Every time I go to the store I carry a binder affectionately named CC by my daughter. I set it on the cart in the baby seat and start down the aisles. There is usually at least 1 person who stops to ask me some questions about it and how much I save (average of 60% a month), so I hope this post can clear up some of those questions.
I began with my son’s old Trapper Keeper that he was not going to need while at Basic Training. First rule of saving money is don’t spend if you don’t have to.
Inside I have several sections. The ones in the front belong to each store in town. Being in Smallville that means 5 for me. My shopping list for each store goes into the section so I don’t lose or forget it.
There are pockets in the front I hold various items. The envelopes are empty until I put in the coupons I intend to use when shopping. They are the ones included in bills that we either pay online or in person so basically free. The second rule of saving money, is be resourceful. I keep paperclips that hold my coupon stacks together as I cut. I have scissors, pens and used to carry a calculator but now use the one on my phone. There is a larger pocket you cannot see where I slip coupons I pick up in the store or don’t have time to organize yet.
Within each store section is a slip page that holds this week’s circular. ALWAYS keep it with you as sometimes stores have the wrong prices on the shelf, or it lists additional information you might need. Safeway allows me to load coupons onto my card and print off that list, which also goes in the sleeve.
The second page in each store section is a sheet for baseball cards which I purchase at Hastings. Any coupons that are store specific go there. In this photo you see the rain checks I have from Safeway.
All stores have coupon/rebate/reward policies and some are posted online so you can print them out. It is good to keep it with you not only for YOUR reference but in case a cashier tries to say you are not allowed something that company policy states you are. Be sure to check for updates on a regular basis!
I have 2 sections for the actual coupons. The first half is non-food and I group like categories together. Some people prefer to go alphabetically. If I am looking for toothpaste I want to see all the coupons I have at 1 time is why I choose to do it this way. The second section for food is arraigned by departments such as dairy, dry goods, Mexican, drinks and cereal.
In the back in my price book. Some people will type it up nice and pretty on Excell but I think by hand is fine for me. When I have an extra 10 minutes at the store I will check out the regular price of a few items and jot it down. This way I know if a sale price really is a great deal. I only write the price of the item at the lowest I can get it in town, not from every store.
The last section has blank notebook paper for my shopping lists and notes to myself.
I hope looking at my binder helps you to get started on one of your own. Let me know if you have any questions.