Meal Planning and Grocery List

My husband and I are working on saving money and eating healthier by eating out less. We have tried meal planning in different ways before, but since we are getting more serious about it, I saw an idea on Pinterest and went for it!

Meal Planning and Shopping List!

I was thinking of selling this on my Etsy shop [savannahPcards], but because I copied the format from another organizer, I decided it would not be okay to profit off of this! So I am writing here instead – because I am still very proud of how it turned out! [If you would like your own, click this link and purchase hers!]

Usually we focus on planning dinner for my family, because we buy the same sorts of things for breakfast and lunch each week. With this strategy, you plan your meals on the same page as the shopping list.

And if you plan for more than a week in advance, you can print out multiple sheets.

I am thinking I’ll print a new one each week, but to be more environmentally friendly, you could print once on cardstock and either laminate or put in a plastic cover and use a dry erase marker to reuse. My issue with that was dragging around a laminated full-page to the grocery store, because I tend to fold my shopping lists enough that I can fit in a purse or pocket.

Here’s a bigger picture!

Meal Planning and Shopping List!

I customized it by how I shop.

  • Produce is when you first walk in our grocery store, and it’s the biggest section because we buy a lot of produce. Its box is green, because that’s the color produce makes me think of.
  • Shelves is the next largest section because there are a lot of shelves. However, we don’t buy as much from here. Noodles, sauce, beans, cereal, etc. The pink outline has no meaning : )
  • Bulk/natural is included because we shop at a store with an included Health Market. We buy things like chia seeds in bulk, coconut oil in natural, etc. We certainly don’t buy much here, but it was worth adding. Its outline is brown because nature/natural is brown in my book! (Since I already used green.)
  • Meat is slightly bigger. We buy our dinner meats from the meat counter section. Outline is red.
  • Dairy is decent-sized because we buy a lot of dairy. Milk, cheese, cheese sticks, yogurt, eggs, taco shells, tea, ham… The outline is yellow kind of like cheese/egg yolks.
  • Frozen is blue, and we buy a lot of frozen veggies and sometimes some ice cream or some treat.
  • Non-food would be like dog food, trash bags, pharmaceuticals, etc. The outline is black.

Could also include a deli section, but we don’t buy anything from there.

How would you make your list customized for your needs?

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An Organized Cord, Electronic, and Battery Drawer

Before buying our house, we never had enough drawer space to have a junk drawer. We did have a lot of cords and electronic accessories so we had a “cord and battery drawer” in the bottom of a side table. We still have it, and today we went through it all. We found so many cords that we didn’t know what they went to, plus a bunch of cords that we did know where they belonged – with something we no longer owned! This is the gallon bag I am bringing to Best Buy to recycle these cords:

An Organized Cord, Electronic, and Battery Drawer at OrganizationLove.wordpress.com

Some things that went in this bag included:

  • Old cell phone/camera chargers (The cell phones are no longer in our possession)
  • Phone cords (we only use ours for the internet, and we don’t need extra)
  • Computer charger that was broken
  • Cords that we didn’t know what they belonged with

We also threw away a lot, such as:

  • Old memory cards we’ll never be able to use again
  • Multiple camera straps
  • Dead batteries
  • Broken earbuds

We kept chargers and adapters we use.

I labeled anything that wasn’t already with bread ties and Sharpie.

An Organized Cord, Electronic, and Battery Drawer at OrganizationLove.wordpress.com

Also, used twist ties to contain the cords. (Or, once, a toilet paper tube for a longer cord.)

An Organized Cord, Electronic, and Battery Drawer at OrganizationLove.wordpress.com

Used battery containers from the Container Store (found here) to contain batteries of all sizes. I don’t have any C batteries right now and I used the C-sized container to keep extra size AAs.

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Some things I love to have that I keep in this drawer also:

  • A battery checker

An Organized Cord, Electronic, and Battery Drawer at OrganizationLove.wordpress.com

  • A reusable battery charger

An Organized Cord, Electronic, and Battery Drawer at OrganizationLove.wordpress.com

This is the drawer now. It includes

  • chargers
  • adapters
  • battery checkers
  • battery charging device
  • batteries
  • mini flashlight
  • less-used earbuds
  • mini tripod for camera
  • microphone
  • old disposable camera that I’ll use up and find some place to develop
  • old iPod Nano that I only use on long car rides (and the adapter to go with it)
  • camera when I’m not using it – then I don’t lose it so much

An Organized Cord, Electronic, and Battery Drawer at OrganizationLove.wordpress.com

Of course, I have other chargers and electronic accessories that I do not keep in this drawer – such as both our cell phone chargers (used nightly), my laptop charger (used regularly), bigger flashlights, etc.

Do you have a place to store your cords? Have you ever gone through it?

DIY Birthday Display Craft

DIY Birthday Display Craft

Before we get too far into 2015, I have got to share a craft I made to enjoy year round.

I had a small family, but I married into a huge one! I now have 11 nieces and nephews, as well as 7 siblings-in-law.

Something else you should know about me is how much I treasure birthdays. I think they are fantastic and deserve to be celebrated by children and adults alike. I love to celebrate with the birthday people by mailing cards and making phone calls. I have birthdays on my calendars, including as a recurring event on my iCal (those recurring events – so helpful!) but I wanted to treasure them by putting them on display in a whole different way.

DIY Birthday Display Craft by Savannah of organizationLove

I chose a color of background card stock for each month, and a coordinating pen and marker color. I used a different color of background paper for almost each month, and tried to make the color scheme correspond with a big holiday in the month. October is black and orange due to Halloween falling in October, for example. I made the squares 3.5″ and then cut out the white (with small colored flecks – reminded me of birthday cake) paper slightly smaller with decorative scissors.

The months are written in cursive in a color. Down the left side, in numerical order, are the days where birthdays lie. The birthday person’s name is written in black to stand out, and lastly the year they were born (so I can always figure out how old they are, and for adults, if a milestone birthday is approaching!)

I also included anniversaries with a heart next to the last name of the couple. The heart is dark enough that it makes it easy to differentiate from birthdays. And yes – I observe the anniversary of our proposal and the day we started dating as well. (Actually, these are on the chart mostly because it helps me remember the years these things happened!)

I used my hole punch to make a hole above the month name and threaded some gold string through, double/triple tying a knot to create a circle. They hang on a giant pushpin pushed into the bulletin board near my front door. When a month is over, like January is, I just move it to the back by taking the entire pushpin out and slipping the passed month over the point and all!

DIY Birthday Display Craft by Savannah of organizationLove

This is also handy because the kids in the family are too young for Facebook birthday reminders! 

Do you love birthdays too? Let me know in the comments how you remember your family members’ birthdays!

Under the Kitchen Sink Makeover

Under the Kitchen Sink Makeover

Under our kitchen sink was a horrendous mess! Mostly because we never cleaned it out before moving in. I thought hey, if the previous owners kept the painting supplies etc under here, it must be a good place, right?

Wrong! I’m used to keeping other things under there, and there was hardly room.

Under Kitchen Sink Makeover

Step one: Empty everything out. Under the Kitchen Sink Makeover

Step 2: Wipe out the inside of the cabinets.

Under the Kitchen Sink Makeover

Under the Kitchen Sink Makeover

Step 4: Get rid of things that don’t belong. Paint supplies moved to the garage. Phone books will be recycled as soon as I unsubscribe from each. There were way too many plastic sacks that I will recycle next time I go to the grocery store (I did save several, though.)

Step 5: Categorize what’s left. I store my ziploc bags, wax paper, foil, parchment paper, and paper bags under the sink for easy access. I also keep my garbage bags (including grocery sack liners for small trash bags), brown paper grocery sacks for cardboard recycling, and blue recycling bags under the sink.

Under the Kitchen Sink Makeover

Here’s my plastic box full of trash day goodies.

I also installed a wire shelf-like thing from the Container Store on the cabinet door. I put the parchment paper, foil, wax paper, brown paper bags, freezer bags, and gallon storage bags in this.

Under the Kitchen Sink Makeover

END RESULT:

Under the Kitchen Sink Makeover

Much cleaner and easier to find anything I want. On trash days I’ll just pull out the plastic box and take what I need since everything is grouped together. I also added the soap refill.

How’s the underside of your kitchen sink looking? Does it need a makeover?

Important Information sheets

I spent a little while today updating my important information sheets. I like to have a hard copy of all this information in case my phone contacts are lost, or to bring into doctors, etc.

First was medical.

I organize medication first by prescribing doctor – I have 2 that prescribe me medication, and I take some over the counter.

Without divulging all my personal information… This is what part of my medication sheet looks like.

PRESCRIBING DOCTOR: Name, MD

Medication: Levothyroxine – generic for Synthroid    since 03/2011
Dose: 50 mcg / morning (1 tablet)
Treating: Hypothyroidism

OVER THE COUNTER:

Medication: Ferrous Sulfate (United Research Laboratories)
Dose: 325 mg / morning (1 tablet)
Treating: Iron deficit

whiteout

The next page included all my doctor’s information. Besides my current doctors, this also included my pharmacy and lab. Information included were the name of the doctor, name of the clinic, address of the clinic, and phone numbers including fax. 

Next was non-medical.

Employer information: I work at a school. I included the phone number/address of the public school HQ and the specific school I work at, as well as the phone numbers for my 2 direct bosses.

I also babysit. I included the address of the home and both parents’ phone numbers.

Husband works at a restaurant. I included the phone number, address, and the phone number of the owner.

Cars: Towing company phone number
Garages phone numbers and addresses
Insurance agent and insurance company

Dog: Veterinarian office and our vet’s name, address, clinic phone number and in case of emergency pager
Groomer address and phone number

Home information: 
Our relator
Home insurance company
Electric company
Water/sewage company
Mortgage company
Contractor
Bank
Internet provider

whiteout important info 2

With all applicable situations, I included the account number. I thought it would be easier to have all the information in one place instead of having to search through old bills for any account numbers. I had a hard enough time finding the bills for account numbers and phone numbers just to update this list.

I keep these papers in a binder and the files stored on my computer. When a main doctor retired recently and I searched high and low for a new one, it was very helpful to have my medication list to fill out all the paperwork. Also, when I washed my phone in the washing machine not too long ago (whoops!), it was great to have the most important phone numbers written down so I could easily put them in my new phone. This was particularly helpful with employers’ phone numbers.

Is your important information organized?

How To Go Back to “Old” Gmail Inbox

If you use Gmail, this post is for you!

I have used Gmail for a long time and I have liked it for as long. I tweak it to personalize it, and when the options were given for a Primary, Social, Promotions, Updates, and Forums in the “New” Inbox, I didn’t like it. I tried to embrace the change for a few days, but then I decided I wanted to change it back. If you feel the same way, here’s how.

Step 1: Click on the gear 
Step 2: Click on “Settings” from the drop down menu
Step 3: Click on the header “Inbox” (3rd from the left)
Step 4: Uncheck all categories (“Primary” remains checked no matter what) 

steps

Step 5: Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click “Save Changes”!!

steps2

 

That’s it. Back to the old inbox. 

If you use Gmail, how do you feel about the new inbox settings?

Dollar Store Haul

Went to one of those dollar stores where everything actually is $1 (or less.)

dollarstore
Bought:

  • Hole reinforcers for my many binders
  • File folder labels for my many file folders (I have been cutting the sticky parts of post-its for years!)
  • 8 binder clips in varied colors for my bulletin board and for holding papers
  • Dog bowl – for water, to match dog’s food bowl, except this one is blue (symbolism)

Sorry I have been slacking on posting the last week – had to prepare for my husband’s birthday party at our house. Along with the regular working, cooking, cleaning, several doctor’s appointments, and getting to see my love in the evenings.

Hope everyone is having a good Labor Day!