I can’t live without this! I put it together in 2010 and I’ve used it religiously since then! I’m thinking of updating some of the pages since I’ve found a few online that are not necessarily better, but definitely more aesthetically pleasing! The only downside is that it takes a whole page for a week where I currently use a lot less than that!
I will provide a few links later in the post with some other ideas and options that are out there and FREE! My favorite word!
In 2010 I had read a few posts that drew my attention about a better way to organize my kitchen, menu, meals, groceries, recipes and so much more. At the time I felt very disorganized and had stuff everywhere. After putting this together it has really helped me a lot and it’s a great way to file all those kitchen recipes, menus, lists, plans, etc.
Some call this a home planner, which I guess it kinda is since it includes much more than the kitchen… but I keep my notebook in the kitchen, mostly use it in the kitchen and well… feel like I live in the kitchen, so that’s why I call it my kitchen notebook! 😉 some have pretty photos or neatly decorated with tabs and printouts and laminated pages, but mine is definitely not that nice.. although I would probably enjoy it more if it did look nicer!
Mine has chocolate splatters on it, stained pages and some are even ripped where an eager hand or two wants to help with the meal planning! or just flip through the pages!
So…. what does it include?
Daily/Weekly Schedule: This I keep in the front clear pocket of the notebook as a constant reminder of what we have planned to do that day and time. I have a lot more info about this in a recent post.
Recipes to Try Sleeve: This is a clear plastic sleeve protector that I keep all new recipes I’d like to try. Friends know I like to look at new food ideas and pass me their magazines. I just tear out the recipes that look good, easy to alter to our diet, and don’t take too much work. As we try them I either add them to the blog to share (if they are easy, cost effective, tasty and healthy), or toss the recipe.
Recipes to Keep Sleeve: Another clear plastic sleeve protector in which I keep recipes we like that I haven’t posted yet or ones we use frequently.
Garden Plans: I keep plans of where to plant what and then make notations after the season is finished as to what worked, what didn’t and what I’d like to try next year. This goes for methods, what was planted together or what veggies I’d like to next and new ones to try.
Hospitality: We LOVE to have people over. We love to spend time with friends and family, but we also feel the need to have people over in our Bible study we don’t know so well, or pastors that we don’t know very well, or others who seem to need a friend or with whom we seem to have a lot in common. Without making a list (at least for me) I’m less likely to make the effort to get the email out and set a date to get together, especially if it someone relatively new to us.
To Do List: This is something I had at one time, but found it was easier to keep in my daily calendar. I just have a simple Target variety week in view calendar I use for our daily plans and schedule. Some people also keep that in their notebook, but I like to have it with me when I’m out so I always know what my future plans are when talking with others or making prenatal appts, etc.
Canning Inventory: I often can in the summer, but I like to know what I NEED to can and I prefer to can in large batches and do it every other year. I try to keep track of what I have left from previous years at the start of the canning season so I know what we used in a year. I also like to document how much I canned in the new season. Also, notes about how many jars of applesauce a bushel of apples makes, and how many quarts of canned peaches in a 25 lb box, or how much jam a flat of strawberries makes. This makes it a nice resource for future years to figure out how much I need to purchase in order to can the amount we need in a year or two.
Blog Ideas: Kinda goes with out saying… post ideas, formatting, to advertise or not to advertise, etc.
Gift ideas: Ideas for friends and family for birthday or Christmas gifts. I like to make most of the gifts we give and I spend the year thinking about it and planning what would be perfect for someone. I make a note here so that I can look into it more or even start working on it!
Shopping list: I have a lot of scrap paper or little pads of paper which I usually use for my grocery list. I often keep one pad in the front pocket of my book and once I’ve finished my meal plan and have a list of what I need I then put it in my calendar so that when we go shopping on Tuesday I have it with me.
That is about what I keep in my book, but there are lots of other options out there. Some like to have inventories of their pantry, or a list of commonly used phone numbers, babysitter info, budget plans, and so much more.
Here are a few sites that have some great downloadable, FREE planning sheets. I’ve just made my own in Microsoft Word, but some of these look like a lot of fun…
- Living Well Spending Less – Homeschool/frugal living blog. Has a homeschool planner, but also has a lot of other info like planning meals and weekly plans
- Donna Young – Don’t really know much about this site, but it was one that came up while I was searching. It has LOTS of different types of options for meals, groceries, to do lists and more. She also offers a lot of homeschooling info and planning resources as well.
- Organized Home also offers a very simple menu plan that includes breakfast, lunch and dinner. Simple, not too much to it, but definitely nicer than a Microsoft Word created one! this site also offers a lot of other printable options for a complete household notebook, including a front cover and spine insert!
Do you have a book like this? How do you organize all this info? I’d love to hear!