Little tips and tricks

This year has been about finding the balance between real life (and it’s responsibilities) and my book world – writing, editing, and eventually publishing the finished product. I did the 40 bags in 40 days challenge. While I didn’t quite do something all 40 days it did start a better habit of keeping things clean and organized.

Here are the things that have worked for our household this year.

Weekly Menu – Sometimes made that week, sometimes a week in advance. Items for dinner get put on the grocery list, along with everything else we may need or replenish. I can hear you moaning and groaning already, but hear me out. Yes, there are just the two of us. Yes, my husband works shift work, so I don’t cook a full dinner every night of the week. But when I do cook, I have to make sure there are enough left overs that the hubby has enough food for the days he’s at work. After two months, the menu is still in full swing. And we keep it flexible. We make the meals with more perishable items at the beginning of the week and those with more hearty veggies or frozen veggies at the end of the week.  I decided to write the menus in a spiral notebook, that way if it was a recipe I found online, I can either write down the website or if it was a recipe book, I note the page that way I can go back and find it.

Over 9 weeks, our total grocery bill averages out to $90 a week. Yes, that includes buying meat. Yes there are some weeks I need to run and get a few things, but it’s usually less than $20 per extra trip, if that.

*Bonus 1 – spending less on groceries

*Bonus 2 – less spoiled food, less wasted food

*Bonus 3 – no afternoon stress about what to cook for dinner

Organizing – I’m still struggling with this one. Receipts and mail do still pile up on the counter. My cousin sent me a link to a post about how to break the cycle of procrastination. When I think about it, that applies to my house cleaning. The stuff that piles up is usually stuff that would have taken a very short time to take care of the day it happened. It’s a 2-minute rule. If you can complete the task in two minutes or less, don’t put it off.

How to Stop Procrastinating by Using the “2-Minute Rule”

This also goes along with the recent UT graduation speech about making your bed in the morning because it’s a completed task which will help lead to more completed tasks and a day of successes that work toward a larger goal.

*Bonus – no looking around berating myself that I really should clean (insert surface, room, counter here) while completely avoiding it because it’s gotten out of control. Do it, done, on to the next thing or relaxing – guilt free.

Completing every task – This is a toughy. I have so many unfinished craft projects it’s embarrassing. I looked at them this past weekend and thought I really need to finish those. Then the book called to me. Yeah, I love writing books, but being self-published (practically a full time job in itself) and working full time, I have a hard time pulling myself away from writing to work on those other tasks now.  I enjoy writing and connecting with other authors whether online or in person, so stepping away from that to work on a craft project is something I don’t want to do. But I need to finish everything I start. I know some of you just drifted to a post floating around recently that said walking away from a project is okay. And it is. But not the projects I need to finish. A blanket, a sampler quilt, a cross stitch and a bit of random sewing to repair things. Oh, and the unfinished apron and placemats sitting on my sewing table. Those need to be finished.

*Bonus – No more scraps hanging around every where

*Bonus – the feeling of having made something from scratch

The whole thing is a work in progress. Life gets in the way, allergies take over, family obligations prevail. But they’re tools that are making life a bit simpler, and right now, that’s a plus.

What tips, tricks, or shortcuts have you found that make life easier?




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