thrifty thursday

Today my mind is a flurry of activity. I feel like I have a lot to write about. Things like what I want to do with a thrift store sweater, or my latest craft project that has me excited to girlify Kalea all up, or perhaps the healthy and yummy sounding brownie recipe I have found that I would like to try. In fact, today I am in the mood to be very very domestic. I could sew up a storm, can up a what ever it is that you can up (as long as it isn’t chicken, I am done with that). I would make my own soap (because I do you know) but I don’t need any right now so I won’t. I am in the mood to grind my own flour, make my own butter and all other kinds of incredibly ambitious domestic kind of things. But you know, the fun ones, not the washing dishes and folding laundry ones.

Yes I would love to write about those right now, but alas I can not. Why? Well first of all because I don’t have pictures of any (except that blue sweater, but I haven’t done my project with that yet) second, because that doesn’t have a whole lot to do with saving money, and today is Thrifty Thursday. Third, it is better to write about it after I have accomplished it, which I have not because the kids are still awake =)

After my chicken post, I was all planned to tell you how I did/do groceries for $120 for a month. I should have just written it then, because I am not really in the mood right now. So instead I think I will tell you about how I save money cleaning. (Maybe next  week we will talk food.)

I had thought about making my own cleaning supplies for a while, mainly to save money. Then about 2-3 months ago I had an epiphany. As I was cleaning my bathroom Alex walked in… and walked right back out carrying my chemically bathroom cleaner bottle I had laid down. AHHHHHH DON’T PUT THAT IN YOUR MOUTH, I shouted. After I rescued my son from the cleaner and nearly passed out myself from the horrid smell I decided that was it.

Bye bye chemicals, hello natural food based cleaners.

Here is what I use:

For windows and mirrors : White vinegar (probably could dilute, but I didn’t when I first put it in my bottle). And rags. No streaks!, Works better than W!ndex and I don’t get a head ache from the ammonia.

Bathroom Cleaner:

  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 2 liters water
  • Mix together and dump in an old spray bottle, it scrubs and shines, deoderizes and disinfects.

    For a toilet bowl cleaner I just sprinkle Baking Soda in the toilet, a little vinegar and let it set till I am done with the rest of my bathroom, scrub and flush.

    My stove gets cleaned with baking soda for those tough stuck on things.

    Are you sensing a pattern here? =)
    I still have a big bottle of P!neSol left that I mop my floors with yet, I won’t replace that until it is all gone (Cheap remember?) But other than that, we are pretty non toxic.
    I even make my own laundry soap (though that will be another post, when I need to make some again). I know you can add essential oils to make for a better smell, but I keep forgetting to pick them up when I go to the store. (Hey I go with two kids under two, give me a break 😉 )

    1. CHEAP I just bought a BIG container of distilled white vinegar for $2.30. That will last me a looooooooooooooooooong time. Baking soda is pretty inexpensive too.
    2. Non-toxic. While I wouldn’t encourage Alex to drink any of these concoctions I don’t freak out if he comes in to “help” me clean.
    3. I no longer get sick cleaning. For as long as I can remember I got horrid head aches whenever I cleaned with name brand cleaners. Now I don’t get headaches, I get hungry 🙂 I love salt and vinegar chips, and the smell of my cleaners makes me crave them 😛

    Hmmmmmm now I should go use some of these so I can plop myself in front of the sewing machine after my babies go to sleep…

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    There are few things that I love more than saving money. Except possibly (ok definitely) seeing my kids smiling and having fun! Enter : All Kids Stuff Sale. Pretty much the best thing ever for cheap thrifty parents.

    It is basically a giant, amazingly organized garage sale, with some quality control. (They really don’t sell junk stuff) Priced somewhere between garage sales and chain re-sale shops (like Once upon a child). I have found that especially with baby/kids things getting something new is really overrated. The kids don’t use something long enough (in general) to make it worth the outrageous price that a lot of retailers put on the item simply because it is labeled “baby”. I went tonight and struck gold! Here is how I do it.

    1. I sorted through all the kids clothes last week to see where they are lacking. (Alex only needs snow pants, Kalea some
    more 6-9 or 9-12mo stuff. More on this later)
    2. Jason and I talk about and compile a list of what we think the kids need, so I have a plan of attack going in.
    3. I get there an hour before the doors open to the sale so I can get a front spot in the line.
    4. First place I head is if I have any major items on my list (like a pack n play, stroller or crib.) This time my “big item” was outdoor toys.
    5. If something even makes me think about it and it is a “big item” I grab the tag off of it (claiming it as mine, even if I can’t lug it around the whole sale) I can always put a purchase back.
    6. I always go in with a budget and keep a running tally (roughly) in my head.
    7. I re-evaluate all my purchases before I check out.
    8. My general rule of thumb on pricing is : if I can’t make it cheaper, I will buy it. If I haven’t seen it cheaper I will buy it.

    9. Unless there is a major clothing item (like a winter coat) I don’t purchase any clothes till Saturday. That is their half price day. There are soooooo many clothes that it is easier to even look for clothes when they have been kinda picked over.

    So here is what I got last night:

    All my finds


    They will cook lots of yummy meals with this!

    Some pretty cool inside toys.

    Some pretty cool inside toys

    Two wall hangings with matching bedroom set.

    All in all I got : Play kitchen, lots of play food/dishes, outside swing, two baby dolls, baby basket, head bands for Kalea, play lawn mower, Little Tikes car, complete bedroom suite (including 2 twin quilts and 2 wall hangings), somewhere around 15 match box cars, somewhere around 10+ animal “action figures”

    For a grand total of: $64.00.

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