Saturday, November 24, 2018

Laziness or Too Busy?






So before you read this post, I have to tell you something interesting.  I wrote this post last week and then decided to sit on it a bit.  I wanted to read it again before I posted it with a fresh set of eyes.  Flash forward to the following Sunday and our Pastor does a sermon on laziness.  Coincidence, well I think its more God is working on me and maybe you reading this too.  His sermon tied laziness into our spiritual lives,  family, marriage and just everyday...not specifically work related.  After you read my post, you'll see how it ties in even more to that.  He talked about how we may be super hard working when it comes to our jobs, but still be lazy in our marriage or with our time with God. Anyways, I just had to share, because I feel that was more than just something that happens.  So I challenge you to really think about when you are choosing not to do something, is it because you are too busy, or are you being lazy?



Saving money isn't easy.  Saving money takes work.  It takes energy and time.  Both aren't always easy to have and can seem limited most days.

This post was inspired by a magnet that has been sitting on my island for a couple weeks.  A simple magnet.  It broke one day and at the time I knew it could be fixed.  But, the longer it sat on my counter the harder it was to find time and energy to fix it.  The longer it sat on my counter, made the simple fixing it seem much more complicated.

How often does this happen when we are trying to save money.  Oh I was going to make a home cooked meal tonight, but going through drive-thru was much faster and easier.  I wish I could cut our water bill down, but I don't have time to hand wash the dishes.  Don't get me wrong, I definitely have been there.  There are many times I find I throw stuff or food away because I just am too busy to fix it or save it somehow for something else.  And then that "too busy mentality" does turn into being lazy, because the said item sits forever and then when I do have time I've mentally made myself think it's going to take way longer.  I mean it must, because if it didn't then I just would have done it in the first place right?  So it must be something that's going to take a lot of time and energy so then I just become lazy and throw it away.  Yep, even that magnet (that was a gift), had me thinking about throwing it away.  Because that would be the easy way out.  Then it's out of my sight and it's been handled.  But really, instead of solving the problem, I just got rid of it.  And I've found that I do this more often now, but am I lazy or am I just too busy?

There have been times where I think to myself, "Man, I'm so much more lazy than my parents were". While, I'm sure there's some truth to that because I do feel each generation gets a little lazier.  I also feel we are just becoming more busy than the generation before us.  I mean how many of you feel that some days all you do is drive?  Drive from one place to the other, for one activity to the next?  We are just starting to get into that stage of life as our oldest has started dance after school once a week.  Just that one thing that's once a week, has already made us crazy busy.  And it's only one more thing added.  But when you factor in, grocery shopping, cleaning house, making supper, teaching my littles, picking up oldest from school,  2 days at an after school program, 1 night of dance...the list could go on more, but you can see how just one more thing adds up.

I feel our generation, or just generations in general lately are just adding that one more thing and then wondering why we are spending so much on food, or things.

So while I don't have an exact answer, I think that it can be a combo of both.  Today I sat down and glued that magnet back together.  And you know what, it took me a total of 2 min.  I'm not even joking, it was nothing out of my day to do.  So in that sense, I'd say it came down to being lazy.  When it first broke, if I would have just fixed it right away it'd have been done.  But I didn't, I was lazy.

Other things might be because I'm crazy busy.  But, what I've found helps me is scheduling.  Being organized is a huge help when saving money.  Organized in your kitchen so you know what you have on hand and what you need to get for your menu that week or month.  Organized in cleaning so you know if you missed cleaning the bathroom last week or not.  Organized in your day, because if you have your day mapped out then you know when you have time to fix the little things, or to play with your kids or read?  But not doing theses things is when I'm being lazy.  I know that doing these small tasks will help me in the long run and will help my day go smoother.  This is where saving money takes time and energy.  It takes time to write out that grocery list after taking time to look through your pantry and taking time to plan a menu.  It takes time and energy to keep your house clean, but it's something you do.  So why not take some time and energy to plan ways to save money.

I feel this post doesn't have an exact answer, but it definitely is something I've been contemplating.  If anything, now each time I want to take the easy way out I can stop and think, could I have put a little more energy into this, or can I just take time to fix said item now?

Thursday, August 30, 2018

School year has started!  While I don't homeschool, I do some preschool teaching to my kiddos before they go to school.  (You can see some of my other preschool posts at the bottom of the page.)   With that, we use a lot of construction paper.  When I first started planning and making our projects to do, I realized how much construction paper we were going through, especially when there was a free day of crafting.  So I slowly learned some ways to save on that construction paper.

Have you ever seen a kid cut something out of a piece of construction paper?  They always cut right in the middle leaving a lot of extra paper left over.  This was such a waste to me and I wanted to do something to make sure we could use the construction paper to its full potential.  

One of the ways I've done this is by starting a scrap paper bag, any of the paper scraps that are left over from a craft we put in a designated ziplock bag.  This way we have scraps for them to use for other crafts.  This bag is my go to for when I need to cut out small little eyes, tails, or spots for our letter crafts.  



Another way we use this scrap paper bag is for gluing and cutting small pieces. When the girls were learning to cut I would give them the paper from the scrap paper bag and they could practice cutting it up.  Also, when Peanut was going through a gluing phase she would take the pieces she cut and glue them to another piece of paper.  This saved so much paper, because all she wanted to do was glue over and over and this paper was just paper that was extra. 



A second way I saved on construction paper was by giving them less.  That construction paper is so large and as I said before kids don't do the best at cutting on the edge.  So instead of letting them have the whole paper, I would first cut the paper in half.  This worked great for when my oldest was going through a book phase.  She loved taking books and then making them using construction paper.  She took Brown Bear Brown Bear for instance and then figured out what color each page would be, brown for the bear, red for the bird, yellow for the duck, etc.  I loved how she was learning to put things in order, recognize what color would be represented on each page and so forth, but one full-sized construction paper for a circle to represent the bear just seemed like a waste.  So we cut the paper in half, it made it the perfect size for a book and she could be creative and re-make the books while I could be content that we weren't using to much paper.  Some books we been cut the construction paper into fourths...make it go even further!  



 



Liked this post, you may also like the following

Preschool: Learning to write.              Preschool: Letter Art.              Preschool: Part 1


PreschooL: Part 2                                Preschool: Part 3                     Preschool: Part 4







Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Preschool: Learning to write








My little soon to be kindergartener....wait where did the time go?!  It's crazy to think that my oldest will be starting kindergarten this Fall.  Or as she likes to say in 8 days!  Well anyways, since she started learning to write her letters she has loved to make lists, or write out people's names or just write down letters and try to make words.  Now that Peanut is starting to write too (seriously, they are growing so fast), we go through even more paper.  But, learning to write is HUGE.  I want my girls to be able to write and being able to learn to write on paper is a privilege, really it is.  So I don't want them to be wasting paper and I want them to see the value of using the paper that we have because it's a privilege to have it.

I don't know about you, but my girls love notebooks.  They get it from me I think, there's just something about having a notebook to jot down your thoughts, feelings, ideas etc. I have multiple notebooks.  I'm crazy and like to have a different notebook for each subject area of my life.  Well, my girls love notebooks too.  My oldest is always asking for a notebook to jot things down in or have for her stickers, yep she has a separate one just for stickers, she definitely takes after me.

So two things; first of all right now it's Back to School time and all those notebooks are on sale, whoot whoot!!  That's the best time to buy any of those school supplies that you need to stock up on throughout the year.  You can check out my Savings on office/school supplies here for more tips on that.  Secondly, how many of you use a notebook ALL THE WAY THROUGH?  Be honest, how many times do you have a notebook that you used for awhile for said event and then the rest is just left?  We have lots of notebooks, my husband kept ones from college and high school...yes high school!  But,  going back to teaching out kids not to be wasteful we have that paper instead of just throwing it out.

 We also use those notebooks in two different ways.  First we use them as spare paper, instead of buying loose leaf paper, we just use the extra out of the notebooks.  That way we are using what we have and not spending more money for one and not taking for granted what we have for another.  But the biggest way we reuse them is to let the girls have their own notebook.  They love this! They feel so adult having a notebook that they can write in.  Sometimes they use it to write names, other times to try to spell words, other times they get it out before we go shopping so they can make their grocery list too.  I mean the possibilities are endless and we are reusing something that might not have been used.  Plus they are learning too, I mean they are practicing writing their letters and writing without the sit down and practice.  This is something they enjoy doing and as a mom we are always looking for ways to help them learn as they play right?

So next time you have a notebook that you're done with see if your little preschooler/elementary kiddo would like to have it.  You'll be amazed at what they come up with to use it for.


Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Swapping Cleaning Supplies and Routines






The following post has amazon links 

A while back a friend of mine suggested writing a post about my cleaning products, what I use and how. I've kept this idea in the back of my mind. I really liked the idea of sharing ways to save money while cleaning your house, but then I realized, what I was using was not the cheapest option. So I've been slowly really looking at what I use to clean with and why. Does it save me money? Is it still getting my house clean? It was great to evaluate what I've been using and what else I Could do. 

Now, first of all, I'm still working at this. When I started I was more concerned about my house still being clean and it being cost friendly. But, now I've started to care about what products I'm using around my girls as well. So while this is what I'm currently doing there are places for improvement, and as I learn more there may be additional things I try. I'll keep you updated and am open to any suggestions! :) 

My main cleaning products include:
1. Baking Soda
2. Vinegar
3. Window cleaner (Amway)
4. Dusting cloths
5. Wash cloth
6. Disinfecting wipes
7. Baby wipes
8. All purpose spray (Amway)
9. Bathroom spray (Amway)
10. Sponges
11. Rainbow Vacuum

I use the first two more often than anything else if possible.  Both are natural and safe for my kids and they both clean really well too. You'll see both disinfecting and baby wipes are on the list. Depending on the project sometimes I prefer a disinfecting wipe, but if it's just to do a quick wipe down of hair, I use a baby wipe and save the other wipes for when I really need them.  This works for me right now because with a baby in diapers we have baby wipes on hand.

Ok so now I'll break down my cleaning routines by rooms.

1. Bathroom 

Toilet: vinegar and disinfecting wipes.
I pour a little vinegar into the toilet and then clean the rest of the toilet with disinfecting wipes while the vinegar sets.  Then later I use a disinfecting wipe on the inside, flush and it's clean.
Sink: disinfecting wipes
Shower:  Baby wipe or disinfecting wipe + baking soda + sponge
I wipe it down with a baby wipe or disinfecting wipe, then sprinkle baking soda all around the base of the shower. I let that sit while I work on the rest of the bathroom.  Scrub the baking soda when ready in circles and then rinse. Baking soda is a great way to get your shower white again just with a little elbow grease; or even little helping hands, my girls love helping to clean the shower. Usually I let them start while I work on the rest of the bathroom and then when they've decided they're done I finish it up.
Bathtub: Bathroom spray + sponge
Spray and sponge wash, then rinse.


2. Kitchen 

Counters: All purpose spray or just a washcloth with soap.
Floor: Sweep + a bowl of warm soapy water and a washcloth.
I hand mop my floor.  My mom used to do this and I remember thinking, No way, when I get older I'm using a mop.  Well I had a mop for many years, but I felt like I was going over the floor with a washcloth anyways.  So now I just use a washcloth with some warm soapy water.
Table: All purpose spray or washcloth with soap.
Stove top: washcloth
Fridge: washcloth. Inside, vinegar + water combo
If you mix 1 part vinegar to 2 parts water, it's a great cleaner for anything tough sticking in your fridge.  I don't clean the inside as often as I should, but when I do it's just soapy water or vinegar + water and washcloth.
Dishwasher: washcloth
For the three above, I learned to wipe them down as I was ending my evening cleaning the kitchen.  This helps so that there's never a lot to clean.  After I wash my dishes for the night, I wipe down the microwave, then the stove, fridge and dishwasher.  I might not get them all each night, but I try to wipe them down as I go.
Microwave: washcloth + vinegar


3. Rest of the house 

Mirrors/windows: Amway window cleaner with a microfiber cloth.
This is one I plan to change once I'm out of my cleaner.  You can clean your windows and mirrors with a vinegar solution.
Dusting: I have some homemade swiffer style dusters + microfiber cloths.
These are awesome to have.  This way I'm not spending money over an over again on the swiffer cloths.
Vacuum: Rainbow vacuum
First off these are not cheap.  A friend told me about them while I was still teaching.  I really liked the idea of how they work and that I don't have to buy bags all the time.  I was able to buy one for more than 1/2 the selling price on our local swap...otherwise I might still be saving for one. But, if you can get a vacuum of any kind that is bag less that's going to help you save.  If you're not having to re buy bags all the time.  Now, the rainbow vacuum does last, we've had ours now for 4 years and it's still holding up.  Plus we use it as a de-duster/air purifier as well.

Oh and I do dust less now :)


These are the ways I try to clean our home without breaking the bank in buying multiple cleaning products.

The microfiber cloths can be purchased almost anywhere. I have some from Amway, as well as from our local Walmart, they're several options on amazon too.

 


The swiffer style cloths are easy to make.  You can find many different styles on Pinterest.  Sew Much Ado has a great tutorial on the swiffer duster.  And Soap Deli News has a great tutorial on how to make both a dry and wet version of the swiffer cloths.  These are just a couple to get you started.  You can also find them on Etsy to buy if you'd rather. 


What products do you use when cleaning?  I'm always looking for healthier options with less toss away. I think my biggest thing is the toilet, I don't necessary like the idea of re-using something to clean the toilet with, but at the same time it feels a little wasteful.  Any other suggestions other than disinfecting wipes?




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