I have been working on putting together a Home Management Binder(s). Previous posts include:
Part 1 – Daily Planner
Part 2 – Main Household Binder
This is Part 3 – Meal Planning Binder & Finance Binder
I found two binders that had the same design but in slightly different colors. They still matched well with my main green binder.
I think this is my favorite binder since I use it so often. I like that it is separate because all these various things in one big binder would be too bulky.
As with my main binder, I purchased Avery Plastic Dividers with Slash Pockets (11903).
I forgot to mention in my other post, that I also liked these dividers because they were wide enough to accommodate clear sheet protectors. Your divider titles aren’t covered up by wide sheet protectors.
Also, like my main binder, many of these sheets came from iheartorganizing.blogspot.com’s etsy shop.
Here are my headings.
1. Brian’s Work Schedule
- (I like to keep track of the days Brian works the late shift because I’ll need a dinner I can serve in two shifts – earlier for the kids and later for Brian and myself. )
2. Weekly Menu Planner
Originally this worksheet (that I purchased separately) had the categories of Breakfast, Lunch, Snack and Dinner.
I requested that my categories be changed to Appointments, Lunch, Dinner and Notes. On less busy days I can plan meals that take more prep time. During the school year, I keep track of the school lunch menu and which days I pack lunches and which days they are allowed to have hot lunch. In the notes section I make note of days I have to defrost or marinade or if a food needs to be eaten before it expires.
Once I have the week’s meals planned out, Bella likes to update the Magnetic Weekly Menu Board on our fridge so the family knows what we are eating that week.
3. Monthly Menu Calendar
- At the end of the week I jot down what dinner meals we ate on a master monthly calendar. I like to look over it to note how we’ve been eating – Too much red meat? Not enough fish? Too much Mexican? Overkill on chicken? Haven’t had a breakfast dinner in awhile? Ate out too much? It helps me plan meals for the next week, especially when we are in a meal slump.
4. Shopping Lists (With a pocket for coupons.)
- I don’t use coupons very often but for the times I do, I use the divider pocket to hold them.
- I printed out the shopping lists I normally use and added them to the binder.
- This is especially helpful since I have a second fridge in the garage.
6. Freezer Inventory
- This is especially helpful since I have a second freezer in the garage.
7. Pantry Inventory
- This is especially helpful since I have a second pantry in the garage.
8. Recipe Log
- This has been really useful for me. The other day I was looking through one of my favorite healthy cookbooks – The Food You Crave: Luscious Recipes for a Healthy Life by Ellie Krieger.
- I wrote down the recipes I wanted to try. I also listed any ingredients that I needed to buy fresh or that were not always in my pantry. When I need a meal idea I can look over the list or if I have an item that needs to be used up, whether chicken or cilantro, I can pick a recipe using those ingredients. Just another way to make my meal planning a little easier. (Note to self – Update the ingredients for the french toast. Jalapenos and cilantro not required. 😉 )
It took me awhile to get my finance binder organized in a manner that works for me but here it is.
- I wanted to be able to keep my check register in my binder so I used an Excel template to make one that fit on standard size paper. It works a lot better for me.
- I keep track of how much money I have in our bank accounts.
- I also keep track of the money in my “little funds” that I save for during the year. For example, each month I set aside a certain amount for my “Christmas fund” and my “one-day-i’m-going-to-visit-my-sis-on-the-east-coast fund.”
3. Monthly Budget
- I keep track of my monthly and yearly budget.
Sample page 1 of 3 available from the iheartorganizing shop.
4. Bills to Pay
- I keep track of the bills that are due.
- When a bill comes in the mail I slip it into the pocket divider and add the amount to my monthly bill list.
- I am terrible at remembering to pay bills on their various due dates so for any bill that I don’t have automatic payment, I have one payment date. On the 15th of the month I pay everything that will be due in the next 30 days.
- I keep track of medical expenses, speech therapy etc.
- In a clear sheet protector I keep the solicitation envelopes of charities we’ll be donating to that month.
- In a clear sheet protector I keep any donation thank you letters we receive that we may need at tax time.
- (Before I got married I worked for Phil Lenahan and he had a ministry helping families to not only get out of debt but the importance of linking your faith and your finances together. He taught me the importance of tithing in the spiritual life and it has stuck with me over a decade later.)
- For the kid’s schooling.
- I have a clear sheet protector for temporary receipts that I may need for returns. Once a month I throw out any expired receipts.
- I have another sheet protector for receipts of big ticket items that I need to keep.
Well, that’s it! I hope you enjoyed taking a look. If you are making your own Household Binder(s) and you need more ideas of what to include, I found a lot of ideas and inspiration from Dawn over at By Sun and Candlelight. If you click on the Organization category you’ll see her awesome files and binders and homemaking fun. (Although, I originally fell in love with her Downton Abbey discussions.) This post is particularly great for figuring out which subjects to add to your binder.
Do you have a favorite organizing blog? Share it with me! I need to be constantly inspired so I’ll continue this quest of organizing and de-hoarding my home!
- Although, I purchased most of my forms, there are also a number of free forms you can download from iheartorganizing blog, including the Recipe Reference Sheet pictured above.
- You can also find a load of Organizing printables at ishareprintables.com/category/organization.
- “Mom Tracked” Printables are at mommytracked.com/downloads.
- There are nice free printables in various categories at theorganisedhousewife.com.au/printables/.
- Dee has some really cute monthly printables at creativideeworkshop.com/share.html but I especially love her “honey do” list.
That’s it for now. Next week I’ll post about my Blogging/Project Binder. Please feel free to leave your comments and tips!
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