When I first quit working, I went a little nuts with coupons. I had a coupon binder, and would spend hours a week clipping coupons and filing them in my baseball card pages. I don’t even want to think about how many times my binder got dropped and I had to put it all back together. Finally, I admitted that I was not happy with my system. I have now gone to a method that works a lot better for me.
Jenny from Southern Savers has a method that I adapted. Here is my system:
Once again, I used a Thirty-one organizing tote. I like to store my stuff in these so that I can take them in the car, or work on the couch, by the pool…
My coupon system consists of my coupon files, a clipboard for my lists, my control journal, and my coupon organizer. I keep twelve weeks of inserts. I buy two papers, and my father usually has three or four, and he gives me his inserts.
Each week when I get my new inserts, I take the back file, throw out the inserts, scratch out the date, relabel the date, add the new inserts, and place the file in front. I also have files for store specific inserts. See, last Sunday, 9/30/12, is in the front. I took the file from the back, 7/1, threw out the inserts, scratched out the date, relabeled it, put my new inserts in, and moved it to the front.
I have a template that I made for grocery shopping by aisle. I keep blank copies of this on my clipboard, and I also have a copy of this that I have filled in with items that I seem to buy every week, here. Milk, eggs, bread, sugar, lunchmeat, paper plates, dog food, orange juice…I keep this list in a page protector in my control journal to refer to every week so I don’t forget our staples.
So here is my grocery planning process.
1. Each week I go through my refrigerator and freezer and make a list of meat and vegetables I have on hand and need to use.
2. I look at the calendar for the upcoming week, and use the list of available ingredients to start planning the meals for the week. I like this menu planner from Alchemy Junk. Some days I can cook a roast, and some days we may have to grab a sandwich between cello lessons and lacrosse.
3. I take a copy of my grocery list template and write down what else I need to complete the meals.
4. Then I take my copy of my staples grocery list, and fill in what I need from that list.
5. I add whatever we have added to the dry erase grocery list on the refrigerator.
Now it is time for coupons. I use Southern Savers for all of my couponing.
6. I go to her site and make printable lists of what is on sale at my grocery stores. I will admit, I will go to three grocery stores and CVS some weeks, if the prices are right! I love a bargain! I check to see where the best prices are on the items already on my list, and add what I am stocking up on to my list. I use different colored highlighters on my list so I know what to buy at Bi-lo, Publix, Ingles, CVS, and as I am doing this I write down which coupon insert the coupon is in.
I keep the front slot empty. It is labeled “this trip.”. The next slots are for Publix, Bi-lo, Ingles, and CVS. After that I have slots for restaurant and service coupons. I file the coupons by store, then when I am in the store shopping, I add the coupons for the items in my cart to the front slot. If I don’t use the coupons I clipped, I add them to the back slot of my organizer.
I used to drag my huge 4-inch binder with me to the store, and now all I take is my clipboard and coupon organizer. Maybe I miss out on some great deals, but I still manage to save around 50%, and that is good enough for me!
Another thing that really helped me was putting all of my shopper cards on a separate key ring:
So, what do you think? Was that explanation as clear as mud?
*Sometimes I link up at these parties…
Monday: Skip to my Lou, Between Naps on the Porch, Jam Hands, Home Stories A-Z, How to Nest for Less, Today’s Creative Blog, Thrifty Décor Chick, Not Just a Housewife, Boogieboard Cottage,Time Warp Wife, Chef In Training, The Ivy Cottage Blog, Holly’s Stamping Addiction, Serendipity and Spice, Homestead Revival
Tuesday: Bowl Full of Lemons, Organize & Decorate Everything, Primitive and Proper, homework, Tilly’s Nest, Elizabeth & Co., Uncommon Slice of Suburbia, Project Queen, Sugar Bee Crafts, Time Warp Wife, Coastal Charm, The DIY Dreamer
Wednesday: House of Hepworths, Shabby Creek Cottage, Ivy and Elephants, Someday Crafts, the 36th Avenue, Southern Lovely, seven thirty-three, Semi-Homemade Mom, The Real Housewives of Riverton, lil pink pocket, Stone Gable, No Minimalist Here, A Creative Princess
Saturday: Positively Splendid