Friday, June 29, 2012

Cheap Summer: Get Organized (I can be a little anal sometimes)

Okay people.  So we are two weeks into Summer Vacation.  That leaves about 9 weeks left of pure fun to be had if you are a homemaker and have all the time in the world to kill.  

The best way to execute your cheap game plan is to be organized.  I grabbed an old 1 inch binder I had laying around (I usually buy them at Staples when I get a 100% reward back - usually happens in August with the Back-to-School specials).  If you don't have a binder laying around, they sell cheap ones for $1.79 at Staples.

So I got all creative with my binder.  Making up a cover and binding for it.

I have tabs in my binder.  The first one is the calendar.  Here, I went to and entered all the free crap I could find in my area (Weymouth, Quincy, Hingham, Braintree).  I blogged about most free stuff I found.  I find Cozi very easy to use.  You can use any calendar application though.  

After I entered all my crap, I printed out the 11 weeks in the week format.  So each week is a page of paper.  I printed double sided to save paper.  I'm that cheap.  I used blue paper only because I got it for free at Staples and I use it on things that "don't really matter".  Printing in the weekly format enables enough room for me to write in things that pop up.  

Now I have entered a lot of crap and I don't expect us to do everything on the calendar - but it's a nice go to place to see what there is if we are bored or stir crazy.  

If you are feeling like you should make a binder like this and need some ideas, well here is what I did:

The next tab is labeled "Events".  Here, I printed out more detailed descriptions of the stuff I found to do.  So if I see anything on my calendar that I might have forgot what it was all about, I can go to my "Events" tab and see more details of said free crap to do.  

I also have a "GYM" tab.  Since we belong to a gym, I have their schedules and whatnot in there so I know what classes are when and when free swim is.  

Since I'm gung-ho "DCR Park Passport" this summer, I have a tab devoted to that.  I have a checklist of the 15 places we have to hit up.  I also printed out the information for each park that I'm unsure about from the Massachusetts DCR webpage so I have addresses to plug into my GPS and information about what each park has to offer.  

Of course my binder would not be complete without a "COUPON" tab.  I splurged on a plastic folder of sorts at Staples that fits into my binder.  I think it was $1.29.  It's a plastic pocket with a velcro opening.  Here, I have all the coupons that I pulled out of my Entertainment Book, any Groupons I've bought, or any other discounts and coupons I have found for cheap fun.  

If you don't have the tools to make an organizational binder but want to, you can buy all the stuff needed at Staples for pretty cheap:

1" generic binder:  $1.79
Plastic Coupon holder:  $1.29
A 5-tab divider set:  $1.79

Total:  $4.87

This is assuming you already have a 3-ring punch and paper.  

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