A frugal notebook is a place to organize all these useful tools. It’s easy to put together and cheap, too. All you need is a binder, page protectors, dividers, index cards and a few printable forms, such as a calendar and checklists to get started. Many people store their information on their computer, but it’s nice to have a portable binder or index cards to slip into your wallet or pocket and a hard copy as a backup. Not only will this help you manage your time and home; it can be a great gift, too.
Category sections can include:
CALENDAR: For family member’s schedules, special occasions and meal planning.
FAMILY: This can include gift ideas and gift-closet inventory, clothing sizes and clothes inventory, recent photos and library-card information. You can also include school information such as progress reports, lunch menus and school-contact information. Organize your holiday planning, such as addresses to send cards, wish lists and decorating ideas, too.
HOME: Include information such as chore charts, home-maintenance schedule, cleaning routines, stain guides, homemade cleaner recipes, contact information for bills such as utilities, loans, cable, cell phones, Internet and waste management.
You can have a section for your home budget, too. Save any account statements, warranties, appliance manuals and receipts. You can add store hours, phone numbers and policies, too. Your garden journal can be added to this section. It can contain information such as plant care, seed starting, layouts and design, chores and frost dates.
HEALTH: Add information such as immunization records, fitness journals, insurance information, prescription information and doctor and emergency-contact numbers, such as closest contact if you’re unavailable, local hospital or poison control. If you have pets, you can add their medical records, too.
FOOD: Create and store your meal plans, recipes, cooking substitutions and kitchen tips such as conversions, homemade mixes, food storage and freezer- and pantry-inventory lists, your price book, coupons, rebate information, seasonal foods, takeout menus and master grocery list.
FUN: This can be a running list of activities to do on weekends, breaks and vacations. It can include free local entertainment, crafts and homemade craft recipes and projects, and movie and reading lists, too.