Turkey time

Are you a lover of Turkey? Do you wait anxiously every year for Thanksgiving with friends or family only to wish you knew how to cook such a lovely bird? Well fear not my friends, I am here to share my tips/tricks for the perfect turkey.

For every turkey that I cook, I use this pan https://amzn.to/2ELcLME

What we need to get started:

The largest turkey you can get for cheap or free! I love the leftovers, there are so many fun things to be made with this versatile bird!

Reynolds baking bags

Nonstick cooking spray

A sprinkle of flour, (added into the bag to keep bird from sticking and to aide in the gravy making later) and your favorite turkey spices.

Let’s get thawing!


First thing you need to do is safely thaw your turkey if its frozen! The best way is in the fridge for up to a week before you intend to cook it. If you need to do a rapid thaw, you can do so in the sink with cold water as listed above. 

All washed, seasoned, and ready to roast. I follow the cooking times in the box of bags for the most part. Usually I just cook until golden all over and I can’t stand the smell any more! 

Prep time!

Once your turkey is completly thawed you are ready to prep and cook it. Once you open the package, your going to need to reach into the cavity and pull out the organs and neck. Usually they are in a paper bag, but some times loose. Eww I know, but some people eat them. I do not. Just toss em and wash your hands.

I usually give my turkey a quick rinse off, just because I don’t like the blood on it. Once it is rinsed I pat dry with a paper towel and season. Before sliding the turkey into the bag, spray the inside of the bag with nonstick spray, add a generous spoonful or two of flour, hold the bag shut and shake a few times to coat the bag inside. Now would be the time to slide the turkey into the roasting bag, and add stuffing if you like the cavity filled with stuffing. If not, just sprinkle bird inside and out with your favorite spices/seasonings and close up the bag. Make sure to puncture a few holes before sliding the beast and pan into the oven. I personally don’t bother with a timer, but if your new to this or tend to get distracted, please follow cooking times on the box of roasting bags, or on the turkey’s packaging.

Once the turkey is done cooking, you’ll need to cut the bag away and let it cool/rest for a few minutes before you dive in….If your making gravy from the drippings, grab your helper now and have them help you drain the juices into another pot. Place the turkey on a large platter and get it all cut up and presented to the plates.

I don’t have too many tips for carving the turkey as we don’t bother with that formality. We just get with the grub!! Enjoy your turkey and lemme know how it turns out!


Muffin Mom or Dedicated Mom?

Don’t be a muffin Mom…how to clean up a room in one attempt.

What is a muffin mom? To me a muffin mom is someone who works and works all day cleaning up after family and kids, and rarely has much to show for her exhaustive efforts at the end of the day. We’ve all been there and done that as parents, especially with young ones and being a stay home parent. This lovely gem of a poem has been around for many years, and completely sums up being a stay home parent. Sadly my kids are now past the cute mess making stage and are now in the lazy teen stage where they not only make the messes but still don’t clean them up! And when you tell them they should clean up after themselves, they roll their eyes and say “I know Mom”, well then by golly if you know it then why on Earth don’t you do it?!

If You Give A Mom A Muffin
by Beth Brubaker

If you give a mom a muffin,
she’ll want a cup of coffee to go with it.
She’ll pour herself some.
Her three year-old will come and spill the coffee.
Mom will wipe it up.
Wiping the floor, she will find dirty socks.
She’ll remember she has to do laundry.
When she puts the laundry into the washer,
she’ll trip over shoes and bump into the freezer.
Bumping into the freezer will remind her she has to plan supper.
She will get out a pound of hamburger.
She’ll look for her cookbook
(How to Make 101 Things With a Pound of Hamburger.)
The cookbook is sitting under a pile of mail.
She will see the phone bill, which is due tomorrow.
She will look for her checkbook.
The checkbook is in her purse,
which is being dumped out by her two year-old.
Then she’ll smell something funny.
She’ll change the two year-old.
While she is changing the two year-old, the phone will ring.
Her five year-old will answer and hang up.
She’ll remember she was supposed to phone a friend
to come over for coffee.
Thinking of coffee will remind her that she was going to have a cup.
She will pour herself some more.
And chances are,
if she has a cup a coffee,
her kids will have eaten the muffin that went with it.

Muffin mom cleaning is exactly that. We say we’re going to clean the house or a room, and end up getting distracted by one thing or another all day! We may get a few tasks done such as dishes or a few loads of laundry (which is huge some days) but we didn’t really get done what we set out to do that day.

After days, weeks, months of this type of cleaning we get frustrated and upset and frequently lose our cool, I know I do. You get tired and worn down looking at the same piles of the same dishes, laundry, toys, books, garbage etc. It really does wear you down and lead to anxiety and depression, which only compounds the issues. If you’re at that point in your life, please please please seek help!

Dedicated cleaning can be freeing! Yes its work at first, but once you get a room clean and organized you’ll have a sense of completion and self-gratification. It may only last a night if you have toddlers, but you’ll know you made a dent and can do it again. Dedicated cleaning is just that, you dedicate yourself to ONE room or area. You do NOT allow any distractions! No phones, Face Book, internet, laundry, dishes, cats/dogs, etc. This can be a challenge with little ones, if possible find someone to take them for a day or afternoon so you can really make headway. I know it’s not always possible.

Once you have carved out some time, you’re going to need some boxes or trash bags. Label them for donation, trash, goes somewhere else (laundry basket is a good choice for this one). Once you have your containers/bags set up, grab a water bottle and turn up your favorite motivating/keep you going music! Music is necessary for everything I do, but if you need quiet to concentrate than by all means, enjoy that quiet time!

Now the goal of dedicated clean day is NO distractions, so I actually set the boxes in the doorway! I’m keeping myself in the room to work. Only time I allow myself to leave is to use the bathroom or refill my water bottle. Which I have a Britta pitcher in my bathroom, so I can kill two birds with one stone! Do NOT stop to start laundry, or do any other ‘small’ tasks, you’re gonna end up a muffin mom again!

Decide which direction you’re going to work around the room. I usually start behind/at the door and work clockwise around the room until I reach the door again. Pick something up, decide which bag or box is goes in, place in the correct spot and keep going! It sounds silly but it really does help, and you can organize as you go along. Especially with the goes somewhere else basket! Anything that doesn’t belong in that room, toss in the basket. That will be a task for another day. By getting all the stuff that doesn’t belong in that room out, even if it’s temporarily stacked in a basket, will make the room your working of feel more organized and less cluttered.

If its something you’re keeping and belongs in that room, put it away. As you go around the room, you can make the same decisions over and over again, keep/put away? Give away/donation? Trash/recycle? Belongs somewhere else? As you do this, you will quickly see that you are making progress. The trail behind you is clean and clutter free, the boxes/bags are filling up, and the room is feeling better! If you can’t tackle the entire room in one attempt don’t feel bad. It took me about 2 weeks to do my office! But I was also rearranging furniture and making a craft space. But I followed the same steps. I gave away 2 boxes of stuff, threw away at least one big trash can of garbage, and another of recyclable! I now have a clean and organized work room! The best thing, it STAYS clean and organized. There is a place for everything and everything is in its place.

I sincerely hope I have given you some hope and confidence that you CAN tackle the mess. One room at a time, one basket of out-of-place items at a time. You will get it done, even if the little ones undo it. They don’t stay little long. Keep them safe and love the chaos. As always, have a blessed day!

A well stocked pantry

A well stocked pantry

I am not going to beat a dead horse here, but a well stocked and well-organized pantry is absolutely crucial to saving money and managing a simple kitchen. Also a basic knowledge of cooking and baking. You can’t turn to the internet for help on substitutions and simpler creations if you don’t have the basics on hand. you’ll end up going to the store for items and just caving in and buying that fried chicken that is cheap today because its cheap chicken Thursday. LOL As I write this it does happen to be cheap chicken Thursday. So I may splurge a bit and get the family some fried chicken. But I digress. Let’s get back to stocking the pantry.

What exactly is a well stocked pantry?

For me that is a 25 lb bag of flour, wheat flour, sugar, and soybeans. Then an extra container of things like brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, Crisco, chocolate chips, flavorings, food coloring, sprinkles (because everything is better with sprinkles especially pancakes), tomato product like sauce, paste, diced, beans both dry and canned, cream of chicken/mushroom soups, chicken/beef bullion or base, rice, yeast things like this. If I listed out everything I keep in my pantry you might just die laughing or kill your device’s battery.

By having these basic things on hand you can easily make a quick casserole outta scraps if needed, or throw some flour and yeast in the bread machine and make a loaf of bread to help fill the tummy.

 

How to start your well stocked pantry

 

  1. buying in bulk

Knowing the stores in your area, their sale cycles, and which ones are the cheapest are very helpful. That will take some time to get a system down for your family and your area, but it can be done. For us here in Washington we have WINCO and Grocery Outlet. When we lived in Illinois and New Jersey, we used ALDI and I loved it. Unit pricing is also a contributing factor. Sometimes buying the largest package isn’t actually the best deal. You must know how much each unit costs. Especially with sales and using coupons. Frequently its cheaper per ounce to buy several small bottles of say, laundry detergent, and just fill your jug up than it is to buy that huge jug…Don’t get me wrong, I love my huge jug with the dispenser! I just buy the cheap little bottles when they are on sale with coupons, and keep pouring them into the bigger jug. Costco can be a good deal, but not always sometimes your favorite store will have family packs of meat on sale, just buy a few of those and divide them up if you have a small family or don’t use a lot of meat.

2) repackage large amounts into sizes your family uses

I used to get the 5 lb/10 lbs and that would be enough for an entire month, but as our family has grown I need to buy two or three now.  Recently we have once again found huge packages of meat like ground beef and ground sausage in tubes/logs. Log o meat we call them. we buy a log o beef and a log o sausage and then divide them up into freezer containers when we get home. Keeps the cost of the meat per pound a little more reasonable, and keeps the freezer full.

a)Food-saver/vacuum seal machine

This is a new addition to my arsenal of helpful appliances! Now I have even more meat storing capabilities and ways to keep food fresh. I can buy a giant pack of pork chops at Cash N Carry (our local restaurant supply store that is open to the public) or Costco, and then seal them up in smaller portions for each meal. I also like to take the large turkey breast from Costco and slice it up into portions for salads or sandwiches and seal them. Great for camping!

3) icing buckets/food storage

Check your local grocery store’s bakery. They have the really good tight sealing buckets! They get icing in them. Ask the bakery manager if he/she has any they can give you/sell you. I got mine free by asking, but then that got popular and they started charging for them. Then when WINCO came along, they sell them in the back by the bulk food section.

4) good airtight containers

Many store carry them even the dollar store. I still have a few dollar store containers, but I’m slowly upgrading to better ones. I have several OXO brand pop top square ones that I’ve had since 2007. lol. Very good durable containers. They have even survived several military moves. My new favorites, are these black and red ones I got at WINCO. They have a twist lock/seal system. Very nice. I need to pick up another set next time I go. The other thing I use is these pretty red containers that I actually got for free off my local Buy Nothing Group. (more on that another post)

5) labels for containers

Tired mom brain won’t always remember which is baking soda and which is baking powder so make some kind of label. Many of my containers still have their hastily written label on a post it note which I then put clear packing tape over. Now I’m slowly changing them out to a much nicer label made of vinyl and applied in a uniformly organized state.

6) stock up on sales

Grocery stores have sales cycles. Meaning the same types of things go on sale every so many weeks and those sales rotate. Once you learn this for your area you can buy enough for your family for 6 weeks (sale rotation cycle). I’m not saying blow your budget here, but if you use a lot of something like sanitary pads and they are on sale for a good price, stock up if you have enough spending money. With 2 teens and myself that have periods, and another daughter who will get them in a few years, we use a lot of pads. I love when they go on sale! I’ll buy as many as I can, and send the girls through another line with more. We stash them in the drawer under the dryer and try to keep the drawer with enough for at least 2 months worth for each of us. That way there’s no emergency trips to the drugstore for a pad. Unless of course we’re out shopping and no one has on in their purse when the dreaded thing shows up.

7) all sales rotate by season

Almost all shelf stable items in the stores will be on sale at some point in the year. When they do go on sale buy shelf stable items enough for a year. It sounds crazy but if you think about it, it makes sense. In January when cold medications are on sale, I try to stock up at least a few bottles of each kind we use, because when you have a cold you don’t want to go out to get medicine. It’s nice to just go to the medicine shelf and grab a bottle. If they get close to the expiration date before you get to use them you can always donate it to a shelter or food bank too. Help out someone in need.

8) find the clearance section

Many grocery stores have a clearance shelf or area. Sometimes they put them in the aisle where that type of food is kept, or within the cold foods area for the cold foods. I have found mark – downs on everything from meats, dairy, cleaning, pet supplies, baby stuff, hair stuff, medicine, etc…And don’t forget to check the clearance items against your coupon binder! You can usually use coupons on clearance items too, unless it specifically says no on the coupon or in your stores coupon policy.

I sincerely hope that you have some ideas now on how to get your pantry stocked up and ready to help you save money and live better! Thank you for your time and have a blessed day.

Budget strategies for a shoe string budget

Talk about a shoestring budget! This is a pay stub from twenty years ago when my hubby was new in the navy and we were just married. $900 month! Granted that was 20 years ago, but that’s all we got. Seems like a lot until you have a family and a car payment to attend too. I can remember the bank calling me because they couldn’t process the car payment of $308.02…because there wasn’t the two cents in the account, only the 308. There were several times,I had to scrounge up the coins, drive to the bank and deposit them so that they could take the payment! Many important life lessons were learned in a short amount of time! Let me share them with you and see if they can help you out any.

Tips to ease your mind.

First…..Always attend to your basic four needs first…food, shelter, basic clothing, and transportation.

By planning out a menu for each day of the pay period, and then making your shopping list off of that you know you have the food covered. Shelter is your house payment or rent. Always pay that on time! I worked out an arrangement with our apartments to pay half on the 15th and half on the 1st. That way they had the full amount due on the first, and I had money for the other necessities. You end up paying a bit more the first month you do it, but then you can even out. You can actually apply this method to almost all your bills! I called the insurance company, utilities, credit accounts etc and worked it out with them. Again you pay have each check, and they have the full amount due on the day its due. This does take some tweaking depending on when you get paid, when bills are due etc….but having a set amount we got paid twice a month, and having a set amount we had left for spending helped me out a ton.

I knew ahead of time that I had X amount for food and could plan accordingly, I had X amount for clothes if kids needed it, I had x amount for pets which actually came out of the grocery money as I bought everything at Wal-Mart typically.

Second when you have such bills as car payments, auto insurance, house payment or rent, credit cards that is a huge stress when you see the pile of bills and lack of money with which to pay them!

CALL them! Seriously…..pour a cup of Joe, or your favorite beverage, set aside an hour or so to do this, make a list of the creditors you need to call. Ask them to adjust your payment day or if they would accept split payments based on when you get paid. Most companies will totally work with you. They want their money. As long as you are honest and forthwith they should work with you.

Mortgage companies won’t always. However my strategy for that is actually the same. Just split the money each check as needed, but move it to a separate account. If you need to go to your bank or credit union and open a new account. Make sure its a free one that won’t charge you fees for not having money there. Then when you get paid, just move the money amount you want to set aside for the mortgage into that account. Then when the bill comes due you can move it back into the account that has the payment card. Or better yet have the mortgage payment taken out of that account. Again you may need to call the company and talk to someone to get it set up, but they should be more than happy to do so.

Debt Collectors

They will call. They always do. Be honest and upfront. Tell them you know that you owe them money, but hounding you isn’t going to get them paid any sooner. Explain your budget to them, and ask what they can do to help you  to pay them.  Ask them for a lower payment, or a lower interest rate, a split payment option, a one time lower payment that will have them calm down for a set amount of time allowing you to catch up. Most of the time they will be willing to work with you on some things, if not ask them to at least stop calling you constantly, you’ll pay the minimum you can when you can.

Debt Snowball

I actually started doing this before we took Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University classes. I would pay off what ever I could, what ever had the smallest balance and then apply what I was paying monthly to that creditor to the payment of the next one. Thus sending a larger payment to them and paying them off faster! Once you have paid them off do the same thing. Take that money and apply it to what you were paying for the next one and now you have an even larger payment to that next highest bill! Thus your payments snowball and your debt level goes down!

Full Pantry and full tummies

When money is tight we all stress and worry. How do we pay it all, and feed our family? Having been on a less than shoestring budget our entire married life, I have found many ways to make things stretch.

The easiest way to save money of groceries is seriously classic! Have a well stocked pantry, and learn to cook from scratch! Not easy for many, but having learned to cook and bake from my Grandmothers, it came natural for me. Thankfully these days you can look up cooking tutorials on You Tube and other places on the internet.

What is a well stocked pantry? Well that will vary by family and dietary needs, but it down to the simplest definition it means that you have a small extra store of things you use and cook with on hand. Basics like flours, sugars, baking soda, baking powder, oatmeal, salt, pepper, spices, oils, lard/shortening, sprinkles (because life is stressful) Etc.
When money is tight and you’re trying to stretch your food to go as far as possible these basics will help a ton!

How do I stock a pantry when I can’t afford food? I have been there, done that as well! My easiest answer for that is trying to buy one or two extra pantry things each grocery trip. Look for sales or coupons that may help. I also keep my total going on a calculator as I shop when I only have a set amount to spend. If I have $150 I get the most important things on the list first, like milk, meat, produce, etc. Then if I’m still below budget, I’ll get fill ins like an extra bag of flour, can of shortening, bottle of oil, etc. Slowly but surely you’ll have a full pantry and extra household items, so you don’t have to buy them as often, which also can save money. Couponers call this stock piling.

When the US had its economic fall in 2009 it hit our family pretty hard. Our apartment raised the rent, we were behind on bills, my husband was deployed, we were beyond broke! After rent, car payment, insurance, we had 150 for groceries for 2 weeks. How do you feed a family of 5 with a pregnant momma?

I hit the internet searching for frugal and cheap menu ideas/recipes and found one of my favorite websites, www.hillbillyhousewife.com. Using her recipes and basic cooking supplies I was able to stretch our meals and make that meager budget work.

I began making our own breads for the week on Mondays (see my house maintenance post.) I did and still do utilize a bread machine for this! So easy, and the smell of fresh bread fills the house. Mmmmm Along with the fresh bread, I usually also had a batch or two of treats such as granola bars or cookies going for the weekly snacks. The boxed kind are so expensive compared to just a few cents and a little time for fresh.

Crock pot meals like soups and chilis use less meat, so you can save some money there. Another way to save on meat, is to buy a big roast and use it for many meals. Turkey is my favorite! I cook a whole turkey several times a year, because I can get almost 2 weeks worth of food outta one $20 bird! Now that’s frugal!! In fact some of our recipes we now prefer with the left over turkey as opposed to the chicken we used to use.

Another frugal thing to do is use your left overs or scraps of things to make a whole new meal. For example, you have 2 half jars of spaghetti sauce, 2 bags of cheese with only a cup or so in each, and a well stocked baking cupboard/pantry….what do you make?? PIZZA!!
Throw your ingredients in the bread machine, use the spaghetti sauce as pizza sauce as it’s virtually the same thing, sprinkle the cheese on and bake! VOILA pizza from scraps. I can’t tell you how many times I have pulled pizza outta thin air for hungry kids. if you have left over meats, throw those on for a more filling pizza.

These are just a few ideas that have gotten us by in some tight times. I hope they help you and or get your brain going on ways to save money.

Have a blessed and beautiful day!

Easy and tangy Greek style Instant Pot Yogurt

First off what the heck is yogurt anyhow?

Yogurt, or yoghurt is a food produced by bacterial fermentation of milk. The bacteria used to make yogurt are known as “yogurt cultures”. Wikipedia I highly suggest you spend a few minutes and get lost on Wikipedia reading about yogurt! Its pretty amazing stuff.

Now that we know what it is, lets dive into how to make it! There are lots of methods, and you can spend days on Pintrest looking at recipes. Believe me, I did just that. Once I found a few consistent recipes and methods, I finally decided to give it a go! My family of 6 eats a crap ton of yogurt. I was spending upwards of 30 dollars a month or more on just yogurt! We won’t even go into how much cheese, that’s next on my things of how to learn to make……. Our favorites for their filling nature and high protein was Greek Style/ Strained yogurt. But at around $4 a container for the family size and having to get 4 or 5 of them every pay-day I had to find a cheaper solution.

Our favorite grocery stores rotate who has milk on sale for the cheapest. So I went and got a gallon when it was $1.50…….cheaper than gas! Also picked up a cheap candy thermometer, as I didn’t own one and a plain cultured yogurt to start out.

The first few times I made yogurt I did the stove top method, and incubated in the oven, which works great but I’m going to show you my method for using the instant pot. It’s not any faster, just less babysitting by me. (less standing and stirring)

Let’s get started! What you’re going to need:

  • Instant Pot I have this one https://amzn.to/2M5TxAj

  • Thermometer that can read from 110* to 200* F

    …. digital or old school no matter on that

    milk (whole milk is my preference as it yields a

    higher protein and thicker yogurt) ½ g or 1g

    depending on how much you want to make.

  • One single serve of LIVE culture bacteria yogurt

    PLAIN (this is going to be your starter the first

    time you make it) I have my home-made starter

    cubes in the picture. (will explain later in post)

  • Time and patience….. from start to refrigerator about 10-13 hrs ( depending on incubation)

  • Jars and lids or other containers for storing yogurt

  • Greek Yogurt strainer (optional. I strain mine for another day for super thick yogurt) I use this https://amzn.to/2ArMFMs

Now that you have your supplies out your all set to begin!

Step 1: Heat the milk. Make sure your liner pot is in, I haven’t done it yet but someday I’m sure I’ll make that mistake and pour directly into the pot. If that happens check Pintrest on how to remedy. Once your milk is in put the lid on and close it up. Sealing or venting makes no difference here, I use sealing just because its habit.

Step 1 b: Push Yogurt then push adjust until it reads boil……wait for it to beep.

 

Step 2: Take its temperature

…. Like our own bodies we want it at just the right temperature. Should be 180*F. If you did a full gallon it might not be. If that’s the case, leave the lid off and push saute. Keep an eye on it here, you don’t want it to go to high. Keep the thermometer in the milk and stir until it just reaches 180*. Then stop the machine and continue with the next step.

Step 3: cool it down and prepare starter/culturing

This is a crucial step but not a hard one. We don’t want to kill the helpful bacteria when we add the culture, but we need to wake em up! But to do that we must cool the milk down to 110*F… you can do this the slow way if you’re tending kids or doing house work by just leaving the pot on the counter and stirring/skimming every few minutes. Will take about 30-45 min this way. Or you can do it the fast way which is to fill your sink with cold water and set your instant pot liner into the cold water while whisking. DO NOT LET THE WATER GET IN YOUR MILK………ICK

Should take about 5 min or so to bring it down to 110*. Once you get the milk down to the correct temperature take your liner out of the sink and DRY IT off on the bottom and sides. Now your ready to add your starter/culture… and no we’re not taking the milk to the symphony. Lol

Now we’re going to take our culture/starter and add it to the warm milk. If your on your making your first batch you’ll need to whisk in the single serve container of yogurt you bought. I like to scoop out one cup of the warm milk and whisk it into a bowl with my starter to get it nice and mixed, then add to the pot. In my picture you can see I am doing that but with a cube of previously made yogurt that I froze to be my starter from another batch. Once you have your starter mixed with that one cup of warm milk, go ahead and pour into the pot and give it a few gentle stirs.

       

Now your ready for the LONG part. Incubation! Place the liner back in the instant pot and close her up. Your going to want to push YOGURT and then ADJUST to the time desired. I use 12:30.

That’s 12 hours and 30 minutes. This gives me a nice tangy, nearly lactose free yogurt. (the beneficial bacteria feed on the lactose, so by incubating for 12 or more hours they have essentially eaten it all. Adjust your times accordingly on this one if your lactose intolerant, as I have no scientific equipment to test this). Now you can go about your day if you start it in the morning. I like to start the process after dinner and incubate over night.

That’s it! Now you wait. When it is done with this step, scoop into jars or containers with lid and place in fridge. Now for your starter you’ll want to save a small jar aside, or place some in ice-cube trays and freeze. Once frozen I put in a Ziploc bag to keep them fresh and so they don’t get freezer burn. But if you forget, which I do frequently, it’s not the end of the world as your going to thaw it out and mix it back in anyhow. Should keep for several weeks. I make a gallon every month. This is great with home-made jam and granola! Will share those recipes as well.

Happy eating and stay classy!

Making housework manageable

Let’s face it, most of us really don’t like a messy house! But we also don’t usually enjoy housework either. Over the years we have lived in tiny apartments, duplex, and many different sizes and styles of single family homes thanks to the military way of life. However the one thing that stays the same wherever the Navy threw us, is house work. Horrible, repetitive house work. Here to be the bane of our existence. It’s not so bad once you get used to it really!

My favorite time of doing house work came at a time when we had 3 small children and we lived in a 3 bedroom apartment. Barely enough room to turn around, yet we had a full house worth of ‘stuff’ in that apartment. Plus pets!

It was at this time in my life that I developed a cleaning/house maintaining schedule. This also happened to be at one of our poorest times financially. More on that another time. Back to the schedule.

Three young kids, multiple pets, a husband on deployment, and me being pregnant lent for an immediate need for some simplicity. Couldn’t do it all in one day, so I divided it up.

My weekly, easy to manage and manipulate schedule

  • Monday was Make it Monday. On Monday’s I’d make all the breads, snacks, sandwiches (home-made uncrustables) and soy milk for the week. (my daughter had a dairy allergy and we made our own soy milk. Still do once in a while.) Not only was this a time saver for later in the week, it was very price effective as well. Especially on the uncrustables. Anyone with little kids can relate.
  • Tuesday was Trash and toilets. All trash cans emptied and wiped down. Litter boxes and bedding cleaned up for furry pets. Simple and kind of rest day.
  • Wednesday was Wash it and wipe it down. Wash all laundry. Wipe down bathrooms, light switches, door knobs, window sills, base boards etc.
  • Thursdays was Tanks, toilets, trash and towels. Fish tank maintaining, wipe down of toilets, clean out cat boxes and pet bedding as needed. Wash towels used for fish tanks, and finish any laundry left.
  • Friday was fix it/ finish it Fridays. Fix things set aside during the week to mend, or repair such as toys, clothes, books, etc. Or finish any chores that had to be set aside for appointments or unscheduled things.
  • Saturday and Sunday are spent with family and friends. Laundry and dishes as needed because lets face it, they will never end.

Obviously this is just a list of the weekly extra chores, not including things like feeding kids, or keeping up with the dishes. Just the pesky chores that must be done that no one wants to do. I hope this helps some or gives you some kind of brainstorm into how you can simplify your cleaning. You don’t want to do all your chores on one day and wear yourself out! Trust me I do that way too often.

About me

About me

I am Christine and I go by Chris. Only bill collectors get to call me Christine. Lol. My life and inspiration for this blog is chaotic, stressful, beautiful, sad, memorable and somethings I’d rather forget.

We were married young, all ready in debt, and thrown into parenthood immediately. Not to mention having to learn the ways of a military family and military life! Frugal living became an immediate necessity not a choice. Learning to budget, pay bills, deal with bill collectors, and manage a house hold on a less than shoe string budget became a hobby and something I eventually became really good at, though we never had any money in savings. We never went with out and our children always have what they need. Though many times, vacations were put off or shortened.

18 years of struggling, 4 kids, 6 moves, and several deployments (including living apart for 2 years) later and we have retired from the Navy and are slowly transitioning to civilian life. Still struggling to make ends meet and keep them tied. We have grown together and apart, we have all changed in many ways. My old soul, in a young ish body is fighting its way to the surface.

More and more I find myself wishing for the romantic simplicity of the days gone by. Music from the 40s and 50s fills my home as I research classic recipes with simpler ingredients. A garden is slowly developing in our tiny yard. Plans are being made for purchasing a small acreage farm and eventually moving out of the city. However bills still have to be paid, and kids are still in school so the farm is just that a dream for now, but it won’t be far off. In the mean time, we will learn and practice keeping a simple and classic style of living.

I find myself wanting to clean up our eating/clutter/living/ home etc not because its cheaper (although that is usually the case) and not because its healthier, but because it IS the old way. The Classic way…..

Making things myself, stretching food/ meals with what we have, buying only what we need for that pay periods meals, tending the garden, putting up fruits and berries in the summer.

My goal with this blog is to help myself and my readers find their love of classic things and frugal living. Whether that be in an apartment, a home, in the country, or in the city all of us can take the simplicity of the past and apply it to our present to preserve our future.