genes. I have always been cautious with my spending too, always looking for a deal, but I wasn't like my sister where she'd go through the weekly grocery ads and create a shopping plan for the week based on the sales and the coupons she acquired. It wasn't until one day when she put it in perspective for me..."I love printing coupons" she said, "It's like printing money!"
It was then that I became curious and started printing coupons occasionally. I also downloaded a coupon app to my phone and started enjoying savings at Macy's and Borders where they scan the coupons right from my phone. Then I took it a step further. About 3 weeks ago, I started making use of the coupons in the Sunday paper that usually get thrown out at work. I get there Monday mornings and grab the coupon section from the reception desk before heading to my office. The savings have been UNBELIEVABLE! I have saved about 50% in my grocery and personal care items just in these past 3 weeks!
Funny how things come together sometimes. Just last week I saw a coupon on my phone app for 50% Off any 1 item at Borders, so I stopped by the bookstore to see if anything appealed to me. I found a great book that has been teaching me even more money-saving techniques! I'm not done reading it, but so far I love it! It's called The Coupon Mom's Guide to Cutting Your Grocery Bills in Half, by Stephanie Nielsen.

The book also stresses the importance of being organized. I was carrying my clippings in a plastic envelope, separated by paper clips, but as my coupon inventory grew, I knew it was time to invest in a coupon organizer. I saw a few at the store, but I didn't like them. They weren't "stylish" enough for me. With a home office full of paper supplies, I knew there was something I could create myself. Something recycled and more unique than the plastic ones I had seen at the store. I was right!

I conveniently happened to have all the supplies in my home. If you don't have them within reach, don't worry, I have linked the items so that they are available to you with only a few clicks through Amazon.com.

Supplies to Make Your Coupon Organizer
Steps 1-4: Build your accordion box
  • 1) Take the box apart and cut out the flaps on the left and right sides.
  • 2) Cut the white piece of card stock in half so you have two 5.5x8.5 pieces. Fold each of them into an accordion a half inch at a time, using a bone folder.
  • 3) Tape the edges of the accordion and attach them to one side of the box, making sure that the printed side of the box remains on the inside.
  • 4) Repeat the process and attach the second accordion to the other side of the box.
Steps 5-8: Dress up your box
  • 5) Image 5 shows the side view. With the branding print on the inside, the outside of the box looks now looks like a regular brown box with no print.
  • 6) Line the inside of the box with scrapbooking paper. I used green paper on the inside and decorative scrapbooking paper for the inside of the lid. I didn't have ModPodge so I used regular Elmer's glue.
    I left the inside bottom of the box as is, since no one will see it once the coupons are inside. It's also a nice reminder of what the box used to look like before its "extreme makeover."
  • 7) I measured the box and used my paper cutter to cut the scrapbooking paper in two different sizes. One piece was cut to match the size of the front of the box. The other piece to cover the back and outer flap of the box. I left the outside bottom of the box uncovered, for no particular reason other than to save my pretty paper for another project.
  • 8) I attached velcro to the inside of the flap and the front of the box to secure the precious little clippings inside.
Steps 9-10: Inside the Box
I already had 4x6 A-Z tab cards, so I just dropped them in there and began categorizing my coupons. Then I realized, I needed some subcategories, so I created my own dividers out of color card stock using my EK Success punch to create the tabs. I simply punched out the shape out of blue stock and wrote the name of the category I needed to include in my file. I then used my double sided tape to attach the tab onto a rectangular piece of pink card stock, and viola! A new divider tab! So, if you don't have A-Z cards at hand, no worries. You can make your own tab dividers using this same process.

Hope you enjoyed my tutorial! Drop me a note and send me links to your pictures if you decide to give it a try!

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1 comment :

kellie said...

cute cute idea. I love it. I am all about Saving Money and using what you have. ReUse, Recycle, Redecorate. Check out my web you might like. www.Kelliebianchi.com.

I love this idea. Going to go share this on my FB and twitter accounts. Thanks for the great tutorial.
happy crafting, Kellie