Monday, August 27, 2007

Secrets from the Playbook 8/27/2007

Another installment in my series on how to accomplish more with less (time, energy, or money)...

Grocery Tip: Use a master grocery list

At first this tip sounds over the top, but in a moment of weakness I tried it and it has revolutionized my meal planning times. The idea is to make a list of every single thing you buy at the grocery store. Just sit down and go at it for 15 minutes, everything you can think of in 15 minutes (just scribble it down, you can nice it up later). Then, the next time you shop, add anything that you forgot. Anytime you're in the kitchen and you think of something, add it to the list. After a week or so has passed, type up your list. I recommend doing it in the order of how you proceed through the store (little boys can't be in the store too long, it has to be quick for us).

Then print off or photocopy several copies. Then, whenever you have to make a grocery list and plan meals, all you have to do is grab a sheet and check things off. This is much faster than writing it all down every week. It also helps when you are, say making cookies, and use up the last of the chocolate chips. You can just grab a pencil and tick off the chocolate chips and you'll never be without.

Sometimes when I'm grumpy and can't quite bring myself to plan the meals for the week. I just grab the list and tick off the usual items that are running low and hope for inspiration later. :-)

Sanity Tip: Use your whine time!
Do you have certain times of the day when you whine? I do. They tend to be when I have to start making dinner, or I'm washing up dinner. I stand there chopping or scrubbing and start thinking "I hate this...why is this always on me...imagine if I only had to clean up after myself...I am so tired...my feet hurt..." You get the picture. I now have two strategies for combating this in myself. One, when I'm really lazy, I call up a friend - chances are she's in her kitchen thinking similar things (but you have to make sure the two of you don't just whine together and you have to be prepared for a crick in your neck.) Two, I think about my blog. I don't really have time to run a regular blog - I've never even budgeted time for it. (And I budget everything, believe me.) But, I use those times in the kitchen to think about new posts, ways to make it better, changes I want to make, etc. If I can't think of anything blog-related, I think of my next art piece, or my next master's project, or my next goal to accomplish on my list, etc. In other words, I stop the whining and think about things that cheer me up. The flip side of this, of course, is that when I have three minutes later in the evening, I can write a blog post that's already composed in my head.

The point being, you are wasting precious time and energy whining that you don't have enough time or energy to do what you really want to do.

1 comment:

Katherine said...

Now the other really good way is you train your ever so supportive partner (1) to do the shopping for you and (2) to remember what it is you ask him to get

I find it works really well :)