Monday, April 19, 2010

"Investment" Cooking

When I was the single mother of two girls for fifteen years I found out that making many meals at once saved money, time, clean-up and wear and tear…on ME!

The idea is to shop one day, cook the next day (or two) and “bank” enough meals for a couple of weeks or even a month.The benefits are many:

You can buy large sizes (even restaurant sizes like you get at Costco or Sam’s Club) so you save LOTS of money.

You can make the most of specials and sales.

You make a big mess only once a month so your kitchen stays cleaner in between. The only dishes you have to do are the ones you eat off of and the one you use to heat up dinner.

You don’t have to think about “what’s for dinner?” every day. I'd rather think about other things myself.

You have more time and energy to concentrate on side dishes or desserts, setting the table, or just being with your family. Or maybe you can just sit down for a bit....

By grouping preparation processes together you save time and effort. Why not chop onions for 5 dishes in the food processor all at once?

If you're watching your diet you can plan out your meals so they're on track for the month and you're less tempted to go "off" because you haven't thought ahead.

I think you could also make a case for saving energy, too, especially if you use energy-saving cooking equipment like crock pots and pressure cookers.

Now an empty-nest grandma I still use this method quite often. I couple my marathon cooking sessions with my six (yes, count ‘em, SIX) crock pots. Several meals cook while I sleep and those get “put up” in the morning. Then I cook several more during the day and if I need to, a few more that night. I often use this method when I’m going to have lots of family visiting or out-of-town guests. I can entertain bountifully and still have lots of time for my guests when they arrive. Clean up after dinner is a snap!

Give it a try. I think you'll like it. Even if you don't have six crock pots!!!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Checklists Are Da Bomb

I love checklists. I especially love it when a checklist helps me do something faster and better because I already figured that out once before!

There are all kinds of checklists, of course. To Do Lists and Shopping Lists are familiar to us all. But the checklists I'm thinking of are "reusable" ones. If you go through a process and learn all the steps, seeing what works and what doesn't, why re-think it each time you repeat the process? Why not start with a checklist you refine as you go and use it the next time?

For example, I have a Master Grocery List of all the household foods and sundries I regularly buy, broken down for each store I frequent. Sure I write down things we need as I go, but when I go to the store I check the Master List so I don't forget anything and have to go back. Because it's a computer file I can revise it anytime I need to and print out a fresh one.

I also have a Travel Checklist (what to pack, what to do before I go, who to contact), a holiday preparation list for Thanksgiving and one for Christmas, a Party Planning Checklist, and now I'm developing one that I think will be a great help in my other occupation as jewelry designer (pop over to my jewelry blog if you're curious). I'm doing some arts and crafts shows this year and with the help of some fellow artists who've done this sort of thing many more times than I have I'm developing a Crafts Show Preparation Checklist. Hey, maybe I'll post it when I get it done!

What checklists would make your life easier? Could one help you manage your business or keep your house in order? How about the kids? Hey, if it's good enough for airplane pilots, why not us?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Vote For Me!

That's if you love The Complete Idiot's Guide to Organizing Your Life....

Here's how:

1. Sign in on (if you don’t have an account, create one!)

2. Go to ‘Find People’ and search for Idiots Guides.

3. FOLLOW @IdiotsGuides. This step is necessary so we can count your vote and contact you if you win.

4. On your ‘Home’ page, in the ‘What’s Happening’ box Tweet this:

“@IdiotsGuides My favorite Complete Idiots Guide is _________.”

Fill in the blank with your favorite Idiots Guide title.

5. Click Update

6. Check back April 19th to see if you won!

Monday, April 12, 2010

I'm on BlogTalkRadio Today!

This is a new one for me. I've done lots and lots of radio interviews, but this is an internet radio interview! Should be fun. It's at 2 p.m. ET and will be available as an audio file after the show. Host Bob Andelman is an experienced and lively interviewer and I'm looking forward to talking with him about the latest edition (fifth!) of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Organizing Your Life. Let me know what you think!

Click here to get to the site. Just put Georgene Lockwood into the search box and it'll take you to a box you can click to listen. Enjoy!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Paper Purge

I'm on a rant about paper today. As a writer and information-o-holic I have always loved paper. I even like OLD paper, especially old books and ephemera. But I'm now on a personal crusade to lower the amount of paper that gets into my life. I've gone paperless on several financial statements and bills when vendors offer it. I pay my bills online almost exclusively and that's saying something, since I pay bills not only for myself and my husband but also for my 90-year-old mother and developmentally disabled brother. I do what I can automatically and the rest I do online.

But my struggle to cut down on junk mail has been just that, a struggle. I've found one tool that really seems to help. It's a web site called and it lets you control at least some of what comes into your mailbox. You can arrange to stop unwanted catalogs and compliment participating merchants while you're at it. Take a look. The recycling bin will thank you for it and so will a few trees.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Positive Thinking

I subscribed to Ralph Marston's Daily Motivator posts a year ago and I'm grateful every day that I did. Short and to the point, simple but truly "pithy," these "positive thinking" messages just help set you up for a great day. Their lessons are at the core of simplicity and they help me focus on what really matters. Click on the link I've provided under "Inspiration" and have a look for yourself.