Thursday, September 9, 2010

Complete Grocery & Food Storage Planner


I've created a do-it-yourself Complete Grocery & Food Storage Planner to get me, and you, organized. Food storage purchases should be a regular part of your grocery shopping. So, this organizer will include food storage (short and long-term), emergency supplies, grocery lists, and a place to store coupons. I'm combining it all. Everything at your fingertips. Keeping it simple.

Step by Step Guide
1. Gather Materials

1 1/2” zipper binder (about $10 WalMart) or a clear-front binder
zippered pencil pouch
pencils or pens
24 tab dividers (will depend on how many sections you want)
35+ plastic baseball card holders to hold your coupons (about $6 at WalMart, up front by the registers and baseball cards)

2. Make Tab Dividers
Before I labeled the tabs, I put my papers behind the dividers, switched them around several times until I decided what order I wanted to use them. I changed the order again so the picture above is already outdated! Use any order that works for you. Then label the tabs.
TAB: Menu Plan -
  1. Set aside some time each week to plan your grocery menu's by studying your current grocery ad and looking for sale items. Put this on your Weekly Menu Planner. Practice each week preparing one meal using mostly non-perishable foods. Breakfast is a great place to start.
  2. Record the groceries you need to purchase on your GROCERY LIST.
  3. Add some food storage or emergency items to your GROCERY LIST from your Monthly Food and Home Storage Calender (click on the picture) or check your INVENTORY LIST.
  4. I keep a Post-it note on the refrigerator and have the family write down other items we run out of at home. When my kids say, "Mom. We're out of ...." or "I need," I say "Write it down!" I add these items to the GROCERY LIST as well.
  5. Try to buy items as when they go on sale. Check (UT) You can use another service in your area such as (AZ and UT). Read tips from theCoupon Lady about purchasing habits.
  6. I also keep my SAM'S CLUB EACHES PRICE list here. You could make one for Costco too. I check this to know if I can beat Sam's prices at other stores.

Monthly Food and Home Storage Calendar
TAB: Storage Plan -
  1. Here is where I keep my annual Monthly Food and Home Storage Calendar (I'm revising it of course as I do more research). It doesn't have to be set in stone, but having an idea of what to gather each month will keep you focused.
  2. Keep your Food & Home Storage Supply List here.
  3. Keep a Disaster Supply Kits list here for emergency supplies. This list was created by Leslie Probert, author of "Emergency Food in a Nutshell" for the 2006 BYU Women's Conference.
  4. Keep a copy of the LDS handout All Is Safely Gathered In Family Home Storage, 2007 here as well to keep focused on the LDS Church guidelines.
  5. Newbies: this may be an area where you keep food storage ideas from the internet or elsewhere. Maybe you are interested in building some rotation shelves, and need a place to put those ideas. See How to Make a Self-Rotating Food Storage for Canned Goods
TAB: Bulk Buying - I keep a copy of the LDS Home Storage Centerorder form here so I can add what I need to buy on my next trip. If you shop at other retailers, put their order forms here as well. 
TAB: Inventory - Here is where I keep my food storage INVENTORY sheets. I have stopped using an online program, and am now doing it by hand. It is much simpler, and believe me, I do a lot on the computer.

Sorting Coupons for the first time with Post-It Notes
Coupons - If you save coupons, put them in plastic baseball card holders. You will need tab dividers to put them into categories. Within each category I have a page or subsection that I labeled in the top right hand corner with my DYMO label maker:
  • BABY
  • BAKING (Canned Milk, Fats/Oils, Mixes/Frosting, Packaged, Spices/Flavorings, Sugars/Grains, etc. )
  • BEVERAGES (Juices, Water, etc)
  • BREAKFAST (Cereal, Cooked Cereal, etc.)
  • CANNED (Fruits/Vegetables, PB/Jelly, Soups, etc.)
  • HOUSEHOLD (Cleaners, Office, etc.)
  • PAPER/PLASTICS (Paper, Plastic/Foil, etc.)
  • PET
  • PHARMACY (Adult Med, Kids Med, First Aid, etc. )
  • REFRIGERATED (Bakery, Dairy, Deli/Cheese, Produce, etc)
  • SNACKS (Candy/Gum, Snacks, Dried Fruit, etc)
  • TOILETRIES (Deodorant/Shavers, Eye, Face/Makeup, Feminine, Hair Products, Lotion, Mouth, etc.).
You may want more or less categories. There are so many ways to do this. I am not an expert. My advice is to clip healthy foods, and be open to different brands. 

Organizing Coupons

My little one's version of organizing coupons

3. Put it all together and you are on your way! Keep it Simple. I take my binder with me everytime I go out just in case I'm in the neighborhood of one of my stores. 

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