Friday, November 16, 2012

What's your system?

First, many thanks to you who follow this blog.  I am honored and humbled. I strive to share simple but useful information to help us all prepare for those pesky unplanned events that can alter life as we know it. Having been through a few minor ones myself, I certainly want to be prepared for the next one, at least to the extent feasible for me and mine. Please know that I read your blogs in return to learn from you, to better understand what may be useful to you, to avoid duplication (unless your current message is one that I believe needs widest sharing), and to possibly build upon what you offer.

Back to the title. Sometimes I just plain goof. Thursday was one of those days. I spent Monday reviewing my winter preparedness supplies and discovered that some of the canned goods needed to go. Other items had been 'borrowed' by DH and he forgot to mention it to me. OK, true confessions: maybe I borrowed some, too (meaning to rotate them of course) and forgot to replace them. Bad dog!!

I wrote a comprehensive list of items to replenish. This was not a high cost, maybe someday wish-list, but one that featured about a dozen items like items like 4 cans of soup, 2 bottles of ketchup, etc.. I even wrote it on my bright pink index card and put it in my purse so I could find it easily on my next trip to town, which was Thursday. This is my 'system' and it normally works just fine.

I got to the first store and looked for the card. I found my stash of blank index cards (always carry a few) but didn't find the list. Please understand I carry a very small purse, so this should not have happened. It was MY SYSTEM, after all. I thought I had thoroughly searched the little stinker but the card was not to be found. I bought what I could remember at the stores I visited. The pressure was on. Of course, I found the card when I got home -- it WAS in my purse. It was caught under a small flap of leather so I did not see it despite the bright color.  I batted about 50% -- not an impressive memory there.

What if there were a known impending emergency (especially a 'new category' that was not one already planned for) with no potential for a do-over? 50% success could have been catastrophic.  So far I have several corrective measures in place, including using other less eye-catching card colors for 'regular' stuff and reserving the bright pink only for the urgent item list. Also, I now put the pink card in one of the flat compartments under my checkbook, rather than just in the purse with the other stuff. There must be a better system. 

How do you manage your 'need it now' shopping list?


  1. The system that I use is rather simple, but works for me. Also 20+ years in the restaurant industry has been a great help too. A clip board hung somewhere in the kitchen has been a great asset to my sanity. When we are down to the last one - it is written on the notepad. Always have a backup to non-perishable items!!! A "C" next to the item denotes a coupon should be going with it too. A $ next to the item means that I should check the price to see if it is going to be purchased. Coupons go into a envelope clipped onto the clipboard. Now, if I could figure out a system to remember to bring the used plastic bags in for recycling or to bring the reusable bags, that would be awesome.