My Blog Adventure!

Welcome to my blog! It's high time this 46 year old ventures into blog world and joins the ranks of you intriguing bloggers. First off, you should know I love the Lord Jesus Christ with all my heart. I love His Creation, His Word, His forgiveness, His mercy, and His being the Savior of my life. He is my reason for living! After the Lord, my next love in life is my outdoor-lovin', prankster pullin', hard workin' man I've called my husband for 22 years and counting. My 3 sons - to whom this blog is dedicated - have the next piece of my heart, and they fill my world with laughter, love, and laundry. I am calling this MY BLOG ADVENTURE... so hop into blog world with me... let's get to encouraging one another... this could be fun!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Organization: Groceries and Errands

The realization I needed to get groceries usually hit me about when we were out of milk and eggs and bread.  Then I'd be off to the store in a flurry and get home to find out I hadn't gotten half of what I should have.  Errands would pile up too, and when I had a moment to race away, I couldn't even recall which errands I should be doing, much less what they even were.

One simple little piece of paper has changed all this for me.  Here it is...

I know.  It looks pretty simple.  In this task, I've found simple is better.  I've tried set grocery lists.  They just don't work.  Menu plans change.  Food gets eaten that I didn't think would (i.e. dh makes burgers with the beef I was going to use to make meatloaf).  A set grocery list just doesn't work in the day to day for us.

So, I hang this paper up on the fridge.  As we run out of things, we add them under the appropriate category by writing them on the paper.  My dc have this down pat.  In fact, when Wyatt's HOD plans let him know the next week he'd need 1 cup chopped pecans and powdered sugar, he didn't even talk to me about it.  He just put them on the list.  Everyone knows whoever is the last to use something needs to put it on the list, or those groceries will not get bought when they need to.  They also have realized they need to put some things on the list when less than half is left of them (i.e. ketchup and mustard).  

Likewise, each person is responsible for putting on the list items that pertain to their chores.  For example, Riley takes out the garbages.  When kitchen trash bags are beginning to run low, he has to write them on the list.  Wyatt cleans the bathroom counters and mirrors, when bathroom counter spray and window cleaner are close to running out, he adds them to the list.  My dh puts light bulbs on the list. The dc put batteries - and the size they need - on the list as they need them for toys.  Everyone knows what it's like not to have put their things on the list, for they realize it'll be another week before they get them, and they remember better the next time.

For example, Riley has had to use tiny Walmart bags in the tall kitchen garbages, and Wyatt has cleaned the mirrors with a hot washcloth.  I think it is important not to just run back to the store when items are forgotten.  We've run out of snacks before and had to skip snack time. These are just natural consequences for not remembering to put things on the list.  We all know what that's like, as we've all had this happen before.  It is a life skill to be learned, and better early than late.  Keep in mind, if I notice things that pertain specifically to the boys or to their chores are running out, I will happily remind them to put the things on the list.  It's not like I'm trying to have them forget things - but sometimes, I just don't notice things are running out as they are completely in charge of the chores they do.  I also don't spell things for them, as they can look right on the box or bottle or bag to copy the spelling.  I figure this is a good way to work on spelling too.

If they complain about something they needed running out, I ask, "Did you put it on the list?"  If they didn't, I just shrug my shoulders and say, "Well, you better now, or we probably won't have it next time around either."  Before I did this, I somehow was being blamed for every single little thing someone needed that I didn't get.  "Mom, didn't you get me clicky pencils?"  "Julie, didn't you get the 6o watt light bulbs?"  "Hey, where are my favorite chips?"  Now we all share the 'blame' for forgotten items.  It's much more of a family approach even though I am the only one physically getting the groceries.

I also put the errands I need to do under the "Errands" section.  For example, I might write "return shoes to Walmart", "pick up Walgreen's prescription", "drop off video", "get size 11 rubber boots for Emmett", "deposit checks at bank" etc.  If there is a coupon to take, I staple or paperclip it right to the paper, and I hang the whole thing on the fridge in a heavy duty clip magnet.  Then, when I have time to run errands, I grab the list and go.  I have everything I need right there and can leave without wondering what I need to do.  

The minute I get home, I transfer anything I didn't get done (either errand-wise, or grocery-wise) to a new blank sheet.  Works great!   Every 2 weeks I fill out a menu, and add those things to the list as well, but that I will share another time.  I hope this can help make getting groceries and running errands easier for some of you too, as well as enlist your dh and dc in helping stay on top of what's needed!

In Christ,


  1. This is Great! I'm definitely going to give it a try, Thanks!

  2. I've been meaning to ask you about All Recipes and meal planning :o) Can't wait to read that post! :o)

  3. Love this! I've been using a grocery tear off check list sheet I made. But, this is so much better. I could actually do both, but keep a running list on the fridge. I also love that you stapled your coupons to the list so it's all ready to go.

    Your posts on HOD are always such a blessing and now you are using a wonderful blog so we can be followers of Julie!