July 31, 2012

Grocery Shopping Price Comparison Binder

For the past several years now we’ve really been trying to eat healthier – buy organic, avoid msg, avoid high fructose, avoid GMO’s, etc.  Since we’ve been doing more shopping at Dierbergs and Whole Foods I have to really work hard to save a penny.  Every time I went to a store I found myself trying to remember what prices were at other stores for particular items.  I hate to over pay!  I decided I needed to make a list of items I purchase often and the list the prices at each particular store so I can compare them and know where to shop for the best deals.  I can also use it when planning my shopping list and compare it to prices in sales flyers.   I had this small binder that I found at a garage sale that would be easier to carry since it’s only 6x8 inches.  It will be easy to add to as I think of items I’ve missed since it’s a 3-ring binder. 
grocery shopping price comparison binder cover {A Sprinkle of This . . . . A Dash of That}
I created a table for each category (baking, snacks, dairy, fruits & veggies, treats, breakfast, drinks).  Along the top I listed the stores I shop at (Dierbergs, Whole Foods, Trader Joes, Costco, Shop N Save, Target) and along the left side I listed the items.  For example I listed butter, chocolate chips, mini chocolate chips, vanilla, baking powder, coconut oil, and olive oil under baking.
grocery shopping price comparison binder {A Sprinkle of This . . . . A Dash of That}      grocery shopping price comparison binder contents {A Sprinkle of This . . . . A Dash of That}     
If you’re looking for resources for healthy eating be sure to check out The Environmental Working Groups Dirty Dozen List.  This is a great resource to know what organic produce you should purchase to avoid the most heavily contaminated by pesticides and other chemicals.  To avoid genetically modified food use this Non-GMO Shopping Guide.

Now I just need to remember to bring it with me so I can start filling it out!

How do you save money on groceries?

July 27, 2012

Back to School Organization . . . . and a free printable!

Weekly Wardrobe Lables for School {A Sprinkle of This . . . . A Dash of That}
With the first day of school right around the corner I’ve started trying to get a jump on things.  My daughter will be in school full time this year for the first time and will be taking her lunch each day.  I’ve been pinning lunch box note printables for a while now.  So that I’m not scrambling each evening or morning to find one I decided to print them all out and keep them in a folder so I can just grab one when I make her lunch the night before.  If you’re looking for some you can check out my School board on Pinterest.  I also have tons of other school related ideas pinned.
Another hurdle is going to be getting ready so early in the morning.  We’re not morning people and she was in afternoon kindergarten last year.  This year she has to be ready by 7:45.  Super early for us.  So we’re not running around crazy in the morning I decided we needed to plan her outfits out ahead of time.  I hung a small rack on her closet door that has 5 hooks.  I’m planning to use one for each day of the week.  I also created some weekly wardrobe labels.  Once they’re printed I’m going to have them laminated and then punch a hole in the top of each one.  Then I’ll have her choose her outfits and slip each one onto one of the hooks or hangers with everything she needs for that day.  I also included a “don’t forget” section where I plan to use a wet erase marker to write extras she’ll need like PE shoes or library books. 
Weekly Wardrobe Lables  {A Sprinkle of This . . . . A Dash of That}          Weekly Wardrobe Lables for School {A Sprinkle of This . . . . A Dash of That}
Click here or on the picture below to download the weekly wardrobe labels ~ minus the watermark
weekly wardrobe labels

July 10, 2012

Laundry Room Organization

My laundry room transformation!  It doesn’t look much different at a quick glance but keep reading to see all angles and you’ll see why I’m so excited.
laundry room before after left wall

My laundry room has gone through many transformation.  Here are just a few of the phases:
before 1before 2before 4
before 3before 5
I finally decided I needed to get it under control once and for all.  I currently have one laundry basket dresser on the left wall and one on the right wall. There is a shelf above each that we use to hand wet clothes to dry. Along the back wall above the washer and dryer are three shelves for laundry stuff and items we (my husband) buy in bulk like paper towels.  I had two complaints.  First, I hated all the clutter along the back wall, and second, I hated how closed in the room was when we had wet clothes hanging to dry on both sides.  They cut 20” off each side of an already narrow room.  I had to walk past all the hanging clothes and laundry basket dressers to get to the washer and dryer on the back wall.  There was also no remaining floor space to set any other baskets or clothes.
laundry room before left walllaundry room before
I started with a drawing of what I had in mind.
laundry room blueprint
I decided to stack the laundry basket dressers on top of each other and place them on the left wall.  You know how they always say to use your vertical space. . . .   The right wall would be used for the two shelves where we hang we clothes to dry.  Along the back wall I really wanted to find a couple of cabinets so the clutter would be behind closed doors.  For a little interest I wanted shelves in between the cabinets.

Once I got working, however, I had a change of plans.  I decided to stack the laundry basket dressers but put them on the right wall instead.  My reasoning was to hide the mess from the kitchen since that door is on the right wall.  Once I did that I decided I loved the open space that was created.  The room looked twice as large (it’s actually an awkward, narrow space).  I couldn’t bear to put the shelves up on the left side so I decide to remove everything from the back wall and hang my shelves for wet clothes back there.  Since the two shelves from the side walls were too long I staggered them.  This gave me 6 ft of hanging space and I was able to keep both shelves for storage of bulk items.  I still needed to find a place for my laundry stuff like detergent.  I decided to hang some 20” sections of shelving to the left of the laundry basket dressers.  It worked out great.  The clutter is tucked around the corner and still easily accessible!
laundry room after left walllaundry room after
laundry room after right wall
I can’t believe how such a simple and inexpensive change (I only had to purchase a new header and two hanging brackets) made such a difference.  The room seems twice as large.  Here are some side by side comparisons.  2/3 of the floor space is now empty and the whole left wall is bare!  It’s so much more user friendly and organized.  The best tip I have it to just use your vertical space.
laundry room before after left wall
laundry room before after right wall
laundry room before after comparison
Now I just need to paint it all a fun color (someday) and add a fun quote or something on the blank wall.  I'm considering "Laundry Today or Naked Tomorrow".   Any other suggestions?