Friday, October 8, 2010

Money Matters

My husband and I are trying to save a few bucks to do some renovations on the house next year.  So we have saved all our receipts from the last two months and sat down with them to see where we are bleeding money.

Our first problem is the weekend.  We spend too much money up north because I forget things and then have to run in to town to pick them up, which inevitably end up with a run to Tim Horton's. Bad bad bad.

Our second problem is last minute trips to the grocery store.  If I call my husband on his way home from work and ask him to pick up something, he will inevitably end up with a whole bunch of stuff we don't need.  That's what I get for sending a hungry man to pick up lettuce.  I take full responsibility.  "They" always say not to shop hungry.

Lessons learned.

So what does this mean to us?  How will we avoid these pit falls?

It all comes down to my lists.  I basically stopped writing lists.  I'm not sure why I thought I could organize things with out lists.  I've never been able to do it.  Ever.  I'm not even sure why I stopped writing lists.  I think I just got lazy.

So I had to think of a way that I can get back to lists that isn't as time consuming. 

My solution?


What's that?  What does lamination have to do with making lists and staying organized?

Well, I'd be happy to tell you.

Every time we go up north, I bring the same stuff up.  I think that is one of the reasons why I stopped writing lists.  I mean, how hard can it be to remember the same stuff each weekend?  Hard apparently, because two weekends ago we had to drive to the next nearest town to go to Walmart and pick up a baby monitor because I forgot to pack ours.  $30 down the tubes (I know that we can technically take it back but we decided to keep it up there so I didn't have to keep on packing our home unit).

Because everything is the same each week, I made a master list, laminated it and put a piece of velcro on it and a dry erase pen.  Now I have the same list each week, can check everything off and always have a dry erase marker handy (theoretically anyway, as I've already misplaced two because I walk with the marker in my hand and the list on the table.  Maybe I need to stick a piece of velcro to myself...)

This works for me.  No time needed to write up a list each week and I end up packing everything we need.

The grocery list wasn't as easy.

I have set meals each week for six weeks, but sometimes I already have the ingredients on hand, so one master list would be way too large.

My other problem is we shop at three stores within the month.  We have our weekly trips to the grocery store and corner market, and a trip to Costco once every two weeks.  I had tried separate sheets for each list, but I always ended up misplacing them or forgetting them at home.

So what I have done is stuck a magnet pad on our fridge, split the page so that the bottom part is for the groceries and the top is the growing Costco list.  That way I have the Costco list always there and not on a separate paper to lose, and I can just tear the weekly grocery list off when I need it.

There is one other part.  I need a post-it stuck to inside of our front door so that I remember to actually take the list when I go shopping.  Sad, I know, but true.

All this organization has done nothing for my scatterbrainedness (I know, not a word...)



  1. Use your Blackberry memo function. This took me awhile to remember to do, but I always have my Blackberry within hands reach, and you can make different lists - like on mine right now, I have Walmart, WinnDixie (local grocery store), recipes (which are recipes I see on TV/read in a magazine/hear someone talking about that I want to look up online), websites (same thing as recipes, but I never remember them when I get back to the computer), Dollar Store, Menu (for the upcoming week) and Misc. Whenever I realize I am out of something, I put it IMMEDIATELY on the corresponding memo list on my Blackberry. That way, when it gets to shopping time, I have a list on hand to transfer to my written list of things I need. I won't promise you that I never forget anything anymore, but it's cut down tremendously on the number of little annoying things I forget. I have found that I can't shop from my Blackberry though. I don't know why, but I need to have the written list in my hand. You may find that the Blackberry list is perfect for you and you don't need anything else. :-)

  2. That sounds cool! I need a list in hand as well. A long long time ago I had a Palm, but it really just became a fancy address book and calendar because everything else I needed to do by hand.
    I didn't realize I had this on the BB. I'll need to go digging. Once I figured out how to make a call, send and email and check facebook, I was happy and stopped learning about it, LOL

  3. I've had mine for a year next month and am still learning new functions, lol! But the memo function is really cool because as I said, I've almost always got my phone and you can keep a list of lists - all of them individually titled. I don't know if there's a limit to how many you can have, but I usually have half a dozen or so running at the same time - and at Christmas/Matthew's birthday, 10 or so - and there's never been a problem! I really do love it. Like I said, I do still have to make a list for shopping, but when I go to make the list, I can pull up what's on my Blackberry and remember that this week I used up the poultry seasoning, white pepper, Pam spray, tampons, hydrocortisone cream and that I want to look for blue eyeliner - stuff that I will NEVER remember to put on the list and am even less likely to remember in the store.