Monday, October 24, 2011

Living Simply

For all the mothers who read this, remember when you were pregnant and the 'nesting' instinct kicked in?  You wanted everything clean, everything in its place, etc.  I am feeling like that, just not the whole pregnant part.

I have been doing some online research on simple living and I found a website called Simple Organized Living.  Part of me is jealous of the author of the site.  I want her 120 year old farmhouse!  But no, I love my life and I REALLY don't want to live in Michigan where her farmhouse is!  But she has given me a ton of food for thought.

I'm thinking about our upcoming move and trying to put in place plans now to save more and have those plans already be a habit so that when we move, it will already be the 'norm'.  I have found a multitude of uses for vinegar from cooking to cleaning to laundry.  Vinegar is super cheap and can replace so many harmful chemicals in my home and also save a lot of money in the process.  Really excited to make that switch when I run out of the products I currently have.  Don't want to just throw them out because that would be wasteful too.

I've given thought to our bills and how we can save money in various ways.  Phone service is a biggie.  We researched the cheapest landline service and it is $37 a month, which equals $444 a year!  Ouch!  We won't be having phone service.  We found out that we can keep a landline phone plugged in and it will work for 911 only.  So in the event of an emergency and our cell phones won't work or lines are busy, we can still call 911.

Groceries:  I have been cutting coupons for some time now, but I am getting better at researching my stores flyers and finding the sales.  So we are less loyal to specific brands when there's a good sale.  I plan meals based on the meat prices, etc.  We have a chest freezer, so I buy meat in bulk and separate it in freezer bags for meals.  This works out good because if you take some time, you can go ahead and add in marinades, etc. which will save time.  I also shop in other places like CVS & Rite Aid occasionally.  They are close to me so I am not wasting gas.  They have excellent sales on certain items and you earn money back many times.  I've also noticed how expensive bread is, have you?  The cheap loaves always seem to taste stale the day you buy them (my opinion).  So I found some recipes and I have made my own bread.  Nothing beats the smell and taste of fresh baked bread!  Bisquick is EXPENSIVE, but we like pancakes.  I found a pancake recipe from scratch that top Bisquick or Krusteaz mix any day of the week.

Clothes:  This will be a way I personally can save some money.  Jim & Allyson aren't fans of second hand clothing.  That's okay because Allyson buys her own clothes these days, so it's not money out of my pocket.  And Jim has a ton of work clothes and shirts that we care for properly so they will last quite some time.  Me, I am absolutely fine with gently used clothing.  I in fact love to spend the afternoon scouring the racks at Goodwill, etc. to see what I might find.  My last trip I found a jacket I had coveted at Kohl's but it was $60.  It was cute, but not $60 cute.  I found it brand new with tags in my size at Goodwill for $9.99!!!  I also found two other cute tops that are designers from Kohls that were in 'like new' condition for $5 a piece.  I am losing weight and I am trying to not go broke buying clothing as I drop pounds.  I sew, so I will try to alter pieces I have to fit longer if I can.  Hiding some elastic in the backs of pants to keep them from falling down.  I see the cutest clothing from Coldwater Creek and other designers in excellent condition in smaller sizes.  So when I get this weight off, I am gonna look so cute for cheap!

Toiletries:  I've read of a lot of women who have done away with shampoo & conditioner.  Still struggling with the idea of giving those up, but I am going to try it.  They cleanse their hair using a combo of water & baking soda and condition with apple cider vinegar.  Hmmm...but they rave about their shiny non-frizzy hair.  We'll see.  But shampoo & conditioner weren't invented until like the 1930's.  If you look at old photos, their is some shiny healthy looking hair.  And this baking soda and water recipe and vinegar rinse are old school, so maybe.  I am also switching to the oil cleansing method for washing my face.  The science behind that just makes sense and Lord know skincare products cost an arm and a leg!  Both of these changes eliminate more chemicals from entering my system and hopefully reduce my cancer risks a bit too.

Clutter: Our house is jam packed.  So I am going to be going through it all to figure out what we really use, what we really need and what we can give away to those who need it more.  Since we share with Jim's Mom, I will need to purchase some items for our home, but I know right where I am going to go.  Jim & I spent hours yesterday scouring the many aisles in the antique shops up in Orange.  Vintage pyrex, etc.  Happy thoughts! 

Less is more.  Think simple.

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