Stop Wasting Food & Money!

Do you struggle to think of a meals daily? Is finding time to cook a stretch for you? Are you stopping at the grocery store multiple times a week? If you find yourself answering yes to these questions it’s time to start meal planning! Planning our meals has made our life SO much easier and saved us money. Taking time once a week or every other week to plan your meals in advance can save you a lot of time, energy, stress, and money. Note: If you’re looking for tips on meal prep, you won’t find it here, this is meal planning. Meal prep doesn’t happen in our house, meal planning is considered a WIN.

Step 1: Get out some paper. I plan on scratch paper and then transfer to my Organize Your Peace notepad. I typically plan meals from Sunday to Saturday but occasionally I’ll be extra ambitious and plan two weeks out, this can be especially helpful if you’re going to be busier than usual. I also like to have second piece of paper to start the grocery list.

Step 2: Look at your calendar. Are there nights you have plans to be gone over supper? Are there nights part of the family will be gone? Do you have a date night scheduled? Are there nights you’ll be home later so you want something quick or in the crock pot? Are there nights you need an simple meal because the other half is going to be cooking? Mark these nights on your meal planning paper.

Step 3: Look in your pantry, fridge, and freezer. What do you have on hand? Are there any meals that jump out to you right away? Maybe you already have all the ingredients you need for spaghetti; put that on your meal plan. Look for meals which you have almost all the ingredients and would only need to pick up one or two things. Do you have everything you need for meatballs except eggs? Great put meatballs on your meal plan and eggs on your grocery list.

Step 4: Start the search. We like to eat a variety of foods and try new recipes so once I have written down the few things I have everything (or almost everything) on hand for I’ll look through our cookbooks and Pinterest for a inspiration and new recipes.

Step 5: Take your list to the store. And stick to it! Don’t grab miscellaneous items you don’t actually need and don’t go to the store when you are hungry. Remember to take your reusable bags.

A few extra tips:

  • Keep a bread pan in the fridge to thaw meat for the week. This keeps all the meat and mess in one place.
  • If you love pasta as much as I do, buy basic noodles whenever they are on sale so you always have an easy dish on hand.
  • Again if you love pasta, make your own alfredo sauce. Here’s the link for my favorite one, the ingredients are simple things we always have on hand because they are “basics”.
  • Buy minced garlic dried at the farmers market (there’s a Preston local who sells at the Rochester market) or minced in a jar at the grocery store to save yourself a step. Garlic goes in everything.
  • Make your own taco seasoning. It’s an easy thing to have on hand and making it yourself saves you a lot of sodium intake! I omit the salt all together.
  • Include a “choice” night in your meal plan, also known as eat your leftovers and take a break from cooking!
  • Review the grocery store ad before looking for recipes so you have an idea of what’s on sale this week.

I hope this helps you with your meal planning plus saves you time, food, and money!

-Kelsey

Organize your little ones room easily & affordably

I love to organize, I love finding the simplest, neatest, and cleanest way to keep our home. I don’t store things we don’t need, in fact I purge every season. I hate having a full house.

In light of us all being stuck inside with this extreme cold I thought I’d share with you how I have organized our son’s small room.

First off his closet. We purchased this storage cube at Target along with the bins. I keep clothes that currently fit him in the top two bins, bottoms on the left and tops on the right. In his shirt bin I have four stacks: long sleeve onesies, short sleeve onesies, long sleeve t-shirts, and short-sleeve t-shirts. Sweatshirts, sweaters, vests, and button-ups are all hung up. Hanging on the left are tops that fit him and off to the right are his next size to grow into. The bottom two bins in his storage cube are clothes for him to grow into. The left is the next size up, the right is the size following it. These two bins are important for us because I love to pick up clothes for Sumner when they are a good deal. I don’t go beyond the next two sizes as you never know when a growth spurt will happen.

To the left of Sumner’s storage cube we keep extra diapers and to the right a skinny clothes hamper we put his outgrown clothes in. I fill this basket until he is ready to go into the next size then I will go through everything and donate any items that weren’t my favorite or didn’t work well i.e. were not easy to take on and off. It’s all about convince and quick dressing for us.

We use the top shelf of his closet to store a couple keepsake boxes, books with paper pages he’s not ready to use, and wipes. I like to keep diapers and wipes visible incase the babysitter needs to find them. For the most part his closet holds all the essentials. Missing from his closet are his pajamas and socks. Sumner has a twin bed in his room with 2 drawers under it where you will find these things in our house. If you don’t have this option I would suggest keeping a small shoe box on top of the storage cube to put socks in and pajamas could go in the three drawer plastic storage I’ll mention next or in a drawer/basket under the nightstand. Be creative and choose multifunction pieces! Target has tons of great options.

This 3 drawer plastic storage isn’t exactly pretty but it works. His radio for sleeping piano music on top, then the drawers host outfits, books and an extra diaper bag. Whenever I do Sumner’s laundry I put together about 10 outfits to keep in this drawer. I find this to be a time saver in the end because I don’t have to think about what he’s going to wear each morning when we are trying to get out the door to daycare. It is also nice for babysitters because we can tell them where the drawer for extra outfits is rather than explain my whole closet system.

Lastly, we do not have a changing table as we use the twin bed. The shelving on the headboard has diapers, a wipe warmer, cream, and hand sanitizer.

Happy organizing!