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To go along with other meal planning things: I just bought a pad at Hobby Lobby of blank weekly menus with attached shopping list ( but perforated so it easily tears off). I was printing something similar off of the internet and making copies, but now I don’t have to worry about it for at least a year. So worth the $6  (after coupon).

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This will sound kind of dorky, but it really works: in the fall and winter I keep a "box" of Trader Joe's butternut squash soup at the ready.

One cup of the soup actually stops me from being hungry (I use watermelon in the summer).

Still following!

Wendy

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20 hours ago, Medicmom2.0 said:

I posted this on my IG earlier but I think it fits.

If you light candles and put a flower arrangement in the middle of the table, it makes the Eggo Waffles you half heartedly threw in the toaster for dinner look like you tried.

Follow me for more outstanding homemaking tips. 

CADDAC49-9518-4288-990E-67B21D26F26F.jpeg

Okay, this is genius.

Wendy

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11 hours ago, Carol in Cal. said:

Optimized totes for car trips.  This is so much better than exploding duffles.

I have a tote that is rectangular and open on top that is the exact size of a folded pair of blue jeans.  It carries pants, shorts, and wrinkle proof (jeans or quick dry hiking) skirts, each folded in half.  When I arrive, everything goes straight into a drawer.

I have a tall, narrow tote for layers of underwear—socks, bras, panties.  Nothing falls out, nothing embarrassing shows, all in one place.

I have a medicine bug out bag.  This has medical supplies of every kind and it would be the first thing after my purse that I grabbed to bug out for a wildfire.  Thermometer, pulse oximeter, zinc, herbal tea, those Chinese anti Covid capsules, Allegra, Sudafed, aspirin, thyroid meds, asthma meds, all ride in this.  It zips closed so it’s always contained.  

I have a big wide zipper tote the size of an old fashioned carry on bag that I carry shoes and toiletries in.

I used to improvise these every time I went anywhere, but I drive around the state so much that have a defined system with things that always are used for the same things is awesome.  They are lighter weight than suitcases, and more usable.  Unless I get on a plane, this is my system, and I love it.

 

 

What are the Chinese anti covid capsules?

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I did the meal plan thing too.  I have 21 meals that I have in a ring binder with page protectors.  On the list, I have what meals I can easily double so that I don’t have to cook for the next food cycle at least some of the meals.   I also have the shopping list for those meals.  I can just copy the shopping list and cross off what I already have.  It’s just one less thing to think about.  

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13 hours ago, Patty Joanna said:

Oh, and did I mention a housekeeper that comes once a month.  Totally a big labor-saving device.  :0)

 

So smart.  Maybe I will try that after covid rates fall here in spring.   I think that would be so helpful for the yard and handyman type things.   One day if hiring someone to come in and get the bigger projects done, so you are just maintaining things.  We have been doing everything ourselves and it just takes all our time.

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13 hours ago, Indigo Blue said:

I keep a TSA-sized clear zippered container that I bought off Amazon filled with travel-size personal items always ready to walk out the door at a moments notice. It could be used for an emergency flight, sudden hospitalization of myself or to use for myself if someone else is suddenly hospitalized, needing to pack quickly for an overnite stay at someone’s house, or for a vacation. All that’s left to pack is clothes, eyeglasses, and hair items. If I only have time to grab the zippered container, I at least have a toothbrush and such and can get the rest later if needed.

I actually kept a packed overnight bag in my front closet for several years. We had a dd with health issues that required frequent drop and run trips to the hospital and other things going on in life.  I packed a simple black knit dress, a cardigan, a pair of black leggings, and two colored t-shirts along with a few pairs of underwear, black wool socks, and black flip flops.  All of that could be worn mix and match style. I wore the flip flops in the hospital shower, slept in whatever as it was all comfy and modest enough to deal with people in the room 24/7. All of it could be laundered or hand washed easily.  All of it also worked year-round. 

Tossing that out there in case other people have frequent drop & run events in their life.

 

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Each season I throw all of my clothes on the bed and spend a few hours purging and putting together outfits - including accessories and shoes.

I take a photograph of each combination and then make a "mix and match" page that I stick up inside my cupboard and rotate through them each day.  No daily wondering what to wear.  I take the items out the night before and save a few minutes that I can sleep later.

Now that we're working from home, I only worry about what my top half looks like on Zoom, so the outfit rotation is only for when I leave the house.

 

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5 hours ago, mommyoffive said:

 I think that would be so helpful for the yard and handyman type things.   One day if hiring someone to come in and get the bigger projects done, so you are just maintaining things.  We have been doing everything ourselves and it just takes all our time.

That's exactly it.  ALL the time.  

I have to have a guy come in once a year to do the major yard stuff.  Then I can keep on top of it.  I couldn't find anyone this year, and my yard is a wreck.  In the NW, it isn't so much a matter of gardening, but survival--these are attack plants up here!!!  Most of my gardening is ripping stuff out because what people plant grows too big and it's a matter of life or death for the humans.

 

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On 10/22/2020 at 11:39 AM, Indigo Blue said:

I recently watched a video of how professional chefs organize their kitchen. It inspired me to do some radical rearranging in my kitchen that really made a difference. It keeps people from crossing paths from counter to counter to fridge, opening a drawer to get a fork, etc., when making a plate or drink or something. 

In one area: I made a section for food prep. You can stand in one area and access all the things that follow that are in this section: Chopping block (now lives permanently on the counter in this section instead of a drawer), knife block (beside chopping block), spices (all in a drawer right in front of me laid out flat along with a bench scraper) , all food bowls and storage containers are in the cabinets right above this area, large container for spoons and spatula sit in this area next to the stove, olive oil, salt, and pepper sit next to that, one clear egg bowl for whisking eggs in this cabinet above, and sink right next to this whole area. Also, large lightweight bowls for quickly grabbing to use as trash cans until all chopping and opening packages is done. I can literally stand in one spot and do so many things, never getting in the way of someone on the other side of the kitchen,.

In the other area: This is where Instant Pot lives, blender, and metal fruit basket. In the cabinets above these are all the plates, glasses, mugs, etc. Spoons and forks in the drawer right in front of me. Tea bag drawer beside that. So when supper is ready, you can stand in that one area and spoon stuff out of the Instant Pot or other food that is set out for serving. The plates are all right above you.

When unloading the dishwasher, it is easier now because I can just open that one long stretch of cabinets and quickly put it all in instead of opening and closing, opening and closing a set of cabinets that made a 90 degree angle. That was a pain. Those are the ones that became the food prep area.

The food pantry is a tradeoff because now that is in a smaller area, but it works.

It took me all day to do this to my kitchen. But it has definitely made a huge difference. 

Link! Link! Link!

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This took a little time to set up, so I am not sure if it qualifies as "simple". 

I made a master list on my grocery store's website of the of the things we most commonly buy.  When it's time to place an online order, I go to my master list, check the box next to each item I want, and move them to my cart. I don't have to type out and search for each item anymore. It takes less than 5 minutes to order groceries now.  

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8 minutes ago, MissLemon said:

This took a little time to set up, so I am not sure if it qualifies as "simple". 

I made a master list on my grocery store's website of the of the things we most commonly buy.  When it's time to place an online order, I go to my master list, check the box next to each item I want, and move them to my cart. I don't have to type out and search for each item anymore. It takes less than 5 minutes to order groceries now.  

I do the slacker version of this. On my grocery store's website I can use a filter to only show things I have ordered before. Then I choose from that list. Click click click, done. 

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On 10/23/2020 at 11:06 AM, Hannah said:

 

Now that we're working from home, I only worry about what my top half looks like on Zoom, so the outfit rotation is only for when I leave the house.

 

I love that about the SIP.

I wear a nice top and either a hiking skirt or jeans every day now, and throw on a spiffy jacket for zoom meetings.  My feet are so happy in their Altras every day, and I just take off the jacket and grab a sweat shirt to go for a run.  

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On 10/22/2020 at 10:18 AM, Monica_in_Switzerland said:

I moved our hot meal to lunch and serve cold foods or leftovers for dinner.  It feels like it cleared up my whole afternoons to run errands, exercise, etc, knowing that dinner is a 5 minute prep instead of a 45 minute prep meal.  I'm always home in the morning and we do school at the kitchen table, so it isn't too hard to add in chopping veggies or stirring a pot.  

I've started doing this a bit - I've got more energy in the morning than the evening. And it's less "a meal" and more "this is food...combine into a meal as you wish". So I'll cook up some pork chops, or chicken, or whatever, and air fry some veggies, and bake some potatoes. Help yourself. 

On 10/22/2020 at 11:08 AM, Heigh Ho said:

kindle   easy to enlarge the print; easy to download ebooks that aren't available from my library system

Yup. I tend to read more on my phone lately than my kindle just because it is already in my hand half the time, but the kindle is nice because it is in a case with a stand so I can set it on the table or desk and not have to hold it constantly. 

 

On 10/22/2020 at 2:57 PM, prairiewindmomma said:

Someone asked me about meal planning. This is going to sound super elaborate, but the organization can be done in one dedicated long afternoon, and added to over time. It could also be done is less high tech/low cost ways.

1. Buy Paprika app. (I have it for phone and laptop, and they synch, but one could get by with just one. This goes on sale every Black Friday, fwiw.)

 

FYI - Anylist is similar, and you can use an app to make the shopping list sync with your Alexa shopping list. So I can choose meals and have it add the ingredients to my anylist shopping list which already contains all the stuff I've been adding via Alexa all week. 

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My Alexa!

Being able to say, "Alexa, add milk to shopping list" AS I throw away the old milk is game changing. Yes, I know people keep a list on the fridge or whatever, but the ADHD is strong in this house. Between throwing away the old one and heading to the fridge to write down that we are out of it, I and most others in the house would totally get distracted. Being able to add it to the list the exact minute you pour the last of it out makes all the difference. And I use an IFTT app/skill/whatever so that it syncs with my Anylist app, and I use Anylist to store recipes, meal plan, etc. 

Also, alarms, timers, etc. 

And if DH is trying to call me and i (again) turned my phone on silent by accident, he can "drop in" on the Alexa and I will always hear him. 

 

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Storing things near where they are used. 

Right now, fitness is a priority, and our yoga mats are sorted on the bottom shelf of the bookcase in the living room where we do yoga. I also have a small bin there for my heart rate monitor, yoga block, etc. (except the 3 yr old has done something with the yoga block). 

A hamper in the kitchen area. It's near the doorway to living area, so easy to throw in random socks I find on the floor, etc. And every morning we empty all the other hampers in the house into it so I can do laundry (washer/dryer are in the kitchen) whenever I get a minute during the day. 

Having an inexpensive laundry basket for every person, plus one for linens. Kids have the 99 cent round ones from walmart. As I empty the dryer I sort all the laundry into the baskets, and then hand off. Each person is responsible for folding and putting away their clothes..or not. Mine often sit in the basket and I just grab clothes out of it. But at least I know WHERE my clothes are, and the kids aren't digging through a basket of mixed items searching for things. 

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