Saturday, July 9, 2011

My Newest Adventures

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.)



Lis said...

Oh we sooo think alike! My new biz which I truly can't risk jinxing by talking about it ;) is all natural aka cheap products. At home we too use cloth everything, although my husband was never aboard with the cloth toilet paper..My daughter and I were but that has changed now that we don't have a washer and dryer and my husband does laundry LOL! When we get one you can bet we'll go back...I also used to make my own personal products since I don't have a baby to diaper, that's the next big expense..I used cloth a lot on my daughter as a baby because she had allergies to everything..but I never even thought about cloth diapers bk then. I was 18 and strongly influenced by other mothers...then reality hit and I realized that's not who I another novel, boy I'm talkative today! Hugs and best wishes on your frugal adventures. BTW, you can clean your whole house using 5 products ;)

Rachel said...

I like your ideas for helping to save our environment, but have you ever considered couponing?? I am also a stay-at-home mom and my husband is a self-employed farmer. I didn't want to go back to work after our daughter, Hannah (lol), was born 3 yrs. ago, so I tried to find ways to help us cut back and save money. I jumped aboard the "coupon train" and have never looked back. I have saved us so much money and pay just pennies for everyday items like toothpaste, shampoo/conditioner, soap, bodywash, toilet paper, and other household necessities. Our grocery bill is about a quarter of what it used to be.

Just some food for thought!

Julie said...

Way to go :) We haven't made the jump to cloth diapers yet (can't convince my hubby of that one!) but I might! I've made my own wipes and clothes for my kids. All in the interest of trying to save money :) Keep it up! You never know what you'll come up with!

Christi said...

Good for you. I encourage you to do some couponing. I don't save an a ton of money, but I can save some with careful shopping/planning. I spent $32 at Target today and saved $28. My husband was amazed.
We have use cloth napkins for a few years (if you want napkins think about making some or getting them at a thift store). And we use reuseable towels for cleaning and then dish towels. Some friends were so upset that i had no paper towels to clean a spill during a playdate that they bought me a roll. Ha ha. I sent regular utensils with the kids' lunches (and our lunches). No cloth toilet paper or diapers (since we don't need diapers) though. i get funny about poop! We compost and have a garden and like to recycle...we're not perfect but it's fun for us to reduce our waste.

JEN said...

we've been using cloth wipes since we started cd'ing our firstborn 6 years ago. It just made sense one day when we ran out of tp and i was like omg organic bamboo velour on my booty, yes please! lol. and now our 6yr old is a tp snob, she is all "i don't know why anyone uses THAT stuff, it gets stuck in your butt!" bwaha!!

Ausmerican Housewife said...

Cloth tp? You soooooooooooooooooooo lost me there Jill. ;)

Fabric everything else but diapers and tp. :p

sidsmom2mickey said...

Good for you Jill!!!

So when you wipe what do you do with it, toss it into a bucket to wash later, like cloth diapers?

I haven't made that leap there yet, but we're doing cloth with this baby, as well as wipes and we're transitioning from paper/plastic to cloth or utensils.

Peach said...

We use cloth for everything but diapers and tp. We want to switch to cloth diapers and wipes soooo bad... we just can't afford the upfront expense right now :(

Green In OC said...

I'm a cloth TP user and I love it!

I would suggest getting a bidet of some sort. A cheap one like this will do,

I bought bamboo/hemp clothes and OMG, luxury! I got mine here:

I keep the clean ones in a basket on one side of the toilet and the used ones in a small swing top trash can on the other.

The Real Life of a Red Head said...

Green in OC- thank you so much for the recommendation! I've heard good things about bamboo/hemp clothes! I think I'm going to try it!

I feel so dumb admitting it, but I'm so excited to try it all out!!!

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