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Category Archives: sustainability

Toilet Paper and Seedling Time! To save a few pennies…

Toilet Paper and Seedling Time! To save a few pennies…

This year I am keeping it simple. (Work hard, but not get carried away.) Our garden was prepped last fall with compost and chipbrush. I am praying and believing for soil that is rarin’ and ready to go by Last Frost.

Our first batch of seedlings are in the windowsill, in homemade newspaper boxes. Easy and free. I also have eggshell cups waiting for the smaller seedlings, when it is time to start those.

The seeds are all heirloom seeds I saved from the last couple years. Praise God for that! God invented sustainability.  (What are heirloom seeds? non-genetically-modified seeds; the plants they produce will give seeds that can be saved to produce after their own kind. The seeds and seedlings from the store are usually gmo, and will be good only for one growing season. If you save the seed from your gmo plants, you will get an inferior or failed crop the next time around.)

What was my other money-saving tip? Huh? Oh, yeah…

Hubby and I decided that toilet paper is entirely too unhealthy, non-sustainable, and EXPENSIVE, so I went ahead and purchased Soft Spray  (pronounced “biday”) http://products.mercola.com/toilet-bidet/ It was our Valentine’s Day present. I know! So romantic. It was what I WANTED 😛

Don’t worry, we will also continue to keep TP on hand How do I feel about the bidet? I love it, but it is a spraying hazard. Picture trying to get a 3-year-old’s cute little bum all the way back to the right spot on the potty. Ha! The water goes spraying straight up into the air. Everyone gets wet, and all in the wrong places. So, the learning curve is happening.

Overall, I really like the Soft Spray Bidet. Definitely an investment.

Cheers!  To clean bums and happy gardening.

Update, 6/2016. The bidet is not all that. Oh well.

Survival Summit

Survival Summit

Free Survival Summit live-streaming conference this week, each day’s session available just 24 hours.  http://thesurvivalsummit.com/day-1/

Today’s speakers are:

    • Training Your Mind To Think Clearly In Life Or Death Scenarios–Travis Haley
    • How To Grow All Your Own Food, Without Irrigation… Even If You Live In A Dry Climate–Paul Wheaton
    • Locating The Perfect Survival Retreat or Homestead–Marjory Wildcraft
    • Top 10 Off-The-Grid Cooking Solutions In A World Without Power (Indoors & Outdoors)–Tess Pennington
    • How To Survive A Nuclear Event & The Spreading Fallout–Dr. James Hubbard

Today’s resources available for free until 8:59 AM tomorrow. I’m not missing out.

Services I No Longer Pay For

Services I No Longer Pay For

Dry cleaning and a few other chores one can do just as well at home; how is the quality? Sometimes, one can decide that good enough is good enough; some services one may opt to skip completely; and for the rest… save it for a professional.

  1. Hair care; I cut my family’s hair, including my own. I decided that I would be ok with the occasional “oops!” for the return of saved time and money. (I used to color my hair too, but no longer want the chemicals, nor do I have the time.) I actually get compliments on my hair a lot, which tells me that I must be doing something right. https://westernwoman.wordpress.com/2011/12/14/cut-your-own-hair/ https://westernwoman.wordpress.com/2013/01/08/cut-your-own-hair-short/
  2. Carwashes; we pay for it only in freezing weather (which is most of the time in Minnesota!) We wash our own cars as long as the hose works.
  3. Food Service; Yes, I’ve said it before, and I’ll keep saying it, because I used to spend so much money on restaurants and coffee shops! Can someone explain to me why? I much prefer my own cooking, anyway. And on rushed days–I can make a mean PB&J sandwich, and a travel mug of rich, dark coffee that makes my Spanish roots proud.
  4. Cable TV; ok, we have never actually had TV. You can watch or read pretty much anything online! Just to say, we don’t subscribe for TV, newspapers, magazines, etc.
  5. Carpet cleaning; We have a carpet steamer. With kids, that is an investment! In my perfect world, we will no longer have carpets, just a few throw rugs and cozy furs.
  6. Home improvement; we have never actually hired out, but I just thought I’d mention that we are personally responsible for all our painting, flooring, insulation, etc. That is part of home-ownership. May as well jump in the deep end.
  7. Lawn-care; in progress… We are so pleased with our friend who does our lawn, but we are working on having a riding lawn mower ready for the spring, as we really need to be saving where we can. We also handle our own trees.
  8. Dry cleaning; Totally DIY! (Spot clean first; Put your items in a zippered pillowcase with a wet washcloth with about 12 drops of essential oils–I like cedarwood with a hint of lavender; Dryer on gentle cycle for 30 minutes; Check for any mending, use the steamer if needed, and it’s done; minus the toxic chemicals of conventional dry cleaning.) Are you in love?
  9. Plumbing; you can trouble-shoot a couple things, but save most of it for a professional! Do I need to draw pictures?
  10. Electrician work; that is the job of a professional! ZZzzzzzttttT!

The more we learn to handle ourselves, the more we are prepared for life in general. Sustainability? Yes, we have our stores of supplies, which we add to every month. But, even more importantly, we are learning to take care of ourselves, rather than be dependent on society. This saves money, and is a vital step in preparedness.

Happy self-servicing!

The Beginning of the End

cover[1]A really good read! Enjoy. I ordered it on Kindle so I wouldn’t have to wait for it to be shipped. This well-studied novel is a blend of End-Time Prophecy, economic predictions, sustainability, and (of course!) romance. Grab some hot chocolate, a Bible to cross-reference, a grain of salt, an open mind, and some coffee… because you might find yourself unable to put the book down!

http://www.amazon.com/Beginning-End-Michael-Snyder-ebook/dp/B00CNKRHRE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1389241481&sr=8-1&keywords=the+beginning+of+the+end#reader_B00CNKRHRE

Christmas Budget: 10 Ways to Save

Christmas Budget: 10 Ways to Save

We are not poor, but why should we pretend to have money to burn? Christmas boot ornament

 

 

Some ways I am saving this season;

  1. Finding a budget and sticking to it. In our case, about $50 for us, the same for Operation Christmas Child.
  2. Shoeboxes: We wanted to give the same away as we keep for ourselves. We were able to fill our shoeboxes full on a budget by finding items we already had. You can use things like new TY bears, etc. I also dipped into our personal food budget and donated some packaged dried fruit to the boxes.
  3. Myself and my husband love quality time, especially with his occupation taking him to North Dakota for the majority of the time. You have to think if your giftee’s love language is gifts, or something else. We chose very small, practical gifts for each other. Socks and slippers. We will get creative and give each other something else besides that doesn’t cost money. It may include a movie, massage, popcorn, and more quality time!
  4. The girlies are easy to please. Sparkly, fancy, and lots of (recycled) wrapping. I ordered them each a fancy fan for about $4. I also have a free dollhouse coming their way from my friend Nancy who cleans houses. She has scored me a number of free things, which is a blessing! I might also find some other little presents for them–free items I already have, or that I can make. I think they would like a chocolatey treat as well.
  5. For friends and family, I try to be mindful of who needs a gift?  Again, love language. My sis Ruthie is big on giving and receiving gifts, so it is super-fun to give things to her. The rest of the family may or may not get something. A hostess gift is always nice, but I like it to be something very useful, like a consumable item. Food, wine, artisan soap, etc.
  6. Gift exchange is the way to go for the extended family. We will do a White Elephant Gift Contest. Whoever gifts the funniest, most outrageous, worst gift will get a prize! The prize will probably be a dressed rabbit, some fresh eggs, or something I can produce. Someone suggested the winner gets all the white elephant gifts, but I draw the line. No one has room to store that much stuff!
  7. Consumables  are great, because everyone loves free food, lotions, etc. and it will save them money, rather than giving them something they were not planning on buying (or maybe the didn’t even want it!?) Cheese, homemade bread, preserves, wine, coffee, chocolate, fresh eggs, fresh produce artfully displayed in a basket… all of these are a very nice gift that will almost certainly be loved. Remember, your giftees are probably on a budget too, and the little extras to put on the table help out!
  8. DIY:  Remember the space issue. If someone is short on space, don’t give them a wall hanging or a knickknacks for the mantel, unless you just know them that well! Can I stress Consumable? I will be making wine (pretty, frugal, and fun; be discerning, because not everyone drinks wine); Fresh Bread is always a hit; Cheese is fun, easy, and not too expensive to make; I will be gifting some dressed rabbits, fresh eggs, and eggnog. If I get really ambitious, I may DIY some Christmas tree ornaments as well–frugal and commemorative, but not something that will add clutter to someone’s room if they are limited for space.
  9. Go green! Anything you give will need to be stored somewhere. Does your giftee have room for it? Also, is it wrapped with a lot of plastic? Shop smart, or don’t shop at all. If it might go in the landfill, don’t waste your money. If possible, buy used. It’s ok, really. If you don’t feel comfortable with that, then buy something consumable–always a safe bet. Sometimes you can give something you already own, like a clothing item to a sister (we always do this! So fun!) or a family keepsake. Save money and the environment at the same time.
  10. Last of all, give a gift of time. Coupons for back massages, decorating or painting a room, babysitting, etc. are amazing. I have only ever received a couple of those, and would love to see some more come my way! Free, fun, and totally my love language.

If someone in your life is worthy of a gift, be creative. Figure out their love language before stressing about what they might want–that only makes sense! Some people simply need the cash. Others really would prefer an intangible gift. But don’t burden yourself with something out of your price range. Do what works for you.016