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?

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

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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?

Small plastic drawer organization

I have a three-drawer plastic container under my bathroom sink. I used to keep hair decorations and makeup in it.

Top drawer consisted of clips, bobby pins, and barrettes:

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Middle drawer held a brush, ponytail holders, a few headbands, and A LOT of ribbons:

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I’ll get to the makeup drawer in a minute.

First task was to declutter. The top drawer may have looked organized because of all the small boxes housing different things, but I didn’t use all of those things and that’s not organized to me. I made three piles (besides what I kept):
-throw away
-offer to adults – specifically, mom
-offer to little girls – nieces

I offered to my mom pretty soon after I made these piles, and what she didn’t want I either threw away (bobby pins/small, deformed clips) or donated.

Any ribbons I didn’t want were thrown away. Then I tied the shorter ribbons together (there were fewer) and rolled up the larger ribbons. (I use shorter ribbons for wrapping around a ponytail, braid, or bun; I use longer ribbons to wrap around my head like a headband.)

I then combined the drawers, since I had less of everything.

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I’ll admit, it looks LESS organized now. But trust me – I’ll be more easily able to find things now.

The next drawer housed things from another area under my bathroom sink:

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The place in the cabinet where this was was NOT helpful. And I almost never style my hair, so some products were unnecessary and others need to be more readily available so I’ll REMEMBER to use them!

This, minus the hairspray that didn’t fit, became the third drawer down:

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I also have my sporty-headbands in this drawer.

Bottom drawer used to be makeup… and other random stuff, apparently.

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Threw away every broken or super old makeup, the tattoos, the extra sponges (which I don’t use, I use a brush) and was left with virtually nothing.

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But that’s okay, because I rarely wear makeup. I plan on putting the brushes, mascara (not shown), and eyeliners – everything in the pink pencil holder – in a jar or something in my medicine cabinet. The eyeshadows, blushes, sharpeners, etc. will go in a travel makeup bag and live somewhere else so I can have another free drawer.

Since doing this, I’ve used more hair decorations than I have in a while, because I remembered they exist!

What’s under your bathroom sink?

Keeping your online sales organized

Selling list

To keep track of what I am selling and where, I made a spreadsheet.

Column A is the list of items (bold items are general categories; each category is separated by thicker lines.)
Column B is the starting price.
Columns C-I are places I have listed for sale. The bold dates are the original posting for that item, and non-bolded dates are the most recent “bump”.
Column J is how many bumps, so I know that I’ve tried. Some communities only allow bumps every so often.
Column K: When I will next bump.
Column L will be to show what has sold and possibly when.
Column M is when I’ll give up on selling the item.
Column N is where the item will go if it does not sell by the date in column M.

This makes for an END IN SIGHT, helping me feel better about the amount of boxes and things that I need to get rid of.