Tag Archives: homemade
Aside 18 Dec

So it has been a really ridiculous amount of time since I’ve written anything on here and I don’t even have an excuse! I can’t say its because I don’t have any time because I found time to make my own tree skirt. Yes, I said make my own tree skirt. Never in a million years would I have thought those words would come out of my mouth, but here we are. I’ve also been crazy at the coffee shop getting ready for Christmas and making up lots of baskets and goodies to sell. Of course I will be providing pictures of all of this madness soon.

I need to finish wrapping christmas presents, bake and decorate cookies for teachers gifts, clean house from top to bottom, make up 20 more baskets for work, make a cake for my daughter’s 16th birthday(Christmas Eve), have a birthday party and I’m sure other stuff. I’m just now realizing I may need more than 5 or 6 days to get this all done. But hey, that’s what coffee is for right?

I will be back, hopefully very soon, with some pictures and maybe a tutorial on the tree skirt. 

 

A good cause

4 Oct

As I was scrolling through my Facebook , I saw this link from Deal Seeking Mom. A stay at home mom of 5 lost her husband and a group of bloggers came together to offer a collection of ebooks to help her out. For $5, you get books ranging from freezer cooking to homemade goodies to a guide of which books to read with your kids. I just downloaded it and there are some great recipes and tips I can’t wait to try out.

I can’t imagine what this family is going through, but if my $5 helps even a little bit then its worth it. For anyone else that wants to download these ebooks, go here and the link to Paypal is on the site.

I haven’t even begun looking through all of the books, but I clicked on the one titled Easy Homemade and I love it. Its like having a Pinterest collection of homemade goods all in one spot. Definitely worth the $5!

I have kitchen ADD

20 Sep

Yesterday I spent my whole day in the kitchen……and not in the fun way (eating cookies and drinking coffee) – the whole day!!  I guess it will be worth it…hopefully. I wanted to make dinners for a week ahead of time so I opened the fridge and cue horror music.

So this is how my thought process went: Have to make food….can’t make food because fridge is gross….have to clean fridge….can’t clean fridge out because dirty dishes in sink…..have to do dishes….put them away….clean counters…..then clean fridge, put it back and organize. Now I can make food….I wish I had a bigger fridge.

Trust me, it was worse than it looks. Never mind…it looks pretty bad.

Don’t judge me. 🙂

See how easy it is to get to the margaritas now?

I was finally ready so I found a recipe for spaghetti sauce and went to work….about 5 minutes in, I remembered that I hated recipes and measuring and just started throwing stuff in. I highly encourage you guys to do this…..cooking is so much more fun when there aren’t restrictions and you can just be creative. I find that doing it this way helps you figure out what works in a recipe and what doesn’t. I know that this way of cooking isn’t for everyone, but you should give it a try just once. Oh and I just want to add that I NEVER make my own sauce…..if we want spaghetti I go to the store, buy a jar , add some diced tomatoes and spices and I’m done. But since I’m trying to cook ahead , homemade just made more sense. Ok so sauce on the stove and then its time to get the meat out.

Let me start by saying that I had this great plan…..I saved all these recipes on Pinterest for freezer meals and the plan was to put meals together in the freezer bags. Again, this did not work for me….it was way to confusing to figure out what you could freeze and how, and putting the raw meat with the veggies kinda of freaked me out. So I decided to separate the meat I bought into different freezer bags so I can just pull them out, defrost and stick in crock pot or oven. I put BBQ in with some of the meat and the rest I left unseasoned because I’m not sure how I will use it yet.  I bought pork chops, country style ribs and chicken drumsticks. I have no idea how to pick out meat but I’m learning. I really tried to plan meals ahead of time and make a grocery list, but I didn’t like that. I went to the store, found the meat that looked good and was a decent price and then planned around that. From the meat, I was able to get 6 dinners for 5-7 people (sometimes my sis and nephew eat with us) for $30….not too bad. Much better than eating out, thats for sure.

I’m sure there are better ways of freezing and stacking, but right now I’m just glad its done!

The rest of the week I will post recipes for spaghetti sauce, baked mac and cheese(no Velveeta! ), waffle mix from scratch and some sort of cookie- if I can get it together to make them!

I almost forgot, here is a site you guys HAVE to check out….she has everything from recipes to homemade laundry detergent to crafts to everything! I promise that you will thank me later……there are some really great ideas on there. In fact that’s what motivated me to clean my fridge(other than the nastiness).

Finding my own way…

17 Sep

No this is not a post about being lost or needing to “find myself”…..I honestly don’t even know what that means and probably wouldn’t have time for it anyway. This is about trying to figure out my own ways to save money every month without going crazy in the process. I’ve been finding all these money saving ideas on (wait for it)…….Pinterest! I know you guys are so surprised. The problem is that while there are some good tips, most of them either don’t apply to us, don’t make sense for our family or are just plain weird and counterproductive. Yes I know I could save money on electric by sitting in the dark and reading by candlelight, or money on groceries by eating ramen noodles and mac & cheese every night  and ok i guess the water bill would go down if we showered once a week, but  come on….I need real ideas!

A little background on our family – we are a family of 5 ….Me and my husband( or is it my husband & I…I never know this one!) , and our 3 kids – 14, 8 and 2. We live on one income right now….my husband goes to work and I stay home with our toddler. We can live ok on what we make right now, but I would like to have money left over at the end of the month to put where we need it.  The only way to do this is either  for me to get a job(not an option right now) or find ways to save money. If you’ve been reading my posts lately, you will see a few of my attempts at this. Some of them have worked really well and others have really sucked! I’m going to make a list right now of each and then some ideas I’ve come up with that I’m going to try. Please feel free to jump in with any suggestions, comments, tips, etc. If there has been anything you’ve done to save a few bucks every month please share! I will let you know that I’m not terribly talented in the domestic area and I can’t sew so please no ideas for making my own clothes:)

DIY Successes:

Laundry Detergent – I seriously felt like one of the Duggars doing this, but it really does make sense! It saves me at least $15 every month or so and gets my clothes just as clean.

Deodorant – Its not like I spend huge amounts every month, but its natural and aluminum-free and works better than the store bought.

All Purpose Cleaner– this is awesome! It cleans the cushions on the chairs in my kitchen and makes them look new! I also use it for the bathtub, appliances, countertops, fridge, etc.

Lip Balm – I love this stuff! It works just as good or better than store bought and is so much cheaper!

There are a few others that I’ve tried that I haven’t posted about yet…..I will try to get posts up soon with exact measurements and pictures.

Fabric Softener – Its vinegar, water and a bottle of conditioner – I don’t love it because it doesn’t smell as good as the bounce sheets, but I really like it because it does work getting the clothes soft and static free and it only costs around $1.50 for a large container of it.

Lotion – I use beeswax, olive or coconut oil and water….I love this stuff! It keeps my face and hands so soft and is so inexpensive to make.

Carpet Fresh Powder – all you do is take baking soda and add some essential oil to it. It smells so good and is ridiculously cheap to make.

Air Freshener – This is water, essential oil and vinegar. Sounds like it wouldn’t smell good, but the oils overpower the vinegar and works really well!

Ok, now for the failures:

Shampoo – I kept seeing where everyone was mixing baking soda with water and washing their hair with it. I mean people raved about this so I tried it. OMG it made my hair into cotton candy! It was seriously like Barbie hair……I couldn’t brush through it and it was so thick and out of control. I will keep looking.

Conditioner- Almost the same as the shampoo – its apple cider vinegar and water……terrible! Conditioner is supposed to make your hair manageable and soft – it was crunchy!

Dish Soap – There are just some things you don’t mess with – I like Dawn and use it in some of my cleaners and I don’t see myself changing this any time soon. It was so runny and didn’t clean very well at all. It was a bar of soap, vinegar, and water.

Ammonia to clean drip pans on stove….not that this was a money saving idea, but I just want to bitch about it for a sec. I was almost the most disappointed in this! Not only because mine are really really dirty, but there were numerous successful posts with before and after pics on Pinterest and it didn’t work at all for me. Not even a little bit.

I probably should have an in between category because that is where I would put my body wash…..I didn’t come back and update on it after I used it a few times, but I’m on the fence on this one. Some of it was operator error and I think some was the recipe…..it doesn’t lather as much as I would like.. Not  really to call it a failure because it was really inexpensive to make and it does work – you just have to use a large amount of it. I’m going to try different things to fix it.

Ok, now for the things I’m going to give a try:

Shopping sales at the grocery store and planning dinner menus for the week. I’m even thinking of buying enough dinner ingredients for a few weeks, making up the meals and freezing them. I’m not a fan of cooking before freezing so I’m thinking of putting together freezer bags of crockpot meals.

Air Drying  towels, comforters, etc on a rack or hanging them outside. My dryer seems to take forever and I just really like the smell of sheets dried outside 🙂

Potty training – I’m half joking ….it would save $30 a month on pull ups but its not really part of the budget plan….it would be nice though.

Turning off lights, unplugging unused appliances, setting tvs on timers, etc to save electricity.

Garage Sale – my sister and I were just talking about doing a combined garage sale and getting rid of all the junk(sorry, treasures) we don’t use…. this will not only bring in a little money but will free up some space so I can get more organized.

I’m really trying to thing of ways we can cut costs but we don’t really go out much, I’ve already called and saved money on car insurance, put the gas on budget, use money from the account instead of credit cards, and only have cell phones – I got rid of the house phone last year. Also, our combined cable and internet bill is cheap (around $30 a month)because my husband works for a cable company so no cost cutting there either.

If anyone has any other ideas or tried and tested products please share them here.