Printable Household Planners

Printable household planners can be a lifesaver. Keeping up with the organization of a household can feel overwhelming at times. There are things that need cleaned, meals that need cooked, activities that need to be attended, and holidays to plan. It’s a lot, yo.

If you are anything like me, digital planners and the like are fine and dandy, but they don’t really work for you. I’m a pen and paper kind of gal. I’m a lots of pens and lots of paper kind of gal. I’ve dived headfirst into this super awesome world of planners and I can not wait to tell you more about all that, but that’s not the point of today’s post.

45 Printable Household Planners | Vicki-Arnold.com

Printable Household Planners

Today! Today I have a list of printable household planners for you. And I’m a bit excited about them. I’ve tried to organized them to make it easier to find just what you are looking for. Let me know in the comments if you find one that is just right for you or if you are still needing something different and I’ll see if I can hook you up!

Complete Printable Packs

Daily Printables

Weekly Printables

Monthly Calendars

Cleaning Planners

Meal Planners

Money Management Printables

Outside the House Planning Printables

More Household Management Printables

Other Free Printable Collections

As is bound to happen in the research process, I came across a few other round-ups of free household printables. Here they are:

Printable household planners are a great tool for homemaking. Seeing things on paper often makes prioritizing easier. It’s also pretty darn satisfying to check things off a list. Give one of these planners a shot and see if it helps you feel more organized!

How to Save Money for Christmas With No Extra Money

Do you find yourself scrambling every November or December trying to figure out how to pay for Christmas? Do you find yourself wondering how to save money for Christmas when you have no extra money?

There is a lot of wisdom in scaling back to only the necessities, giving gifts that don’t cost anything, and focusing on important elements of Christmas like family, serving others, and Jesus Christ. If you are feeling led to do this, please follow that.

If you are simply wanting to take some strain off your finances at the end of the year by planning ahead, I’d like to help you with that.

How to Save Money for Christmas When You Have No Extra Money | Vicki-Arnold.com

How to Save Money for Christmas

The simplest way to save money for Christmas is to figure up a budget (how much you want to spend on Christmas) and then divide it up by the number of paychecks you have left before you will need the money. That will give you the exact amount you need to save each paycheck in order to have the cash you need on hand when the time comes.

If you are just looking for some general how to save money for Christmas ideas, you could try one of these ideas:

  • Change jar. Collect all your change throughout the year in a jar.
  • $5 bill challenge. Save every $5 bill that comes through your hands. (My Dad does this.)
  • Try a graduated savings plan. Save $1 this week, save $2 next week, $3 the week after. OR try doubling it each week: week one is $1, week 2 is $2, week 3 is $4, etc.
  • Use coupons and save the money savings in a Christmas account.

Apps & Websites for Saving Money

If you don’t want to or can’t use one of these systems, or if you want to do more, then giving a savings app or website a try could be worth it. What is great about a lot of these is that you can earn cash back on things you are already purchasing. Here is a list of some that I know about and/or use:

Walmart’s Savings Catcher

Walmart has an app where you can scan your receipts and they will automatically price check for you. It is super easy to use and is free in the App store. I’ve used this since the last week of December and have accumulated $6.69 in money that I would not normally get back because I never price matched things before. I also do not do my grocery shopping at Walmart currently so I am not a frequent shopper. If you are, I’d expect your savings to be more.

Ibotta

Ibotta is another smart phone app where you scan your receipts to receive cash back incentives on grocery shopping items. You scan through the list of available rebates ranging from $.25 on milk or paper towels to $10 for a TOMS purchase. Some of the offers are for specific stores or websites, but some are available for multiple stores and even brands (like milk).

There is a teamwork aspect to Ibotta, as well. When you connect with friends on the app, you can earn bonus rebates. If you do sign up, please use my referral code to join my team and we can work together. My referral code: nciuuwm. You get a referral code when you sign up to refer friends, too.

Ebates

I’ve sung the praises of Ebates before (websites every frugal shopper needs). Basically, if you shop online, you need Ebates. You receive cash back on purchases when you first click through the link on Ebates. Not every store is on there, but there are a LOT that are. Be sure to check those out. If you use your smart phone to shop online, be sure to download their app so you get the rebates still.

They also have a referral program where you can earn bonuses for telling your friends about their service.

Swagbucks

Swagbucks is another website I’ve recommended before and there is good reason I still recommend it. The very basis of Swagbucks is that you use their search engine instead of say Google or Yahoo to search online. Randomly you are rewarded Swagbucks. You can then redeem these Swagbucks for gift cards at various stores.

Swagbucks has two apps in addition to the website: the main app is where you can answer a daily poll (and earn 1 swagbuck) and manage your account; and the SBTV app where you can watch videos to earn Swagbucks.

A few other ways to earn Swagbucks (there are more):

  • Printing & using coupons
  • Watching videos
  • Taking surveys
  • Playing games

Swagbucks also has a referral program, so you earn Swagbucks for referring friends.

Snap by Groupon

Snap is from Groupon, which is an awesome site, too. This is a new one for me. You scan through the offers before you shop, selecting the ones you will be purchasing, and then snap a photo of the receipt to redeem the offers. When you hit $20, you can request a check. The thing I like most about this one is that you can shop at any store! The thing I did not like is that the offers that I was interested in were “All Gone” so we’ll see how often they update those.

I have the app, but you can also use it on your desk/laptop via the website. Again, there is a referral program.

Checkout 51

This is another new app for me, but I’ve already earned $3 in 24 hours. I don’t think that will likely happen every day, but it’s off to a good start. These offers update every Thursday and you have to purchase the items and upload your receipts while the offer is still live.

Tips for Using Money Saving Apps

You’ll not likely amass large quantities of money with these apps and websites, but you can definitely put a dent in your holiday shopping budget. Here are a few tips to make the most of your time.

  • Read the rules for each app and offer. You don’t want to waste your time picking up items only to find that you needed to buy them at a different store to get the rebate.
  • Stack offers. The great things about the apps is that you can use your coupons and sale prices in the store, then stack the rebate from the app on top of that.
  • Don’t buy things you don’t need, want, or use just to get the rebate. That isn’t savings. If you ever find yourself tempted to buy something just because there is a rebate, put the money you would have spent on it into your savings account or Christmas fund. You’ll save more money than the rebate and not have something hanging around that you don’t need (clutter!).

Don’t let this list overwhelm you, let it encourage you. Now you know how to save money for Christmas (or any other need) and not even feel it. Just pick one and learn how to use it well. Once you are able to use it without really thinking about it, try another. Those savings will add up!

5 Ways to Use Target’s Dollar Spot Items

I am a sucker for Target’s Dollar Spot. I am downright giddy if I happen to catch it when they are clearancing out items. I’ve picked up little board books for 25 cents when that happened! Since I love a good little round up, today I am sharing 5 ways to use Target’s Dollar Spot.

Oh, and the last giveaway for this week is tagging along on the bottom of the post…Target fans, you will not be disappointed.

If you have discovered the Dollar Spot already, you know how awesome it is. If you have never stopped in this little treasure trove, it is the little section when you walk in to a Target store. There are a variety of items (that change often), all priced at either $1 or $3. It is Ah-mazing.

But what can you do with all those wonderful goodies? I am so glad you asked.

5 Ways to Use Items from Target's Dollar Spot - Vicki-Arnold.com

5 Ways to Use Target’s Dollar Spot

Really, the options are endless simply because the items you find in the Dollar Spot are so varied. I am going to cover the few ways I have used these items today and you can probably look forward to seeing more ways showcased in the future.

  • Operation Christmas Child – This is a great spot to pick up items for your shoeboxes. Lots of little toys, stickers, socks, coloring books, and other items.
  • Homeschool organization – I have found gorgeous file folders, notebooks, baskets/buckets, and little containers in the Dollar Spot.
  • Planners – Up until this year, I used a month-at-a-glance calendar from the Dollar Spot for my blog planning. It worked and it was cheap. In addition to this handy calendar, there are loads of little papers, sticky notes, and stickers that you can use to decorate/add functionality to your planner. More on how I do this coming soon.
  • Journaling – For Christmas last year, I found some really awesome small journals for my kids. There were both lined papers and unlined papers, perfect for written or doodle journals.
  • Stocking stuffers – Similar to OCC, I have picked up many stocking stuffers from the dollar spot.

If you have any creative ways to use Target’s Dollar Spot items, share them in the comments! I’d love to hear them!

$450 Target Gift Card Giveaway

Target Gift Card Giveaway with Pretty Providence!
Hey everybody! Get excited, because today we are helping our friends at Pretty Providence celebrate their 3rd blog birthday with an amazing $450 Target Gift Card Giveaway! Who doesn’t love Target.. am I right? I personally could spend way too much time and money there if I let myself! Such a guilty pleasure, that store! Well one lucky winner will feel no guilt over their major shopping spree, can I get a woot woot?!

We have some of our seriously amazing blog friends helping us bring this giveaway to you today, and it wouldn’t be possible without them, so how about some quick introductions?!instagram giveaway logos

Pretty Providence || Mandy’s Recipe Box || Housewife Eclectic || The Things I Love Most || Simply Vicki ||Redefined Mom || Brunch with Joy || Feel Great in 8 || One Creative Mommy || My Mommy Style || Meg O. On the Go || Moms Without Answers || Meet Penny || My Life as Maya || Crazily Normal || Hawthorne and Main || A Cup Full of Sass || Snapshots and My Thoughts

Okay, now let’s get down to the goods! All you have to do to enter is follow the prompts on the rafflecopter below, and this one is so easy ! I mean, who doesn’t love some great new friends to follow on Instagram?!

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Good luck everybody! We hope YOU win ;)! Be sure to check back at Pretty Providence because they have tons of birthday posts and 5 live giveaways up to celebrate their blog birthday this week!

5 Good Reads On Organization

Organization is one of those things I often struggle with. I love the process. In fact, that is just about my favorite part of anything, the planning process. Brainstorming, creating systems, setting goals…I love all of it.

It’s the follow through that I struggle with.

Never the less, I press on! I read all I can about homemaking, cleaning systems, and organization. I set up my own systems and little by little, I improve. There are days I get frustrated with just how little it is, but the grace of God carries me through.

5 Good Reads on Organization - Simply Vicki vicki-arnold.com

My blogging friend Marcy over at Ben and Me started a monthly link up that I thought was such a great idea last fall. Then life happened and not much blogging was going on here so I haven’t yet participated. But I am today!

The concept is simple, share 5 good reads each month on the fifth of the month. Any subject. If I read it in the last month and believe it should be shared with you, it goes. I intend to keep my 5 on the Fifth posts topical. This month I am sharing 5 good reads on organization.

5 Good Reads on Organization

10 Minutes to a Clutter Free Morning – Becoming a Minimalist

What I love about this post is that it is practical, a checklist of sorts. Printed out, this would give a nice visual checklist that the kids could even help with at night. You know, since most of the items are directly effected by them…

8 Ways to Get a Handle on Paper Clutter – Clean Mama

Paper clutter is the bane of my existence. I organize it in piles which is moderately effective. I can pretty much find things when needed, but no one else can and if a pile gets knocked over, all bets are off. These are much better options.

8 Clever Ways to Organize With Ikea – Decorating Your Small Space

My husband sort of hates Ikea, he finds it claustrophobic. I, on the other hand, LOVE it. I love the little rooms and displays. I love the colorful prints and fun designs. I LOVE coming across posts that use their products, both in the way they were meant to be used and Ikea “hacks.”

7 Ways I’m Minimizing Decision Fatigue in My Daily Life – Modern Mrs. Darcy

I keep thinking that #1 would make life so much easier, but then I also think boring. I really, really like #5 and think that needs to happen. And I appreciated the linen discussion at the end. 😉

6 Things I Do Every Day to Keep the House Clean – Clean Mama

I recently discovered Clean Mama and love it. I appreciated this list because it was equal parts encouragement that I am on the right track and keep going I can do better.

So those are my 5 good reads on organization for this month. I’m not sure what next month’s topic will be, but I have been reading a bit on homeschool already this month because of convention season starting. So there is a good chance that might happen.

If you liked this post, you might want to check out this one:

Organization ideas for the home - part 4 of 5 in the How Do I Teach Organization & Time Management Skills When I Have Neither? series

Ultimate Guide to Gardening Fun With Kids

If you have been around the blog for a while, you may have noticed that come spring time I love to talk gardening. Today I am bringing you what I am calling the Ultimate Guide to Gardening Fun With Kids. Oh, and a great giveaway at the bottom.

You’ll notice a couple things about this ultimate guide. One, it’s not overly complicated. Two, it’s not overly lengthy.

Why? Because I believe the more you complicate a matter, the less likely it is to actually be accomplished. So let’s just get to it!

Ultimate Guide to Gardening With Kids at Vicki-Arnold.com

Ultimate Guide to Gardening Fun With Kids

Just to reiterate, I like to keep things simple. So I broke this down into general tips, specific tips, crafts and activities if you are not ready for actual gardening yet, and finally, some resources for teens and adults because learning isn’t just for kids.

General Tips to Get Started

  • Don’t overthink it and don’t let it intimidate you if you have never gardened before.
  • Start small. Pick a small patch of ground or try a few containers. It is much better on your psyche to do small well than to flop because you went too big. Trust me.
  • Gather supplies. Get your containers and dirt, or some tools and compost for your ground plot, your plants and/or seeds, and start working your soil.
  • Choose some easy plants to get started.
  • Don’t forget to check your plants daily. You want to check to see if they are getting enough sun, if they need water, if there are pests that need handled, and if there are any weeds that need dealt with.

Here is another post from a fellow Kid Blogger Network blogger that has her 5 Tips for Gardening With Kids. And another KBN blogger has a review of a super cute gardening tote and tool set.

Specific Ideas for Gardening with Kids

Garden Themed Crafts & Activities

If you have a while before you can do your chosen gardening activity, warm your kids up to the idea with some garden themed crafts and activities.

Gardening Resources for Teens & Adults

Ultimate Guide to Gardening With Kids at Vicki-Arnold.com

Kid Blogger Network Giveaway

Win one of THREE $500 cash prizes directly in your paypal account! This giveaway is open internationally. You must be 18+ years old to enter. Void where prohibited. No purchase necessary. Winners will be notified via email and have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen. Please see detailed terms and conditions below the giveaway for more info.

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Kid Blogger Network Spring Activities

The Kid Blogger Network is full of blogs dedicated to kids. We have a very wide range of what that means, too. There are blogs with activities for kids, blogs about parenting kids, blogs about teaching kids (homeschool and in a classroom setting), and more. Check out all their spring round up posts for this event below!

Gardening Posts I’ve Written Elsewhere

Spring time means garden time around here and that means gardening posts. Every year we jump into our garden planning hopeful that this year will be better than last. Eternal garden optimists.

As I was doing research for an upcoming post, I realized I had several garden-related posts on various blogs that I never got around to sharing with you, my awesome readers!

Gardening Posts - Herbs, Books, Beginners, & Kids at Simply Vicki

Today, I am remedying this. In no particular order, here are gardening posts I’ve written elsewhere on the internet.

Gardening Posts I’ve Written Elsewhere

G is for Gardening - ABCs of Home Schooling at My Joy-Filled Life - Ways to use gardening in your homeschool.

G is for Gardening – I wrote this post for My Joy-Filled Life’s ABCs of Home Schooling. I shared six ways to use gardening in your homeschool.

Gardens Kids Can Grow - a guest post at ALLterNATIVE Learning

Gardens Kids Can Grow – This post was for ALLterNATIVE Learning’s Earth Day series. I shared ideas for gardening with kids from preschoolers to teenagers.

How to Get Started Gardening With Kids - Intoxicated on Life

How to Get Started Gardening With Kids – I was a contributor over at Intoxicated On Life last year and I quite enjoyed it. I wrote each month on gardening and garden related topics. The next several posts came from that time.

Gardening for Better Health for Beginners on Intoxicated on Life

Gardening for Better Health for Beginners – One of my first gardening posts over at Intoxicated On Life. I covered a handful of reasons gardening is good for your health and some easy tips to get started.

Herb Gardening for Beginners on Intoxicated On Life

Herb Gardening for Beginners – One of my favorite graphics, even though I recently realized it’s technically a flower and not an herb. I won’t tell if you don’t. Also, the article has helps for those wanting to grow herbs.

23 DIY Projects for Gardeners on Intoxicated on Life

23 DIY Projects for Gardeners – A list of projects in these categories: supplies, beds and containers, season extenders, equipment and tools, and decor.

Books About Gardening to Read at Intoxicated On Life

Books About Gardening to Read This Winter – Actually, you can read these any time of the year. This post was just written in winter.

And there you have it, a list of gardening posts I’ve written elsewhere in the blogosphere. I hope you find one that blesses your gardening endeavors this spring!

Gardening Posts

If you are new around here, be sure to check out my other gardening posts. If you are new to gardening, start with my Beginner’s Guide to Gardening posts.

What the Heck is an Instagram Challenge?

What is an Instagram Challenge?

Instagram is a great tool. I’ve not used it to its full potential, but was determined to change that this year. A lot of bloggers use Instagram as part of their marketing efforts. Me? Not so much. I personally like my Instagram feed to be full of “real life” versus the promotional.

So if you are looking for a post on how to use Instagram in your blog marketing efforts, this probably isn’t going to be of much use to you. If you want to see how Instagram is a great tool for the intentional life, just keep reading, just keep reading…did you read that in your best Dory voice? I did as I wrote it. The toddler is on a Finding Nemo kick right now.

What is Instagram?

In an effort to not put the cart before the horse, I’ll start here. Instagram is an app for smart phones where you can create a profile to share photos you take with said smart phone. You can follow your friends (or friendly bloggers…) and see their photos in your feed.

In your feed, you can heart (similar to liking on FB) and comment on those photos. There is also an explore section where you can search for people sharing specific topics and hashtags (like #capturinglifelaughterlove).

That’s the nuts and bolts of Instagram.

The What & Why of an Instagram Challenge

An Instagram challenge is simply a set of prompts for a set number of days that is meant to inspire you to post to your Instagram account. The prompts are simple and there is no right or wrong way to interpret them. A few examples from last month’s Capturing Life, Laughter and Love challenges, click on the prompt to see how I interpreted it in my photos:

Why would I participate and even co-host an Instagram challenge? For me, it’s personal. I am terrible about taking photos, even though I have an awesome DSLR (actually, I have two…), a great point and shoot camera, an iPhone, and various other devices that take decent photos at my disposal each day. I wanted to change that.

I wanted to be intentional about capturing these moments before they become memories long-forgotten. That’s my why.

If you have ever started a 365 photo challenge and run out of steam, then using a prompt guided challenge may be a great way to help you meet that goal!

Instagram Challenges

Capturing Life, Laughter, and Love isn’t the only Instagram challenge out there, though I am pretty partial to it. 😉 Here are a few other options to check out:

  • Capture Play – Aims to encourage parents to play with their kids with one word prompts each month.
  • 10 iPhoto Photo Challenges – No need to commit to a long term challenge if you aren’t up to it. This can be done on your own time.
  • #100HappyDays – I simply love the concept of this challenge. Look for the happy every day!
  • Project 52 – Maybe every day isn’t your thing, surely you can manage on a week?

Finally, here is a list of 11 Tips for Completing a Project 365 that is helpful for any photo challenge you may take on. There really isn’t a wrong way to go about this, just be intentional to snap some photos each day. You don’t even have to share them on Instagram!

If you decide to join us for Capturing Life, Laughter, and Love, you will receive a free ebook in your welcome email called 20 Tips to Improve Your Instagram Photos.

Super Simple Meal Planning Method

Super simple meal planning method. Get more vegetables in your day.

Meal planning is one of those classic tips for those looking to be more intentional with either their food choices and/or budget. Taking the time to plan out your meals ahead of time wards off things like last minute drive-thru stops and takeout orders. Both are hard on the wallet and can be hard on the waistline, too.

I have used a variety of meal planning methods over the years. I’ve planned out every meal and snack, created lists of options to pick from each day, planned out two week’s worth of meals, and worked week by week. I haven’t tried the monthly meal planning method as of yet, but I know some swear by it. I can see how it works, but I’m not ready to commit to that right now.

I recently switched to a super simple meal planning method designed to put more of a focus on vegetables. I’ve mulled this format over in my head for a while now, but couldn’t quite make it work until recently. We decided to take some time off from eating meat so that we can be more intentional about getting more veggies in our diet.

This can very easily work with eating meat, too. In fact, I will probably continue with this method for a while. It really is simple.

I do this with a pencil and a piece of paper, but I typed it up so I could give you a clearer look at my plan. (After seeing it all typed up, I will likely do this moving forward.)

Super simple meal planning method to get more veggies in your day.

Simple Meal Planning Method

This is basically fill in the blank. I fill it in with what we have on hand and what I’m picking up from grocery shopping.

Here’s more detail:

  • Breakfast – We are moving away from cereals because they are loaded with sugar and are not very filling. We rotate between oatmeal with different fixings and eggs. For the eggs, I will either sautee the veggies and pour scrambled eggs over it or serve them alongside fried eggs.
  • Lunch – I’ve organized the veggies by how I cook them. Then for lunch, I simply pick two plus a grain/carb or do three different vegetables. My kids also love to do a veggie tray with ranch dip or hummus, we often have more than three vegetable options on that.
  • Dinner – This is where I’ve struggled to find what works best. I will be focusing on more protein, less/no carb meals. I’ve kept this simple specifically to motivate me to use more veggies than anything. I use the list from the lunch section to pick my veggies.
  • Snacks – Again, trying to focus on higher protein items. I also use my breakfast shake when I’m needing something sweet because I struggle with that.

Why This Simple Method Works For Me

I have found that I can always find a way to get carbs in my diet. What I struggle to get in are lots of vegetables and protein. I am finding that being intentional about these by writing them out helps me make better choices. I’m hoping this has a positive impact on my weight, too.

I find this method to be the perfect blend of needing to plan ahead and needing the freedom of choosing what to eat. I have never stuck with a “eat this at this time” regimen for more than a day or two. I find it to be suffocating and I tend to rebel when we have those. In other words, it has the opposite of a positive effect on me.

There are no recipes. I love to cook with recipes, collect them on Pinterest, and use my cookbook collection. But I have found that when my focus is on using recipes, I don’t actually cook as much because it ALWAYS takes me 2x’s the time listed on the recipe, but I never plan for that.

Going forward, I will probably have some recipe based items added because I don’t want to get bored with the options and my husband enjoys variety. For now, no recipes is working for me.

This simple meal planning method works for me. If you are struggling with getting enough vegetables in your diet or need to shake up your meal planning efforts, give this a try and see what you think!

If you need some other meal planning ideas, check out my Pinterest board just for that!

Follow Vicki Arnold’s board Food :: Menu Planning on Pinterest.
If you would prefer recipes to follow, you can check out these cookbooks for some plant-based meal ideas to get more veggies in your day:

Happy Eating!