laundry tips

7 Tips for Tackling the Laundry Chaos

laundry tips
I hate laundry. It is never ending, smelly, dirty, and sometimes just plain gross but it has to get done.  I don’t know how but my daughter and my daughter and I amass the amount of dirty clothes that we do, but it happens. Laundry day is my least favourite day of the week.

Most of us spend too much of our hard earned cash on this chore. We could be tackling the laundry and saving along the way. How? Here are seven laundry tips that will help you tame the chaos:

  • Get yourself an energy efficient washing machine if you can. Even though there will be an outlay of cash, in the beginning, you will reap the savings. Have you tried a front loading machine by chance? They save energy and water.
  • Wash on the shortest wash cycle. Do you need the extra minutes? Most of the time the answer is no.
  • My favorite way to save when doing the laundry is to hang it. Clothes just smell better hung. If you really must use a dryer try doing for only the first 15 minutes and then hang them out.
  • If you are going to use, that dreaded dryer make sure you clean the lint. Always clean the lint!
  • Be soap savvy – buy it on sale, use the store brands and make sure you are not using too much soap, a little goes a long way.
  • Add vinegar or baking soda to deodorize your clothes on the cheap. Got those smelly sports uniforms, try it you will love it. A 1/4 cup goes a long way.
  • Wash in cold water. It simply saves your pocketbook.

Do you have any tips that save you money while attacking the dirtiest of the dirty? Let me know in the comments.


31Days and 31 Ways to Save Money: Day2- Menu Planning and Menu Monday

  We are on to day two and one of my favorite ways to save money and that is to plan a menu for the week.

For the last few years I have often participated in Menu Monday a regular round-up hosted by Organizing Junkie.

When it came to learning how to plan a healthy, frugal, halal menu all I had to do was read each and every Monday. I have learned much from the different blogs I have visited.

Why should one plan a menu? why do I?

First lets define what I consider a menu plan– You plan out what you are going to cook ahead of time. Some do this for a week, some for 2, some for a month, and some have plans that rotate.

Now why?

  • My number one reason is that by planning I buy what I need, so there is no food rotting in the fridge, no food in the garbage can, get my drift-no waste.
  • As well there is no longer that 6 pm stare- no looking into the fridge and wonder what I am going to cook all I have to do is look at the menu plan.
  • By planning to cook at home we do not eat on the go, I know I have a stocked fridge, I know what I have planned for the night thus there is no mad dash for the drive thru.

Those 3 reasons are enough to leave money in your pocket book. I am sure you can come up with others. So now we have the why, time to get down  to brass tacks and the How:

First of all there are lots of online tools, email alerts and the works if you want to do it online, but for now we are going to use an old fashion system that works great whether you have internet access on a regular basis or not.

So How to Plan Your Menu

1. Get yourself a white laminated board or a laminated calendar. I got mine from the dollar store. To go along with this get yourself erasable markers and an eraser ( total investment will be less then $5) You will want to post it where it handy to all family members.  In my house I have a teen who cooks 2 nights a week.

2. Decide what you are going to eat. There are so many blogs, recipe sites, books for every style of cooking your might want to try. In my house I regularly visit those who are participating in Menu Monday to see what they are trying that I might want to try here at home. We also have about 15 tried and true recipes that we use every month. In our house we are going for a healthy, frugal and halal menu.

In our house each week you will find:

  • one breakfast for dinner.
  • One slow cooking meal
  • a pasta meal
  • a skillet meal
  • a meat and potatoes night
  • leftover night

3. Write It Down. Make it easy on yourself. We have a Corkboard under the Menu plan and on that I can attach recipes if I have printed them off a website( If I do once cooked it goes into my cookbook binder). But do write down what you want to cook for at least a week.

4. Transfer your list into into your grocery list. Yesterday I posted a great extensive grocery list you can simply check off.

One of the things I do as I think about what I want to cook for the week, I look to see what is on sale at my local grocery store. Because I shop halal for my meat I make a monthly trip to the butcher. Otherwise I look for fish or shrimp on sale. I am also looking for staples on sale.By doing this overall I am able to save even more money.

Now what is on the Menu in my house this week:

Monday- hotdogs and salad

Tuesday-Breakfast for dinner-pancakes, sliced tomatoes

Wednesday-Easy Tuna Casserole, salad

Thursday-Slow Cooker Beef Stew, rolls

Friday-left overs

Saturday- Homemade Pizza, salad

Sunday- Roast Chicken, roasted potatoes, roasted carrots

Hope if you don’t already menu plan you will try it at least for a week, once you get the hang of it I am sure you will love the savings that come by sticking to your plan. Now I am off to Organizing Junkie to get ideas for next week.

Teaching Our Kids With Allowances

Blue Piggy Bank WIth CoinsPreet over at Where Does All My Money Go posed a really great question this week about children and their allowances and these times that we live in.

It got me thinking about what I have been doing for my daughter Roo, and why I think it can work for anyone especially if they have a tween like me, or perhaps even with teens.

I have become the Bank of Mom. We made it a real bank, based much on The First National Bank of Dad book (by the way that was a great read for a parent wanting to teach their kids about money). Now my bank has no where near the interest rate suggested in the Bank of Dad and I think that is ok and gives Roo a more real picture of what the world of money is like.She does get a good rate of return though 10% per year.Now here is what I did to teach one Canadian kid about money.

1. The Bank of Mom was an offical Bank. Roo has her bank account on my computer, so hers is close at hand.

2. We use one Excel spread sheet. She has a running balance, deposits made, withdraw column, loan column, and RESP balance column. We have another page that shows her where she is spending her money. Right now the columns are: Savings, giving, piggy, toys,cell, music, club penguin, books, dollar store, other.

3. She has a set amount and it is delivered on the 20th of each month come rain or shine ( after all our pay days come regularly when employed right)

4. She has responsiblities with that money: cell bill, guinea pig supplies, savings, and the rest of hers is to do with as she chooses. Roo is a natural giver, so giving is not something I have made a must. For her it is a joy and she loves it.

5. We enrolled her in Futura Rewards. A way to add to savings for college and much more. This was to top up my input, she helps me clip the UPC codes and get the mail in ready and we shop at Coop here in Nova Scotia some of the time. She now knows the balances of her RESP, and we update that line quarterly.

6. She gets what I think is a reasonable amount for an 11 year old with responsibilities. She is responsible for $75.00 a month. I know not much but it is hers and with it, she is learning skills.