The Crazy Suburban Mom: 2012-09-09

Friday, September 14, 2012

Planner pages and economy of space...

On day 10 of the 30 days of Filofax lists, I realized something.  

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I wasn't using all the available space per page and realized I'd be taking most of them out fairly soon or The Jolly Green Giant would be ralphing lists like a cannon.

  With my to-do sheets I strive for economy of paper.  It's not a money thing; it's just that I'd like to keep any many past dates with me as possible without upsetting the delicate ring balance. 

It's probably why I've never given page per day (or even worse  two page per day) inserts a try.  Why keep a ton of used pages in there covered with blank space?   Pages with less information then they could hold don't seem especially efficient.

That is precisely why using free form to-do sheets book-ended by the Dodo Week on two pages works so well for me.  


If I used any of the page per day inserts I'd have so much blank paper to weed through, both past and future.  This way I only have the Dodo Week on two pages and an amount of pages in-between.  Some weeks are heavy and I might have six pages, but it's usually more like 4.  And they are used up.  

So I decided this would work a lot better for the 30 days of lists too and changed this week.

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It's the perfect solution for me.

From time to time, I remove things but the build up in slower, predictable, and I don't have to worry one day I'll hear my Filofax groan, open it's own rings, and spew the contents of my life into orbit.

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Filofax sans schmutz

I do a lot of customizing in my Filofax.  The  main  impetus isn't to have a creative planner per se,  although I do quite like the artistic process and results.  The main reason is money;  I don't buy a lot of inserts because I can't afford to make mistakes.  

 So I wrack my brain to come up with ways to use things I already have.   Recently I added a recipe section.



 I try a lot of recipes but only do a few over and over.  Sometimes it's the recipe itself, sometime a very successful cooking method. I've  begun adding winners to my Filofax for easy reference.   

That caused a few problems; how do I keep them from getting ratty and do I want my Filofax in the kitchen where it can get cooking schmutz on it?

First I thought I'd keep a fly leaf in that section but then I have to move it around which is a pain.  Plus that only tackles one issue; doesn't solve the cooking schmutz issue at all.  

This morning I stumbled upon a solution.  I try to use what I have whenever possible and this is a perfect example.  Filofax inserts come in an over-wrap that is, of course, the exact right size to hold pages.  It's not going to be as durable as the branded document holder but it doesn't have to be, I'm not constantly taking these pages in and out of the plastic (although I do plan to add reinforcements around the holes for durability).

filofax wrapping


The over-wraps come with every package of inserts, won't cost anything extra, and all you need to do in hole punch them.  And as you can see from the above picture they are totally clear. So I figured why spend $5 to buy the branded envelopes?  It's really the perfect solution for me, I just remove the protected page and bring it with me to the kitchen.

chicken recipe filofax section

I'm  sure the Filofax envelopes will last longer but if I keep the  plastic over wraps from insert purchases, I'll have another in the wings should this one turn to dust.

For me this is a great solution; it's totally clear, free, and doesn't add any bulk.  Compared to the envelopes you can purchase, it's thinner allowing me to protect a lot of pages without taking up too much ring real estate.

I wanted to do a post because while most people don't do recipes in their Filofaxes I can see this being a good solution for different kinds of lists you want to keep clean and fresh; important phone numbers, the Filofax personal information page, work contacts, written ink samples...  Whatever really.


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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A delicious, creamy and organized nirvana


I've tried to get top tabs to work for quite sometime without success.  I put them on but eight hours later they're gone.  Fortunately, moving around the little florescent organizing soldiers is a breeze (Bless their semi-sticky little hearts)!

But then I see someone's Filofax with near a thousand top tabs and I'm jealous all over again.   In about an hour my tops are all tabbed. I find all the colorful bits peeking out the top so flipping appealing.  

Problem is when I'm done I can't even find today's page....

I love lots of color and fun stuff in my Filofax and I know it tends to look disorganized  but there is an order to it I can follow. I guess it's like someone having a messy desk and knowing where every thing is....

 But a top tabbed to the brim is massively chaotic to me and a lot like the Big Bang only more Florescent.  

And repositonable.



Totally by accident I stumbled on a way to make them work.  Using the Martha Stewart Note Tabs  combined with a subject sticker I can now rock the top tabs...



I've got four so far, Dr's Appt, Dentist Appoinment, Vet Appointment and Vacation/Travel.  



I put them on my Dodo weekly sheets and can easily see what's coming up without flipping through a year of pages to find it.  When that appointment is over I move it to the dashboard or to the week of the following appointment.

My pajamaed leg is in the background, I really need some stylish sleepwear, I take the dogs out in my ratty old PJ's to the horror of my family

  Oh!  You can see Jenna's post card in the background ...



Isn't it pretty??

Thanks so much, Jenna! If anyone wants to do a postcard exchange with me, my address is behind the contact tab.  I'd love to get postcards from all over the world although I'm not sure getting post cards from NJ is on par with say, Paris or London... 



Here's a few random  pages to round out this post.


I've been using these pages for my 30 days of Filofax lists but I realized that I won't be able to keep very many days in my Filo if I do one per page so I'm going to change this around.  Maybe a weekly sheet?



And I've finally started a food/grocery/recipe section.  Behind the price list sheets  I'm adding recipes I always make but never remember...  Like the Alfredo sauce here...  

Alfredo Sauce is heaven.  Butter, cream, and cheese are my three favorite food groups.  But butter, cream, and cheese in my Filofax is like Nirvana; a delicious creamy, and  organized Nirvana...

Bon Appetit!

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Sunday, September 9, 2012

Filofax Price Book DIY Insert


Even before I used a Filofax full time I wanted to make a grocery price book.  If you've never heard of it, a price book tracks prices over time and between shops.  It  might be the best way to save money.

There are things I always buy and by tracking their prices  over time I can get a handle on what the lowest price a given item drops to, which store consistently sells it at the lowest price, and I can find out  if there is a predictable sale cycle.

Doing this takes some time and a bit of work but I think the savings more then covers the hassle.  If I know how frequently I purchase something,  how often the best price rolls around ( and at which stores),  I can stock up on these groceries for the lowest price and save a lot of money.

If you can combine the best price with a coupon even better but I don't think it's necessary to go coupon crazy.   Stores put out flyers weekly and while not everything is a great sale, there are always 'loss leaders'.  

Loss leaders are really, really, really low priced items designed to get you in the store.  They figure if you're attracted by a few saletastic prices, they've got your whole paycheck.


 I made a DIY Filofax insert with a basic layout.   The main category is at the top.



This one is pasta sauce

How I track prices is by; which store, sale price, brand or type of item (for the chicken category I'm doing it by part), regular price, price per unit (pound, ounce, etc) week number, and if there are any restrictions.

Here are the 2012 week numbers.

The image can be enlarged by clicking or  go to the site click here


Many times there aren't any restrictions, but if I have to buy 10 bottles of something I don't use a lot I usually pass on the sale .  

 Unless it's slammin', of course.

Besides regular sale cycles things go on sale seasonally.  Since I'm posting this in September here is a list of categories most likely to show up in a sale flyer.


Rice because it's National Rice Month
Honey because it's National Honey Month
Crackers and cookies because it's National Biscuit Month
Chicken, it's National Chicken Month
Cereal because it's National Breakfast Month
I know this is getting silly but - Ice cream sandwiches for National Ice Cream Sandwich Month

It's also Baby Items Month
Labor Day in the US
Rosh Hashanah
Dog things for National Dog Week
Certain brands in general for Hispanic Heritage Month

Here's some things that historically go on sale in September:

Lunch Box Products, School's starting!
Bread
Tomato Products
Diabetic Food Products
Household
Diabetic Products

Produce in Season for September:

Artichokes
Beans
Peppers
Cucumbers
Eggplant
Squash
Tomato
Apples
Oranges
Pears
Pomegranate


Clearance Summer Items:

Picnic Items
BBQ products

Seasonal Sale Items:

Baby Products
Lunch Boxes
Back Packs


The price book page below is a clickable image.  If you want the .jpg  file email me and I'll send it to you.  I'm still working on it, it's just a basic lay-out with no artsy do-dads but I wanted to get started right away so as soon as I had the basic lay out, I printed it.



If you try it out, please let me know what works and what doesn't and if anyone wants me to try making it in a size other then A5, I'll give it a whirl.

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