Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Makin' Your List and Checkin' it Twice

December 12, 2012

By Sheila

Okay, I know it's a little late to be starting your list-making for the holidays, but if you are anything like me, you are constantly making and checking your lists.  This time of year list-making is even more critical to saving me time, money and sanity since there are so many more activities to do, events to attend, and groceries, decorations and gifts to buy. I used to be a strictly paper and pencil list-maker (I used to buy a case of spiral notebooks every year during back to school sales), but I have come to rely heavily on my I-pad.  So much so that when it was stolen on a recent trip to San Francisco, I was really anxious to replace it.  By the way, back your I-pad up by plugging it in to your computer regularly, or backing up to the cloud.  I lost some of my info, but not a lot, thank goodness.
I am not one to start my Christmas shopping 6 months early, but I do like to get my lists made well before Thanksgiving.  I list all the people I plan to buy gifts for, add any ideas I have for them, and set a budget for how much I plan to spend.  I start asking my kids for suggestions for their families and making notes of their ideas.  My daughter is an especially thoughtful and creative gift giver, so when I am stumped, I tap her brain.  I do some of my shopping online - especially for those that live far away - because of the ease of shipping, and good pricing.  My kids are always comparison shopping with their smart phones, and I have started doing this too.  Yesterday at Nordstrom my daughter found the exact shoes she wanted for $5 less at Zappos (plus no tax and free shipping) and Nordstrom matched it.  It never hurts to ask. In addition to price,  you can check product availability at various stores, saving more time, gas and personal energy running around. For online shopping she recommends and coupon cabin for promo codes.
In addition, I keep these gift lists, as well as previous years' holiday menus.  I love my I-pad for the ease of this.  I have last years Christmas Eve menu, along with the notes of which recipes we used and any comments regarding what I would change, or the quantity we made.  It makes my planning for this year much easier.  I know there are probably some great apps for this which I have yet to explore.  If you know of some, please send them to me!
On my list for this week; complete my gift shopping and finish baking.  I don't bake nearly as much as I used to, mostly because we don't want to eat all the baked goods, but I do like to have it for guests and gifts.  Okay, and I've been known to eat a cookie for a breakfast appetizer with my coffee in the morning.  Then I will take a cue from Ann and get myself to Jazzercise.  Better add that to the list!
What's on your list?  Do you know of some great apps for smart phones or the I-pad that help stay organized and save time and money?  I'd love to know about them.

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