Friday, April 27, 2012

A Pretty Little Clipboard

A few weeks ago I posted about my menu planning each week (here).  Then Kristin at The OCD Lifestyle (awesome!  Find her here) posted a picture of her grocery shopping on her Facebook page and she had her menu plan attached to the cutest clipboard!  So, I decided I must have one too!  While I am sure I could have gone looking for one, I have old clipboards laying around (thats the teacher part of me) and so I did a little makeover.

I had fabric leftover from the hair bow holder I made for my daughter (find that here) so I used that.  I had planned to use scrapbook paper, which may be better to write on, but this was FREE! I also had some ribbon from a previous project that I used to make the edges look pretty.

Here is a shot of clipboard I used.  I did make a cut out in the fabric around the clip at the top.

I put Mod Podge on the front of the clipboard and stuck the fabric to it.  I left excess to wrap around the edges so everything would lay nicely. 

Then I put more Mod Podge on the back to adhere the edges.

Then I used more Mod Podge :) to attach a different fabric to the back.

I used a hot glue gun to attach ribbon to the edges to cover where the fabrics overlapped.

Some ribbon also went around the edge of the clip to cover the fabric edges.

Here is the finished clipboard with my weekly menu plan sheet.  I'm really excited to use it each week as I go shopping.  It will be easier to cross items off my list with something to write on.  Plus I can clip my coupons to it or anything else I may need while shopping.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Little Ways to Go Green!

Our family is always trying to find ways that we can "Go Green."  I thought for Earth Day, I would share a few of the things we do.  I know that there are millions of ways and thousands of things we can or should be doing.  These were simple changes for us that were low cost and we have been able to stick with.

We bought a large black composting container that sits in a corner of our backyard.  I keep this container on the counter and I put all our fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, and tea bags in this container.  When it is full, we dump it into the larger bin in the yard.  There are many systems sold for the counter top, but this container was cheap at Target and we empty it often enough that it doesn't smell in the kitchen.

We have two cans in our kitchen.  One is for trash and the other is for our recycling.  We are fortunate that our garbage company also recycles.  They have a big can that we put out with our trash bins.  We put cans, bottles, newspaper, plastics, etc. in this bin and empty it into the bigger bin when it is full.

Rain Barrel
 A rain barrel sits at the corner of our garage and hooks to the end of our gutter.  This collects rain water.  We then use the spout to fill water cans for our flower pots or to water plants.  This helps us save water and keeps our water bill down in the warmer months.

 Reusable Bags
Weekly shopping trips include reusable bags.  I have bought them from a variety of sources, usually when stores offered them cheap or on clearance.  I grab these anytime I head out for my grocery runs and make sure to keep them clean as well.  

I hope, through this post, you find some ideas that will help your family as well.  We are always finding new ideas to try.  Recently, my husband was up late watching TV and saw tips for using Grapefruit Essential Oil in may see that post on here one day:)


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Doing a Little Reorganizing

I decided to do a little reorganizing.  It is a dreary Sunday with threats of storms so projects inside were a must.  We bought this end table about 10 years ago when we moved into our house.  At the time, it seemed like a style I liked.  Oh, how times change!  While it is a good, sturdy piece, the style is not really what I have in mind anymore (probably thanks to Pinterest inspiration:).
Here is what the table looks like (say hi to Chesney!  He is rather lazy and requires more work to move than its worth:).  I have plans to repaint, but that is going to wait for now.  We are going to repaint our first floor soon and I need to decide on a color scheme to go with.  The crazy thing about this table is that it has always been empty!  I have a cabinet in the kitchen I would like to repurpose and redo as well (a post on that will be at a later date) so I decided to use this table for things that did not need to be in that kitchen cabinet.

I enjoy couponing and I have kept my binder and ads in the kitchen.  I tend to throw things in the kitchen cabinet and it becomes a mess.  See?
I have moved and cleaned up my couponing supplies.  I put my binder and ads in the bottom of the table. 

I put a basket in the top drawer for any coupons that need to be put in my binder and the envelope I take shopping with me each week. 

This has left me with lots of extra space in the cabinet in the kitchen to work with.  You'll have to wait a little while for that "after" since it is going to go along with cleaning out my kitchen.  One of my summer projects from teaching is to go through my kitchen and throw out and reorganize since it hasn't been done since we moved in.  I'm sure there are things I don't even remember putting in the cabinets and I'm really feeling the need lately to purge and get rid of things we don't really need.  I'm craving a more streamlined house lately!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Menu Planning

 Menu Planner
Link to a Google Doc of my menu plan

I create a weekly menu and grocery shopping list for our family.  I have found that this cuts down on the amount of wasted food each week.  While I do buy weekly what we need for some meals, I also buy meat that is on sale and freeze it for future dinners.  We usually eat out one weekend night so I cross off that evening in my plan and then fill in recipes for the other nights from the meat we have in the freezer or what is on sale for the week.  This is usually the priciest part of the meal so I find its best to plan around it.  

My husband and I are both teachers and take our lunches each day.  Therefore, I have a separate box where I plan what we need for lunches that week.  Sometimes I just write in leftovers, but usually I want to include lunch meats, salad fixings, or other parts of our lunches so nothing is forgotten.

After I have decided our meals for the week, I create our shopping list for anything we may need that isn't already in the pantry.  I usually shop two different stores based upon the sales.  One is best for our meat and produce while the other is cheaper for dry goods and other staples.  If I know the price, I make a note of it so I have a general idea of what I'm spending.  I also mark the items I have a coupon for as a reminder.  I have left the store names blank on the menu for you to fill in what works best for you.

I find that by planning each week, I am not making last minute, and often expensive, trips to the grocery store before dinner.  In addition, we rarely run out of our daily needs like milk, bread, juice, etc.
I hope you find this document helpful!  If you do download it, I would love to hear from you!



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