Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thrifty Thursday & Uterus Update.

Over the last 2 years I have become completely OBSESSED with saving money. So much so that I fear I’ve become a borderline cheapskate... I have a really hard time spending money on things I never used to think twice about (anything new and anything not completely necessary). I literally cringe when I think about buying my groceries at Freddies, Albertsons or Safeway…and “fuh-geda-bout” Huckleberries ya'll!!! A dream day for me would (among other things) involve watching our savings account balance grow…I get more excited than any normal person should about transferring funds into savings…PARTY ON WAYNE!!! As lame as it sounds, I’m really proud of our new-found inner thriftiness. The word BUDGET never existed to Alex and I until we were forced to penny-pinch after he was laid off for over 2 years. And savings??? Umm, what savings??? Save, SHMAVE! Carpe DIEM, people! Really it was more like CARPE diem the item I want to buy…now, now, now! The holes in our pants pockets were still smoldering from the money we had just blown on a singing, dancing, bass fish to hang above the fireplace…welllll, we just HAD to have it! TOTALLY KIDDING, but what I’m not kidding about is how great it feels finding new ways to save your hard earned dollhairs, people!!! The topic of this Thrifty Thursday is one of my favorite things to save money on: CLEANING PRODUCTS!!!

Let me tell you why our piggy bank is more fat and our cleaning supply cupboard is so much roomier these days! Our cleaning supply arsenal used to consist of pretty much one of everything down the cleaning products aisle: Pledge, Windex, Mr. Clean Floor Cleaner, wood floor shiner, Comet, anti-bacterial kitchen and bath spray, Soft Scrub, Scrubbing Bubbles, dryer sheets, bleach, dishwashing soap, dishwasher detergent, & Tide….and we spent A LOT of money on the lot of it! Then a friend of mine told me about how she only uses vinegar and baking soda to clean her house. My thoughts were as follows:

E1 How sanitary can that be? My scrubbing bubbles are killing 99% of germs while they fizz and foam. If it doesn’t burn your lungs, it can’t possibly be working!

2 Can you even see through your windows anymore without windex??? Dingeville!

3 Your house must smell like Easter egg dye 24/7.

I decided to go home and google it…my friend should probably be advised, by me and my research, as to the benefits of using cleaners with chemicals…after all, they’re in there for a reason! Well friends, for the first millionth time in my life, I was WRONG!! Did you know that white distilled vinegar is 100% pure cleaning magic!!!?? Screw Mr. Clean...he ain't got nothin' on good old fashioned VINEGAR. You can literally use it to clean anything…and you won’t just be making your house all sparkly…you’ll be killing mold, bacteria, and germs in the process; AND I promise you, your house will NOT smell like Dominos hot wings afterwards!

After some pretty intense skepticism from Alex we agreed to say goodbye to the first 9 cleaning products above and HELLO to a monstrous gallon vinegar jug and 13 lb bag of baking soda! I repeat: THAT’S NINE different (expensive) products replaced by TWO (very inexpensive) products…what's NOT to love about this story?! I found out that in addition to saving money on the products themselves, I might also be saving our family from future doctor visits & medical bills…did you know many dryer sheets contain cancer causing chemicals? I stopped buying them altogether and now I just add a little vinegar to the wash as a fabric softener. I'm a sentimental gal to-be-sure, but I really don’t miss the fumes my old cleaning products used to fill our house with…I used to have to step out of the bathroom every couple of minutes when cleaning with Scrubbing Bubbles because of the not-so-delicious aroma. Now, cleaning the shower is as pleasant an experience as cleaning a shower could possibly hope to be…with baking soda (Vinegar's trusty right-hand-man). My shower is as clean with baking soda as it was with Scrubbing Bubbles but now my lungs don’t hurt afterward…hooray for that!!!

If you're interested in saving yourself some bones and your lungs some hurt check out these homemade cleaning product recipes at or check out Better Basics for the Home: Simple Solutions for Less Toxic Living by Annie's at the library=another money saver!!!

In other (baby-related) news, I had my weekly doc appointment today and he said I am about 3 cm dilated and baby has dropped another inch! He said Herbie is right on schedule (aw-punctual little man that he is) for his October 6th due date. I’m happy for him to stay in there the full 40 weeks because I know it’s best for him, as uncomfortable as I may feel…it’s not about me anymore. In the meantime I have been cleaning like a mad woman (hence the reason the above topic has been on my mind these days), painting the bathroom (don’t worry- it’s zero VOC paint), watching any documentaries I can find about Abraham Lincoln (last month I was allll over anything to do with Venice, this month it’s Lincoln-ha), snoozing, and eating too many croissants. Alex has been working to cross off the last of his to-do-before-baby-gets-here-list…and being my saint by helping me get up from the couch, up the stairs, out of the car, offering massages, saying “I’LL DO THAT-YOU’RE NOT DOING THAT” whenever I try to lift anything heavier than a feather, and never commenting about how I complain too much or how much weight I have gained! He is truly a pregnant woman’s best friend! I should probably rent him out to other preggos for profit and then write a book/movie about it...

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