Monthly Archives: November 2013

Christmas Shopping list by store

Tips for Shopping and Tracking Your Holiday Purchases

Ready.  Set.  Shop.  With so many gifts to purchase, do you have a way to keep track of them all?  Check out our tips and suggestions for shopping and tracking your holiday gifts.

Shopping Lists

Once you’ve made your lists for family and friends, it’s time to start shopping. To make shopping more efficient, consider making a list for each store.  It’s much easier to shop if you know exactly which items you need to buy.  Check out our free printable shopping list below:

 Shopping List by Store  (two pages – print the one you like best)

Set Up an Envelope for Receipts

While we strive to purchase that perfect gift, there are bound to be some gifts that need to be exchanged or returned.  Establish a large envelope to hold the receipts from all of your holiday purchases.  Just slip them in the envelope, and they will all be in one place when you need them later.

On-line Shopping

Today, it is so much easier and cheaper to shop on-line.  If you do a lot of on-line shopping, consider using our Shipping Tracker to confirm you’ve received all of your parcels.  While it’s easy to get all of your shopping done on-line, you’ll want a system to know what arrived, and what is missing.  Check out our free printable Shipping Tracker below:

Shipping Tracker

Just enter the date of your order and the name of the store.  When the package arrives, place a check mark in the box.   If one item didn’t ship, make a note on the tracker so you can follow-up on it.

Happy Shopping!

You may also enjoy the following articles:

Christmas Shopping Lists

Preparing for the holidays – November Checklist

Enjoy the holiday season: October Checklist

Simple ways to organize gift wrap paper and bows

It’s Time to Clean Out Your Gutters

Are your gutters full of fall leaves?  Take a few minutes to clean them out, before winter officially arrives.  Check out our tips on gutter maintenance.

Benefits of Cleaning Out Your Gutters

Gutters are designed to take the water off your roof, and move it off to the sides of your home.  Otherwise, water would pour down and pool near your foundation.

By keeping your gutters clean, water will flow away from your home.  However, if your gutters are full of leaves and debris, they will overflow with water.  This water can seep into the soil, and into your basement.

Keeping your gutters clean during the winter will help prevent ice dams.  If you live in a colder climate, clogged gutters can lead to an ice dam.

What is an ice dam?  An ice dam is a layer of ice that forms at the lower edge of a roof.  It stops the melting snow, rain and water from draining off the roof.  As a result the water backs up behind the dam, and can leak into your home causing damage to your ceiling, walls and insulation.

Proper gutter maintenance will help your gutters last longer.  If you keep the leaves and helicopters in the gutters, small trees can start to grow.  In addition, the gutters will get heavy.  They will eventually sag, or separate from the house, and will need to be replaced.

So, are you ready to clean your gutters?

How to Clean Gutters

There are several ways to clean your gutters.

  1. Leaf Blower: If you are willing to stay on top of it, a leaf blower works great.  However, once the leaves get wet, and start to decay, using a leaf blower is no longer an option.
  2. Gloves and a bag/pail: If you are dealing with wet, soggy leaves, put on some rubber gloves.  You’ll want heavy-duty gloves, since some gutters can be sharp.  You’ll also need a bag or pail to collect the leaves.

Depending on the location of your gutters, you may need a ladder.  Other gutters may be accessed more easily through an upstairs window, or by standing up on the roof.  If your roof is too high, or very steep, you may want to hire a professional to clean out your gutters.

Happy cleaning!

Fall Cleaning: Tips on Cleaning Out Cabinets and Pantry

How is your fall cleaning going?  Part of this process is to clean out your cabinets.  November is a great time of year to tackle this project, since so many organizations are looking for food donations.  So let’s get started.

Tips on Cleaning Out Your Cabinets/Pantry:

  • Take one shelf at a time.
  • Toss any items that have expired.
  • Donate non-perishable items you may not use or just over-purchased.
  • Incorporate remaining food on your Meal Planner to ensure it is used.

Where to donate food

Most communities have shelters or food banks that collect groceries for people in need.  In addition, many organizations are running food drives this time of year.  Check your town newspapers for dates and times of collections.  Below are some additional places that accept food donations:

  • Grocery stores often have bins set up for food donations
  • Local libraries take up a collection around Thanksgiving
  • Radio stations sponsor food drives to fill up a truck
  • Churches usually collect food, or know of a donation center
  • Homeless shelters are always in need of donations

Unless you are going directly to a shelter with a refrigerator, or a food drive with a refrigerated truck on site, you’ll want to donate non-perishable food items.  Examples of non-perishable items include:

  • Peanut butter
  • Canned soup
  • Canned meats and fish
  • Canned vegetables, fruits and juices
  • Boxed goods (such as cereal)
  • Pasta and rice

Here are some additional articles you may enjoy:

Household Checklist for November

Fall Cleaning Checklists

What’s In Your Emergency Food Bin?

Setting Up A Pantry

What’s For Dinner Tonight? The Importance of Weekly Meal Planning