Being Prepared

from the King’s Missus, some great tips for planning ahead in our homemaking.

What are some tips for becoming more prepared? If you are totally new to being prepared, I suggest trying some of these ideas and incorporating them bit by bit (not all at once) into your life:

*Rising early to have time with God and prepare for the day
*Using a daily list (whether in your head or on paper), a home management binder, Daily Docket, or schedule to map out your day and write down things that need to be done
*Make supper in the morning so when the “pit hour” comes and all the kids are crying you can just heat it up!
*Making a Master List of your family’s favorite 50 meals that you can consult when you need menu-planning ideas
*Getting into the habit of making a weekly menu-plan and shopping once a week or less
*Making up a Master Packing List to look over when you are packing for trips so you don’t forget those important items for each person in the family
*Making a Master Grocery List as my friend Heather did to help avoid forgetting items on shopping trips
*Having a weekly “stock-the-diaper-bag” routine where you make sure there are a few outfits, a few diapers and some wipes, and some toys, etc. It’s no use taking a diaper bag if it’s not stocked!
*Making a weekly schedule or routine for activities you can do with your child (playdough one day, painting the next, etc.)
*Setting out the cups/bowls/cereal/bread the night before so breakfast goes smoothly
*When chicken goes on sale, cook 4-6# of it in a crockpot or in a roasting pan in the oven. Cool it, chop or shred it, and freeze it for a handy addition to meals when you are cooking. Do the same for cooking hamburger, dried beans, etc.
*Do a Baking Day to prep snacks and breads for your family so they are easily accesible.
*Buying a freezer chest that you can use to buy ahead when things go on sale.
*Having an emergency kit in the car, first aid kit in the house, and fire extinguisher handy.
*Pack a Park-Kit for the trunk of your car. Going to the park all the time in the summer? Don’t want to fuss with packing snacks and drinks every time? Fill an empty diaper box with crackers, bottled water, wipes, band-aids, sunscreen, sun hats, a blanket, sunglasses, kleenex, sand toys, etc. and then you will have it handy if you need it. Of course you will have to restock it now and then though!
*Have a few outfits that are older or faded that you were going to toss or give to the thrift store? Stash one outfit per person in your trunk of your car. Then, when you are at a picnic and your kid wets on you or you discover you forgot to stock the diaper bag, you won’t have to drive home! Just remember to put them back in the trunk of the car after you wash them.
*Back up all of your photos and home videos on CDs/DVDs/Memory card, etc. and keep them in a fireproof box with your important documents.
*Make a Travel Bag and fill with activities that your kids can do on long car trips.

*Pack separate bags for each day for a vacation. I love this idea I found online a while back! Instead of having 5 separate suitcases which Dad has to haul into the tent/hotel every day, pack an outfit for each person in one brown bag or tote bag, labeled DAY ONE. Then you just have to bring in blankets, diapers, the bathroom bag, and the DAY ONE bag. We do this now on some vacations/trips and it’s so nice to have everyone’s swimsuit handy in the swim bag when you want to go to the lake or pool or a church bag fully stocked with church outfits.
*Make a gift stash and add to it as you find great new stuff for cheap at yard sales, or on clearance. Then you can “shop at home” for someone when you want to bless someone who is having a hard day or give someone a birthday surprise.

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