Tuesday, October 28, 2014

6 Ways to Simplify Your Kitchen

I love it when my kitchen is cleaned, and everything is organized. It heps me to stay focused while cooking, and overall it makes our home feel good. Here's a few easy tips that I've learned over the years:

Use Jars to Organized:
I really love large see through jars to organize food in our kitchen. The oversized jars are perfect for flour, sugar, and homemade concoctions. Smaller jars are also great for seasnonings, add ins (nuts/chocolate chips, etc.), and even coupons!

Keep A Running List:
I have a magnetic list that I keep on our fridge. That way, as we run out of items, I can keep the list going. It's a great way to stay on top of things, and meal plannng is so much easier!

Meal Plan Once A Week:
I know there are tons of methods, but I seem to fare better with once a week meal planning. I usually write down 5 to 6 meals for each week. I double check ingredients, make a list of what I need, then go from there each week.

Stock Up On Frozen Meals:
Whether it's stocking up with your favorite frozen quick meals, or just creating your own freezer meals, make it a habit each month. There's nothing better than a home cooked meal than can be pulled out of the freezer on buser days. It's a great stress saver AND time saver!

Introduce New Meals:
It's easy to get tired of the same meals each week. Try to introduce a new recipe at least once a week or every other week. This gives you a chance to try something new, and keeps temptation of eating out at bay.

Try to Shop in Season:
When it comes to fruits and vegestables, try to shop in season. By doing so, you'll be able to keep your fridge stocked with healthy choices and at a much better price. You may also want to consider freezing and canning vegies as they go on sale.

Linking Up: One Project

Monday, October 13, 2014

31 Days to An Organized and Clean Home Day 5

So far, we've covered a wide range of topics. If you want to start at the beginning, check out this post.

Today's Focus:

The laundry! Oh, it can be such a beast. But, over the years, I've learned some really awesome tips. Here's a few that should help get your laundry looking fresh and crisp!

  • For heavily soiled clothing, soak in cold water for 30 minutes.This will help loosen any dirt and other residue. 
  • For moldy or musty clothes, add a cup of vinegar to your wash. 
  • Always soak stains before adding to the wash.
  • If your laundry is looking dull, just add a 1/2 cup of baking soda!
  • Set a timer for your dryer if it doesn't have one. Always pull out the close as soon as finished, so that they don't wrinkle. 
  • Have static electricity in your clothes? Just pop them back in the dryer with a damp wash rag.
  • Run out of laundry detergent, but need to wash a load? Just mix up 1 cup of vinegar and 1/2 cup baking soda to replace detergent. 
What are some of your favorite laundry tips?

Monday, October 6, 2014

31 Days to An Organized and Clean Home Day 4

Happy Monday! Ready to continue the series?

Today's Challenge:

Let's focus on organizing our grocery shopping & coupon experience. By following the tips below, you will be able to take full advantage of shopping with a purpose while saving money.

  • Always go through your pantry, freezer, and fridge to see what you need.
  • Next, you will be ready to create a meal plan. Try once a week meal planning or once a month meal planning to see which one fits your needs best.
  • When you finish your meal plant, you can begin writing your list.
  • Once your list is complete go through your coupon inserts and/or print them. See if your list items match up with any store sales/coupons. 
  • At the store, learn to shop the perimeter of the store: produce, meat, dairy. Then, tackle the middle aisles. By doing this, you'll b less tempted to get distracted with non-necessary items.
  • Learn to set a timer for your grocery shopping: 30 minutes tops. By doing so, you'll cut down time to just "look". Looking often turns into buying things you don't need.
  • Before you get in line, double check your list and pull out your coupons.
  • Always double check your receipt to make sure you were not overcharged or savings were left off. It happens a lot!
  • After unloading the groceries, and putting them all away, double check your car to make sure nothing rolled out of your bags. Nothing worse than an item left to ruin!
What are some of your favorite grocery shopping tips?

Friday, October 3, 2014

31 Days to An Organized and Clean Home

Good morning! Hopefully, you enjoyed the last couple of days as we explore 31 days to an organized and clean home.

Today's Challenge: Take a few minutes to make your home smell fresh and inviting. If the weather permits, consider opening the windows and enjoy the fresh breeze while you tidy around the house.

  • To keep your air fresh and smelling clean, be sure to change out the fiters on a regular schedule Also, vacuume out the vents a couple of times a year.
  • To help your home smell inviting, add a few drops of vanille onto a saucepan with just an inch of water. Let it simmer for a while to a delicious aroma. 
  • For neatralizing carpet or rug order, sprinkle with baking soda and let it sit for half an hour before vacuuming it up.
  • To keep your drawers smelling fresh, hide extra bars of soap (still in wrapper) underneath your clothes.
  • Cut dryer sheets in half and place inside shoes to keep your closet from smelling like a gym. ;)
What are some of your favorite tricks to a better smelling home?

Thursday, October 2, 2014

31 Days to An Organized and Clean Home Day 2

Good morning! Ready to tackle another awesome cleaning and organizing project? Today, we will be focusing on the kitchen.

Today's Challenge:

Clean out your kitchen!

  • Remove everything off the counter tops. Wipe them down with a disinfectant. Replace items that are necessary.
  • Remove everything from your fridge. Wipe down the shelves. Throw away anything that's old or out dated. 
  • Wash your cabinets with cleaning solution (be sure to double check that it's safe for wood).
  • Go through your dishes, pans, etc. Get rid of anything you haven't used in a year.
  • Clean all your appliances: stove, microwave, etc.
Frugal Tip: If you notice that your fridge has an odor, pour baking soda into a small bowl and leave it overnight. It will help neutralize the odor. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

31 Days To an Organized & Clean Home {Day 1}

October is here! It's my favorite time of year. The air is crisp, the holidays are around the corner...and I'm ready to tackle fall cleaning. This month I'm challenging myself to take organizing and cleaning to the next level. My hope is that November and December will be met with a renewed vigor thanks to a smoother running household.

Care to join me? Here's a list at things I'll be tackling:

  • Frugal hacks for organizational items
  • Cheap alternatives to cleaning solutions
  • Organizational challenges for each room of the house 
  • Organizing "out of sight" areas
  • Deep cleaning my heart & mind

Today's Challenge:

Clean out your purse! Dump everything out. Sort the receipts and keep any that you may need in the future. Go through old coupons and make sure none of them are out of date. Dump your change in the piggy bank, and throw away any trash. Scale your items down to "must have" only. Wipe down the inside of your bag and replace items. Be sure to spot clean any areas on your purse if needed. 

Frugal tip: Purchase a coupon folder at the dollar store to keep in your purse. It's the perfect location to sort coupons, gift certificate, rebates, business cards and other important receipts. 

Check back in tomorrow...we'll be tackling the kitchen!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Why I Don't Use Cloth Diapers

A lot of folks have tried to sway me over to the word of cloth diapers. And while that may be the best choice for others, I knew it wasn't for us.

Here's a quick run down:

Time Saver: The biggest thing for me was the time factor. I didn't want to spend the extra time rinsing, pre-soaking, washing, etc.

Water Saver: If we had chosen cloth diapers, our laundry would have increased, which in short, would increase our water bill and time doing laundry. Which of course goes back to point #1.

Money Saver: Thanks to sales, stockpiling, and a diaper shower during my pregnancy, we have only paid a few dollars for our stash. We still have several months worth set aside. That's about 6 months worth of diapers for *very* little cost.

Stress Saver: Honestly, the idea stressed me out.

I'm still satisfied with our decision, and think it's best for us. How about you? Which option served your family better?