I've been trying to be more frugal lately. Saving money for the sake of saving is okay, but my real goal is to be a better steward of the money my husband works so hard to earn, and the resources that God has given to us.
Now, one big part of our spending every month is the groceries. We feed a lot of people in this house! Consequently, this post is not about buying less, going meatless, etc. (We are carnivores here at the Home Front. <grin>) But our grocery budget includes cleaning items.
So, I'm trying to reduce the amount I spend on disposable things. Some things are no-brainers. Like using real plates instead of paper when possible. Sometimes they come in handy, and we use them. But usually, I'm going to be doing dishes anyway...the pans, serving utensils, cups, silverware...and adding six plates to the pile in the sink is not going to kill me. :D
Another no-brainer is making my own Swiffer-type cloths.
If you search for patterns for homemade Swiffer cloths, you'll get all sorts of fancy designs, involving lots of sewing and terms like hem, elastic, selvage... Gives me hives just thinking about it! All the photos online look sweet and pretty, but they involve way more time and skill than I'm willing to invest.
I just wanted something to pick up the dust and hair from my wood floors. Solution: old sweatshirt.
I took an old sweatshirt - and I mean old like too-ragged-to-donate old - and cut it up. I laid one of my store-bought Swiffer cloths on it and cut around it with pinking shears. I managed to get 14 cloths from that one sweatshirt. It took me about half an hour, and that's only because my hands get tired using the big shears. Just attach it like the store-bought variety, dust away, and wash it with your rags or towels when you're done.
I did some rough calculations (okay, the kids did the calculating, during lunch...there's math being used in real life!), and figured that we will save about $140 a year by using our new washable, reusable, totally awesome because there's no sewing, absolutely free to make homemade Swiffer cloths.
I don't know whether my current urge to share will last, so I make no promises. However, I've been trying to implement some frugal changes in the way I "run" the household, and I thought my ideas might be helpful to others. (I say run with an inner chuckle, because a lot of the time, it feels like the household is running me...ahem.)
Anyway, I started to set up a new blog over at a different site, and then I remembered that I actually already have a blog mouldering away, lying neglected and dormant. So, after spending entirely too much time playing with the layout and color scheme, I've finally begun to write again.
However, please don't start picturing a neatly organized series of posts, accompanied by professional quality photos, because I don't have the inclination or free time necessary for all those cool mommy-blogger bells and whistles. My posts will probably be the epitome of random, in topic and timing. I'm known for taking really terrible pictures. I have actually signed up on Pinterest, but I haven't been back since.
And I could probably think of more disclaimers, but...you get the picture.
#1-- The favorite book I'm reading right now is The Real Thomas Jefferson by Andrew M. Allison. I'm learning so much about Jefferson that I'm seriously considering a series of posts on him. Stay tuned!
#2 -- Okay - so, high on my list this week is the day out with my amazing husband to see The Avengers. On an IMAX screen and in 3D. And just the two of us. (No kidlets!)
And two words that capped off the day: Rally's fries. Yum!
#3 -- Our homeschool co-op has started a weekly park day, so the kids and I got to visit with our friends Wednesday.
I cannot stress the incredible importance of support when you undertake to educate your children. I know - there are some families that don't want or need outside support, but I am definitely not one of them. I schooled for a long time without connecting with other homeschoolers, and I know, that for us, meeting occasionally with like-minded moms and kids is vital.
I'm so thankful to be able to meet with them through the summer!
#4 -- Last night, I did a bad thing. *grin* I crashed line dance class. (Don't tell on me, ok?)
I wasn't sure how much I'd be dancing, given that I'm at 26 weeks and definitely feeling very pregnant. But it was great. And a bonus? I can still walk today! I'm really hoping to get back into attending (like, officially) this fall after the baby is born.
Also - the class exposed a strange pregnancy conundrum. Apparently, I can, in the same week, be (relatively) graceful on my feet while dancing and fall over while slipping on my sandals. I don't know how it can be, but that's my reality right now.
#5 -- We're looking at the end of the school year approaching rapidly. I think everyone can agree - no matter how much you enjoy education - summer is definitely a favorite!
(Even for those nerds like me who have been compiling literature lists and government class assignments for the fall with entirely too much excitement!)