One of the ways I stay under my food budget is my Box. It’s a self-contained file box that incorporates coupons, a price book, menu planning, and holds all the tools I need to save. I’ve used it for several years, and the system is still working for me! If you are organizationally challenged like I am, it might work for you, too!
First I’ll show you how to set the box up and use it to organize coupons, and we’ll get into the other features later.
First, gather your supplies:
- A 4×6″ index card box
- 4×6″ index cards (I prefer lined, because these will also become your price book)
- small scissors
- A pen or pencil
You can’t use coupons if you can’t find them. I have bought accordian file coupon organizers, and tried an envelope system, but neither one worked for me. Certain products have lots of coupons available, and I needed to break the categories down even further.
So I made a custom box!
Write a few major categories that fit your family at the top of the cards. I have a baby category, but you might not. You might need a pet category, instead. Make it right for you!
I use it almost every time I shop – it’s a little worn but still useful!
You can arrange your cards however you want. Put them in order alphabetically, or according to your store’s aisles, or combine them by topic. The key is to make it right for you. I shop at many different stores, so mine are mostly alphabetical, although I have a card at the front for CVS and Walgreen’s coupons/ECBs.
The beauty of the system is that you can insert a new card, and a new category without messing up the order.
Now, file your coupons behind your divider! It’s just that easy. Put the small scissors in the back of the box. This is their new home, and you’ll always have a pair available when you need to clip coupons!
Put the pen in the back of the box, too. Now you’ll have it to cross items off a grocery list or make notes. (What? You don’t have a list? We’ll talk about that later, too.)
Next week, I’ll talk about price books! Whee!