Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A New Month..A New Start For Me! Let's Hear About Yours!

Have you ever gone through a period of time where it just felt like you couldn't get it together?  I'm sure we all have!  Well, that's been me for quite some time.  I told myself at the beginning of the year that I was going to get myself organized, and I have been making small strides here and there.  I've had several great ideas that I have not yet been able to fully implement around the house and it seems like if I get one area under control, it is only by ignoring another area completely.

Lately, I have been doing a bit of work on my blog behind the scenes and doing my best to stick to the schedule I made, and I have also been working on getting my house back in order and some pre-made meals into my freezer.  I have made a good bit of progress in those areas, and don't feel nearly as behind and overwhelmed about them as I did.

However, it seems that I just can't juggle everything, and one thing got drastically pushed to the side.  That's right!  My coupons!  You've seen me get a lot of fresh foods at incredible prices lately (which is great!) But I haven't posted any coupon shopping trips.  That is because, to be quite honest with you guys, its been like 3 weeks since I've even used one!

Now I'm a very "out of sight, out of mind" type of person.  If I don't see something, it may as well not be there.  That's why my desk stays so cluttered, but that's another topic entirely.  I wrote this post a while back about how I prepared for my shopping trips.  In that post, I mentioned that I no longer clipped out all of my coupons, but dated the whole inserts and stored them in a box.

This is still what I do, however, when they were in that box, I didn't see them.  Therefore, I didn't think about them.  As I sat down with the grocery ads this morning, preparing to write a post telling all of you what coupons to use on what sale priced items to get the greatest savings, I had  a realization---I had absolutely no idea what coupons were inside of that box!  I usually have at least a vague idea of what items there are coupons for, but all the coupons I remembered seeing had already expired, and I had skimmed through the newer inserts so quickly before tossing them into the box that none of their contents had even registered in my brain.  So I decided that before I could keep on helping all of you, I had to stop and take some time to get myself together.

So, I grabbed the box.  I took all of the coupons out of the box.

 I sat the entire stack in front of me on the table.  I was shocked to see that there were coupon inserts on the bottom of the stack dating back into MAY!!

Yikes!  This is what I have spent my evening sorting through.  I am clipping out the few remaining non-expired coupons to put into my binder with my printed coupons.  I have already kicked myself into gear and clipped and sorted *those* when I looked up one day and saw this sitting in my printer tray.  (Nor was that all of them...there were many more printed and tossed into the box...=/)

My goal is to get my stack down to a more manageable size so it can fit in here:

This is a new file box I purchased last week at Big Lots for $8.  I already knew then that something must be done about "the box", so I've had this thing for a week now, and have yet to put it to use.  It was another of those good intentions not yet put in practice of mine.  But I digress...

This box is only about 2 inches wide, and it is filled with 26 slots to file things.  I figure that should hold nearly 3 months of inserts, assuming 2 sets on most Sundays.  It locks tightly, and has a handle so it is easy to carry if I ever happened to need to carry it anywhere.

I will file the coupons inside by date and type, and in theory they will be much easier to flip through and find what I need.

You can see that I have already gotten a small start on sorting them by date and type.  I think this new item is going to help me out tremendously, saving me time and frustration.  I also won't have to worry about the kids and pets getting into my box and spilling or otherwise maiming its contents.  My only concern is that once I get everything in there, it may be too full to snap closed.  I will have to post an update when I'm all finished.  *Note: I realize many people have many, many, more coupons than I do and this system will in no way hold all of theirs.  That is ok!  Everyone has to do what works for them!*

I really do feel like I have been making progress towards organization in all areas around here, though, and I think that during this month I am going to be able to truly get it together (for once!).  For one thing, I now only have one child home during the day since my oldest started Kindergarten last week.  Also--I've never truly believed it-- but actually having to get up and dressed and bring her to school has helped me feel more like doing things, so I have been so much more productive around here lately.  It could also be the fact that I just work better under pressure, and since my husband, who teaches during the day, has taken on a part time evening job and is usually gone from 6am-10pm, its kinda all been up to me to keep this place running smoothly, and I think I'm doing a much better job of it than I was during the summer when he was home all day and we all sat around in our PJs.  Those were some lazy days...

I just wanted to share this with you all so that you could see that we bloggers are not perfect.  We don't have it all figured out, and we struggle with keeping it all together just like everyone else.  It is always a constant battle, and there is always going to be something in our life that needs work, or at least a little bit of fine tuning!

In fact, next up on my agenda is working out a more solid plan for my week, so that I am including time to make meal plans (I hope to have time to begin sharing those with you) as well as shopping days.  My two year old is a great little shopper, so I think that she and I will be doing lots of couponing, once I get myself all set up!

I would love to hear about what you've been struggling to keep up with lately.  Leave a comment below so that we can all encourage each other.  I am going to try to post weekly updates about how I'm doing keeping it all together, so you can all check in and share your successes and failures with me!


Tosh August 31, 2011 at 9:43 PM  

I think that's a great idea to set a goal for yourself. Some things get tossed to the wayside (out of site out of mind)!

Christi Hendr August 31, 2011 at 9:51 PM  

When I read this I said to my "I am so Guilty of this" I have been so involved with everything on my blog I have let everything else just fade away! Thanks for the Post, I better get my act together as well! Thanks!

Christi Ann

The Happy Lil' Homemaker August 31, 2011 at 9:54 PM  

I completely agree with getting up and getting dressed. I seems to kickstart my day and make me feel much more productive. In the summer it's so easy to just hang out in PJ's. It's hot out, you don't feel like doing anything...Been there...MANY times! I think we all go through a stage where everything feels like it's piling up. Good for you for setting a goal!! :)

One thing I do (and it makes a huge difference) is to make a goal sheet and stick it somewhere I'll see it. At one point it was in our Master Bathroom, but the steam made it curl up. So now, it's inside the cupboard door of where I keep our vitamins. I open the cupboard, and there are my goals...EVERY SINGLE DAY! lol

Amanda August 31, 2011 at 10:05 PM  

Tina! You have been the most tremendous help to me with my cleaning cards and my binder (that I intend to use better this month!) Keep those tips coming my friend! I need them all LOL. =)

PB&J September 1, 2011 at 3:56 PM  

I have been through seasons of being so organized and those of total disorganization. I am still trying to regain strength and endurance after cancer treatments but also entering a new season of
a retired hubby. I so enjoy having him around and we love to shop, cook and do things together, but he is NOT a planner/scheduler and I need organization. Trying to balance honoring and enjoying him with regaining order in our home is a real challenge. All suggestions are welcome and I will let you know if I come up with a working plan. :) God blesses us all, in all seasons!

Pam53 September 12, 2011 at 8:08 PM  

I am in the process of packing to move from Arizona to Idaho and knowing that I won't have my own transportation but will be relying on mass transit for getting around, I will haveto do some different things. Trying to keep track of all my coupons is really crazy and I am afraid that I am not doing a really good job right now. Hopefully, once I get settled, I'll be able to get better organized and on task. Does anyone know if you can use the Fry's VIP card at Fred Meyers (which bought out Krogers/fry's)? I will really miss my Sprout's but Boise is supposed to be getting a Whole Foods, I think it is! Thanks for all the help you give and it is great to have so many people sharing all the great ideas they have. I appreciate it.

Dogstardaddy September 12, 2011 at 8:40 PM  

I've just started w/coupons and have been looking for a box just like that. I will check Big Lots. Thanks for the blog.

Amanda September 12, 2011 at 9:16 PM  

@Pam53, I'm not familiar with either of those stores, but I will ask around. Usually you can for affiliate stores, but if not it's pretty painless to get one for the new store. Just ask at customer service. =)

@dogstardaddy, good luck! I hope you are able to find one!

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