Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Budgeting, Pom Poms and Laundry

Budget. Such a dreaded word. It makes you cringe and brings on an instant headache, doesn't it?

I start to stress just thinking about how I could better our bottom line, knowing I'm not doing everything in my power to improve the economic well-being of my family. Well, with a little creativity I'm trying to stick to our budget a little better by not purchasing things I could easily and cost effectively make myself. It's amazing how much easier it has been this month to have money left over at the end of each week to pay bills AND put some cash into our savings account.

With my new-found desire to make my own things, rather than purchasing them, I'm hoping it will help us stick to our budget a little more. Our goal is to be able to save up and pay cash for home renovations and vacations. Wishful thinking, but, I'm sure if I put my mind to it I can pull it off. We have become a little too comfortable spending un-wisely on things we could very easily do ourselves - with a little creativity. So its time to hunker down and jump feet first into the world of DIY (do it yourself). I'm well aware these little decisions are going to add more mass chaos into my life - Im just hoping the payoff in the end is big enough to keep me out of the loony bin! Cross your fingers for me :)

The following are just a couple of the things I have been doing on my own to save a little here and there.

Remember that link I posted about the pom pom garland? Well, I have been slowly putting together some pom poms to complete my garland and so far I think they are SO cute and cheerful! Please dont mind the dark pictures, I've been making them in bed at night and the lighting isn't great in our room.

They are going to be the perfect addition to Punkin's birthday banner. I was going to order a really cute banner with her name on it to re-use each year, but after seeing the price on the personalized banner I decided to try and make my own, at a fraction of the cost. I will have saved about $25 doing it myself. Normally I would have just ordered it to save time, but, I'm slowly learning that by doing it myself not only am I saving money, but I'm kind of having fun too! I will post pictures of the finished product when I get a chance to complete it. Here's a little snip-it of how they're made:

The Tools: Yarn, Scissors, Clover Pom Pom Maker

So easy to make, just wrap and cut! Sorry for the dark picture.

After popping it out of the Pom Pom maker and before being trimmed up.

She's got the whole pom pom in her hand....I just had to type that :)
There you have it. Re-usable and super cute for a little kid (or to make you feel like a kid!) and so inexpensive to make!

So, now I know you're wondering what laundry has to do with this, right? Well, detergent is one of the things I HATE to purchase, so expensive, and its gone before you know it. And the cheap versions never seem to get your clothes as clean as the more expensive ones. It's enough to make me want to scream!
While browsing some articles this week I popped across Jenae at I can teach my child's post on homemade detergent.
Don't judge me - I know you're all laughing, but keep reading and it just might get you raising an eyebrow and saying "interesting" too.
She totally has me hooked and wanting to try it (especially after seeing the before and after pictures she took, comparing her homemade version to the brand I've been loyal to for years - Tide).
How can you go wrong for $.01 a load?!?! Seriously! So this week Ill be off to purchase the items necessary to make a 5 gallon bucket - yup, you heard me - 5 GALLONS! Anyone want some??? I hope it works, if not what on earth am I going to do with 5 gallons of homemade detergent?

And last but not least...I also made a few quarts of chicken/vegetable stock to freeze this past weekend too. Again, its cheaper than purchasing stock at the grocery store, and it tastes better too.

I use this stuff for everything! From soups to casseroles and everything in between it adds much more flavor than just using water alone. And the house smells I N C R E D I B L E for the 6 to 8 hours that it is simmering down. Look for the recipe later this week.

I hope I can keep this crazy little plan going - besides saving money and giving me something to do (24 hours a day!) it's also helping me manage my time a little better now that I have more things on my plate.

Think some happy thoughts for me as I dive into the world of practicality. I can do this - I know I can! :)

1 comment:

Erin said...

I love the smell of chicken stock cooking, too! So easy and tasty! Love the Poms! I have yet to try the detergent, but I want to!

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