Here are 5 ways that our family lives cheaper, simpler and healthier. What are some things your family does?
1.) Use Cloth Napkins
We have been using cloth napkins for several months now and the only time it was an issue was towards the beginning....when I didn't have a good stock of them. =) I buy a pack of rags from Walmart that has different colors in it. I don't particularly like using the white ones as napkins and now that I'm building up my stock of them, I am starting to use the white ones for cleaning purposes and keeping the colored as napkins. I just bought a new pack and they have some beautiful fall colors!! I'm going to have to get some more of those. =) Its so nice to walk past the napkins and know I'm saving close to $4 on something that will just get thrown away. Now, if we are having a big dinner party, I will gladly go out buy some for that. =)
2.) Re-grow your Green Onions
Instead of throwing out the ends (roots) of your green onions, put them in a pretty jar, add some water and they will start to grow again! Attempt to remember to change the water every 2-3 days. =) Not only do you save money, but its fun and decorates your kitchen counter.
3.) Make Your Own Cleaning Solution
Vinegar is my best friend when it comes to cleaning! I bought a spray bottle for about or less than (can't remember exactly) $2. I fill it about half full with vinegar, finish filling it with water, shake to mix it up and get to cleanin'! You can add your favorite essential oil if you'd like. I love to add 10-15 drops of cinnamon or lemon. Lemon is wonderful to use as its a natural disinfectant. I think my favorite place to use lemon is in my fridge. mmmmm!! You could get a second spray bottle, fill it with water, add 20-25 drops of your favorite essential oil and spritz about the room for a natural air freshener. My kids have a blast doing that job. =)
4.) Make Your Own Scrubbing Powder
I found this simple recipe here - http://www.thenewhomemaker.com/dishwasherpowder
Simply add 1 cup Borax, 1 cup Baking Soda, 1/4 Salt, 1/4 cup Citric Acid to a jar, shake/mix up and you're ready to go! This can also be used as dishwasher detergent. I didn't want to spend the money on citric acid, so I used the suggestion she gives of getting Lemonade flavored Koolaid. Worked great! My dishwasher died, so I only use it for cleaning purposes right now. I use it for cleaning sinks, toilets, and tubs. Smells super yummy! When I was pregnant with my fourth, I actually wanted to eat it. :-/ Don't worry! I didn't! My husband bought me a steak to ensure I wouldn't try it. (I'll have to remember that for the next one hehehehehe)
We rarely use medicine - prescription or over the counter meds. I think the only kind of medicine I have in the house is Tylenol. Our family LOVES to use home remedies! And we've had great success with them. This is my herb basket that I keep stocked with some handy herbs. Some of the "staple" herbs I keep in my house are Garlic Tablets (odorless :-P), Echinacea, Vitamin C, Black Elderberry (I just found a recipe to make my own, so I'll let ya know how it turns out), Magnesium, Papaya, Arnica (tablets and cream) and Calcium/Magnesium. These are the herbs we use the most for everyday things. I've recently done some research on Red Raspberry and I'm thinking its going to become a staple too. =)