Sunday, August 21, 2016

Getting the most out of seventeen cents

This year I stocked up on .17 spiral notebooks. Sarah Mackenzie uses them as homeschool planners, although I still prefer and use the planner grids I get from Christian Book Distributors for homeschooling.

Last summer because of Celiac Disease and going gluten free, I was price comparing and saving receipts for our gluten-free lifestyle. I used the spiral notebooks. (Before, I used a piece of loose-leaf paper for our grocery list and meal planning that I would discard when I was finished.) Over the past year, the spiral notebook has become a great resource.

The left side opens to a weekly meal plan and at-a-glance view of activities. It now also contains other errands or stores I want to shop.

The right side was and still is dedicated to Wegmans--my main shop (I try to list items by aisle, and I listed chipotle powder several times as I'm not sure which part of the store I would be likely to find it: organic, international, or baking/spices). I plan one week at a time. I usually keep receipts and staple them to the shopping week.

I keep a dry-erase board on the fridge for my family to write down things they think of so I'm not getting random, frequent updates all week. I don't have the memory for all that. It's worked out well, and I can add in items they need/want just before I head out to shop.

Because we hit such a food rut, I started going through my Pinterest boards, and now I work backwards in the spiral notebook, writing in recipes I want to try from websites. (This has been really good, because I can get very disorganized with recipes and I don't keep a computer in the kitchen. Once I'm done with a Pinterest recipe, I make a notation in description and resave it to my did it board.) Or I will reference the meal with the page number of a cookbook I'm using that week.

shorthand recipes
This week coming, I plan to try: creamy broccoli, chicken and bacon pasta; salsa verde honey lime chicken and rice bake; strawberry avocado spinach salad; grilled fajita steak with avocado cilantro dressing. These recipes are from my Pinterest in queue board.

I've built in nights for leftovers and pizza.

What's nice about this is that I can flip through the notebook for ideas and favorite recipes, like sour cream pancakes or Linda's recipe for mac and cheese (we just use gluten free pastas in place of regular pastas and gluten free flour blends where regular flour is called).
I also use it for quick looks for lunch ideas or for pantry reminders.

trying to help Erin branch out; boxes at the top are bento lunch box configurations

quick glance for extras to pick up if it's a light week
Writing this out for Lanie. She commented just this afternoon, "I think I'll use notebooks for my lists." Or something to that effect. Here you go, honey. This is the how and why.



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