Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Baby Wipes

I know there are tons of tutorials out there for baby wipes. I have no idea who the original author is but here is my share. I got the recipe from our cousin. It was part of her baby shower gift to me. I LOVE them! They are fairly easy to make. The only "hard" part is the cutting of the paper towel roll in half. But is totally worth it. You can get the paper towel from the dollar store, or (as I prefer) the giant Bounty which is surprisingly cheap. This one has 210 two-ply sheets as opposed to the 140 two-ply from the dollar store...which is way thinner and breaks easier than the Bounty. You can use that one for household shores better.

What I love about this homemade wipes is that they are multipurpose. Not only as baby booty wipes, but the formula is the same as for make up remover. You can also use them when you baby gets dirty hands or face. That is three things you don't need to buy anymore. You can make them yourself for cheaper!

Anyways, here is what you will need:

- A roll of paper towel (this will give you two batches)
- Baby oil
- Baby shampoo
- Water
- Plastic container


-First, cut the roll in half with a bread knife. This will be a little messy, but oh well. Make sure you take out the cardboard in the middle, otherwise it will absorb more of your liquid mix.
-Then, in your container mix 2 cups of water, 2 tbsp of the oil and 2 tbsp of the shampoo (3 of each if you use the huge Bounty). Mix well.
-Now place the half roll with the fluffy side up. Close the container and wait until the liquid is absorb half way up the roll.
-Open the container and take out the roll, carefully flip it with the nice side up. Close and let the paper absorb all the liquid. This should take no more than a minute or two.

Close well and store in dark area.(I place a big burp cloth on top and keep it out handy!)
It can last up to 6 months without opening at all. So if you are pregnant now at around 3 to 4 months, you can start making some now and they should be good to use when the baby comes! :)


Frugal Life

Ever since I married Jon I became more and more aware of how much money I spent. How much money I wasted I should say. If there is one thing I love about my husband is his great financial leadership. Especially during this time in our lives when disposable income is nowhere to be found!

We have come to the conclusion that "I want" is not the same as "I need". Most people mix those two. Because if we wouldn't have seen those cute shoes in the catalog we wouldn't need them! Am I right?
Well, I hope you caught the sarcasm.

Now, seriously, the truth is we do NOT need most things that we buy. We can either go without (long or short term) or we can come up with a cheaper way to get things done. For example: I can either go to the spa and have my nails done for $25-35, or I can have some friends over and do each others nails for free! Maybe not be perfect, but it will be pretty darn close! Plus we get to hang out with people we love and know! Another example: summer is coming and you "need" a new skirt for the beach. You can either buy one at Anthropology or re-purpose an old t-shirt by adding a thick elastic, just like the thousands of ideas show on Pinterest.

The point is, if you are complaining about "not having enough money", stop and think where it is that you are spending too much, or any at all. What I have found is that if I can go one more week without _______, usually I really don't NEED it. And if I do, I either save money for it (NEVER use credit cards) or try to figure out a way to get it in a cheaper way.

Anyways, so much blah blah blah. Here are a few things that work for us/we don't mind going without/I do:

1. Make your own baby wipes.
2. Use vinegar, dish soap and baking soda for most cleaning needs.
3. We do not have cable TV. We have internet and watch one show a day.
4. Eat a lot of left overs. {I hate to throw away food!}
5. We only eat out for Valentines and Anniversary. {unless it's a special occasion besides romantic ones}
6. Make your own baby food. It's easy, healthy and last a lot longer!
7. Set thermostat on 65 and bundle up! {only the baby's room is at 70. WI is cold!}
8. Go grocery shopping only once {or twice occasionally} a month. This will force you to be a smart shopper so you don't have to go out again.
9. Take the bus when possible. We only have one car and husband rides the bus to school.
10.Make the whole 12 cups of coffee that your coffee maker allows you to. Making small amounts may cause you to use more coffee grains than you would otherwise. You can always reheat the left over and have it later.
11.Freezer meals!! A lot of work in one day, but saves you time and money later on!
12.Really, you don't need more than two swimsuits...especially if you live in the northern part of the country where winter lasts almost 6 months or you do not swim very often. So stop buying them!
13.However, when you do buy one, buy quality! (This applies to most things). Break things down to cost per use and you will notice your real savings in the long run.
14.Learn to sew. Seriously. For basic stuff, it is not that complicated. And you get to design things the way you want them!
15.Buy at garage sells, consignment stores and be open to hand-me-downs! Quality can be found this way too! many people like to get rid of perfectly good stuff.
16. Do dishes by hand. But if you use the dishwasher, wait until it's a full load.
17. Learn to knit. You could make your own washcloths out of old tees or leftover yarn.
18. Grow your own garden (indoor and outdoors)
19. I do my nails. Always. Only time I go to a spa is when I receive a Christmas gift for it!

Seriously, I could go on and on. Many of the things listed will save you money in more than one way. Just click on the links for a more detailed explanation of how to's, tutorials, and other saving tips.

How do you live the frugal life?
Please share with us what you have found helpful!

Cleaning simplified

To create a home, we use furniture, appliances, accessories (like pictures), toys, blankets and such. In other words, we must invest time and effort to turn a building into a home. Personalize it.
I consider myself a very clean and organized person. I do not seek to have a sterile house, but just a very clean, organized and inviting one. A place to live and also relax. A house that can be a home.

One aspect of creating a home that many ignore is: cleaning. Wait, what?! How does cleaning fit in all this? Well, a messy and dirty place is usually called a dump. Not a home. So yes! Cleaning and organizing is to some extend needed to create a home sweet home.

But how many people simply dread cleaning their house? Many! I'm one of them. It takes time, it can be nasty, makes you sweat and...just the thought of mixed smells! I mean, all the different products that we use! They may smell good separately, but sometimes it is just too much when used all at once. 

The solution? Cut back on all the different products you use. 

Many of the products we buy are wonderful and very effective. However, when you are on a budget...or have a sensitive nose like I do, buying the best known brand out there is not a wise option.  One way to save is buying store brand as opposed to name brands. Another cheaper and easier solutions is the well known cooking products: vinegar and baking soda. These two combined with some dish soap can pretty much clean EVERYTHING in your home. 

Here are 50 ways to use vinegar taken from 

What I do is, I keep a spray bottle of vinegar and dish soap under the bathroom sink. I use it to clean the sink, counter space, and even around the toilet seat. (The inside of the toilet is the only place where I use some disinfectant store bought product, can't help but is the only place I need to use something strong for peace of mind!!). I also keep a piece of cloth that I only use for the sink/counter top/mirror and another one only for the toilet. It is something little ones can use to clean and you don't have to freak out about it being toxic.

I also keep a dish wand/scrubber in the shower. This way every time I shower I can clean the shower, and again don't be worried about all the chemicals soaking my feet!

Using vinegar to clean the house simplifies my life in many ways: I don't need to break the piggy bank. It saves on storage space being one big (or in my case two) one gallon containers as opposed to 5 different ones. I can store it in my pantry and have free space under the sink! And I use it for more than on chore, cleaning and cooking!

What are some ways in which you simplify cleaning (and living!)?
What other uses do you have for Vinegar?
Please share with us!