Archive | Frugal Living RSS feed for this section

No ‘Poo

4 Apr

No I’m still changing plenty of nappies per day…

I have finally chucked out the shampoo! Its weird, one day I was lathering up my hair and the next time I decided to take the plunge. Since my hair is pretty curly and prone to frizz without careful treatment, I was a bit worried, but I decided to persevere and give it a go. I am so glad it did it – my hair is all purty curly  and manageable! No more frizz!!

They say it can make your hair greasy for a while, but I must admit I haven’t really had that problem, my hair seems happy!

This is the best pic I have of it for now… This is on the second day after washing. (please note my adorable eskimo baby… this was taken last Wednesday, and it was really cold – plus the poor baby has an ear infection)

Its really easy and super cheap!! Just get baking soda (in SA that bicarbonate of soda – NOT baking powder) and apple cider vinegar.

Just mix one tablespoon baking soda with one cup of water and put in a pump acting bottle, you can use more if you have thicker/curlier/greasier hair. Then just wet your hair and apply as much of the mixture as needed to your scalp and massage it in. Rinse well.

For conditioner you can use one table spoon apple cider vinegar with one cup of water, I put it in a spray bottle and just spray onto my ends and rinse. It really softens your hair, but be careful not to use too much as it can make your hair greasy.

I hope this works out in the long run, it would be so nice to save money like that and also be green 🙂 Its really good to know I am no longer putting chemicals on my hair and face.

My next step is to make my own baby products, it seems so wrong to put any chemicals on my baby… Watch this space…

Advertisements

Chucking out the disposables

1 Feb

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This is a list of things I found on Crunchy Domestic Goddess. In my efforts to go more green I have slowly been trying to get rid of more and more disposable things and replacing them with reusable items. This is me so far…

Paper napkins to cloth napkins – we barely use napkins, but I want to sew some the minute I get time and material.
Paper towels to cloth towels – CHECK – I stopped buying paper towel so long ago… just use lappies and cloth towels now.
Tissues to handkerchiefs – this one could be hard, as I am not the main user of tissues and I think giving Chris a hanky might not go down so well… But I will with Elijah
Paper, plastic or Styrofoam plates to your kitchen plates – CHECK – stopped buying paper plates too, although I must admit when you have more people than plates, I have been knows to get some… will buy more kitchen plates…
Disposable utensils to regular silverware – CHECK – never used them, and the ones we get with take out, I wash and use again anyway.
If you order food “to go” or have food to take home from a restaurant, bring your own container rather than accepting Styrofoam or plastic – never thought of this, but will see if I remember to do this, although it seems a bit too odd, so I may concede on this one.
Inexpensive plastic “Take & Toss” sippy cups to Thermos or Camelbak bottles or the Klean Kanteen – CHECK – we have thermal mugs and sippy cups which we use when we need.
Disposable water bottles to (again) reusable bottles like Thermos, Klean Kanteen or Camelbak – CHECK – I try to use glass bottles, the only times I have plastic bottles is when I went to the shop and forgot my water.
Plastic sandwich bags or paper lunch bags to reusable containers/bags – CHECK – I reuse ziplock bags to infinity… and I give Chris his lunch in a reusable plastic container.
Plastic straws to glass or stainless steel straws – I have NO idea where to get either of those, but we never use straws except when we get take out.
Swiffers (or similar products) to a broom and dustpan or mop (or use reusable cloths like cloth diapers/terry inserts in your Swiffer) – no clue what this is, but all my cleaning equipment are reusable cloths. Some are even old tops and pants that I cut up.
Disposable dust rags to cloth rags – CHECK – as per above
Disposable diapers to cloth diapers – This is a process, as Elijah has skinny legs, so his cloth diapers leaked something nasty… I was not about to let me baby go about in leaky pants, whoever’s lap he sits on would have poo left on it. NOT COOL! So I am slowly getting into it, they are fitting better now, but I only have 6 shaped ones, and the towelling ones are difficult to fit on, will work it out still.
Disposable wipes to cloth wipes (inexpensive plain washcloths work really well) – Another process, using facecloths for wipes, but I still use wipes when we go out, and to wipe the worst poo off…
Disposable feminine products (tampons, pads) to reusables like DivaCup, MoonCup, among others. You can even make your own pads. – um… yeah… will just skip this for now…
Grocery store bags to reusable bags – CHECK – I only buy plastic when I forget my reusables, which seldom happens now.
Disposable wrapping paper or gift bags to reusable cloth gift bags – I reuse wrapping and gift bags… so I don’t see it as a total waste yet, I never buy them really.
Single-use batteries to rechargeable batteries – CHECK – we bought a charger and batteries a while back, they are awesome. The only thing is the BIG batteries can’t be charged in our charger, so we still have to buy those.

Where have you cut on disposables?

Green and Frugal Beauty Routine

31 Jan

Image source

As soon as my current hair products are finished… and they are very close to finished… I will be starting my full out frugal beauty routine. This is hard for me to do, as a self-confessed product addict, I love the smells of hair products, so going all out “no-‘poo” and full on oil cleansing will be interesting.

My main reasons are:
1) Saving money
2) Its way better for my well-being
3) Way better for the enviroment
4) I’m sort of a crunchy-boho-hippy

I will write a post with pictures when I have been doing this for a while, to show you all how well it works. I have done the oil cleansing method before, so I know it works really well.

Has anyone else tried these?

Some Hard Things

26 Jan

I am a bit busy lately with the house and baby, trying to establish a routine so that I can get things done when he’s napping. Its hard! But he’s so lovely I don’t really mind that I don’t get to everything, now I can’t speak for my husband, but hey, I am doing my best.

I wanted to share some posts that I read this week, as I am not really posting much these days, this should give you something to ponder.

I am very passionate about modesty and helping women see the importance thereof, this post by Laura just made me think about it again, and this time in a different light… How do I want my son to view women.

In this new season of my life, I am struggling to realise that being a mom is my job. It is what I am called to be, and to do. Its a 24/7 job and often its thankless, Elijah doesn’t thank me for changing his nappy a million times, or getting up at dawn’s crack when he’s hungry. BUT this post made me realise that even though my friends have jobs which make money and make them “worth” something to a bunch of corporate people, my job means something to God. And hopefully to my husband and kids one day, even though I am no where near super mom 🙂

Now that I don’t work its also really hard to remember that I need to be way more frugal with our money, again when I look at my friends and all the awesome things they can buy their kids and themselves, its hard. Its the whole Ten Commandment thing, of Thou shalt not Covet… However, in comes Jill Savage… she is amazing, she has the greatest tips and encouraging words for living with less. I am dying to get my hands on her latest book, but its not yet in South Africa. Her post about being content made me realise that we don’t really need all the cool things, my kids will be fine playing with my old toys and with fewer toys and clothes. We need each other as a family and we need the Lord. We can totally manage with less, its just society thats conditioned us to want everything… advertising is amazing like that.

These are just some hard things I have thought of this week… and some posts that have helped me… or are helping me (I am in the process of becoming more content…)

Mommy Menu Plan

19 Jan

I got this idea from Rachel over at Frugal & Simple, and I thought this is the answer to my cooking-time dilemma…

source

Bi-weekly Menu Plan

Monday (Pasta)

1. Alfredo/Mac and cheese
2.Spaghetti Bolognaise/Lasagne

Tuesday (miscellaneous)

1.Scalloped potatoes with mince
2. Curry and rice

Wednesday (soup/salad)

1.Chicken salad
2.Bacon and egg salad

Thursday (sandwiches)

1.Toasted cheese and ham with salad
2.Party sandwiches

Friday (Pizza night/date night)

1 & 2 Pizza

Saturday (Pancakes/waffles)

1.Pancakes with savoury filling
2.Waffles

Sunday (braai/burgers)

1.Braai
2.Burgers with chips and salad

Mah Noo Hair

2 Nov

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I cut my hair in anticipation of the loooong time without being able to go out and have such things done… One more thing off my to do list.

I must just say, this cut and blow dry cost me R70… and she came to my house. Not to brag but my hairdresser is also the manager at Carlton International in Cape Gate… Schweet deal…

Things to Make/Do before Baby comes

1 Nov

I posted this two months ago… and it needs updating obviously so that it looks like I have done something.

I have 50 lists of things that need doing and making before baby arrives… I keep procrastinating… Here is what I hope is a consolidated list:

  • Clean and assemble the cot (need to check if it needs any TLC – its the cot my dad made for me, 24 years ago – he was clearly not a procrastinator)
  • Get a mattress for said cot
  • Make bedding and bumpers for same cot in the general theme we plan
  • Sell our 3 loose armless couches… they take up space, but it seems no-one wants them
  • Sort out and throw out – mostly cupboards and closets that still need sorting although this is a constant job…
  • Make my laptop have some semblance of order… right now a lot of great ideas are just chucked in random folders.although this too is a constant job…
  • Arrange a make up shoot with Jemma and Hendrik – for my portfolio – while I have a bit of time to work on it. (yeah, not happening… not till next year)
  • Arrange a cool maternity shoot – I used to think its corny, but am warming to the idea. (doing this on the 20th of November in Stellenbosch)
  • Write blog posts that can be posted at random when I can’t get to my blog.
  • Take the millions of boxes of stuff to donate to Hospice – I need someone to help me carry otherwise I would have done this already.
  • Do some paintings for the baby room, themed and maybe one with his name on, once we have decided on a name. (I made the dream sign – still thinking of doing his name on something – and I must collage the sheep pics I got for my baby shower)
  • Do at least one painting for our room – I have been threatening to do this for ages… the canvas is primed and lying patiently waiting.
  • Write more in the book I set aside for him, poems and letters to him. I am already a bad mom, neglecting my child... a work in progress…
  • Make a baby wrap… its simple and I am not paying R300 for one...
  • Make laundry bags for in our room and bathroom, so we can start putting laundry directly in there instead of on the floor etc.
  • Make a plan with a kitchen bin… plastic bag hanging over a cupboard door is just wrong…
  • Paint the baby room – yes this is important… he also needs curtains more suited to a baby…
  • Make some maternity tops… I keep stalling on going to the material store… its driving me mad.
  • Make sheep mobile and pillows for his room
  • Actually put my schedule to work, I keep saying I will, but end up never doing so… You may call me Queen of Procrastination (still procrastinating…)
  • Rework our budget – heaven alone knows where the money keeps going… ok I do know, we are having a baby and said baby needs stuff…
  • Get a haircut (doing this in a few minutes)
  • Pack nappy bag and hospital bag
  • Install car seat
  • Double check whether we need anything else for Elijah – clothes etc.
  • Borrow what I can from friends
  • Update this list

Why I am a Stay At Home Mom

3 Sep

source

I guess I always knew I would stay home with my kids, my mom did it and it only seemed right. My reasoning originally was that its cruel to have kids and drop them off at a day care to be looked after by strangers. But after much research, prayer, talking to other moms and listening to Pastor Mark Driscoll, we have been convinced and convicted that this is what God wants us to do.

“Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.”
Titus 2:4-5

As women, we are called to the ministry and job of raising and teaching our kids and making a home for our families as well as being helpers to our husbands. Just as men are called to lead and be the providers, we are called to be home makers. The Proverbs 31 woman (considered the model of a godly woman) is said to be called blessed by her husband and children, as she provides food, clothing, a clean and organised home and many other things. An interesting thing though, she does not necessarily provide nothing financially, she “works” from home (vs 16 and 24):

“She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard”

“She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.”

So there’s nothing stopping women from “working” but just from home. I must be honest that’s something I plan to do, with my make up and some crafts and sewing but I have yet to really get stuck in it (at 6 months pregnant though, its a bit harder than I though it would be to start a business up).

I will add now that if you have NO other option, like if you’re the sole bread winner or something (other than his own heart) is preventing your husband from being the provider, then of course, you have to work. But then if you can work from home at least mostly, then do it. I know I must seem mad, but Chris and I just said, there is NO way that we can hand our kids to someone else to raise, and then still pay for formula and nappies and day care and the extra medical bills that come with kid being in creche. There was no question, we have prayed about it, and the Lord has provided. You’d be amazed at how He provides when you let Him. This is our first month without my salary, but we have more than enough money to make it through. Yes, our budget got a bit cut, but all in all its worth it; Chris gets decent supper, and lunch, and I am not so tired that I can’t talk to him or spend time with him at night, so he can relax too. The house is clean, and I am way more relaxed and have time to make things for the house and baby, which in turn saves us A LOT of money. Its really worth checking what you would be able to save on, or live without when you don’t work. We save tons on petrol now as I don’t travel to work, and we save on “junk food” because I can make lunch and supper everyday. We don’t need a maid, as I do it. I don’t need to buy bedding, clothes and accessories for Elijah, because I am home to make all that stuff. The list goes on.

I’m not saying everyone can do this, but I do feel, as we’re called to be homemakers and mothers, its definitely the best to pray and think about it… and do all the sums you can, and TRUST THE LORD.

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life.
Matthew 6:25-27

In closing, I want to urge you to check out some other SAHM’s blogs and learn from them, yes they are mostly in America, but one or two are South African. The basic principles remain the same, God called us to be workers at home.

Lindsay Edmonds – Passionate Homemaking
Stephanie Langford – Keeper of the Home
Taryn Hayes – Hayes Happenings
Rachel Boreing – Frugal and Simple
Sarah Mae – Like A Warm Cup Of Coffee

Check my blogroll for some more 🙂

My New Kitchen Toy

17 Aug

I’m soooo excited about my new toy…

Will show you all my lovely bready goodnesses…

New Monthly Menu Plan Idea

14 Aug


source

Let me start by saying I love Lindsay at Passionate Homemaking – hers was basically the first blog I read and still am reading, it is filled with briliant, godly, frugal, natural information, ideas and advice. I love that she is close to the same age as me, and also has the same basic values as I do, and the same goals for our families.

She posts a seasonal/monthly menu plan every so often and I thought it was a brilliant idea, instead of thumb sucking every week what to make for supper, its a much better structure. I decided to make my own, using her basic idea. Obviously as my husband is not keen on very ethnical or spicy foods, I tweaked it to suit our family. So here it is…

Breakfasts
Monday to Friday: high fibre cereal or porridge or toast/muffins with coffee/tea
Saturday: Bacon and egg with toast or flapjacks
Sunday: scones or flapjacks or toast

Lunch
Sandwiches, fruit and salad
Wraps/pitas with salad
Leftovers
Hot dogs

Supper
Mondays: Chicken based meals (pies, pasta, or salad)
Tuesdays: Bible study (depends on who’s cooking)
Wednesday: Hospitality night – if we are having people over, in winter – soup and in summer salad or pasta. If no people, then the same really.
Thursday: Meat night (mince/steak etc) – spaghetti bolognaise/lasagne
Friday: Special Dinner night – homemade pizza, burgers or on occasion Nando’s or “healthier” take out (also potentially date night when baby is here)
Saturday: Pancakes or pizza – basically this is the “lazy” day – hope to have relaxing breakfasts sitting down on this day…
Sunday: Roast chicken or braai with roast veg and PUDDING (hoping to try limit dessert to one day a week)