Living a Frugal and Organized Life
One key to sustaining a frugal lifestyle is being organized and staying on track. This is a guide about being frugal and organized
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I have always been frugal. I am even more frugal as I get older and the economy has forced me to be more frugal, to stretch the almighty dollar. I access web sites, use coupons, go to clothes/food giveaways all in the effort to pay my bills and saving as much money as I can. Sometime it is a struggle. But in the end it is worth it.
The corner stone to my keeping me on track is organization. I have it down to a very manageable system. There are some days when things fall behind, but for the most part, it works, at least for me. Let me break down my schedule for you.
- Iron my clothes for the week with one extra outfit
- Reorganize items in the storage area in the garage
- Scroll through the Sunday, looking at the ads and coupons
- Prepare dinner
- Clean out refrigerator old food and leftovers, straightened out cupboards - mini shopping list.
- Cut and sort coupons. Coupons will be sorted by expiration date first, then by food and non food items.
- Prepare book bag for transportation (projects that can worked on during break and lunch time)
- Bedtime routine (change purse, redo finger nail polish, etc)
- Use my break time and lunch time to check emails, reply to texts, and messages.
- Fill out surveys, rewards sites.
- Make phone calls if needed.
- Clean emails from phone on the way to work( my husband usually drives me in)
- Jot down any ideas or thoughts about my next blog posts.
- Take shots of scene to be used in posting.
- Check phone messages from home
- Organize coupons
- Last day for end/beginning of new sales ads.
- I have an app and email alerts to the new weekly ads.
- Check email apps and any alerts from for CVS, Kmart, Wal-Mart, Target, other various sites
- Complete any surveys from various stores or receipts.
- Check to see if items are needed from last week's sale or this week sale ads
- Match coupons to ads
- Shopping trips with living area
- Visit local thrift shops for new merchandise
- Start new post to blog. I have 5 blogs and will deal with each on a weekly basis
- Finish editing blog post. Check email and other reward sites. Complete any information for mailing out any letters, bills. I use bill pay and money orders to pay bills
- Start making jewelry and anything connected with my jewelry business(adding hooks, finishing products, taking pictures, edit for uploading on to blog and web site.
- Continue to add to blog. Download pictures to photo editing sites(Flickr, Pinick, Photobucket)
- Check email, Face Book, Twitter, Four Square and Twitter
- Start laundry
- Clean upstairs bathroom
- Clean living room and dining room
- Finish laundry
- Clean bedroom
- Clean downstairs bathroom
- Wash remaining clothes and bed linen
- Defrost food for dinner
- Go to library for old magazines and use computer services
- Check email for preview of next weeks ads
- Cut and sort any coupons from magazines and web sites
- Finish any shopping before new ads on Sunday
- Read/Scroll through magazines and any readings
Now this schedule can change due to emergencies, appointments,outings or I am just to tire to move. There are times when I will tweak this schedule to fit my needs, but basically, this is it. It keeps me on my toes and lets everyone else know what to expect. Easy as pie.
By Georgetta Ruth from Waterloo, IA
Many people are overwhelmed with the thought of organizing their home let alone one specific area. A great "workplace" organization methodology you can follow in the home is called "5S", originally employed in Japanese manufacturing plants.
Loosely translated to English, the 5S model is as follows:
- Step 1 - Sort Use this step to purge your life of "stuff" you have accumulated that adds no value to your life and should either be discarded, sold or donated);
- Step 2 - Straighten
- Step 3 - Shine (clean)
- Step 4 - Standardize You might label bins or jars that specific items are to be stored in.
- Step 5 - Sustain Once you have established new standards, be sure you have a system to ensure you are reviewing and maintaining the new standards.
There are many sources of information on the internet for "5S" or maybe even in the mind of your spouse who has been involved in "5S events" at work.
Beyond 5S, simply avoid purchasing "stuff" that truly is not needed by you or your family. Start by understanding "wants" vs "needs". "Stuff" does not define us; it is the things we do and the lives we impact that defines us.
By Geoff Monastra from Cleveland, OH
A place for everything and everything in it's place helps my busy life run much smoother and it saves money too!
Organize a binder that contains all your important papers including investment statements, insurance (life, health, homeowners, auto, etc.), credit card, bank accounts, etc.
When new statements arive, replace the old and shred. In the event of a fire, natural disaster just pickup the binder and GO! If there is an unexpected death, theft of a wallet, accident or other tragedy you'll have all policy numbers and phone numbers at your finger tips. This will hasten the payments due to you in your time of need and give you great piece of mind. Include copies of your prescriptions too!
- I keep a running list of what we've eaten for dinner so I don't duplicate meals too often.
- I plan my main course for a week or so at a time depending on what is on our calendar for the evening. Eating in is more nutritious and saves money. Planning allows me to purchase the items when I am at the grocery avoiding a run to the store.
- I plan on having each of my Dear Daughters (age 16 and 10) cook a meal one night a week starting this summer.
- I keep an accordion file of recipes I'd like to try divided into categories like pasta, poultry, desserts, etc. Occasionally I'll sort them out, throwing those away I know I'll never try and selecting a few to cook over the next month.
- Use what is in your pantry.
- Don't forget that grocery list: Train your family members to record an item (I have a wipe off board on my refrigerator). If it NOT on the list it doesn't get purchased.
- Grocery: Keep a running grocery list in your phone or day planner so it's handy when you shop
- Task List: Make a list of tasks or cleaning projects to be completed each day, week, year. I feel a great sense of satisfaction when I mark one off as done and it keeps me on my toes as to what chores need to be completed in what order. My list includes items like cleaning the blinds and windows, cleaning the silver, cleaning closets, ordering mulch, planting bulbs, etc.
- Clothing or Shopping Needs: I do most of my clothes shopping at outlet malls. I keep a running list of items we each need to be as efficient as possible. These twice yearly shopping trips act as a mini-vacation and actually save me money because I am not at the malls on a regular basis. I save up to $50 each pay period for these trips.
My girls do all their summer shopping in April and their back to school shopping in August. I do Christmas shopping in November. I also stock up on seasonal gifts for my secret pal, Sunday school teachers, accountability ladies, etc on these trips.
- Christmas (or Birthday) List: I purchase Christmas gifts all year long. I LOG these in a spread sheet which also tracks the cost of the item. These items are stored in a plastic storage bin under my bed so they don't get lost.
- Reading List: I keep a list of books (reviews cut from magazines or the newspaper too!) so I can always check out something interesting from the Library.
- Movie List: I have a list on my computer of all the VHS and DVDs we won (CDs being added soon!) This way if I need to suggest a movie title for a gift, I'll know what we have. Print the list and store in your important papers binder in the event of a fire ot tornado. It will make it easier to claim on your insurance!
And the most important . . .
- Wish List: I keep a running list of the things I'd like to accomplish before I die, places I'd like to visit, etc. I just turned 50 and will be crossing off "Take drum lessons" soon. A goal is just a dream you have written down. If you can dream it you CAN do it!
This may seem a bit compulsive to you but I didn't start all these lists at the same time. Select the ONE that will simplify your life and give it a shot! You'll be glad you did
By Diana from Prospect, KY
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