So, I’m finding the inspiration bug is coming on. I’ve been immersed in writing and balancing the home life, along with not missing a moment with my boys. They are at that delicious age of 2 and 4 and everything is sweet and pure and funny. I laugh many times in the day because of those two and then at night I sleep with one boy tucked under each arm. Yummy!
I am working on two more books, blogging my brains out, and keeping my 860 square foot home clean. I’m also back into all the frugal, schamugal stuff and harassing pennies and such. I’ve been really making the groceries stretch lately. I did blow $58 at the Grocery Outlet and I can’t remember all I bought…so frustrating, and no I don’t know where the receipt is. Obviously. It was silly stuff and the kids got toys out of me. Darn it. I had Arjan so trained and that Grocery Outlet puts the toys across from the shampoo so while I’m trying to find bubble bath and conditioner, he is eyeing his next construction site set up.
I’m cooking from scratch with a vengeance and doing research on financial advice and ways to clean. I’d like to share some great advice that has reinspired me and some websites that are fun to look at to get great new ideas.
Livingwellspendingless.com is a fun website by Ruth Soukup. Tons of little tidbits on being frugal and cleaning. Some of the articles are a bit extreme in the simplifying, de cluttering department…and the cleaning. Remember, I’m the “funky” housewife. I will never have that sparkle these ladies talk about and I’m not so into getting rid of too much stuff. I love some of my stuff. Believe me, I put a lot of things on the curb, however, I’m not ready to have the traditional Japanese house.
Queenoffree.net She wrote Slaying the Debt Dragon and I am waiting by the mailbox right now, I can’t wait to read this and get tons of ideas for saving. She has some good ideas. I have to explore her website a bit more, but she is the Queen of free!
Wellnessmama.com has great advice and recipes for homemade soap, makeup, cleaners and so on. I’ve used some of her recipes in my books.
Blissfulanddomestic.com She has everything on budgeting and saving, decorating, cleaning and so on. She is the QUEEN of living off a tiny, tiny budget. She inspires.
These are great sites to get motivated again and learn a new trick. Some are really down home and some are joining the ranks of Martha Stewart. You can decide who speaks to you.
Here are some of my things that I do to make life easy and homemaking fun:
- Brew the coffee, turn up the radio, and set the timer when house cleaning. Try to do it all in under an hour. If your house is big you may need more time. Have one day a week that you do the major cleaning. That maybe 2 hours plus if you bust your bum. Then each day only spend 30 minutes doing the basics in the morning. A sweeping of the kitchen, wiping down of counters, tidying up, a toilet scrub.
- Make all the beds and keep the kitchen clean. A messy bed makes me feel disoriented. I also like to pile things on the bed such as laundry to fold. Make the beds first thing in the morning. Empty the dishwasher while you wait for your morning coffee to brew. Keep the sink empty. This sets the tone for the day.
- Have one baking day. Baking can get messy with flour everywhere. Bake for the week just like our great grandma’s did and freeze some of it. Make bread, bran muffins for quick breakfast, cornbread, and even granola bars.
- Have only one laundry day. Do it all on the same day you do the major cleaning. You can pile it all on the couch in the afternoon and watch a movie, have tea, and fold. I love this part the day. It’s an excuse to sit and watch a movie!
- Only make one big meal a day. I make simple, nutritious breakfast of fruit, oatmeal, eggs, and toast or whatever you like. For lunch, I just put out a small spread. Fill a good sized plate with cheese, crackers, fruit, olives, pickles, veggies, and dips like hummus, nuts, seeds, dried fruit…you can change it around daily. Have little plates out so the kids can sit and snack when they are hungry. It’s healthy food and they just graze when they want and you can continue doing your work. In a crockpot or on the stove have a stew, soup, chili, spaghetti sauce and such simmering for the day. I also have a rice cooker that I steam up a batch of rice to go with whatever else is stewing. That will be dinner. You then just have to boil pasta or defrost one of your cornbreads. Always cook extra to pack in spouses lunch the next day.
- Casseroles and one pot dishes are also easy and delicious ways to make dinner. Very little clean up.
- Do the major grocery shopping once a month and then just shop one a week or two weeks, if you can,for fresh produce and dairy.
- Use the envelope system so you stay in your budget.
- Create morning and evening chores and routines for yourself and the kids. Teach the children to contribute early on.
- When throwing parties always have potlucks. It’s affordable and people enjoy contributing.
- Make your own household cleaners to save money and they are nontoxic for children and pets.
- Instead of menu planning, shop only from the sales and create a menu from that. It can actually be fun to see what will be on the menu for the week. Try to have a stockpile in the pantry to work with if you just don’t want to go shopping for a couple weeks.
- Check out other blogs by other homemakers to stay inspired and get new ideas.
- Baskets are your friends. Have attractive baskets in each room to through toys, books, shoes. Have laundry baskets in every bedroom closet to throw dirty clothes.
- Create your own home gym. I have a Tread Climber in the corner of my living room. I love getting on it daily for an hour with a good book. It’s your time, make it something you will love doing daily, something you will look forward to.
I have tons of ideas that I have collected from all kinds of brilliant homemakers. Just keep visiting for motivation and check out my books on Amazon. There will be another one coming soon, The Funky Homemaker. It’s for the more casual housewife who wants to get things done efficiently, save tons of money, and focus on creating a fun household.
Enjoy the rest of your week!