This past week, one of our neighbor friends invited us over to their house.
The boys had a fun play date while some moms and I learned about how to be "A Better Couponer"...
As a family, we have used coupons from time to time, but we did not really have a system for using them like our neighbor has created. She is very organized and has hers all labeled and put into a bin. She has a nice spreadsheet to accompany her coupons too.
This was pretty foreign to us to be this methodical about using coupons.
After spending the afternoon with our generous neighbor (Thanks, HG!), we have set up a little coupon system for our family's needs.
First, Dear Hubby and I had a discussion that just because we are going to try to more consistently use coupons, we don't want to give in and buy brands or foods that we have never heard of before...
But once we got into clipping and organizing, we were able to see that you can find some good coupons for some great brand name foods that we customarily purchase, as well as some organic and fresh produce items, plus some that are easy for meal prep, pre-packaged foods.
We gave it a shot and did pretty well, saving approximately $56. on our first really strategic coupon shopping trip and about $30. on the second one, so about $86. in savings!
We still spent some money on what we purchased, so it was not exactly like you see on those extreme coupon shows where they get nearly their whole buggy for free...but for novice coupon shoppers, we felt pretty good about how it went.
So then, we realized that since we have bought these extra Sunday papers, now we have a wealth of newspapers and so, we have gotten creative with what to do with them. We will use some of the papers for various homeschool-related projects, but then, we will recycle any of the newspaper sections that we don't use.
First, we gave the comics section to our sons.
Since we had purchased a few Sunday papers, we gave each boy his own comics section.
Big Bro got very into reading the comics and in fact, he liked it so much that he is now reading through the three volumes of Calvin and Hobbes books that are Dear Hubby's.
He also was inspired to start writing his own comics, so for most of the day, he has either been reading or drawing comics.
Little Bro was not quite as into reading or drawing the comics, but since he likes dinosaurs and more modern animals, he was excited about doing an animal hunt through his comics sections to find all of the animals that he could in the paper.
For tomorrow's homeschool work, the creativity inspired by having so many newspapers at our disposal is going to continue, focusing this week on the comics section:
Big Bro will start working on writing his own comic strip to go with a biography.
He will also look at the use of anthropomorphism and flashback in the comics section.
Little Bro will go back and cut out all of the animals from his comics pages.
Then, he will use these for a math activity to graph the animals, including which animal was featured the most times in the various comics.
For their art project this week, both boys will also do some paper clay projects.
Figured that each week, as we wrap up our couponing, we will delve into a different section of the newspaper and use them as a wonderful resource for our learning...
Next week, we will tap into the sports section and look at what we can learn from this section, such as locating the various cities for the sports teams on our map of the U.S., as well as various probability and statistics activities.
For every week that we coupon, our plan is to use a different section of the papers that we purchase.
We will also focus on increasing our recycling and re-purposing efforts so that buying these extra papers does not increase our carbon footprint too dramatically.
Do you feel inspired to do projects related to the newspapers or magazines that you purchase?
What kinds of projects have your children done with newspapers or magazines?
If you have some neat ideas, hope that you will share in the comments section!