September 29, 2009

Create Your Coupon Notebook

Once you get all your supplies together to create your notebook, you can start preparing your system of organization to make your coupon experience more profitable.

The first thing you need to do is set up your categories. There are two main categories followed by multiple subcategories.

NOTE: My notebook is organized based on the layout of the grocery store that I visit most often. I recommend that you create your notebook to follow the flow of your favorite store so that it is easier to locate your coupons when you are shopping. Most stores have a floor map available, or you can write out a list of the departments in the order that you visit them. The subcategories below are listed in the order that they are found in my notebook.

**The categories that I use work for me and my family. If you don't have pets or a baby in the house, you will not need those categories. Make any necessary adjustments to suit the needs of your family.**

***The number [-] listed by each category indicates the number of insert pages that I have in that category.***


Main Category: FOOD


Produce [1]
(anything that is found in the fresh fruits and vegetables area)
Cereal [2]
(oatmeal, granola bars, cereals - anything on the breakfast aisle)
Fruit [1]
(canned fruit, apple sauce, fruit bowls)
Soup [2]
(soups, broths, etc)
Spices [2]
(sugar, flour, spices)
Condiments [3]
(jelly, syrup, dressings, marinades, spaghetti sauces, steak sauces, etc)
Dessert [3]
(cake mixes, frosting, brownie mixes, cookie mixes, ice cream, pies, etc)
Bread Mix [1]
(Bisquik, pancake mix, muffin mix, cornbread mix, etc)
Pasta [2]
(rices, pastas, Hamburger Helper, etc)
Vegetables [2]
(canned vegetables, boxed potatoes, etc.)
Candy [1]
(chocolate, gum, bagged candy)
Snacks [4]
(chips, crackers, cookies, pickles, popcorn, peanuts, etc.)
Frozen [3]
(pizzas, vegetables, dinners, convenience foods, etc.)
Canned Bread [3]
(Pillsbury biscuits, pizza dough, cinnamon rolls, etc.)
Dairy [3]
(butter, milk, cheese, yogurt, etc.)
Meat [2]
(canned tuna, frozen fish, fresh meat, hot dogs, bacon, etc.)
Drinks [1]
(sodas, juices, water, etc.)
**I put milk in dairy, but that could be in drinks.**
Miscellaneous [1]
(vinegar, oil, everything else)

Main Category: NON FOOD


Medicine [3]
(First Aid, medications, etc.)
Dental and Vision [2]
(contact solutions, toothpaste, toothbrushes, etc.)
Soap and Lotion [2]
(bar soap, shampoo, lotions)
Shaving and Deodorant [2]
(razors, deaodorants, shaving cream)
Pets [2]
(food, treats, cleaners, litter, etc.)
Paper [2]
(tissue, paper towels, feminine needs, etc.)
Baby [2]
(food, diapers, etc.)
Cleaning [3]
(laundry, dishes, cleaners, etc.)
Storage [1]
(foil, plastic wrap, storage bags, trash bags, etc.)
Makeup [1]
(makeup, beauty products, etc.)
Other [3]
(batteries, candles, air fresheners, everything else)


I also have a section where I put my receipts and a section where I store restaurant coupons. Both of these are placed at the very back of my notebook. There is a piece of card stock placed in a paper protector for each one.


Here are the steps to creating your notebook.

1) Write the name of each category on a piece of card stock paper. (I also used a corner punch decorator tool to make my card stock a bit prettier. This is not necessary, though.)

2) Insert each piece of card stock into a paper protector.

3) Attach a label holder to each paper protector. Be sure to stagger the label holders so you categories will be easily visible.

4) Write the category on a label insert. Be sure to write the category on BOTH sides of the paper label insert. (Trust me on this one....I learned the hard way.)

5) After your categories are set up, put them in your notebook. Include the appropriate number of inserts within each category.

6) Start filling your notebook with coupons.


Frankie said...

Cool. I bought the Couponizer a couple of years ago, but I have noticed it is not as effective as it could be. It's worn too. I like how you're describing to make this... are you going to post pictures?

I really hate this part of organizing, but it will probably help me in the long run, huh? Once it's done it shouldn't take long to update or file coupons. I'll have to add this to my list of things to do.