Monday, June 2, 2014

How An Errand Planner Saves My Day

Have you ever gone shopping and realized you forgot that coupon that made a difference of $5 off of your purchase?  Tell me about it, it's happened to me more times than I want to remember. $5 may not seem like a lot but take four trips in one month and it adds up quickly.  

We recently moved and now we are about 40 minutes to the closest Target.  Can you hear me sobbing over here????  I can't just get up and go get that bin I need to organize the hall closet or look for that cute pair of shoes I've been eyeing.  When I go in to town, my trips NEED to be planned, otherwise I am wasting a trip and really, wasting money.

I have been obsessed with planners for quite a while now.  I remember when the obsession started, I was pregnant with my son.  I can still see myself paying for that planner.  That's when you know you've got it bad!  I have tried all kinds of different planners and have come to no success.  Well lots of success but really, you only need ONE planner for the year, not five.  Every planner I have gotten has been THE PERFECT PLANNER, really, ask my friends!

I think the problem I was having was needing to have EVERYTHING in one planner and that is just truly unrealistic.  I have tried a variety of grocery planning planners, coupon caddies, I even carried a binder around with coupons.  I did love that binder but it just wasn't realistic when I just wanted to run in to Target.

The most recent "PERFECT" planner I discovered this year was the ARC. I decided on the 6-3/4" x 8-3/4" size.  Better known as the Junior size.  I am officially an ARC addict and am constantly trying to see what I can ARC.  (Here is a video from Staples that will explain it better than I ever could)

So with that being said, lets take a look at my Errand Planner...

(After you read this, take a look at the UPDATE, link at the bottom)

Isn't she pretty?!

The first thing you see when you open it up is all my store rewards cards.  All in one place and I can easily see them.

On the second page I have frequent punch cards and gift cards.

Next starts the tabs.  I have ten dividers, all written in pencil.  This is just temporary to make sure I have the correct categories to fit my needs.

First tab is my Errand tab.  Throughout the week, as I think of stores that I need to visit, I write it down.  The day I am ready to go, I grab my planner and head out in confidence knowing I'm not forgetting anything.  This also helps me by not making any unnecessary stops or forgetting that important one.

My next four tabs are Need, Family Needs, Family Wants and Paper.  As I see that there are things that we need, I write it down in the appropriate tab.  As you can see, they are things that I am ok without but are written down so I don't forget.

Here is where my planner gets fun!  Grocery shopping time!

If you have ever searched for Printables on Pinterest, you know that you will pretty much find whatever it is you are looking for.  I am kind of specific.  I really like to have things that match and that are functional and dare I say it, cute!  Yup, cute is necessary in my book.

I found these super cute printables from  I mean the name is totally appropriate right?  I have been using these printables for quite a while now and have actually stuck with them.

Throughout the week as I run out of things, I keep my planner out and just add them to the following weeks list.  I LOVE that I have the meal plan for the week right next to it.  Matchy matchy, that's how I roll!

When I sit down and plan my meals for the week and find coupons to go with my grocery list, I slip them right in the pocket that lives behind my grocery list.

I am in love with the plastic sleeves offered by Staples.  A pack of 25 for about $3.99 works for me.  As you can see in the next two pictures, I cut dividers and simply inserted them in the sleeves.  I came up with categories that I use often and wrote, in pencil, the categories.  Simply slip in the coupons for that category and I can find things easily.

I'm finding that I need to have a couple of categories split up, so when I have come to a complete happy place with the categories, I will write in fancy pen and fancy writing or just a label maker.  hehe

See, pencil!!

The categories I'm using now are:
Bread & Baked Goods
Breakfast Foods
Canned Goods
Dry Goods
Feminine Hygiene
Frozen Foods
Fruits & Veggies

The next few tabs are Target, Costco, Fast Food and Home.  My Target tab holds the Target exclusive coupons. 

For my Costco tab, I wrote down the items and prices of things we buy frequently.  You know when you go in to Costco it's easy to spend a couple hundred dollars in no time.  I will set a budget and check with the list prices I have and 9 times out of 10 I'll be below.

I will usually only make one Costco trip a month.  Throughout the month, as we are running low on things that I only buy at Costco, I write it down.

I quickly wrote down the store hours so that I don't make that long drive at 5 one weekend night and realize they close at 6.  That would not make for a happy shopper!

In the Home tab, I simply put random coupons. I need to put dividers in here as well because I have way more than I realized...

AND because I need to separate the $5 off and the 20% Bed Bath and Beyond coupons.  It drives me CRAZY to have them mixed up!  

If you look closely, you can see that the top coupon expires or should I say expired in 2013.  Let me tell you a little secret if you don't already know, Bed Bath and Beyond will take the expired coupons.  I have been doing this for YEARS.  I NEVER check the expiration and they always take them.

In the back of my planner, I copied the backs of some Project Life card sets from Me and My Big Ideas that I have.  It makes it easier for me when I am in Michaels, picking out a new set, to make sure I don't get one I already have.  For some crazy reason they don't have a "set" name.  If they did, I would totally just make a list of the names I have.  I can't tell you how many repeat sets I have bought, NOT again, as long as I have my planner.

I love writing in purple, I also like writing in different colors but I really can't carry a ton of pens around.  So my new favorite pen is this four color BIC pen.  It lives in my planner at all times.

I have added a lot of stuff in this planner so it is pretty heavy.  The thing I love about this planner is that I always take it with me, but if I am going somewhere that I don't need it, it stays in the car.  

By writing things down as I need them and keeping this planner with me when I go out shopping, I am always prepared and never forget anything at home.  It's such a great feeling knowing I'm prepared.

And that's why this is "THE" perfect planner!

 Check out the UPDATE on my Errand Planner HERE
Until Next Time
SJR Post Signature


  1. Sigh! I think tomorrow while I'm shopping for Halloween Costumes I'm going to go to Staples so I can actually put this together instead of just dreaming about it more!

  2. I'm looking for a printable strickly for Errand there such an item? I have been wanting to have a planner and are trying to decide which one fits my needs. I am hesitate about buying some of the expensive ones because I'm afraid with my ADD, I would fill it out for a few days, life would throw me off and I'd get sidetracked and not write it in for weeks or months. I can't imagine carrying around anything that is large and heavy..even though I think the 8 1/2x11 would meet my needs. I have a hubby that is physically challenged due to previous back surgery and just trying to meet his needs is a full time job and to keep him from falling. I hadn't thought about the smaller version of a planner until I see this one of yours. It might work better than the larger version. I will check it out at Staples, hopefully within the next few days. Is it easy to find printables for that size? I am making a list of planner items I would find to fit my needs. Brand new can opener isn't working and I can't find my receipt so I need to find a place to keep receipts so it. Our monthly calendar stays on the D/R table for us to keep up with any Dr. appt. and any other committments. If it is not there, that upsets my DH; and he will sometimes look at it every time he passes through the D/R as if something has changed since the last time he looked at it 10 or 15 min. before. Yes, some memory loss problems going on there. I keep the most frequently used store cards like grocery stores and CVS and Rite-Aid on my keychain and in my purse at all times. We get other store coupons almost weekly and they are too bulky to carry around in my purse all the time and sometimes I find it too tempting to go shopping when I have them with me, not out of necessity. Especially if I am having a "down in the dumps" time.

    1. Pippi21 I'm so sorry to hear about your husband. I'm sure having a calendar out helps a ton. My errand planner comes with me pretty much any time I know I am going to a store BUT it does not stay in my purse. It is just too darn heavy. Printables for a Junior size can be tricky. I have had to play with the settings on my printer to get them to work. An errands printable I am sure you could find. Are you on Pinterest? I definitely have ADD with a touch of OCD. Every time I get a planner it changes two months later. I have figured out my needs and plan to do a nice little post about it. I think if you just play with your planner, you eventually will find what REALLY works. Don't be frustrated we are Planner Addicts for a reason ;) I'm hoping to stick with ONE method next year because I have simply tried EVERYTHING and I still change my ways. As far as the ARC system. It looks like it is being slowly discontinued from Staples. It's a shame because it is an AWESOME system. I'm hoping to try and find out some more on this. Every piece I have in my Errand Planner came from Staples and pretty much none of it is available. I hope you find a system that works, if not, please email me at and maybe we can chit chat about different ideas.

      Thanks for stopping by :)