Sunday, March 21, 2010

Couponing/Meal Planning/Organizing

Coupon/Money Saving Tips

  • Find good coupons in the ALL YOU magazine. Can be bought at Wal-Mart.
  • Make a coupon organizer –Large folders for coupons packets from Sunday paper, individual envelopes for coupons for each store.
  • Use a large clipboard and calculator for trip to store.
  • Half-Price books-sign up on-line for coupons.
  • Use library-can search local library on-line, can put books on hold, renew, etc.
  • Make a price book. This will help you keep track of prices of items at different stores. Helps you know if you are getting a good deal or not without all the running around.
  • Pass newer magazines on to others that might enjoy them.
  • Turn furnace down when possible. If everyone is going to be gone all day or in the middle of the night when you can use blankets to stay warm. Purchase a programmable thermostat.


Meal Planning

  • Plan to Eat-website designed for easy meal planning. Can import recipes from Internet, monthly calendars to print off that show what meals are planned for each day, has a staples lists that you can add items to so you can customize it to suit your needs, features a grocery shopping lists that can be detailed to what you need to buy for the meals planned on your calendars as well as your staples list. The shopping list can also be detailed for each store you shop at.
    (See link on my homepage)
  • Taste of Home and Kraft Foods are a few websites that allow you to enter main ingredients to find specific recipes.
  • Use small basket/box to put dry, non-perishable ingredients in for individual recipe for each day of the week.
  • Make master list of dishes your family eats and keep handy for ideas. Sort list according to different dishes ex. main, side, dessert, snacks.
  • Brown/cook meat ahead of time and put in freezer in labeled containers. Can be thawed out quicker which means getting a good, healthy meal on the table faster.
  • Buy diced onions that are already frozen for a quick, easy addition to dishes.
  • Prepare meals in advance and freeze. Cover tightly and write the dish name, baking instructions on top for a quick meal. These are also great when you need to make a meal and take to someone. All you have to do is add a simple side dish and dessert and you have a prepared meal that costs much less that eating out.
  • Use crock-pots.
  • Buy in bulk whenever possible. This is only feasible when you know you can use up the purchase before it spoils. See if others are willing to split something with you.
  • Prepare for the next major meal while cooking another meal. One mess, two meals.
  • Try to clean up kitchen as you cook and clean up kitchen after meal is over. It will help you mornings go much easier if you wake up to a clean kitchen.
  • Set the table for breakfast the night before.


Organizing

  • Sort mail/school papers each day and divide up into categories of importance.
  • Open bills and write due date on front of envelope before filing away.
  • Pay bills once each week. Try to pick same day each week and make time to go through and pay bills, keep up on different accounts, and check balances.
  • Use different organizing tools to help control clutter. Blue Fridge organizer, mail sorter.
  • Label Maker-need I say more about this little gem!!
  • Use your delay features on your appliances. Our washer has a delay feature that I use so the clothes are just getting done when I get home from work, shopping, etc. Set the dishwasher to run in the middle of the night so you won't compete for hot water. If you have a recording feature on you cable TV, record your favorite shows and watch them during a more convenient for your schedule as well as saving time b/c you can skip the commercials.

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