Organizing

I am trying to be more organized will all the house issues… not only keeping the house organized but also, organizing our routine…  like paying bills, grocery shopping, meal planning…
How do you keep up with all these ?!?
Do you plan your week meals? How?
Do you use any technology? Excel?? Electronic calendar?? Phone applications!?!?


I have created a excel spreadsheet that has my food supply, and when I update it, it generates our grocery shopping list. I am trying to figure something to help with the meals planning, which  don’t do it yet, and I feel that I waste too much time thinking what to make for dinner at the day… I want to have it all set up for the week in advance…


Please ladies, share your organizing skills…

Posted on April 6, 2010 at 9:09 am
fernandaaraujo
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09/19/2009
fernandaaraujo

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miss_em2010
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02/20/2010
miss_em2010

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miss_em2010

I use excel for our budget...


I am not a meal planner. I think it is an excellent way to become more organized and to even save a bit at the grocery store BUT my H really doesn't like living life on a "schedule" (and neither do I really) so I don't think this would work well for us...

Posted on April 7, 2010 at 2:56 am
meanyprice
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08/25/2009
meanyprice

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meanyprice

Ugg.  I'm horrible at this too, and I want to get better at it.  I would love to see any tips that the other ladies have.  The only thing I'm good at is the bills.  I have an excel spreadsheet that has what is due, how much is usually runs, and which paycheck I pay it with.  So every time I get paid, I just pay the bills on the list.  If a strange bill comes in, like the dr/dentist/etc, I put them in a "bill bag" and I pay those when I pay my other bills.

Posted on April 7, 2010 at 2:58 am
beatie
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10/11/2008
beatie

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Every Sunday I plan out our dinner menu for the week for Sunday through Thursday.  I make a list of both regular staples that we get each week and add to it things I don't have that are needed for the dinners that week.  This helps with not spending too much money at the store and we don't waste food since we use everything I buy by the end of the week.


Bill-wise, we pay them online through our bank.  Every time one arrives in the mail, I just hop on the computer and schedule the payment and toss the bill so I don't have to think about it later.  And budget-wise, we use www.mint.com to see where all our money is going and where to cut back, etc.  


Oh, and to keep our social calendar organized, DH and I use iCal on our Macs.  It's funny, sometimes he'll even send me a "meeting request" when he wants to set up a dinner or something with friends to make sure that I don't already have plans for us that day.  Too funny!  This way we have a master calendar to look at if either of us is considering making social plans for us! :)

Posted on April 7, 2010 at 3:37 am
soon2bMRStip
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09/12/2009
soon2bMRStip

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soon2bMRStip

I am just an organized person in general.


I plan our meals for the week the week before and make sure everything we need is on the grocery list... I also check the store circular the week before to make sure I am getting all the good deals.


I balance our "checkbook" (bank account) every week so I know how much money we have pretty much at all times. We pay half our bills online and the others I write the checks myself for everything else. I pay half at the beginning of the month and half at the end.


On the cleaning and keeping up with house hold type things, I WISH I could be more organized. I normally clean the bathroom and kitchen (throughly) once a month (wish it was twice) but with my DH not really motivated to help whatsoever unless I ask and ask and ask, its kinda hard. Things pile up in the apt all the time and I just dont have the energy to clean it up... This issue for me really goes back to having DH WANT to help me... He says it will be different once we own our own house... but I am not seeing that. We have developed a new system that we are putting into action this week which really splits the chores. I make a list of things that need to be done on Wednesday... he chooses the ones he wants to do and I take the rest, they need to be done by the following Wednesday. If they are not, the person who doesnt complete their share will take on all the chores the following week. I think it will really work for us, he will know what I need him to help with and it will alleviate some of the work from my pile. We will see.

Posted on April 7, 2010 at 4:08 am
MrzLemUS
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09/17/2011
MrzLemUS

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Okay ladies I'm going to go down my list...it's a lot.  I hope someone can benefit :)  I can't take full credit for all of this...my mom is a CPA Accountant, I work with clients who live on 600 a month with disability's AND I have serious issues with clutter.


Bills:


We also use Excel for our bills and budget.  It makes life easy.  I used to be on the envelope system, which is a great way to start if you aren't used to a budget.  Once FI and I combined our incomes it just made more sense to keep everything in the bank  So I developed the spreadsheetto replace the envelopes and all is great in the world :).  I just created a spreadsheet that has tabs for each type of bill (Credit cards, Household...utility's, cable etc. and cars). I pay everything online.  When I get the confirmation #, I'll type it in it's designated spot and fill in the other fields (date, amount, balance etc.)  If you aren't an excel person, you can also create a notebook with tabs.  When you get a bill file it in it's place and write the date paid or conformation # on the top.  Keep it for 6 months, and file it away. 


Meals:


I am a meal planner!  I keep a running list of items that I'm running out of, so when I make my grocery list I don't have to go through the pantry to figure out what I'm missing.  Then I go through the ads in the paper to see what is on sale.  Finally, I'll either run through some cookbooks if i want to make something new or just create a list off of the things I want to make.  I generate a list based off of that...what's on sale, what I have and what I want to make.  It might sound time consuming, but really it's pretty easy and saves a bunch of money.  It might take me 20 minutes TOPS.  I shop once a week, maybe once every 2 weeks depending on what I cook.  It helps with buying fresh produce and not wasting.  One weeks worth of meals usually will last us about 10-14 days.  It just depends on leftovers and how many times I made "pantry staples"...spaghetti, soup, burgers etc.  I also have a spreadsheet that is a grocery list of everything one needs.  If i'm feeling really snazy, I'll check off what I need on the spread sheet (which is also designed around the layout of the store**SAVES TIME)  That sounds crazy, but I got this list from a client of mine who is blind!  I do her grocery shopping and she is SOOO organized it's amazing!  Creating meals works for us because I have a bunch of stuff on my plate (school, work, book publishing, homework etc,) and FI can only cook eggs, tacos and burritos and works long hours.  Plus, if I know i have a crazy week coming, I can double up a recipe (and grocery items) and freeze half of it. That way I'll already have a meal prepared and ready to go. 


Organize the house: 


I don't have the time to pick up the house everyday.  For the most part we are pretty tidy, but we aren't perfect.  I have a "clutter" container,I dust often cause it drives me crazy.  FI is obsessed with vacuuming so that's always done.  We also keep the counters clear.  It keeps the house looking presentable without spending hours cleaning.  Laundry bins and clear containers under the sink are a must.  I hate clutter under the sink, so the containers keep everything neat.  I don't care if the container is a mess, as long as it's only in the container and it has a lid  AAAAHAHHHHH i'm turning into my mom.

Posted on April 7, 2010 at 4:14 am
fernandaaraujo
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09/19/2009
fernandaaraujo

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fernandaaraujo

Oh boy! You guys are great!!! @MrzLemUS I wish I was like you!!! :) but I am working on it… ;)


I am pretty sure, that if we get more organized we will be more timing efficient…



We also control our finances with mint.com, because we pay all bills on line, it is a easy way to control it, and to have more idea in where we are spending more…


Inside the home, I cant complain. My DH helps a lot with all the cleaning… he also loves to vacuum, so he is responsible for that, and also the dust… he is not the greatest keeping his things on their right place, but I give him a credit since he is so good with the other ones… he also working on that.
I clean the bathroom and kitchen every week, normally Saturday morning, and he vacuum, take off the dust and wipe the floor… so during the week we just try to keep it looking good…  which can be hard sometimes. there are weeks that by Wednesday the counters are all full of mail, clutter etc.. we just have to be more consistent. i am trying to apply the rule that EVERYTHING HAS A PLACE IN THE HOUSE, we don't need to leave it on the kitchen counters, or on the dinning table...


My biggest goal now is to get organized with the food planning, because I feel that I can utilize my time and supply better if I plan it in advance… I just haven't figured the best way to do it yet…
Maybe get a list with all I have available today, and just come up with the ideal recipe… i have to sit and make a plan! ;)


Thank you all so much for sharing!! You all are great wives!!!

Posted on April 7, 2010 at 6:55 am
Linzee
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11/20/2010
Linzee

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I'd have to say that we depend on technology for all of our needs. We hardly write checks. Everything is automated ( bill pay, etc). 


In order to avoid having papers everywhere we will scan our receipts and put them into our computers. Therefore eliminating the paper stuff. We will keep the actual receipts for big ticket items.


I think that if we were to plan our meals out for weeks at a time, we will get better use out of our groceries and not be so wasteful.

Posted on April 7, 2010 at 9:59 am
fbaez62610
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06/12/2010
fbaez62610

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fbaez62610

I love learning from you all! I will try mint.com


BILLS:


-pay them online as soon as i get them and file it away. every weekend i look through the mail i put aside that i have to address.


HOME CLEANLINESS:


I sweep and dust once a week and clean thoroughly twice a month. I make myself do it, otherwise i'll go crazy. The laundry gets done weekly and I fold it right away unless I have too much work to do, in which case it'll sit for 3 days or FI rescues me.


MEAL PLANNING:


We don't plan our meals because when we did, food would go to waste. I buy items for lunches, breakfast and fruits and dinner is planned by FI.


Somehow it all works out :-)  Getting a system down is the hardest!

Posted on April 9, 2010 at 4:25 pm
prbetsi75
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05/08/2010
prbetsi75

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wow, I'm in shock that people can be so organized as planning out the meals for a week!  I am definitely not that organized.


 I like to keep the house tidy...and am pretty good at doing that...I hate clutter and mess.  But dusting and sweeping and mopping is a whole other story! I absolutely hate it and that gets put off for way too long.

Posted on June 10, 2010 at 10:10 am
pinkgerbers
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07/26/2008
pinkgerbers

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BILLS:


Bill paying is pretty easy for us.  Both of us get paid once a month (teachers) so we have the entire month's finances at once.  Because of that, we are able to pay each bill when it arrives in the mail.  I record the check number, date, and amount on the bill itself and file it under company name, putting it at the back of the file folder.  Once a year, I go through each folder and staple the previous year together in order and shred any year's bills over seven years old.  We don't pay the bills from my husband's debt the day they arrive, however.  I married into a debt of over 50K and we have paid it down to 9K in our two years of marriage (and bought a house).  That was done by taking all of the debt bills each month, and putting them on a spread sheet with interest rates, total debt, etc.  He pays the minimum for every bill left but the highest interest rate and then applies the entire left over within our budget to that.  It has been very effective.


Beyond that, we are not very strict on a budget.  I know we should be, but I know that the debt stresses DH out a lot and I think his head would explode if we did it any other way.  We each have a monthly fun money amount deposited into personal accounts.  Anything else beyond about $50 is discussed together.  I just generally keep an eye on the account and we have a discussion if it seems like we did something that crosses the line.  It's worked well so far.


 


MEALS:


This has undergone many transformations.  I like to cook, but DH LOVES to cook.  So he cooks 80% of the meals.  Sometimes he plans ahead and posts the meal plan on the board.  Sometimes he doesn't.  I just took over grocery shopping, so that will have to start again.  We keep a running list in a kitchen drawer of needs and make a go through the ads each week and circle items to add to the list.  We have a game going to see that we can save over 30% each grocery bill.


 


 

Posted on July 12, 2010 at 10:14 pm

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