Friday, April 8, 2011

My Brain Binder

I have surgically removed my brain and imported it into this 3-ring binder. Well, maybe I stopped just short of surgery. Truth is, I feel very scatter brained these days. Keeping up with household responsibilities as well as all the wonderful, exciting things at church has been leaving me overwhelmed and frankly, tired. And the result has been disorganization. Disorganization rears it's ugly head in a few areas of life here and there, and usually a little time devoted to setting things in order remedies the situation without much harm. But when a mama is disorganized about getting food on the table come dinner time, well that is a serious problem, in need of serious attention. When I entitled my dinner recipe section of this blog, "What's for dinner?" I had no idea how prophetic I was! So in an effort to not feed my family boxed macaroni and cheese every other night for dinner, I have a binder that is now serving as my brain until such a time as my brain can function adequately without it. Maybe when my last youngin' leaves the nest....
My poor photos leave me no choice but to explain what every tab is for. The thick plastic dividers with pockets are labeled: Menu, P.C. (stands for "Price Chopper", my local grocery store), Rite Aid, Target, Toiletries, Baby, Household, Grocery.
Under the Menu tab, guess it... my dinner menu. I also typed a list of family favorites, of which I came up with 25. That leaves a few nights a month to try something from my "wanting to try" stack of recipes in a different binder... my longtime used recipe binder. As I filled in my plans for dinner for the next couple of weeks, I made a list of items I need for the store. I keep extra paper for such lists in this area of the binder.
Under the individual store tabs, I keep the store ad, store coupons and manufacturer's coupons I plan to use at the store (because they are offering that item on sale). I also have RiteAid's coupon policy, for handy reference when a inexperienced cashier doesn't know what to do with me and all my coupons. ☺
After the store tabs, begins my coupons. After the category of "household", I created subcategories using these cute tabs (I found mine for 50 cents on clearance at Staples) such as "air fresheners", "laundry", etc. I stuck the tabs directly onto the plastic covers that contain my coupons. Above, I used 4x6 photo sized plastic sheets.
Here, I used trading card sized plastic protectors. It certainly is easy to find exactly what coupon I need and sized perfectly for this category: "baking", under "Grocery".
One of the reasons I switched to a binder as opposed to the expandable little coupon clutch is that I am tired of cutting out every single coupon. So I now will just cut the coupons I am fairly sure I use, and leave the "maybe's" or "not likely's but will hang onto it just in case a sale allows me to get it free" coupons uncut and store in full sheet covers.
And in the back pocket, gift certificates and restaurant coupons.

In the very front, is my to-do list, bills I need to care for, etc.

So there ya have it. I always suspected my brain was pink and black plaid and now I know for sure that it is.


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