Saturday, May 14, 2022

3 ways to save on water

Let's talk water use. As summer is approaching we use water more and more.  Watering our gardens, filling up the pool and more! The last few years our area has had more drought than rain and so in the last few years, I've tried to conserve our water use more and more.  Here are three ways you can save water this summer. 

1. Use your dehumidifier 

    In the summer, while it seems there's less water outside, our dehumidifier is always running.  Originally, I watered our garden with our dehumidifier, but then I read that you shouldn't water anything you will eat with dehumidifier water.  So, now I use it to water our non-edible plants or our grass when needed. 

2. Re-use pool water 

    Of course we get out the kiddie pools in the summer.  Whenever we are done, I have the girls take the the watering cans and empty the water around the lawn.  It helps spread the water to the dryer grass + they think it's fun! So instead of just dumping the pool water in one area, we use it and water as much of the lawn as possible.

A couple years ago, look how dry that grass was!

3. Rain barrel 

    We recently purchased a rain barrel.  You can see what we got here  I'm so excited! I've been wanting one for years and finally got the hubby to come around, (he actually is the one who suggested we purchase this one recently).  We hooked it up to our back shed, which is close to where our garden will be. I can't wait to use the saved up rain water to water our garden! 

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Busy Folders

Busy Folders

Do you have coloring books galore?  With three girls we accumulate a lot of coloring books and of course we never finish them or use them all up.  I struggled with getting coloring books and then not using them up. I felt I was wasting resources and money even if I didn't buy them.  Especially, when I was printing pages for my girls to color instead.  So, I started to find ways to use up those coloring books and make it something my girls enjoyed doing.  Recently, I posted on mg IG account about my busy folders. These folders are one of the ways that we use up our coloring pages. 

At the end of the school year, I collect any folders that are salvageable.  Really, they don't have to be in pristine condition, but able to still work (I even tape some first).  I make sure I have one for each kiddo.  These are their busy folders. Sometimes I save two per kiddo if I can just in case one falls apart.

Then I collect all my coloring books that I have on hand.  In each folder I put 8-10 pages choosing different coloring pages (not all come from the same book).  

Really that's it.  We use these folders for traveling and during church on Sundays.  I just make sure each week, usually Sunday night, to recycle any pages that are filled and make sure they have enough pages in their folders for the following Sunday.  

Another way we use up our coloring pages is by coloring them.  I know, I know that sounds obvious, but instead of just coloring in the book I tear the pages out.  We have a craft area, and in the craft area I have three hanging folders of coloring pages.  I tear out the pages of the coloring books and divide them into three sections; Bible, Holiday and anything else.  Then when the girls want a coloring page I will print one, but then they can pick from the folders. Having them in the folders really helps too when I'm re-filling our busy folders.  

Finally, we use the coloring pages as fun mail.  This is something that the girls' Nana started when we were living far apart.  She bought coloring books about something they liked and then would send them weekly mail with a coloring page or two each.  This could be something that your kiddos send to cousins or friends on their birthdays.  Or they could color a coloring page to mail to a friend or family member. 

Ways we use coloring book pages: 

1. Sunday folders

2. travel folders 

3. fun mail 

4. Color them 

I've found that while coloring books are fun, after they've filled their excitement, kiddos still enjoy them just in a different way. Tearing them out and having options to choose from helps, along with having different coloring ages in the folders for church or travel.  

Thursday, February 24, 2022

Chicken Broth

Making homemade chicken broth is so easy. Plus, it's a great way to save money and make sure you know what you are using in your recipes.  If you search for recipes or how-to ways on Pinterest you are going to find a bunch of blog posts.  Don't worry I've done the work of picking a few out for you!  I wanted to share with you how easy it is and these blogs help break it down for you!

The Cross Legacy Ok first of all, have you heard of Amy Cross? She has great ways to help make your produce last up to 3 weeks or more! What a great way to help save money, not throwing out produce, right?! Plus, buying it when it's on sale and being able to stock up for a few weeks! Anyways, back to Chicken broth.  She has some great ideas of saving your turkey carcass, plus ways to save on your veggies for the broth too! 

NoshTastic What I like about this blog is, the author gives you three different ways you can make your chicken broth; crockpot, stockpot or instapot.  Plus step by step for each one!! So whatever your style of cooking is you can choose from there! And some recipes to make with your new homemade chicken broth as well. 

So next time you have some chicken carcasses left over, or if you're like me your freezer is full of celery and onion peels.  Get out that stock-pot, or crockpot or even instapot and make yourself some homemade chicken broth! 

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Make your own cheese sticks

Last week I posted a few ways to save at the grocery store during these months of inflation.  This post I'm going to share how easy it is to divide up a block of cheese for your own cheese sticks. 

I bought a 32 oz block of cheese.  It cost $7.80.  I wanted to see if I could get cheese sticks for less than it costs to buy a box of cheese sticks.  We usually buy the pack of 36 cheese sticks for $8.98. 

1. Laying the block of cheese standing up, I just cut approximately the thickness I wanted each stick to be. 

2. Then, cut each section into three cheese sticks. 

3. Store in bags.  I put about 15 in each silicone bag.  One bag I put in the fridge and one in the freezer. Colby jar cheese seems to crumble easier after it is frozen, so having cut it into the cheese stick shapes before freezing they will be able to thaw without having to be cut.  

I ended up getting 36 cheese sticks.  The same amount that we buy in the individual packs.  BUT, I paid about $1 less.  Seeing that we go trough them in about a month, that's a savings of $12 a year. $12 I can be putting to other grocery items. 

I hope that this pst helps you! Remember it's the little things that add up and small steps here and there when making changes.  Good luck! 

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

3 ways to save at the grocery store

Grocery prices have been going up.  While there are some things you can't cut back on, there are ways that you can save during this time of inflation.  I want to share with you a few ways that I have recently found to help save a few dollars here and there.

1. Buy in bulk 

    When you buy in bulk, the unit price goes down.  Now, there's a lot that you don't want to buy in bulk, but there are many things you can.  Here are a few things we buy in bulk. 

  • Toilet paper 
  • Paper towels ( although we use more cloth, we still use paper towels too, buying in bulk it will be awhile until we run out) 
  • Eggs
  • Cheese 
  • Hamburger meat 

One thing with buying in bulk, if you have a smaller family and can't get through say the eggs in time before they spoil, you could share with a friend or family and then just divide the cost. That way you are still saving and you can help out a neighbor, friend or family member to save also! 

2.  Make your own shortcuts

I've been trying to be more earth-friendly as well as save money.  One of the things my girls enjoy are cheese sticks.  But, I was tired of throwing away ALL those individual wrappers.  So I started making my own cheese sticks.  Super easy and it takes maybe 5 min of time (About the time it takes me to open one of those wrappers, haha ). Check out my post next week on my step by step. 

There are so many things that you can swap from buying individually wrapped to buying a larger quantity and splitting it up yourself.  Now, I understand there are times the individually wrapped items are more convenient and before inflation I'd choose convenient, like for traveling.  But, now with inflation even with traveling I'm looking for ways to divide items myself instead. 

A nice thing about making your own shortcuts, you can customize them for you and your family.  Whether it's for dietary reasons, or preferences you can make it work for you.  For example, right now frozen mixed veggies aren't as cheap as they used to be.  But, you can buy all the veggies your family likes and mix your own bags of mixed veggies! 

Another short-cut we've done is individual snack bags. We just buy the large box of crackers, pretzels and what not and then when we travel divide them into bags for each member.  Again this way we can customize it if needed.  

3. Spend a little to save 

Sometimes we need to spend a little extra to save money in the long run. One way I recently did his was invest in some silicone bags. I usually just wash out my plastic bags, but after a few uses they start to wear down.  So, I spent a little on a pack of silicone bags to re-use again and again.  As I'm writing this post, I have currently bought two more packs of those silicone bags.  I use them for my cheese sticks and so many things!