Cheap & Natural DIY Orange Peel All-Purpose Spray

Posted 06-28-2017 at 01:55 PM by Jessica

Water Spray bottle in hand

Nowadays there are so many harmful ingredients in a lot of the cleaning products out there. If the ingredients concern your family, you should know that there are other natural solutions that can be just at effective. One of my favorite all-natural cleaning solutions is made with just orange peels, vinegar and water! With this simple recipe you can save money and protect your family from products with harsh chemicals. The ingredients used are not toxic or harmful to health, and can disinfect your home while also leaving a pleasant aroma behind.

Okay, lets get started! For this all-purpose spray you’ll need:

  • The peels from 3 oranges
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • A large bottle (preferably glass)

tangerines on a board with a place for an inscription

Cut the orange peels into pieces and put them inside the jar, adding a cup of water and a cup of vinegar, seal the jar and let it stand for about 2 weeks. After the 2 weeks passes, open your jar and split it in equal parts and, if you’d like, add a teaspoon of olive oil to one part – making sure to shake it every time you use it to properly incorporate the oil. This mixture with the olive oil is perfect for cleaning your furniture as it will leave it shiny and give it bright and fresh citrus aroma. Put the other part into a spray bottle and use to clean surfaces in your kitchen and bathroom. If you’d like it to be an even more effective disinfectant, add a spoonful of rubbing alcohol.

There you go! A super easy and effective all-purpose cleaning spray made from ingredients you likely have around the house already! You’ll save money while also protecting your family from harmful chemicals.

 

Diaper Swapers

Quick and Easy “Water Bottle Crepes”

Posted 06-26-2017 at 06:13 AM by Jessica

crepes

I LOVE crepes. And I know that I say I LOVE every recipe I write about, and that is absolutely true as well. My heart is big enough to love all the food. ;) There’s just something about crepes though. They’re much lighter than pancakes, and even though they’ve got their fair share of sugar, they seem kind of healthy to me – especially when they’re loaded with berries.

Another reason I love them so much is because of how easy they are to whip up with kitchen staples you likely already have on hand! I’m about to take the ease one step further, by whipping them up using NO mixing bowl. Yep, you read that right! No mixing bowl needed – the only supplies you’ll use are a clean recycled plastic water bottle, a funnel, a frying pan and a spatula.

Note: This would be PERFECT for camping! Simply add all the ingredients to the bottle and store in a cooler until breakfast time!
Ingredients:

  • 2/3 c. flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. vegetable oil or melted butter
  • Optional: Powdered sugar, Nutella, whipped cream, fruit

Preparation:

Take the funnel to the bottle nozzle and start adding the eggs, flour, butter or oil, milk and sugar. Seal the bottle and shake until the ingredients are well mixed. Butter your frying pan and place on medium heat, then pour enough of the batter to coat the bottom of the pan in a thin layer. Let cook for 1-2 minutes on each side, flipping when it reaches a golden brown color. Put the crepe on a dish and add your choice of toppings (Nutella with lots of berries is my favorite!) fold in half or roll, then top with powdered sugar.

How simple was that?! Enjoy!

6 Frugal Tips for Eating Out on a Budget

Posted 06-19-2017 at 02:22 AM by Jessica

Oftentimes, when people mention eating out they mention how expensive it is, and a lot of times, they’re totally right. However, there are various ways that you can save money when eating out so it’s not such a huge burden on your wallet!

Here are just a few of my favorite tips…

1. Find promotions and discounts

Groupon always has lots of great discounts for restaurants, and it often forces you to try out somewhere new! Also, lots of places offer days where kids eat free, and sign up for emails to score birthday discounts (lots of places offer up a free entree for the birthday boy or girl), free appetizers and more!

2. Share meals

Instead of ordering an entire kids meal that your kiddo likely won’t eat more than 3 bites of, just get a few dishes that the whole family can share! Just be aware that some restaurants may charge an extra fee for sharing plates.

3. Skip the soft drinks

Ordering soft drinks (or coffee or juice or tea) for everyone in the family is going to add up quickly – you could buy a whole liter of soda for around the price of one glass at a restaurant. Instead, have everyone opt for a water! Not only is it healthier, but your wallet will thank you.

4. Save the leftovers

Never be shy about asking for a to-go container to take home the rest of the bread or the last few bites of pasta. You’ve paid for all of it, so don’t just leave it behind!

5. Go during lunch hours

Either choose to go out for lunch instead of dinner, or go for an early dinner! Lots of restaurants offer great prices on lunch specials.

6. Skip the appetizer

You’ll likely get plenty of food with your entree, so unless you have a coupon for a free appetizer, or it’s your favorite part about that restaurant, steer clear. Ask for extra bread or a basket of fries to munch on instead.

 

3 Fun Flip Flop Wreath DIYs For Summer

Posted 06-14-2017 at 10:00 PM by Jessica

3 FUN flip flop wreaths

Summer is officially HERE! Well, in terms of school being out it is. The first official day of summer according to the calendar is the June 20th, so we’ve got just a bit longer to go. As soon as the weather gets warm enough I transition from my boots, flats and sneakers to nothing but flip-flops. I’m honestly a very lazy person. So much so that even the thought of taking a few extra seconds to strap on sandals is enough to keep me wholeheartedly addicted to flip-flops.

Even if you aren’t a huge flip-flop wearer like I am, I doubt you’ll be able to resist how cute these flip-flop wreaths I’ve found are! They are the perfect symbol of summer, and you can usually score them for super cheap at Walmart or during a sale at Old Navy! Take a second to look through the following tutorials – then get crafting!

A few of my favorite flip-flop wreaths…


06-16 JOY SA FLIP FLOP WELCOME SIGN BETH WATSON MAIN

You can make this fun flip-flop “wreath” welcome sign in under 30 minutes! Now that’s my kind of craft! Head here for detailed instructions.


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Head here for a tutorial on this style of flip-flop wreath. There are 6 different flip-flop wreath themes that A Day in the Life with TJ has crafted, from Patriotic to Wild Colors!


photo 6

This last wreath is also super inexpensive to make, and has a cute flower in the middle! Check it out here.

HAPPY CRAFTING!

The Eternal Prefold

Posted 03-30-2015 at 06:27 PM by Banana Cat

prepping

Prefolds have been around for quite some time. Before prefolds, flat diapers—squares of cotton that were folded and pinned onto baby—were the most common way of diapering in Europe and the United States. However, one issue with flats was the time needed to fold them into the proper shape and thickness for baby. Folding one flat is fast. Having to fold six to a dozen flats or more a day, every single day, for every diaper change for a year or more, easily tired out families who were already swamped with cooking every meal from scratch and hand washing the laundry.

In the 1950s, the prefold was invented when someone had the bright idea to pre-fold and sew together a flat diaper. The prefold still had to be pinned into place, but the more time-consuming part of folding all the layers together was no longer an issue. Although cloth diapers have gone through many more innovations in the last sixty-five years, prefolds are still extremely popular. Part of the reason is that they are still fairly cheap compared to other cloth diapers—really, only flat diapers are generally less expensive than cotton prefolds—and the traditional cotton prefold tends to last forever. Ok, not really forever, since cotton is a natural material that breaks down organically, but they tend to last far beyond their uses as diapers.

Selling Your Cloth Diapers

Posted 11-12-2014 at 11:54 AM by Banana Cat
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This is a typical picture you might see attached to a diaper-selling posting. Nothing fancy, but it does the job!

There is a large market for used cloth diapers. If you’ve never thought about using used cloth diapers before, your initial reaction might be: eww. I mean, I wouldn’t buy used underwear. And diapers take a heck of a lot more punishment than underwear.

However, unlike most modern cotton underwear, cloth diapers can hold up to some hardcore cleaning. A couple of good washes and some bleach and cloth diapers are basically as good as new (assuming your washer or dryer doesn’t catch fire and char everything to a crisp in the process; unlikely, but always a vaguely potential possibility when working with electrical appliances). The advantages to buying and selling used cloth diapers are many: when you buy used, you save more money than you would buying new diapers, you will want to wash them but you don’t need to prep them six or seven times before using them, and you can try different diapers for cheaper than it would be to buy them all new. Once you’re finished cloth diapering, you can sell off your diapers to make back some of the money you spent buying them. Don’t think that just because your diapers might have holes or stretched out elastics that they’re unsellable—many thrifty people look for cheap, worn diapers that they can repair themselves, if they happen to be handy with a sewing machine! But where should you sell these cloth diapers once you’re done with them?

As you are currently reading this article on a website called Diaperswappers.com, you may have guessed that this website is one place to sell your diapers, and you’re right. Diaperswappers has several forums and subforums you can sell your diapers on. You can also use sites such as Craigslists or Facebook to sell diapers locally, if you’re not up for paying for shipping diapers across the country (or even internationally!).

But Where Do I BUY Cloth Diapers?

Posted 06-26-2014 at 08:05 AM by Banana Cat

IMG_1247

You’ve decided to start using cloth diapers, part time or full time, for one or several reasons. Congratulations, and say good bye to all of your money, because cloth diapering can get pretty addictive pretty fast. Well, it doesn’t have to be addictive, but more often than not you’ll start hearing those trendy prints calling out your name and you’ll find yourself reaching for your wallet. If you can resist the temptation, well, double congratulations! For the rest of us with weak willpower, here are some places to buy cloth diapers:

Online

As this article is being published on a website called Diaperswappers, it only feels right to start off my list with the “online” option! Most people are connected to the internet these days and indeed, if you live in an area without any fancy stores this might be your only option! Sites such as Diaperswappers provide an online marketplace where members can buy and sell used diapers. It’s not as gross as it sounds; as long as the diapers are washed well they are good to be used on your child! The advantage to buying used diapers is that they are often cheaper than new diapers, so you can get a decent deal. If you are savvy with a sewing machine, some members list old diapers in need of repairs for just a couple of bucks per diaper, so if you are able to put in a little bit of time repairing these old diapers, you can get some amazing deals!

If you’re not so keen on used diapers, or if you’re buying friends some new diapers for a baby shower, then there are many, many cloth diapering stores online to choose from. All of the major brands such as bumGenius, Blueberry, Fuzzibunz, etc., have their own websites you can purchase diapers directly from.  There are also many online cloth diaper boutiques which sell dozens of brands—great if you want to try a few different brands all at once— and also have their own customer rewards programs, often offer free shipping over a certain purchase amount, and have “extras” such as cloth wipes and liners you can buy as well.

The “Plain Jane” Cloth Diaper Stash

Posted 06-19-2014 at 10:39 AM by Banana Cat

plain2

 

Cloth diapers are addictive.

Many people, mostly people who don’t use cloth or don’t have kids, will stare at you blankly when those words come out of your mouth. For heaven’s sake, they are diapers! It’s easy to understand buying an entire clothing line of baby clothes you think are adorable, or several of the same cute blankie because you know a few will get lost as the years go by. But…diapers? They’re just diapers, right?

No. They are not just diapers. They are diapers made out of mind-controlling, obsessive magical fabric that spurn you to open your wallet the second your favorite cloth diaper company comes out with a new line of prints, sending you running to grab the mail a few days later, throwing the diapers in the wash and the packaging in the recycle bin before your spouse can come home so they don’t realize you’ve bought EVEN MORE DIAPERS. This crazy obsession with cloth diapers has led to people spending hundreds of dollars on a single hard-to-find, highly sought after print (these people make far more money than me, by the way).

If you’re on a budget, or are afraid of getting caught up in the obsessive side of the world of cloth diapers, then a “Plain Jane” stash might be for you. The definition of a plain cloth diaper stash is a little different depending on the person, but it is basically a simple stash without the hundred-dollar prints or dozens of different types of diapers. For many people, it is a stash of flats and prefolds with some white covers. For others, it might be a stash of 25 white all-in-ones. Still others might have 30 tie-dyed prefolds and a couple of wool covers. Plain stashes can cross over with minimalism, so if you don’t have a lot of space or you just hate having “extra” things lying around (no 100-diaper stashes for you!), this might be something to consider.

Different Types of Diaper Inserts

Posted 06-11-2014 at 11:01 AM by Banana Cat

inserts1

 

So… after months of agonizing over diaper types you’ve decided to use pocket diapers with your child. Or, you know, you just randomly used one and was like, “Hey, this is a cool diaper, I’m going to buy a bunch of these now.” The pocket diaper covers, or “shells,” are all constructed pretty much the same. There’s a layer of PUL on the outside and a stay-dry inner such as microsuede or fleece on the inside (and a very few pockets have cotton velour as an inner lining too!). Every brand is shaped a little differently, or has different snap configurations, but this is the basic construction of a pocket diaper. The true differences in each pocket diaper are what’s stuffed into the pocket.

Pay Attention! The Most Important Part Of Being Thrifty

Posted 03-31-2014 at 11:30 AM by happysmileylady

grocery shopping

This morning I made a quick stop at Kroger.  Tyson fresh chicken was on sale and there was a coupon in this Sunday’s paper for $1 off any Tyson fresh chicken.  While I was examining packages of chicken that were sale priced at $1.50 to $1.75 per package (meaning I would pay 50c to 75c a piece,) I noticed another lady with Tyson chicken in her cart.  She had several packages, although her packages were not sale priced.  I also noticed that she had no coupons and little else in her cart.  It appeared that she was stocking up for a party.  I counted out 5 coupons for chicken from my stack and handed them to her.  I finished picking out my chicken, paid, and headed out of the store.  On my way out, I stopped at the free newspaper box in the front of the store, which was full of free papers containing the very same coupon inserts.  I picked up 5 more papers, which gave me 5 more inserts, replacing those coupons I gave away.

The other day, I went to get gas.  There are several gas stations near my house, so before I left, I checked the gas prices online.  Because of this, I chose to drove 2 blocks farther than the gas station on the corner closest to my house, because it was over 25c cheaper per gallon.  To fill up my 25 gallon tank, that’s a difference of over $6, almost 2 whole gallons worth, just for a difference of 2 blocks.

These are just two examples in my own life of how the simple act of paying attention to things can really save money.  I spent substantially less on my chicken than the other customer, even after the coupons I gave her, because I paid attention to the sale.  In fact, she saved $5 because I paid attention to the coupons that were right in front of the store, for free.  And I saved $6 just by paying attention to the gas prices instead of simply pulling into the closest gas station when the tank was low.