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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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?

Dollar Store Haul

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

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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!

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?

August cleaning chart

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Updated cleaning chart for the month of August.

I think it’s pretty self-explanatory; I even have legend at the bottom!

I changed it so drastically because I decided I wanted to condense. There are so many things I do all at the same time, because they are near each other or involve the same cleaners. I wanted to put “vacuum” in every room because I always break that up. I do not do all the vacuuming at one time, rather, I pick up a room and then vacuum it.

I also included the monthly items in the room section where they go. It’s more likely I’ll do them on time this way than if they were separated at the bottom like before.

I’m excited about the color-coding and bold/italics to signify different things, rather than asterisks everywhere.

Also – honestly, I haven’t been keeping up with the routine cleaning as much since I’ve had the house in uproar trying to declutter. Revising the cleaning chart and changing it so significantly was inspiring!

Any questions? Ask away in the comments!

Disposing of Clutter pt 2 (donating)

Selling things can be fun and rewarding. It gives me a sense of accomplishment to know that my discarded items will bring someone else joy – and if not, I profited from getting rid of them.

Selling can also be a pain. 

It can be much, much easier to give things away, and just as rewarding – if not more so!

  • Make sure the person or organization wants your leftovers.

If they don’t, someone else will, so look around. I say this because I’ve given things to people who were uninterested in a donation and they go to waste – this was only realized later. I now know that just because my niece (or her parents) don’t want my giant stuffed dog that I thought might be fun for her – it gets thrown away when they move and I am slightly heartbroken. It’s not that I want the dog back – I just wish someone could have gotten use out of it, or at least that I wouldn’t have found out that they didn’t.

That’s the big one.

I tend to donate:

  • books to the public library. I don’t think they go on the shelves very often, but our public library has book sales to raise money for the library. The books they sell come from donators.
  • clothing and housewares to a local organization, Love INCLove INC is a Christian-based organization that provides low income families with inexpensively-priced items. They have “yard” sales where they sell items like what I donate.
  • furniture to Love INC also. They can even take things from your house if you request a pick up for large items such as a bed frame.

If you want, there are always shelters and the Salvation Army; we also have a Disabled Veterans organization that I an donate to.

I might sell rather than donate if I think the item is worth a pretty good bit of money, like a toy that is also seen as a collectable. Otherwise, I do tend to donate.

Things I’ve donated/given away recently, or am going to soon:

  • Children’s books (public library)
  • Blank photo albums (Love INC – probably for garage sale)
  • VHS tapes and VHS player (family member)
  • Bed frame (Love INC)
  • Clothing, shoes (Love INC)
  • Toys (family members)

Everything I give away or donate is in good condition.

To stay organized, and because I don’t want to go out every time I find something I want to give away, I keep my items together, usually in a big bag or box.

If you like the joy of selling AND the joy of donation, you could always sell items and donate the cash you receive as payment! 😉

Where do you donate your used things?

Tip for organizing/decluttering drawers

This post is specifically about your sock and/or underwear drawer(s). 

When it comes to socks and underwear, I used to think it was impossible to have “too many” socks or underwear. But there IS such a thing as too much! I have a policy.

  • Anything torn or stained
  • Anything that doesn’t fit right
  • Anything that you just don’t wear

GET RID OF THEM!

I have donated socks that are in good condition, but I tend to throw away underwear that has ever been worn. I think the only underwear I’ve ever donated were ones specifically purchased to donate.

Ladies’ bras may be donate-able but I’d be careful about the condition. Would you wear a secondhand bra that was stretched out, stained, or with exposed underwire?

There is nothing wrong with going through items like this – it gives you room in your dresser drawers!Image07272013101737

My sock drawer is huge… I roll all the socks into pairs and the drawer is then organized into boxes.

Left: Fluffy winter socks that I tend to wear only at home when it gets real cold here in Missouri.

In the middle: ankle socks. I don’t have as many of these because I like to wear sandals in the summer. Also, they are smaller socks.

Right: crew socks for winter as well as dress socks for work toward the front.

I will keep a single, mate-less sock for a little while as their mates do tend to show up. I hold true to my policy of if it is torn or stained, it’s gone. I have a lot of older crew socks, many of which have held up. If I’m left with an odd number after throwing away torn/holey socks, I’m confident that soon another will tear or get a hole, and I’ll pair up the two mateless ones together. (This obviously doesn’t work if the sock is somehow unique.)

It’s always nice to keep your dresser drawers organized so you can find what you need!