Organizing Your Coupons
If you've been using coupons for more than a week you've probably realized that you need some way to keep those valuable little pieces of paper organized. Over the hundred years or so that I've been couponing I've tried just about every method.

Evolution of Mom's Coupon Organizer
Many, many years ago when I first started clipping coupons I stuffed them in an old envelope and put it in my purse - well, most of the time I remembered to put it in my purse. Since I used recycled envelopes I was pretty proud of my "no cost" coupon organizer.

But there were a couple of problems with this system.
- The envelopes tore easily dumping coupons all over the bottom of my purse.
- It was hard to remember what coupons I had. I ended up standing in the store sorting through the coupons looking for ones I could use.
So next I invested $1 for a nifty little "coupon wallet" - which are basically an envelope made out of plastic or cloth with general dividers. This was sturdier - but not large enough for my growing coupon collection.
Again looking for a cheap solution (isn't that what couponing is all about - saving money?) I got a shoebox and filled it with more recycled envelopes marked with different catagories.
My shoebox worked fine for organizing the coupons - but as my coupon collection grew my shopping trips became longer and longer. I usually went through the coupons and the ads before heading to the store so I could pull the coupons for sale items. But I'd still take my shoebox with me because once I got to the store I'd think of something I needed that wasn't on my list - or I'd find some of those tempting "unadvertised specials". So there I was slowly making my way up and down the aisles - stopping every few feet to check through a different envelope for a coupon. By the time I got through it was dark outside and my feet were killing me.

I knew there had to be a better way but I wasn't having any brilliant ideas. Then one day while getting ready for a garage sale I made an important discovery. I was sorting a box of things my son wanted to sell. You know how that works - we spend $20 for some toy or game the kids can't live without - then the next month they stick it in the garage sale for $1 - and they want the $1!! Opps, I guess I accidently climbed up on my soapbox - sorry.

Anyway, what I found changed my coupon organization system forever.

    Smart Uses for Toothpaste

After you start "serious" couponing there are some items you will be able to get FREE or almost free - like toothpaste. Since it's really difficult for many of us to pass up something FREE the tubes of toothpaste start stacking up under the bathroom sink or in the pantry.

Now thanks to these tips I found in Woman's World magazine we have some great new uses for our stockpiled toothpaste.

1. Clean rusty water stains on your sink. Squeeze some white toothpaste (paste - not gel) on the stains and scrub with an old toothbrush. Rinse and the stain should be gone!

2. Remove the sour milk smell in baby bottles. Use toothpaste (paste not gel) on bottle brush to scrub the inside of the bottle. Wash and rinse the bottle thoroughly.

3. Clean the rubber soles of your sneakers by scrubbing with paste toothpaste. Wipe with a damp cloth and admire your "new" shoes.

4. Love fish but hate the smell on your hands? Wash your hands with white toothpaste and no more fishy smell.

5. For one more interesting use for toothpaste go to MomFixIt



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