A little Gratituesday post combined for something that's making my life a whole lot easier right now...
This is one of those ideas I wish I could take credit for, because it's helped me so much over the last month. I did have something similar when Hanna was tiny (I even had a list to jot down her naptime because I was convinced she never slept!), but haven't had anything like it for years. I saw this post of Stephanie's at Keeper of the Home a month ago and realized it was just what I needed to take care of some of my random lists and recipes.
What is this glorious tool?
My homemaking binder.
Pretty simply, it's a 3-ring binder with page protectors (and I actually splurged on a heavy duty one). Mine is pretty basic right now, but I will defintiely be adding to it. It's mostly food focused, but it's flexible enough to expand as I find other needs. At this point, I've put about an hour's worth of work into it...and I know it's saved me far more!
Here's a look at what's in it:
(note - you can click on anall photos to make them larger if you want to see what's actually on my lists)
The first two pages are my master meal lists: 21 Meals and another list of Other Favorite Meals. I've come across this idea several times now and love it - for the most part, we all tend to make the same dinners over and over...and over...and most families have about 20 dinners that are favorites. Things like fajitas, enchiladas, crockpot chicken, lasagna - dinners we make about once a month are all on the 21 Meals list. Other dinners that we love - soups, special occasion meals, stuff like that - those are on our Others list.
And nope, I haven't come up with 21 meals yet and I've been working on it for a month. I figure it leaves room to find new favorites =)
And my lists are just tables I printed up pretty quickly on the computer. Nothing special there!
As I add them to the master lists, those 21 and other favorite recipes are getting typed up (or printed out) and added in page protectors behind them. Quite a few are already here on my blog, but I'm embarassed to admit how many times I've printed some of them out. I have a drawer full of recipe printouts that I can go through and get rid of now. I'm also adding a few from favorite cookbooks that get used often.
Next up is my Freezer Inventory. That's page one of two of what I made on my last baking day. I just cross things off as I take them out (and am trying to train the kids to at least let me know when they have). When I'm ready to do my meal planning for the week, I just pull these pages out and see what I have left. This page alone has made my week so much easier! It's also helping me to see what changes to make to my next baking day.
After the freezer inventory, I added in all of my baking day recipes and I even printed out my plan from last month. I'm thinking it might be helpful to have those as well as I plan future baking days.
Other pages I plan on adding:
- Cleaning schedules
- Bill schedules
- Garden plans, maps, notes and harvests
- Notes from the GNOWFGLINS ecourse I'm taking
- Master Shopping Lists
- and others as see the need
I am so grateful for the new sense of organization this little binder has given me, as well as the time it has saved me over the last month.
Want to read more Gratituesdays? Head on over to Heavenly Homemakers!