For me, as a mom, it is vitally important to be organized, so that my household runs smoothly. Something that helps me do this is my household notebook, which contains my:
- Grocery list: printed pages categorized by aisle. It keeps me from having to run all over the store, or going down the same aisle more than once. Cuts down tremendously on the amount of time a shopping trip takes.
- I find it helpful to menu plan, since I grocery shop once a week, on Wednesdays. On Tuesday, I plan out every meal for the week, including making sure that we have things for lunch, so that we don’t have to eat out. Once I have that planned, I make a list (on notebook paper, not on my grocery list pages) of everything I will need in order to fix those meals. I first check the pantry and refrigerator, to see what I already have, and cross those things off. Whatever remains goes onto the grocery list, in the appropriate categories
- Coupons: I am a coupon and deal hunting diva! My favorite place to visit is www.dealseekingmom.com . This site lists where the best printable coupons and deals can be found, and it gets updated several times a day
- I look for a coupon for EVERYTHING I buy, literally. A lot of the name brand items have coupons available on their websites, really good coupons. I recently found a coupon for $5.00 off any Cetaphil product. I just had to sign up for their newsletter, but you can set up a free email account specifically for that sort of thing, so that your main email doesn’t get spammed
- I shop around for grocery deals. Kroger, for example puts their new weekly ad up on their website at midnight on Tuesday night. When I get up for Izzy’s MOTN feeding, I check to see if they are having a sale on anything I need on my list. If they aren’t I don’t go to Kroger, I do all of my shopping at Walmart.
- Planner pages: This is where I put down anything I need to do that isn’t part of my daily to-do list. Appointments, grocery shopping, etc goes here. I also track Izzy’s feedings, my pumping output, calories eaten, burned, etc. I make and print these myself, you can see mine here if you are interested.
- Calendar: To mark down birthdays, appointments, etc. that are coming up in future months, but not yet close enough to put into your schedule.
- I print these pages out myself also, 2 on a page, front and back, so that the whole year fits on just 3 sheets of paper!
I just put all of this into a 3-ring binder with folders, and a zipper pouch to contain my calculator, pens, coupons, etc. I make all of my lists and schedules using Excel, but if you would prefer to be paperless, you can use the calendar in Outlook to create your schedule and store on your computer. Or, (and this, to me, is preferable) if you have a google account (Im sure you do, why wouldn’t you?) You can use the calendar that is tied into your gmail, which can be synced into Outlook, which can, in turn be synced to most cell phones/pda’s.