As a stay at home wife, I spend too much time thinking about money. This ranges from budgeting and saving to making and spending money.
February 1st Ryan was promoted at work, also getting a raise and at the end of February we leased a new vehicle. We had planned on getting a new one and getting the one we ended up with but we had not planned on walking away that day with it. Even though we had an idea of how much he would be making, we hadn’t even really been over finances to even know how much he was making with his raise when we went vehicle shopping. At least we went in already having an idea of how much we wanted our vehicle payments to be. So after walking away a down deposit lighter but with an additional car, that weekend we sat down and figured out a new budget based on his new income. I strongly urge everyone to do this before making any purchases over the amount you regularly spend at one time (for example any purchase that is more than your highest monthly bill not including rent/mortgage) or anything you may have a payment on. Luckily we were going to have more income than we had expected coming in so we were a lot better off than we thought, a huge weight off of both of our shoulders, especially with a baby on the way. The only problem? Now we know that we have more money so we’ve been spending more (this is coming to an end very very soon!).
Just because we have the money to spend does not mean that we need to spend it! We have some unavoidable expenses coming up with having a baby on the way and some other things but our savings account should be going up every month. So how can I contribute? This kind of goes with my last post . I will say that I’m not a huge fan of couponing but with this baby coming I’m becoming more and more interested in natural living and luckily it is often cheaper!
I recently joined a group on Facebook for “crunchy” mamas with the intentions of learning more. Little did I know I already had some crunchy intentions for when the baby came. I plan on exclusively breastfeeding, baby wearing, baby lead solids and while I don’t currently plan on cloth diapering because I won’t have a washer and dryer available daily when I move back home I’m not completely against it and am still considering it. Joining this group made me think, what else can I do?
Natural cleaning supplies are a big one for me right now. I don’t want to be breathing in harmful chemicals to clean while I’m pregnant. I don’t even like doing it while I’m not pregnant, I don’t want to subject my baby to that too. I found a homemade shower cleaner on Pinterest that was so simple-just 1/2 vinegar and 1/2 Dawn dish soap in one of those dish scrubbers that hold the liquid. I figured I could handle using this cleaner while I’m in the shower before I get out. I was right and our shower has never looked better! So I started looking for more recipes for natural cleaners and other household/beauty/baby supplies.
While I’m still finding recipes that I like based on ingredients and ease of making them, I have purchased some base ingredients. Borax, washing soda and bulk baking soda are cheap (yay for combining natural and frugal!) and easy to find at any grocery store. I also bought the bar castile soap to use just as a personal/beauty product as is because I was able to find it easily in the store as well. When I say cheap, I mean all of these products were under $4 and the most I’ve seen recipes call for is 1 cup at a time and it’s usually less so just imagine how much I can make with these items for such a small amount! Other natural clean staples I had to purchase online since I didn’t feel like driving around from store to store to find. I ordered Dr. Bronners (most recommended by bloggers) liquid castile soap from Amazon and I chose the unscented baby mild formula since we do have a baby on the way. I will say that it was actually $2 cheaper through the actual Dr. Bronners website but there is a $20 minimum and this product wasn’t $20 and since it’s my first time using any of it I wasn’t ready to commit to a bigger bottle than the 32 oz or other products. If I like it though I’ll be ordering it directly through the Dr. Bronners website after this purchase. Essential oils I purchased through Bulk Apothecary after seeing it on a blog and they turned out to be cheaper for a bigger size there than on Amazon. I just went with Tea Tree Oil and Grapefruit for right now but I know I’ll be adding more! Other things I need to purchase for sure: coconut oil, more vinegar (white and apple cider vinegar), distilled water and spray bottles. Items I’ll probably end up buying: witch hazel, beeswax, hydrogen peroxide, Shea butter, lemon juice and almond oil. This all sounds like a lot and it is but I won’t be buying more than one or two things at a time or as needed so I’m not overspending 🙂
I know there’s so much more I can to live more naturally and I will be but I’m making small steps. I can’t wait to try and share the recipes I’ve found with you! In the meantime, you can find me on Pinterest and see what I’m looking at there 🙂
What are some ways you live frugally and/or naturally? I’d love to hear!