Living a more “simple” life seems to be in fashion right now. You can buy countless books on decluttering , streamlining , organizing , exc. exc. , and I have nothing against any of it. What I do wonder about is if I’m the only person who can pick up such a book and think that everything in it is such a good idea that I need to do them all!! I need a plan of attack! I need to do this to make my life and my family’s life better!! I need to, need to, need to…….. WOW that was overwhelming!
Sometimes ,or in my case, most of the time, the whole process seems so big that I never really get started and therefore never get done. I freeze while looking at the whole picture instead of looking for one easy thing to start with. What I’ve found, is that all it takes with me is one small success to give me the needed umph to continue on. Usually after that one nudge I don’t have a problem. Note the word ‘usually’ for future reference!
One of the areas that I have learned to streamline is our shopping list. Recently I have had quite a few people ask me how we can possibly only grocery shop once a month. This question tends to come in three different forms. The first one is how do we plan out a list for a whole month, the second one is how do we afford it, and the third one that is always asked is what are some tips that others can use. So since I have been asked I will try my hardest to answer. This will not be a one stop post as this is a very broad subject that covers so many different areas. I will start with what I consider to be the easiest. Paper products.
I saw a post on Pinterest earlier that led me down this road of thinking. The woman was talking about getting rid of her paper towels and in their place was using these beautiful white dishcloths she had bought instead. Now I am not in any way making fun of her, I swear!!! I was just in awe that there are people out there with clean enough houses that they can get away with using white rags! That will never happen in this house! Even with bleach!
However, whether the rags are white or not, that is what we also use instead of paper towels. If we spill something in the kitchen we use a dishcloth or a rag. If its something gross, like chicken we wipe it up and then wipe it again with bleach. If it’s a pet mess, which is even worse than chicken mess, we use plastic bags. Wal-Mart gives us enough each month that I need to find a use for them. One goes on as a glove of sorts and another is used to pick up the mess and is then tied shut and disposed of.( Sorry for the mental image!) A rag is then used to scrub the offended area. I have never run into a situation where I thought “man I wish I had a paper towel!” I never even glance in their direction when at the store.
The next item would be paper napkins. We did use these at one point in our lives. Now we have the cutest napkins ever!! Seriously hankies have so many uses and this is one of my favorite ones! We started out with just red but I decided that a ton of color is better so………..
Paper plates are another area that we only use on the very rare occasion. I never buy them but Jason will occasionally sneak them into the cart. He always pulls them out on nights when he has volunteered to do the dishes. 🙂
I already have pots to wash so what is the big deal with a couple of plates? If they are washed right away they take less than a minute. If they are left to sit over night they still take less than two minutes. Either way I don’t see it as something that I need to make my life less hectic.
To me these three areas are easy. They really don’t add any real work to my day and in the end they save quite a bit of money. I haven’t looked at the prices on these products in a while but I can imagine they haven’t gotten any cheaper over time. If I were to recommend a place to start making changes on your shopping list, this is it. With these you don’t have to start out with big cooking changes. It’s a baby step and like I mentioned earlier, with me one small success usually leads me forward to tackle the bigger challenges, like remembering when the last time was that I cleaned out the refigerator….Maybe I don’t want to remember that one!