The other day I was bustling around my kitchen doing the daily busy work and cooking up some request from my 2 1/2-year-old. He wanted coffee and french fries. I know that sounds really bad but the “coffee” I give him is actually Cafix, a coffee substitute made of cereal grains. I put a little cream and honey and he has a fake coffee experience. What can I say, I loved coffee from a young age myself. The french fries are homemade sliced potatoes baked with some olive oil, garlic, and sea salt.
Many things we eat sound like junk food but are not. Our lemonade is actually water with vitamin C packs or fresh lemon with stevia, our pizza is a whole wheat dough that I make with tons of veggies and very little cheese or vegan cheese. Our milkshakes are smoothies made with bananas and tons of green leafy veggies. Our frozen burritos are wheat tortillas with brown rice, homemade black beans, and some cheese. It is a regular health food cafe.
With brings me to running the home like a shop. When I was younger I always worked a couple jobs at a time. One would be a secretary or managing a Chiropractic office and the other would be part time in a cafe or restaurant and even a Raw food cafe full time. I’ve done house cleaning, daycare, house sitting, dog care. I feel like I’m still doing all this but I now own all these shops. The experience and training from all this employment has actually helped tremendously when running my own home.
Homemaking is like running various little shops and business. It is the same as having a few part time jobs, only they are all under one roof.
I have tried all sorts of schedules and ideas for running my home and kitchen more efficiently. I’ve reworked my household budget monthly to save and spend smartly. Even the child care has been examined often to make sure the boys are getting all they need to thrive. Then there is the writing career and creating a schedule to do that work in a way that is honored and honed, yet my family and home are not neglected.I have some advice for those of you homemakers. Here is a little list I came up with today when reflecting on how I have come to run my home in a way that is enjoyable and effortless.
- Prioritize your family and home first and foremost. Keep outside appointments and engagements light. Cancel some activities if need be. When running a business we must put all our attention and time on that. So many things can become exhausting distractions. Your job is to run a home, nurture, and support your family. Anything outside that is not a priority.
- Schedule your day as you would if you were running a cafe or store. There is the opening, morning routines, daily task, some administrative work, clean up. Have a schedule but be flexible. Even schedule in playtimes, libraries, and grocery shopping days. Instal routines for morning, mid day, and evening.
- Have a household budget and stick to it. Create savings accounts, a grocery budget that is realistic, set up college funds, vacation funds. Use the envelope system.
- Make sure you have all the insurances; Life, car, medical. Make sure the life insurance takes care your children if something happens to you and the spouse.
- Have a pantry for food and a pantry for toiletries and one for laundry soap and cleaning supplies. Get and keep these pantries stocked. It’s no fun when there is still the month and no more money and you run out of, say, toilette tissue.
- Have one cupboard loaded with baking goods and decorations for emergency cakes, cookies, and brownies. You never know when there will be a last minute class party at the kid’s school, last minute celebration, or bake sale.
- Keep up on the laundry. Have one day and do it all from the wash, dry, to put away. Don’t have that crazy laundry room. Keep it tidy and swept. Have lot’s of stain remover handy.
- Stock up on rice, beans, flour (both white and wheat), yeast for baking. These things are dry and last forever and if times get tight at the end of the month you can make a big batch of beans and rice and bake loaves of bread. Always keep a few frozen chickens, even a frozen turkey. One chicken can be stretched for a week if made into soups and casseroles.
- Put all your bills on Auto Pay that you can and the rest do on Bill Pay with your online banking. This makes it so easy, quick, and you can keep track easily. No need for stamps or writing out envelopes.
- Have a calendar and chalkboard or writing board in the kitchen or your office where you write down everything and keep track of all future events.
- Downsize kids activities to one or two favorites. If the son is in 3 different sports have him cut down to his favorite. Too many activities just wears kids out and they don’t have full focus on one thing to get really good at.
- Friends and social events are fun but don’t overbook. It should be fun and not interfering with your sanity or duties.
- Make time for you. A daily show on TV, a good book read out in the garden.
- This part should be at the top. Have a spiritual practice of some sort for the whole family. God should be first because God is all things and our provision and protection. Learn to connect and find peace. Teach it to your children. Now that’s priceless. A spiritual life is a wholesome life.
- Be positive and have fun. The really great and successful companies out there take great care of their employees and encourage fun and creativity. The smart boss knows that if employees love coming to work, they will thrive and therefore the company thrives. This also goes for a home life and all who are in that home.
I hope this inspired you. I have to reinspire myself every so often. For more on running a home and being frugal, you will find my books on amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Kate-Singh/e/B018FNFDSM/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0