My Savings Notebook

 Posted by on March 15, 2009  Add comments  Tagged with: ,
Mar 152009

This is my new Sunday morning ritual…

Matching coupons to sale flyers, using my new Savings Notebook.

Now that I regularly get the Sunday coupon inserts for free, I’ve become just a teensy bit obsessed with getting free stuff with coupons. I asked my super-organized friend Rachel how she keeps all of her coupons organized, and she said that she keeps them in a binder, in trading card pages.

I already had a binder (we have a gazillion of these. How? Why?) and I found a package of 35 trading card pages for $5.79 at Wal-Mart (they’re in the book and magazine section, up by the registers). Of course, I had to make a cute little cover page, because I’m just nerdy like that.

I have a zipper pouch in front, which I use to store the coupons that I’ve pulled for the weekly shopping trip. I clip them together by store.

I also moved my price book from the HMG, so that I can always make sure I’m getting the best deals.

I divided my coupons into three main categories: Grocery, Personal Care, and Household Supplies. Within the three categories, I have them arranged by subcategory, alphabetically (IE: Baking, Beverages, Breakfast). I put pieces of white paper between the coupon pages, because the coupons are easier to read that way.

On Sunday morning, before we head to the city for church, I take the time to check the Walgreens and CVS sale flyers, so that I can stop at these two stores before or after church. I do this because if I wait until my Tuesday shopping day, the great deals at these stores are typically cleaned out.

Here is today’s really great CVS deal.

I bought:
Irish Spring Body Wash – $4.99
Colgate Max White toothpaste – $2.99
(2) Dry Idea roll-on antiperspirants – $5.98
Pantene shampoo – $3.50
Pantene conditioner – $3.50
Pantene styling gel – $3.50
Subtotal – $24.46

Minus manufacturer’s coupons – ($9.25)
Minus Extra Care Bucks – ($3.00)
Total out-of-pocket (OOP) – $12.21

Extra Care Bucks earned – ($13.98)
Equals – a whole bunch of free stuff, plus $1.77 in profit!

I’m telling you, this whole coupon thing is totally addictive, and a Savings Notebook really makes finding the great deals a snap. A word of caution though – if you make one, make sure you don’t leave your notebook in the cart, or on the shelf at the grocery store! I did this last week, and I drove back to the store in a freaked-out panic, afraid that I lost all of my hard work. Fortunately, my cart was still in the cart corral where I left it, with my notebook resting in the child seat. Whew!

Also, when you carry a notebook like this into the store, people might look at you like you’re a freak or a weirdo, or make snarky little comments (especially if you plunk down on the floor to look for a coupon for some unexpected clearance find, which I’ve been known to do on occasion). However, when you save so much that a manager has to approve your transaction (this happened to me a couple weeks ago), or you get two 6-packs of Mott’s applesauce cups, a head of broccoli, and a big bottle of Sauve shampoo for 43 cents, people tend to clam right up.

One guy even asked me, “So…are you one of those coupon queens?”