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Saving Your Sanity – Meals/ Groceries Notebook

Updated: Sep 12, 2022

If you’re like me, you’re brain gets WAY-Too-FULL with all the details of life that we moms need to keep track of.  Wouldn’t it be nice if instead of keeping track of everything in our brains, that we just had some books with the info in it?    I’ve heard something like that called a “brainbook” – a notebook where you keep track of everything in your life.  (Yeah, I know, I’m sure there’s an app for that, but I like hardcopies!)  I tried a single brain book and it didn’t work for me.  So here’s my modified version.

I keep a MEALS/GROCERIES Notebook,


and an EDUCATION Notebook,

along with a FINANCES mini-calendar. 

These combine to pretty much equal my brain.

I like to purchase cute small ones because it helps to make my task management more fun!

Having a MEALS NOTEBOOK allows me to keep track of my menus for different holidays, company, and special events which saves me some planning time for future special occasions.  Here’s my entry for Christmas 2017.  You’ll also see that I included recipes for the items that were a big hit I was serving 15 for four days so recipes were for 20 servings.

I usually write most info on sticky notes in my notebooks so that I can rearrange the info into different categories more easily, as needed.

Another helpful category I manage in my MEALS NOTEBOOK is NUTRITION INFO.  If I read or hear about a great vitamin or if a friend shares about something that’s working for her, I put the info on a sticky note in my book on my NUTRITION page.  Sticky notes work so great for me so that I can constantly refine my categories without having to rewrite anything. For example, my nutrition info isn’t much at first but then I start seeing a pattern of info on low carb diet or juicing  so I’m able to make a page on that topic and move all the pertaining sticky notes to that page. 

Okay, yes, it is true that I love organization.  However, what I really love is EFFICIENCY, and it isn’t efficient to waste my time listening to someone and writing the info down on the back of some random envelope, then waste my time looking for the envelope, time I could have used tending the garden of my home (see my post “How to Wear All Your Hats Without Wearing Out” if you want to know what I really mean by tending the garden of my home). You can’t identify the God-moments in your day if your day is scattered and chaotic. 

Enter efficient organization through Mom Notebooks! Yay!

We’re a homeschooling family so the kids and I are all home for lunch on a regular basis (when we’re not at co-op classes).  We will use the same lunch menu for months at a time just to keep it quick and simple.  Currently we’re using the green list that is displayed in the picture.  This is a picture of my Lunch Menus page in my MEALS Notebook.  Having this allows me to look back at past lunch menus.

Some additional categories in my MEALS/GROCERIES Notebook are



and PRICE COMPARISONS on different items.

I add to my price comparison lists as I shop at different stores and online.

I have a few friends who need to eat Gluten Free and Dairy Free so I have started a list of recipes that I can quickly grab when I am going to give them a meal or have them over.

Most helpful of all the categories I have in my MEALS Notebook, to me, is having a Standard Shopping List for each store.  I have learned that it saves me a lot of time and money. 

Standard Shopping Lists in my Meals Notebook.

For example, if I’m at Walmart, I’m going to purchase my standard Walmart items while I’m there.  This keeps me stocked up on those items so that we don’t buy it at a higher cost when I’m at a different store that I happen to be at.  Of course, perishable items are not something I automatically purchase, but only if we need them.  My standard shopping lists are for Costco, Walmart, Aldi, and Sprouts.

Kitchen Tip:

I like the kids to help with meal prep and the cutting boards always make a big juicy mess. So lately I’ve been setting the cutting board in a cookie sheet and, boom, no more mess.

(I came up with this from trying to solve the issue of food prep without any counter tops during the kitchen remodel.)

Ok, Yes, I have fallen into the Instant Pot Craze.  Actually, I love, love, love my I.P.!  Here’s a chart that I found and has been so helpful in knowing how long to cook different items on the Pressure Cook setting.

I'm anxious to hear what categories you would add to the Meals/Groceries Notebook!  I hope you’ll below and let share with us your ideas!

Click on my Quick Freezer Plan post below to see how to spend one hour a week saving yourself a bunch of time on your main entrees and to make it easier for your kids to make a meal. 



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