Title:
Coupon and bill organizer
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An organizing device for efficiently storing coupons and creating shopping lists. The device has a box shape and the lid of the box acts as a clipboard that is adapted for holding a pad of paper. A pen that can be used to create a shopping list on the paper is permanently attached to the lid by a chain. The lid is attached to the box by a hinge and when the lid is opened, an accordion file is revealed. The accordion file is attached to the back of the lid and can be used to store multiple coupons and/or bills. The lid can be temporarily locked in the closed position by friction catch. The organizing device includes a carrying case with an adjustable strap that can be used to carry the organizing device as well as other items.



Inventors:
Heller, Robert J. (Beaumont, CA, US)
Heller, Dorothy J. (Beaumont, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/079542
Publication Date:
09/21/2006
Filing Date:
03/14/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
206/245
International Classes:
B65D71/00; B65D85/10
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Primary Examiner:
LALLI, MELISSA LYNN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SETO PATENTS (SALEM, VA, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A device for organizing coupons and bills, the device comprising: a rectangular body, the rectangular body having four sides and a bottom, the four sides and the bottom defining an interior of the body, wherein the rectangular body has an open top; a lid, the lid being sufficiently large to cover the top of the rectangular body, wherein the lid has a top and a bottom, and the lid is pivotally attached to the top of the body by a hinge; a pressure clip, wherein the pressure clip is permanently attached to the top of the lid, the pressure clip being adapted for holding one or more pieces of paper to the top of the lid; a pen, wherein the pen can be temporarily attached to the top of the lid via a penholder and the pen is permanently attached to the top of the lid via a chain; and, a two part friction catch, the friction catch having a first part that is attached to the lid and a second part that is attached to the body so that when the lid is placed in a closed position the first and second parts engage, thereby temporarily locking the lid in the closed position; wherein, the device is capable of storing items, including coupons and bills, in the interior of the body and a user can use the pen to create a shopping list on a piece of paper held to the top of the lid by the pressure clip.

2. The device of claim 1, further comprising: an accordion file, the accordion file having multiple pockets and being attached to the bottom of the lid so that the user has easy access to the multiple pockets of the accordion file when the lid is in an open position.

3. The device of claim 2, further comprising: a carrying case, the carrying case having an interior capable of accepting the device, wherein the carrying case includes a strap that is attached to a top of the case, the strap being strong enough to support a weight of the case and the device.

4. The device of claim 3, wherein the strap is an adjustable strap, the adjustable strap having a length that is capable of being changed by the user.

5. The device of claim 4, wherein the pen is a refillable pen, the refillable pen having an internal ink cartridge that is capable of being replaced.

6. The device of claim 5, wherein the body and lid have a shape other than rectangular.

7. The device of claim 5, wherein a top of the carrying case includes a closing apparatus for at least temporarily closing the top of the carrying case.

8. The device of claim 5, wherein the interior of the carrying case includes multiple pockets and at least one of the pockets is adapted for holding a cellular telephone.

9. The device of claim 5, wherein each pocket in the accordion file includes a space for accepting a label.

10. The device of claim 5, wherein body and lid are made of plastics and the body and lid are provided in one or more colors.

11. The device of claim 6, wherein the body and lid are made of plastics and the body and lid are provided in one or more colors.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to the field of organizational devices and more specifically to a device for efficiently storing coupons, creating a shopping list and organizing other personal affairs.

Everyone has to eat. That is why there are multiple grocery stores in every city and town in America. Because of competition many grocery stores offer coupons to attract customers to their stores. Coupons allow customers to purchase items for less than they would otherwise have to pay. Coupons are usually very specific. Each coupon is typically only applicable to a certain size of a certain brand of product. For instance, an exemplary coupon may provide a one dollar discount off of the regular price of a bottle of spaghetti sauce. However, the customer will only be able to take advantage of this one dollar savings by purchasing the 48 oz. bottle of Prego® spaghetti sauce, for example. Because of this specificity, and because of the large number of coupons that are issued by grocery stores and product manufacturers, customers must be very selective in the coupons that they save. Moreover, once the customer has decided to save a number of coupons, he has to remember to take the coupon with him to the store when he goes shopping.

What is needed in the field is an item that combines a reusable shopping list with a device for organizing and storing coupons. For customers that take a shopping list with them when they go shopping, such a device would force the customer to also take the coupons that he selected and stored.

Everyone also has some monthly bills that have to be paid. A fist of typical monthly bills may include, rent or mortgage, gas, water, electric and telephone. It is important that customers pay their bills in order to keep a good credit rating. It is also important to pay monthly bills in order to keep important resources such as water and electricity supplied to the customer's house. Keeping track of bills is made harder by the randomness with which bills arrive. Because of the importance of paying a large number of bills on time, customers are faced with a never-ending headache.

What is also needed in the field is an organizing device that helps customers keep track of bills. The ideal organizing device could be used both for organizing coupons and bills.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A device for organizing coupons and bills. The device includes a rectangular body and a lid. The top of the lid includes a pen and a pressure clip that allows the lid to act as a clipboard The rectangular body has four sides and a bottom. The four sides and the bottom define an interior of the device and the rectangular body has an open top. The lid is sufficiently large to cover the open top of the rectangular body. The lid is pivotally attached to the top of the body by a hinge. The pressure clip is permanently attached to the top of the lid, and the pressure clip is adapted for holding one or more pieces of paper to the top of the lid. The pen can be temporarily attached to the top of the lid via a penholder and the pen is permanently attached to the top of the lid via a chain. The device also includes a two part friction catch with a first part that is attached to the lid and a second complementary part that is attached to the body. When the lid is placed in the closed position the first and second parts engage, thereby temporarily locking the lid in the closed position. The device is capable of storing items, including coupons and bills, in the interior of the body and a shopper can use the pen to create a shopping list on the paper that is held to the top of the lid by the pressure clip.

The organizing device also preferably includes an accordion file with multiple pockets that is attached to the bottom of the lid, so that the user has easy access to the pockets of the accordion file when the lid is open. An optional carrying case is included so the device can easily be carried to stores. The carrying case includes interior pockets and an adjustable strap. The pen in the preferred embodiment is a refillable pen, meaning the pen has an internal ink cartridge that is capable of being replaced. The present organizing device can be provided in shapes, other than rectangular, in alternative embodiments.

It is an object of the present invention to make the job of storing and using store coupons much easier.

It is another object of the present invention to make the job of storing and paying monthly bill easier.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention of the present application will now be described in more detail with reference to the accompanying drawings, given only by way of example, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the preferred embodiment;

FIG. 2 shows the interior of the preferred embodiment; and,

FIG. 3 shows an optional carrying case for the preferred embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

FIG. 1 shows the preferred embodiment of the present coupon and bill organizer 100. The body 105 of organizer 100 has a rectangular box shape with a lid 110 that is capable of being opened. The lid 110 of the organizer 100 doubles as a clipboard. Pressure clip 115 on the lid 110 is perfect for holding down a piece of paper, or a pad of paper, such as shopping list 120. A shopper can use pen 125 to write down information on the shopping list 120. The shopper will always have pen 125 at hand as the pen is attached to the organizer 100 by chain 130. Chain 130 is a flexible metal chain in the preferred embodiment. However, chain 130 is made of other materials, including plastics and fabrics, in other embodiments. Pen 125, when not being used, is held against lid 110 by penholder 135. The lid 110 is secured to the body 105 of the organizer by friction catch 140. The body 105 and lid 110 of the organizer 100 are made of plastics in the preferred embodiment. The body 105 and lid 110 are made of other materials, including paper, in other embodiments. The clip 115 is a spring loaded pressure clip, but may be other types of clips in other embodiments. The pen 125 is a refillable ink pen, but may be any writing utensil capable of being refilled. The friction catch 140 actually has two parts, both of which are visible in FIG. 2.

FIG. 2 shows the preferred embodiment of the present organizer 100 with its lid 110 open. The second part 210 of the friction catch 140 can be seen permanently attached to the body 105 of organizer 100. The second part 210 of the catch has a shape that is complementary to the shape of the catch 140. The complementary shapes allow the catch 140 to snap into a temporary locked position when the lid 110 is closed. Pulling upward on the leading edge of the friction catch 140, which disengages the catch 140 from the second part 210, can then open the lid 110. An accordion style file 200 with multiple pockets is attached to the interior of the lid 110, so that the file 200 is easily accessible to the user when the lid 110 is open. The multiple pockets of the accordion file 200 can be labeled and used for storing coupons by any method of the shoppers choosing. One method would be to only store grocery coupons in the file 200 with one pocket for meats, one pocket for cereals, one pocket for diary products, etc. Another method would be to use the file 200 for all types of coupons, with one pocket for grocery coupons, one pocket for department store coupons, one pocket for car repair coupons, etc. The file 200 can also be used to store bills, such as monthly bills that the user must pay. The customer could use one pocket for the electric bill, one pocket for the telephone bill, etc. Of course, the possible organizing methods for the accordion file 200 are only limited by necessity and the user's creativity. The lid 110 and accordion file 200 rotate on hinge 205. Extra space is provided inside the body 105 of the organizer 100 for temporary storage of coupons and bills to be filed and other items.

FIG. 3 shows an optional carrying bag 300 that can be used to carry the present organizer 100 to and from stores. The carrying bag 300 includes an adjustable carrying strap 305, interior room for the organizer 100 and multiple pockets 315 and 320 for carrying items such as a cell phone and letters. The carrying bag 300 also includes a closing device such as complementary pieces of hook and loop (velcro-like) material 310.

The foregoing description of the specific embodiments will so fully reveal the general nature of the invention that others can, by applying current knowledge, readily modify and/or adapt for various applications such specific embodiments without departing from the generic concept. Therefore, such adaptations and modifications should and are intended to be comprehended within the meaning and range of equivalents of the disclosed embodiments. It is to be understood that the phraseology of terminology employed herein is for the purpose of description and not of limitation.





 
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