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      Originally posted by Kathy on April 23, 2003
      Price Books

      I keep my information on 5 x 8 lined cards. Someone could easily use 3 x 5 cards. I like the bigger cards because I can use the bottom and back of the cards to record food I have in stock. In addition, I can take the card right out of the file while I’m in the store and write on it without having to lean on the rings in a binder. We do our inventory once every two weeks by going through each card and checking to see how much is left. At the top of the card is the category and the item. If I know I will not deviate from a particular item, I also put in the ounces and information like fat-free, etc. right along the top of the card. For instance I buy only one size Neutragena hand cream because that’s the only size available that doesn’t have petroleum jelly in it. If I know I may deviate from a particular item in size or brand, I put that information down below with the rest of the items. Coupons are paperclipped to the back of each card. This is the type of order they go in: Three main categories are: Shopping lists are at the very front of the file in alphabetical order until I need to rearrange them by route. If I need to look at something that has a coupon, I put /C after the item. I don’t clip coupons behind the shopping list because sometimes I want to look at that item in two or three different stores, and if my children are helping the coupons get discombobulated. However, if I am sending my husband to the store, I clip the coupons to the back of the card. He refuses to go with the card file. I try not to send him too often because he will come back with whatever I asked him not to buy, but once in a while I have to ask for help, so….. Index card with “Budget” is next and applicable cards behind it in alphabetical order. I keep my daily budget information in my Quicken program, but will write the month end totals on 5 x 8 cards, by category, so I can average them out at the end of a year. Index card with “Inventory” is next and applicable cards behind it. The inventory cards tend to look like this: AUTOMOTIVE – OIL AUTOMOTIVE – WINDSHIELD WASHER FLUID CLOTHES – UNDERWEAR – GIRL CLOTHES – UNDERWEAR – MEN CLOTHES – UNDERWEAR – WOMEN DINING OUT – BENNIGAN’S DINING OUT – TACO BELL FOOD – FRUIT – FRESH – APPLES – DELICIOUS – GOLD FOOD – FRUIT – FRESH – APPLES – DELICIOUS – RED FOOD – VEGETABLES – FRESH – BROCCOLI FLORETS FOOD – VEGETABLES – FROZEN – BROCCOLI FLORETS SKIN CARE – LOTION – NEUTRAGENA HAND CREAM VITAMINS – C VITAMINS – CHILDREN Underneath the title tends to look like this: FOOD – MAYONNAISE – FAT FREE 03/15/2003 HF Cain’s 16 oz. 2.69 .17/oz. 04/23/2003 HF Kraft 16 oz. 2.39 .15/oz. Index card with “Shop” is next and applicable cards in alphabetical order behind it. Since I don’t always fill up a card when I make a shopping list, and I don’t want to waste them, I save the card. Because I use the cards to organize my trip, I also put in things like “Post Office”, our dentist, doctors, etc. by their last name. It also helps to put questions I need to ask the doctors right on the card so I know where it is. Blank cards are at the very back. The first card has a row of available paperclips on it. This reminds me – I really need to make an index with “Blank” on it today. Every Sunday I try to buy the two local newspapers, clip coupons, and get information from the flyers. Every Wednesday I make a trip down to the post office in the other direction to pick up flyers so I can clip coupons and information from them also. We live on the border of Massachusetts and New York, so I can go in either direction to shop. So far this week, I saved over $55.00 on spelt flour at a flour company; and another $70.00 on groceries at a WalMart Supercenter; by driving to Saratoga. I had an entire cart full of groceries in the supercenter that would have cost me over $130.00 in local supermarkets, and it was a little under $60.00. In previous months our food bill was $750.00+ for four people (because I wasn’t paying attention). This month it hasn’t hit $400.00 yet

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