learning life

Lovin the life that brings me home.....

Saturday, June 19, 2010


This post is not about the Peeps directly. While it effects all of us, it has more to do with the responsibilities I have in taking care of them. Business for us has taken a huge hit the last few recession years and we have planned some of our cuts, but mostly they were curveballs thrown at us, forcing us to continue to cut things we thought to be crucial. Most of the cuts have been accepted in one way or another.

While I do have so much to be thankful for, I have my fears. If our recession continues or worsens, I fear we may end up losing many of the things that we have worked so hard for. I know I am not the only one. I also agree that we have learned valuable lessons as a country and as a family to do with less, but where do the cuts stop?

I am so frustrated to be at this point. Right now, the inheritance that Jake has set up for our kids is toast. The burnt kind that leaves a horrible aftertaste for way too long. (Renee, sorry but "burnt" felt so much better than "burned") The worst part about the whole deal is that there wasn't even an ounce of jelly. Were eating our toast, dry and crunchy. Will it go so far as to take us out of business? Forgetting inheritances for a while, what about feeding the family?

There is a good outcome to this post (depending on how you look at it). A lot of families will hopefully be brought together and forced to do things like sit around a dinner table to a home cooked meal (much healthier than the restaurant alternative they probably would have chosen). People are welcoming other families into their homes and enjoying their company without having to be entertained with social outings that cost money. We are learning to share things (our homes, our food) with others. Things we have a whole new appreciation for because we now have to choose wisely what were going to buy with the buck.

So, here's where I am hoping you can help me turn this post into a great resource. I want some wonderful amazing ideas from you!

I'll give you my input and you can give me yours. I have seen a couple of really good blog posts on this and I know there is more that has not been mentioned.

Tell me how I can save money. Tell me how you teach your kids to save/earn money. What do you do?

Here are some of the things I do:

I save loads of money by using vinegar in my entire household cleaning routines (I have more info on my vinegar post)

The kids save money for Bank day

My kids cash in cans for 5 cents a piece

Any ideas for teaching kids to earn money are welcome!

I buy dollar scratch cards (this will pay off when I hit it big). So far, I'm ahead. ;)

Really, if you have one really great suggestions, I will love you forever.

I try to plan out our meals and stick to our grocery list.

I am an avid jam caner in the summer time. This lasts us all year and saves us money because we re-use our jars and bands. Also, they are a sweet gift to a friend or neighbor. Giving a hand made gift is a nice gesture. It shows that your giving away something you worked for.

I have given myself a strict grocery budget of 150$ a week. I am learning to spend more wisely, or do without!

Library, free museum, beach, rivers, parks, picnics, and any other free outdoor things are already incorporated into our lifestyle. Any great ideas of other things to do?

Oh yes, the tide pools were a great hit last week.

I talked to my step-mom last week about doing a canning swap during our visit to SO Cal this Thanksgiving. Were all going to trade our tasty homemade treats. Please! CAN or preserve this summer and come!

I am going to work this week on drying my fresh herbs so that I wont have to buy them through the winter.

I wish I could grow salt.

We use it in everything.

I want to try to do a fun homeschooling project: harvesting sea salt! Why not?

someday, I would like to do a local fresh garden co-op. I think it would be cool to get a bunch of busy moms to take turns gardening, and everyone gets to harvest!

Starting next spring, I am going to try my hand at honey bees.

Please don't tell me to use cloth diapers. Tried that. No thanks.

Think about this. Let me know.

I already got rid of cable. You should try it! Its incredibly hard at first, but there's always Hulu

I am not going to stop dying my hair. I am WAY too young to sport my greys.

I have a liquid soap foamer dispenser that I use at our sinks.

This is handy- pour liquid hand soap in the bottle (enough to fill the bottom)

Add water to fill, and use the foaming pump.

I use Method Brand dispenser and hand soap.

I really need ideas for some great recipes that use ingredients more than once.

Does that make sense?

I love to cook, so keep it interesting (please)!

Okay, I am ready, please tell me.

one or two great tips (grocery wise is especially welcome)

Share it!


  1. O.k. here we go.....
    1. Stop going out to dinner or getting take out. For real. Not once in a while. Stop all together.
    2.Cloth diaper...hahaha, o.k. really don't if you don't want to but it doesn't hurt to try again! :)
    3. Make a clothes line in your backyard and hang all your clothes to dry. (Gavin is building ours this weekend!)
    4. All the men of the house have their hair cut at home; all the ladies don't get haircuts.
    5. Grow as much food as you can and shop around for the best prices on the food that you can't.
    6. Join a food co-op!
    7. Clothes are either hand-me-downs, thrifted or handmade. No new clothes.
    8. Look for used first. If your blender breaks and you use it often, first look second hand instead of buying new.
    9. Get rid of magazine and newspaper subscriptions.
    10. Budget your money and stick to your budget.
    11. Make as much of your home cleaners as possible (laundry soap, dishwasher soap, cleaning solutions, hand soap, etc.)
    12. Trade out gas hog vehicles for gas effecient vehicles. ;)
    13. Try and get a (used) wood stove before winter to burn wood instead of exepnsive energy or fuel.
    14. Preserve as much as possible (I know you do jams) but can, or freeze, as much produce as possible. Dehydrate things like fruits and meat when you can get them at a good price. Or better yet, free! Don't hesitate to ask the guy down the road if you can pick his apples if you see them all falling to the ground and rotting!
    15. Don't wear makeup. Good quailty make up (like the natural/organic kind) is not cheap. Give it up and save!
    16. Brush your teeth and floss! I know that sounds weird and I'm sure that you do brush your teeth but healthy teeth mean a healthy body and less $ spent at the dentist! Cavities are expensive.
    17. If you eat sandwhiches, bake your own bread. Orgainic bread can run as much as $5 per loaf (maybe $2.50 if you get it on sale) but homemade bread costs less than $1 per loaf.
    18. We have to pay per pound for our trash so we compost, burn and recycle as much as possible.
    19. Wear your clothes for as long as possible before washing. It doesn't hurt to wear a top that isn't dirty for 2 or 3 days. Same with your kids. Who says you have to wear a different, new top and bottom every single day?
    20. Trade. If someone you know has a bunch of egss and you can trade them some jam (and they need jam)- do it! Find other things to trade that are in abundance for each of the parties involved.

    Hope those help! ♥

  2. Let's see..First of all, love this post. Many of us are trying to cut back. We've gone to locals only as our internet isn't fast enough to help us with any form of entertainment. I haven't done it yet, but I'm switching to homemade laundry soap and maybe switching to homemade dishwasher detergent. I have some great, easy recipes for them, let me know if you're interested. If you don't use dried beans, do! I make a big batch in the crock pot and freeze them in 2 cup I'm all for doing things that are easy to do with an 18 month old and 1 month old around! For winter soups I crock pot a whole chicken and make stock out of the bones. Easy and gets you 4-6 cups of chicken and lots of chicken broth. I'm constantly looking for ways to trim, we're rocking a $218.50 a month grocery budget. Kids are still little enough that they don't add much, but it's tough and I know we'll have to expand as we go along. I try and do breakfast for dinner a few times a month and also meatless dishes a few times. Those are my top grocery tips, you're already meal planning, that's huge! Thanks for your tips and I hope I gave you a new bit of info too. Good luck!