It has been awhile since I started doing these productivity series, but I feel that they would be of benefit to my readers. I think we all should learn to live frugally if we can. I am going to try and stay on, remembering to do these each week, to help share with what we do. Maybe it will help something in your own lives.
One area that I have been adamant about cutting back on is our dryer’s use. We do laundry. We do laundry, laundry, and more laundry. I could almost do 2 loads every single day without hesitation. When we moved here, I had to put our larger HE washer/dryer into storage so I was resorted to using the “mini sized” ones for our family. It isn’t really a “mini sized” washer and dryer but it is the standard sized ones. I have to do more loads now than before, but as with everything in life, you adjust.
Now that we have great weather, no rain and no humidity, I try and hang everything outside. Early in the morning, I start a load of towels before anyone wakes up. As soon as it is done, I put it into the basket to go out and start another load of whatever needs to be done. If it is whites and I have many of them, I usually put those in the dryer and keep out any pants and shirts to hang out on the line. I hang up all our shirts and dresses onto hangers to be hung outside as well. I don’t mind hanging undies and socks if there are just a few but when you have many, I just put one load through the dryer. I don’t feel too bad about that.
I take them outside, usually when everyone is eating breakfast to give them time to dry. I hang my shirts and dresses, in between the clothespins so that they don’t slide together in the wind.
This has saved us much money. I try and watch the weather and see if it is going to rain the next day, to get more laundry done that day. I also have a drying rack that I can hang undies, socks, etc on when it gets really hot and I don’t want to put that extra strain of electricity through my house, especially when we have the air conditioners on.
Which we haven’t put in yet, but I know the time is coming:) I keep our windows open during the day and somewhat into the night to let in the natural cool breezes in the home. Soon enough the electric bill will spike back up when we have to use the air, but the in between months, I like to try and save as much as I can.
I got my bulk order in for the year from our local Bulk Food Store. This has allowed me a 50 lb bag of oatmeal, flour, and a 5 gallon bucket of coconut oil. I was able to make a large sized portion of our chocolate granola and regular granola this week to have on hand for breakfast. I like to eat this with apples diced up. The children prefer it on our homemade yogurt, which I made as well.
Now that the weather is warmer and we have more free time due to less school it is time for more socializing. We have been trying to designate a day a week to having people over. Being new here, we are learning to make new friends and form new relationships with others and that takes time. Having many children, I find it is harder to go places and keep everyone in one area, so I thought why not just invite people over for lunch each week in our home? It works. We do something simple for lunch and just enjoy visiting with new people. My personal favorite is coffee. What better to go with coffee than biscotti? I made some around Christmas time after a friend had made it. I came across it the other day and remembered how good it was. This is something that freezes well and tastes delicious. I made up a batch of the chocolate and cranberry maple kind and put them into a container in my freezer. When we have guests, I pull out a few sticks to go with our drinks. This is great to have because it isn’t something my children will go get out of the freezer, like say cookies or muffins. They know its “mommys” coffee cookie:)
We also have made lots of Popsicles. It has been 70-90 degrees over the last few weeks here which means it is time for popsicle season. We love to make homemade popsicles. I had bought the cups at a discount store this past winter for super cheap. It was a pack of 100 for $1. They were a little bigger than we normally buy, but for the price you couldn’t beat it. We then went to a different discount store and had found powdered milk for 5o cents so we snatched up multiple boxes of that. I found birthday cake pudding 10 for $1 at another store and all I had to buy that was regular price was the whipped topping. I bought the large sized container of the store brand at Walmart and we have bulk popsicles for cheap.
We made 10 boxes of birthday cake flavor, chocolate flavor, and vanilla. Here is how we made them. Super easy, mix up your pudding—we use powdered milk and notice no difference. For every four boxes of pudding we use an 8 oz container of whipped topping. Pour into cups and partially freeze. Then add wooden sticks. I then put them into 2 gallon zip lock bags.
I also made pineapple coconut ones for myself and any “healthier conscious friends” –smile. This was cheap because I already had one can of coconut milk I had bought and never used along with a can of crushed pineapple.
Since we had an abundance of yogurt—all that powdered milk was so cheap, I couldn’t resist not making yogurt. I made smoothie pops. I took our jar of yogurt, added frozen strawberries, blueberries, sugar, and a little apple juice. Pureed and poured into cups. I don’t mind feeding this to them for breakfast as it is healthier:)
What’s a popsicle without a sugar filled Kool Aid one?? We made rainbow pops with packages of Kool Aid. These take time as you have to freeze each layer, but my daughters like making them. We did a grape, orange, lemonade layered pop.
This was all I had on hand so I didn’t make any other kind, plus our entire shelf of the freezer is full!!!! When it gets low, I will make more batches.
I am working on planning my meals around what types of foods I have on hand in my freezer and pantry. Even though I have my menu all planned out, we deviate from it often. I cleaned out my freezer this past week and had found some foods I forgot about. I made notes of what I need to eat up this week. This includes:
- pancakes and sausage
- eating up my homemade energy bars—I have had them for months, I just forget them when they are frozen. I made a mental note to eat one each day.
- eating my cabbage vegetable soup-–I freeze this whenever I get an abundance of vegetables cheap.
- We had frozen English Muffins—the maple flavored kind—delicious, and I found a packet of gravy that I had, and then eggs were cheap this week $1.09!! That is lower than it has been in a long time. So we made scrambled eggs, put some gravy, some diced ham—which we have on hand frozen onto the muffin. Everyone loved it.
- We also have a case of sweet potatoes that need to be eaten. I like them plain but the family does not so I had to make something else. Sweet potato fries. Peel, slice, toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Put on a tin foil covered cookie sheet and bake at 400 for about 30 minutes. They like them.
- A friend dropped off a case of tomatoes as well. Hmmm what could I do with those? I already have many frozen from last year to use as a base for all my tomato recipes. Homemade salsa!! I bought some jalapenos and onions from the store and now we can have fresh salsa all week! We got bags of chips for 25 cents at our discount store so this is a a very inexpensive snack.
This was our past week. Hope it helps inspire someone to do something different in their home. Any other ideas—leave in the comments below.
Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy that sunshine!!! Be blessed.