As you probably know, I have recently become a stay at home mom for the first time in my 5+ years of mothering.
It has been quite the adjustment for me, but I'm finally getting the hang of things and am actually enjoying it more than I ever thought I would. (If you've followed me at all on facebook, you know that I am absolutely obsessed with doing laundry...I search the house for things to wash every day...sick...I know...)
I've also discovered a new "passion" that I'm slowly starting to embrace (and quite possibly taking waaaaaay too far!).
I'm discovering the world of cloth and homemade stuff.
Some would call it going more natural or "green." I, on the other hand, call it contributing to our family. Since I'm not working, I want to contribute in some small way- and no better way than to be "frugal" with our spending.
Over the years of struggling financially, we tried to cut out as many "extras" that we could in an effort to save pennies. One of the things that we cut out were all things paper. Instead of paper plates, we used glass, instead of napkins, we used wash clothes, instead of paper towels, we used dish towels. Those were all things that were costing us a lot of money at each trip to the grocery store, and it slowly helped us save a lot of money a little at a time.
As the years have gone by, the idea of using cloth instead of paper has become a way of life for us. I have a basket on my kitchen table full of old rags and washcloths that we use in place of paper napkins. For bigger spills in the kitchen, we use dish towels to clean up the mess rather than grab a handful of paper towels. We also don't have a single paper plate, plastic (disposable) cups, or plastic silverware anywhere in the house.
As we've grown accustomed to this way of life, things have been changing in my mind. We have chosen to cloth diaper (and cloth wipes) this newest baby. It's a decently large cost up front, but the money that it will save over years will be worth it.
I've also learned how to make my own laundry detergent that saves me around $10.00-$15.00 per month.
But have I taken things too far recently when I decided that our family is going to go to cloth toilet paper instead of flushable? (Don't worry...if you are ever a guest at our house, you will NEVER be forced to use cloth toilet paper!!!)
I wish I were doing these things for noble reasons like becoming more environmentally friendly or to teach my children to be good stewards of our money and our land. But, really, who am I kidding? I'm doing it because it's something I enjoy. (Not to mention that it saves us a few bucks along the way.)