Monday, January 3, 2011

Coupon Notebook-Revisited

I thought it might be a good time to repost my couponing strategy :) I cannot remember where I heard this idea, but I do know the Money Saving Queen uses this idea and even sells notebooks very similar. I just made mine up on my own ;) One thing I do differently now is to put calendars in my front pocket-the outside one. I can mark paydays on that and keep track of holidays coming up that I might need to stock up food items for. You can search online for free calendar printing sites. I like my calendars to show present month and the next month of one page. This seems to help me with my planning. This could even help you with menu planning as well-but since I tend to decide most of our dinners as we go along, all I do is plan out a 2 week menu while I make my list-I can't do it by calendar method ;)

Shopping Notebook Pictures

Here ya go...This is the front-basic lil binder from Walmart (or any other store :)

This is the inside-front...This particular notebook has two pockets in the front and back insides of the binder. I like this better than the ones with the single pocket. It allows more places to put things like my pen, my coupon cutting scissors, and any other things I might need. I also like to keep calendars for the current month and the next to keep up with planning meals, special days or even keeping track of paydays.

Here is my paper-pretty basic here-lol! This is where I write my list (on the right paper) and make my menu for the two weeks (on the left paper). I accidentally purchased a small notebook than my first one. My old notebook was a 2 inch binder. This new one is 1 1/2 in. Not a big deal, but I did discover that the 70 ct notebook I use to plan in was too big to fit in the new binder. I like to use the 70 ct notebook because it holds the paper and I don't lose pages. I often like to refer back to previous menus to keep track of what we have eaten recently and mix things up a bit. I am noticing, even already, that just using paper (notebook paper or, as I did, ripping the pages out of my 70 ct notebook) can leave you with weak pages as you go along with your planning down the road. So, if you plan to do this, I highly suggest at least a 2 inch binder...This allows you a good amount of room to hold your paper and your plastic trading card pages...

Below is a picture of the sort of trading cards pages I bought. Each page has nine pockets. I only use the front of each page-this, to me, makes it less hard to pull out a coupon that I do not intend to come out...does that make sense? If I put the coupons back to back in the pockets, I might accidentally pull out the other coupon when I am only intending to get the one on top...Also, if I have to fold a coupon in order to get it into the pockets, I can see the back and eaily view any epiration dates.

And, lastly, here is a picture of one of my coupon pages-sort of a close up to show how I just slide the coupons into the pocket...Coupon won't fit? Fold it a bit to make it fit. Some coupons, even when folded, are a bit long...that's ok, place them into a pocket within the 2nd or 3rd rows. Doing this means they will not hang out of your binder and get ruined. I was worried the coupons would not go in and out easily, but after my big coupon shopping trip to Walmart yesterday, I have to say I was very pleased with my new set up :)

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