Weekly Challenge #1- Home Management Binder (Part Three)

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And now for the third and final post on my current Home Management Binder.  As I get more tips and ideas from others doing this challenge, it may change a little or a lot this week. we'll see. 

So, in part Two we left off with Cleaning/Housekeeping. Now we're on to... Menu Planning and Recipes! I forgot to get a shot of my Menu Planner divider.. but umm it's green and says menu Planner ;) 

 This shopping list looks nice and all, but I actually have never used one though I made a few copies. I just tend to stick to doing it on my legal pad. I also don't keep my menu in the binder. It goes on the bulletin board over my desk so I can see it at a glance.  I've seen several HMBs so far who have fancy menus and charts and all that.  I just know from experience that it's got to be in pencil cause it changes a lot over the course of the week. I usually have to do 2 weeks at a time, and by the time one week is done, I may have completely changed week 2, but it must keep the same ingredients because I will NOT do shopping for a new meal. Shopping is done on payday at the beginning of the 2 weeks. 

 Now THIS section gets a LOT of use!  I keep our family's favorite and most used recipes in here. Some have been passed down from generations and other have been ones I've discovered and experimented with and became an instant hit.   I have tried to make sure each of my kids has either helped with prep or cooking of each of these recipes, or even in some cases one of the girls will do the entire meal on their own. Rhiannon knows the brownie recipe by heart LOL.  Corina, my oldest who has moved in with her fiance and his family came over the other day to get a copy of the meatloaf recipe. She hadn't made it in so long that she'd forgotten some of it, but her fiance asked her to make it because it's his favorite dish (I served it for him once almost 2 years ago hehe.)

I was looking and it's not really a complete collection. There are a few I've not typed up and still have to go find at Thanksgiving for example. Time to get them all typed and printed and in the HMB.

 I've decided after really taking a good look at these pages that the recipes all need to be re-printed (and maybe even stored on a CD for a backup copy heh), and each recipe put into a page protector.  The pages take a lot of abuse and page protectors would wipe right off.

The next section is Contacts:
This one doesn't even have a paper in the divider,it's just an empty page protector. How sad.  I must find a pic of a vintage telephone or something. 
 The first thing in this section is the basic address book type thing.
 I had a spare page protector in this section and it's become a place to put things to make me smile. A handmade birthday card, a photo of Corina graduating high school, kind of a mini keepsakes area.

 After Contacts and kind of following along with it really is Important Information (again no cute divider page... I mist have run out of ink when I was making them heh.)

 I have one for emergency contacts, quick reference medical info, Drs, hospital numbers, medications taken etc.
 Obviously I couldn't show this whole page and it blurred, but this is very important for if my computer dies or something happens to me.  The family will have all the info right here.

 I also have Flylady's Evacuation Preparedness tips and ideas. We've never had to do that thank the good Lord, but I am actually slowly building our stocks up so I have things like backpacks for each family member with a blanket, flash light, rations of food that keeps a long time, bottled water, activity books, batteries, etc. Not sure where I'd store those, I'd like them to all be together - maybe top of Zoe's closet.. oh I'm rambling again...

And then there's the Finances Tab. It's a wonder the tab's not been ripped off from grabbing and flipping it open so much. I easily use this section the most.  I usually have one of those planner calculators that has holes to put into a binder, but one the kids took it for homework when they forgot theirs.
 I do our budget based on paydays. We lived paycheck to paycheck (sometimes not even that far) for so long it just became the best and easiest way for me to do it. So, I do one page for each of his paychecks and each of mine in order, so like Jan 29th (I count Chris' checks as coming on Saturday since they go into the bank Friday night instead of Monday), then Feb 1st, Feb 12th, Feb 15th, and so on.  Since I'm paid on the 1st and 15th and he's paid bi weekly, sometimes we're paid on opposite weekends and sometimes the same day and sometimes there's nearly 3 weeks between them.. so a normal Monthly budget just doesn't cut it for us yet.  Maybe when we're in a more stable place financially.
 So, I keep it all in a spiral notebook for easy transport when going out to pay bills or needing to tweak a week or something, it's just easier to work in than the whole binder or a few sheets of notebook paper.
 This section, GOALS, I have had in my binder for a while with nothing really in it until very recently. I found a money class thing on the CNN site I think it was that got you to list things you want to do, goals, and then it kept asking you to list which was more important than another over and over til it gave me the order it believed I felt was most important to least important.  Then I had my husband take the same list of things and he had to answer the questions as to which was more important til it generated his final list. We mostly went with his list since he's the head of the household, but we did discuss why we voted for what we did over something else, and it really helped us to talk about money and what our goals really are.
 We did have to tweak them when all of our vehicles decided to mutiny all at once. New-to-us vehicle got bumped up to number one spot and the rest are back in order. 

On the back of that priorities list is My Personal Goals.... sadly this is still blank but as we get closer to being debt free and organized and feeling more "normal" for the first time in...forever*, I feel like maybe I can start setting goals for myself to grow as a person.  I'm already growing as a homekeeper. The organization challenges have really changed how I view so much in my home and life. Seriously good therapy for me...    

*At least the first time I've been "normal"since before Dad died and  I moved off to college and Mom eloped with a new man all in the same year, followed shortly by my  car accident that nearly killed me... truly before that, my life was a normal American teenager's life... and after that I was striving to be a normal American adult, and I swear I just never quite felt *there* yet.... but I really think... I'm almost there. Normal.  You normal people probably have no idea what I'm talking about, and there's no way to explain it, but I know there are some out there who do know and struggle every day like I have.

So, next there is a folder for *stuff*.  It's actually empty, but I guess it's better to have an extra pocket than not.

 Then this thing is great. It came in a clearance binder I got at Staples I think for the kids to have an extra binder one year. It's a giant pocket with a velcro flap. I keep stationery, thank you notes, greeting cards (like sympathy, birthday etc) with envelopes,and I also keep the little circle things you put over the holes in paper to keep them from ripping out. I use them for the calendar pages at least. 

 The back pocket holds more scratch paper.

I used to have a really pretty picture in the back cover too, but something got spilled on the counter where it was sitting and ruined it :(   When I get color ink I'll print another one and fancy up some of the other pages as well. I'm going to look for scrapbook paper to put behind the cover page to cover all that white too.

That's it!   For now. I may post again this week with any tweaks I add to it.

Hope you're having fun with your Home Management Binder!

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