After reading everyone's suggestions, scouring Google for ideas, and analyzing my coupon keeping habits, I decided the accordion method would be the best one for me!
I know, why didn't I try this idea before? Well, you see... I did try it with this little neon green Dollar Spot (Target) purchase a few years back. The problem was that the "try" really only consisted of me taking the thing home and letting it collect dust.
I needed something better... something prettier... something with a little added motivation...
That's why I snatched this baby up at Marshalls as soon as I laid my eyes upon it. Although the price tag was significantly higher ($5) than my $1 neon accordion, I knew that the mini-splurge would be worth the added motivation to take action on my resolution. It's like buying a new outfit to go workout in or springing for the sweet smelling soap to do the dishes with.
I used my label maker to create a spot for each type of coupon I collect:
*use ASAP!... for the deals that are about to expire
*weekly grocery... the coupons that I know I'll need at the store that week
*grocery etc... the coupons for things like toothpaste that I might want in the future
*retail... for the fun stuff :)
*restaurants & services... for the BOGO dinner deals or $10 off oil change
*receipts... safekeeping for the receipts on things I might return
The little attached notepad was what really sold me. I knew it would be a perfect place to keep my lists...
I'm really excited about finally coming up with a (fun) solution! Anyone else have any ways to make boring tasks seem a little more fun?
I'm linking this post up with two of my favorite parties...
The Penny Pinching Party at The Thrifty Home
You should really think about joining in! I really enjoy these two because I feel like the attendance isn't too overwhelming and you actually get a chance to read what everyone else shares.
I’m not sure I could have had a better weekend… we sold two giant pieces of furniture that were crowding the garage, I finished up some grouting work that was haunting me in the kitchen, Nate added two shelves to our closet project, we both set PR’s (personal records) in a half marathon, and I bought a TON of boxes on clearance at Home Depot.
Oh and while I'm on the topic of organization, I have to mention one of my new instant favorite blogs! THE ORDER OBSESSED. Seriously, I'm obsessed. Have you seen her closets?!
Anyone else addicted to pretty storage?
The email list.. almost every store offers one up with promises of insider information such as sale alerts and new deals. I've found that these lists can be hit or miss, but there are a few ways of ensuring that you don't just get an inbox-O-spam:
*Create a shopping email account. Before I created a separate email account for these lists, I found myself clicking through and forgetting about the shopping emails that were in my regular mail inbox. Having a special account to login to will allow you to avoid the flooding of seasonal sale alerts and give you a one-stop spot to check before heading out for a shopping trip.
*Stick to the stores you love. I think this is a pretty obvious trick, but it's a great way to get started on signing up for lists.
*Beware of the lists that only promise ideas and inspiration. When they tell you that they'll share great ideas on how to use their products, they probably mean that they'll flood your inbox with the newest and latest (and most expensive) "must-buys." Want some inspiration? Subscribe to some new blogs (they won't try to shove any products down your throat).
Not all lists are created equal! I've followed my own tips, but have still come up with some disappointments in the mailing list department. Check out how some of the list I'm on matchup:
Anthropologie~ As one of my all-time favorite stores, I thought they would have an email list to match. Boy, was I wrong! The thrifty shopper in me wasn't impressed as I was "alerted" to 10% off of select kitchen aprons and the arrival of new shipments of navy sweaters. I seriously love the place, but do not need 2-3 emails a week to remind me why! Grade: F
So does anyone deserve an A? Yes! Most of my favorite local stores and restaurants deserve top scores because they: a. don't have the advertising power to get the word on sales b. remain really loyal to their big shoppers and fans through discount day offers and coupons.
Do you have any favorite email lists? Please let me know what I'm missing out on! I'm also in the market for some new Twitter/ Facebook fan pages to follow... who gives out alerts on the best deals? Oh and speaking of Twitter... find me here!
Has anyone found any great deals on freezer-bottom refrigerators lately? Have you ever had any luck going to a scratch and dent store?
Oh, and for all of you who gave me opinions on the cabinet paint color… I’m going with black bottoms! I plan on painting them before the next party in my ten party project (come back tomorrow to find out what I'm planning for next).
Have you been busy doing any building in your own home? I'd love to see what you've been working on!
I'm linking up to Remodelaholics Anonymous Meeting over at Remodelaholic. I know that you all have great projects to share, so head over and link up!
My "How Much?" series is back for 2010! I've picked apart the costs of my hair, face, and pet among other things (check out "The Budgets" tab in the upper right of the blog to get the lowdown on all of these), but with my car on my brain (seriously, I don't know why my car insurance payment has to come right after Chrismas!), it's time to get the lowdown on its costs:
I’m not like most people in that I don’t have monthly car payments to make. In my opinion, it’s worth making sacrifices to find a car that you can either afford to pay off quickly or completely at the time of purchase.
Insurance~ $647.50 twice a year
As tough as it is, I always pay my six month policy in a lump sum for a savings of $58. In addition, I keep the payment totals low by opting for large deductibles. I’d rather have that money in my emergency account than in the insurance company’s funds. EDIT: It's probably important to note that: 1. I have a newer car 2. I was in an at-fault accident last year. I wish I was eligible for some of the super-low rates you all have!
*Thrifty tip: Have a talk with your insurance representative about what policy discounts you qualify for. I was able to get an additional $36 knocked off of my policy for having earned a college degree and owning a home.
State Registration~ $73.30/ year
State Inspection~ $14.50/ year
My car needs an oil change every 5-6,000 miles. As surprising as it might sound, I usually drive a little less than 10,000 miles a year… which works out to a grand total of two oil changes.
*Thrifty tip: check your owner’s manual for recommended oil change mileage. The old standard was 3,000 miles (and that’s what Jiffy Lube will tell you to go by), but most modern motors have a 5,000 mile standard.
Although I love my car, I don’t love the fact that it requires premium gasoline. Although I do pay an average of $.25 more per gallon, my gas bills are more than made up for by the cheaper Texas gas prices and the fact that I only use a couple of tanks a month.
Grand total: $3,948.80 or $329.07 per month (ouch!)
I was stunned after adding up all of the costs associated with driving my car for a year…and I didn’t even account for other minor maintenance costs such as tire rotations or filter replacements! How do your costs compare? Do you spend half as much on insurance or three times as much on gas? Are you a city bus or subway taker?