When it comes to budgeting and spending, not only is my husband an expert, but he is also extremely disciplined. This is no surprise, given that he earns a living as a financial planner. When contemplating a purchase, whether it is big or small, he takes his time deciding whether or not he truly needs the item in question, thinking about whether or not he already owns something similar, and deciding whether or not he really needs it.
I, on the other hand, haven’t always been as mindful about my spending. Don’t get me wrong – you won’t find me running to the mall every week to buy purses and shoes. Instead, I tend to buy little things here and there, a coffee at the grocery store, a magazine at the pharmacy. But, rest assured, those impulse purchases certainly do add up quickly.
A few years ago we inherited a large compost tumbler from my sister-in-law. Before that, we used to just throw our food scraps and vegetable peels in a heap behind the garage and hope for the best. But the compost tumbler was a game changer – it allowed us to compost more than just vegetable peels and egg shells.
Don’t throw it away! Compost it!
I used to think that the only things we could put in our compost tumbler were food scraps – I had no idea that in order for compost to properly decompose you need to have a good mixture of green (high nitrogen) materials (fruit peels, vegetable scraps, grass clipping) and brown (high carbon) materials (pizza boxes, fallen leaves, old newspapers).
I’m going to let you in on a little secret. I am not crafty. I am not creative. If my life depended on it, I couldn’t come up with a super cool, uber chic art project. And even if I did, I can guarantee you that nobody would pay money for it. That being said, I do have a fairly successful Etsy shop. Here’s how.
Last November, I joined Etsy as The Mitten Mom. I’d learned how to make felted wool dryer balls, and since other people were selling them on the website I thought I’d give it a try. For just $0.20 per listing, what did I have to lose? (I also listed homemade scented play dough and dishwasher detergent, but those haven’t done nearly as well as the dryer balls).
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My husband is a financial planner and when it comes to money – whether it is spending, budgeting or saving – he is really on top of things. And I’m thankful for that, because if it were up to me, I’d have all the credit cards at all the stores, and I’d go shopping everyday.
Up until last year, we only had one credit card. Yes, you read that right, one card. We used it for purchasing things like gas, Christmas and birthday gifts, and for household expenses. Like most people, we are constantly being offered credit cards from various stores, credit card companies and even local banks. But we have never accepted any of the offers, until we found out about the Target REDcard.
I’ve been a Sam’s Club member for over a decade, and in that time I’ve learned a lot about choosing products that are going to save money.
When I am shopping at Sam’s Club, I have learned that just because a product is a good price, that doesn’t mean it’s a good deal for me and my family. These are some of my favorite Sam’s Club bargains – things that really do save us money.
A few weeks ago The Goose and I headed up north for a whole week and came home to a completely remodeled bathroom.Before the remodel, we had an old plastic shower enclosure that was in pretty rough shape. When it came time to clean the shower, I wasn’t particular when it came to choosing a cleaner. But, now that I have a newly-tiled shower, I am making sure that I use cleaning products that will not only keep it sparkling clean, but that will also keep it in great condition for years to come.
To do that, I have been trying out a lot of recipes for homemade shower cleaners. It took a lot of trial and error, but I’ve finally found a tile cleaner that keeps my shower clean, is inexpensive, and doesn’t harm the fibers of my microfiber cleaning rags.
Today marks the fifth anniversary of the day we bought our house. (Read more about why we bought our house – and why we love it here!) Normally, I don’t make note of such odd things, but the fact that it falls on St. Patrick’s Day makes it easy to remember. (I bought my last house on Flag Day, and that was an easy one to remember, too).
Since buying our house we’ve made a lot of improvements. We’ve had new siding, a new roof and new gutters installed, taking our home from an outdated bungalow with a leaky roof and brick veneer siding, to an updated bungalow with dark blue siding and white trim. We’ve had the bathroom remodeled, removing the white paneling that covered the bottom half of the walls and replacing it with proper ceramic tile. We’ve also updated the landscaping in the front yard, removing the dead boxwoods and replacing them with beautiful hydrangeas and hostas that were given to us by my mother-in-law (the hostas originally grew in the yard at my husband’s childhood home). We’ve painted every room in our house, added a new window to The Goose’s bedroom and replaced the two windows in our living room. We’ve cut down several trees along our back fence to allow for more sunlight in the yard for our ever growing garden. We’ve added a heavy wooden swing set and a sandbox to the yard for The Goose to play on.
It’s no secret – kids are hard on furniture. Especially my kid. He is constantly jumping from the chair to the couch, standing on tables and tipping over footstools. It used to drive me crazy – especially when I’d ask him over and over to stop.
Whenever I start to get irritated, I have to remind myself of one thing…
It may be hard to believe, but spring is on it’s way. To us, that means one thing: It’s time to start planning our family garden!
I started my first garden nearly 10 years ago, long before I was married, when I was still living alone in my first house. It was a container garden, and I grew tomatoes, green peppers and jalapenos (all vegetables that I didn’t actually like, but that I’d heard were easy to grow). I still remember the thrill and excitement that I would feel each time I went outside to water my plants, and I’d find a new flower blossoming or a new fruit dangling on the vine.