(Not Extreme) Couponing

Regardless of your opinion of couponing, it is a notable ‘trend’ recently. Yes, coupons have been around forever, but with the TLC show ‘Extreme Couponing’, there is a lot more attention on it. From local church seminars on couponing to mom blog tutorials to CBS’s show 2 Broke Girls, couponing is more present than ever.

While I can’t imagine anyone being opposed to saving money, some folks are going to the extreme. Have you actually seen ‘Extreme Couponing’? I’ve seen a couple episodes and am equal parts impressed and appalled. These people have figured out how to get hundreds of dollars worth of groceries and supplies for tens of dollars. Sometimes free! Impressive. But they’re buying things they don’t need. I saw an episode where a guy had converted his entire garage into aisles of shelving for hundreds of bottles of shampoo, tubes of toothpaste, and dozens of other items he will never use. The episode did show him donating a few hundred packages of diapers or something that he managed to get for next to free – which is fantastic. But, for the most part, he was essentially hoarding. He had a collection of things he’ll never use. Honestly, I find it a bit disgusting.

With all that said, coupons have their place, and I do use them. The trick is to use coupons for things you actually use. Every week, most of us get a flyer with coupons in the mail. Occasionally, you’ll get a booklet from a local drug store, the monthly Val-Pak envelope of coupons, or grocery coupons.

Here are a few tips on how to use coupons effectively, without them taking over your life (or your garage!)

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DIY: Christmas Decorations–Rudolph the Soap Reindeer

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When I was a kid – no idea how old – we made these Rudolph decorations in my church youth group. For some reason, after all these years, I still have mine. It’s a little rough looking, but it still smells nice, and it makes me smile.

Making Rudolph is a very simple and fun (and cheap!) activity you can do at home with your kids, or some kids you’ve borrowed for the afternoon!

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DIY: Hanging a photo collage

Recently, I’ve been seeing DIY photo hanging kits in craft and home improvement stores. These are great and easy – they include all the frames, photo mats and a template to put up on the wall so you can place your nails in the perfect spot. My only complaint is the price. This system is $350! Michael’s also has templates, and you can chose how expensive of frames to purchase. This can be less expensive, but you can do it even cheaper!

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