Monday, September 18, 2017

Cut Menu Planning Time in Half!

I don't know about you, but I used to waste a lot of time holding the refrigerator door open wondering what I was going to make for dinner. Kids are hungry, the bread winner will be home soon wanting some amazing, yet thrifty meal...Oh,the stress. That's the same time you're trying to help someone finish their homework while listening to another someone read, etc., etc.

I decided I had to have a plan of attack...
So here's what I did:
First, I made a list of all my family's favorite meals. Don't bother listing meals the kids absolutely hate. It's not worth your time and effort to waste the food anyway. Make sure they are nutritious, but tasty. If you haven't got many recipes, email or Facebook some friends and do a recipe exchange. Avoid fast food. Those are for the rare emergency. There are a lot of meals you can make ahead of time and freeze--just Google it. I love using my crockpot for busy days. There are a lot of set-it and forget-it type recipes out there. 

Next, I printed out 3 blank calendars and mapped out the meals. This helped me plan more variety instead eating chicken all week long. I could plan an Italian dish, maybe a casserole, or pulled-pork. This also prevented me from repeating the same recipe too often. A 3-month rotation is about right for us. With the one-month rotation my husband felt like, "we just had this." Three months gives him time to forget. If you plan for leftovers you only have to plan half the meals.

Next, I print out 5-6 pages of the Shopping list. List your menu items for one month at a time. It may take 2-3 pages depending on how many different meals you have on your calendar. Under each menu item list the ingredients you have to buy special for that dish, don't bother listing staple items. Keep each list behind the calendar they go with so your ingredients are easier to find.

Copy your master Shopping list and mark the items needed for your next shopping trip. If your list is sparse, write it down into one easy-to-read list.

This takes some time initially to make your list and list all of the ingredients, but it takes hours off the menu planning and shopping list.

Enjoy Always,

Monday, September 11, 2017

Track your Birthday Milestones and Gift List Easier with FREE Printables

When my kids were little we only had to keep track of the 7 birthdays of our immediate family. As they kids all married and had children, 7 turned into 30. What a delightful problem to have, right?

I have a pretty good memory. I've added these dates to many calendars over the years, but I started to forget how old each grandchild was and what year they were born. 

Yikes! I might miss a milestone birthday. I like being prepared ahead of time for the milestones. We celebrate every birthday, but we have traditions at certain birthdays, like blessings, baptisms, ordinations, acceptance to Hogwart's, etc.

On the Birthday Milestones page I write the name and birthdate complete with the year, then add their age in every year column. Then I highlight the milestones. That way I know how many milestones to prepare for in that year.
On the Gift List page I include the ages to remind me to find age-appropriate gifts as well as the milestone gifts. On this page I list all of the birthdays in order of the month they fall in, kind of like a perpetual calendar.

I list the birthdays in order and leave a couple of blanks in each month for additions to our family. I think we are done having new grandbabies but I have room for surprises.

You can also use the gift list page for Christmas. It's never too soon to plan.

Give it a try and see if it helps you. Remember, you can always access all of my printables in the Library of awesomeness (aka FREE printables) by subscribing to my blog. You will get the link in your welcome email.


Monday, September 4, 2017

How to Make Journaling Easier with FREE Printables!

I have a good friend who is interested in journaling, but afraid to start for fear of "making a mistake."

First of all, there's no such thing as mistakes, only experiments!
You have to explore and experiment. How else are you going to know what you like? Besides, you have to practice.

But, what if you had a little help?

In the Library of FREE Printables there are 6 pages of arrows, tabs, banners and icons in blue, red, yellow, green, purple and rainbow.

Print what you need onto full sheet adhesive paper and cut out. OR, if you have a sticker maker, print out on regular paper, cut and run through your sticker maker.

There is also a rainbow page of larger banners:
Subscribe to my email list and I will send you the link to access the FREE Library of Printables.