Category: Tips

Avoid extra trips around the store: make your grocery list work

Have you ever gotten all done shopping just to discover that you forgot something on your grocery list? Perhaps it was written in small print at the bottom of the list. Or maybe in your excitement to cross items off you accidentally crossed the wrong thing off your list.

Then you are left with a decision. Is the item that important that you have to go back through the store to find it or can you just wait until the next time you go shopping.

I cannot count the number of times I have to go back and forth in the grocery store because I forget something. It is so frustrating and time-consuming. The only thing that makes this worse is when you have small children along with you. If they aren’t losing their mind from the boredom of grocery shopping, then they are trying to convince you of all the food items you “need.” I bet more than once you’ve spent extra money at the store just because you had to walk by items more than once. The second or third time by you were convinced to buy something you didn’t need up.

There is a solution to this problem.

Well, there are several solutions, but one that I think is the most practical and economical.

The solution is all about how you make your list. This is assuming that you use a list at all. If you don’t yet use a list, well that’s a great place to start. For those already using lists (paper or electronic) and still struggling with this problem then you’ve come to the right place.

I’m sure you’re going to be shocked to hear me say you need an organized list! (queue the sarcasm)

Yes, it may take an extra 2 minutes when preparing your list.However, it will likely save you time, headache, and expense when you are in the store.

Quickly jot down what you need to get at the store on a scratch piece of paper. Then transfer it to the organized shopping list.

GROCERY SHOPPING LIST

I have several blank copies of my organized shopping list in my Sunday basket. They are easy to access, and it takes me 1-2 minutes to transfer my jotted down list onto.

You could also have the organized list on the refrigerator where everyone can write down the items they need as they think of them. If you are an electronic list maker, just make these same categories on your electronic list.

My list is organized by categories of items we frequently shop for at the store. Yours may be different.

The key is to keep like items that are found at the store together. Then you won’t forget to pick one up.

Another variation on this list is to put more specific categories. Put these in the order in which you find them in the store. I prefer just general categories because I tend to shop at two different stores and the stores are organized differently.

If you shop at multiple stores, you can also indicate which store to buy at or the price at one store to compare which store is better to buy at.

This is your list you can make it as detailed or simple as you want.

Try organizing your list and see if it helps you avoid extra trips around the store and extra money spent on items you weren’t planning to buy.

If you have little ones and grocery shopping is your one break from the chaos at home, try saving time with this list. Then use that extra time for yourself. There is no harm in pretending it took you the normal 1-2 hours to grocery shop and sitting in your car to read. It’s one more way to find time to read.

Good luck on your next shopping trip. May you not have to walk through the store multiple times to find what you need.

Why and How We Store Toys Without Using Toy Boxes

One of the biggest conundrums of every parent – how do you store toys?

The landscape of your house changes drastically when you welcome children into your home and continues to change with every year they live there.

From playmats, jump-a-roos and exersaucers to Legos, Shopkins and ride along toys there is never a shortage of things to trip over, step on or clean up day after day.

No matter how hard we have tried to keep our floors clear of toys, it is inevitable that they will clutter our spaces for years to come. I know, I know, someday I will miss it.  I don’t doubt the truth in that sentiment, but it doesn’t help to make it less annoying in the moment.

How in the world do little people make such a big, dangerous mess in mere minutes left alone?

 We have many different ways to store toys in our house, but we do not have any traditional toy boxes. This is not to say we didn’t ever have them, because we did. In fact, at one time we had traditional toy boxes in two rooms of our house. A year or two ago we eliminated these toy boxes from our house for one big reason – they weren’t practical.

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How To Organize Games and Puzzles


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How do you organize games and puzzles?

Wait, you’ve never thought about it?

Take a moment and imagine all the games and puzzles your kids have and the boxes them come in.

I bet you are thinking about all of the space they take up.

Now if you were to open the box of most kids games you will realize there is a lot of space.

 Did you know there is no rule that says you must keep those items in their original boxes?

Unless you are really worried about the resale value, then it’s time to think about repackaging puzzles and games so they can be organized better and take up less space.

Let’s start with puzzles.

At our house, the girls and I LOVE putting together puzzles and we have quite a few of them.

Our big, Melissa and Doug puzzles, get to stay in their boxes. They stay in their boxes because they are the huge floor puzzles and they store best in their boxes. If you haven’t tried a Melissa and Doug puzzle, you are really missing out. They are fun because of how big they are, and the quality is second to none. Seriously, I have never been disappointed with any Melissa and Doug product.

Smaller puzzles get put into Ziploc or Hefty zipper bags. (Side note: get a great price on these after Holidays) Then the small image is cut off the box and affixed with packing tape on the front. T

his allows me to put several puzzles into a Sterilite drawer, which fits nicely on a shelf in my daughter’s closet.

It’s much easier for kids to put the puzzles away, even easier if you go with slider bags. Have you ever watched a small child try to put the lid on a box for a game or puzzle? Inevitably, you end up having to tape and reconstruct the box because of how they try to shove the lid on and the corners break.

The puzzles also take up less room when put in bags and placed in drawers.

Alright onto games.

Some of our games do stay in their boxes because it makes sense. However, many do not.

We are a game family. Therefore the number of games we have on hand may be substantially larger than your collection.

 

Another option for storage is stackable baskets. With a simple label you can organize all of those different card games or small games (Barrel of Monkeys, Yahtzee, etc)

stackable baskets

Perhaps storage of games is not an issue in every home, but if it is I hope these ideas have helped you.

Take a couple of hours on a Saturday and get the kids to help and you can completely reorganize your kid’s games and puzzles. They will be easier for the kids to get out and they will take up less room.