Frugalish Momma http://frugalishmomma.com Just a momma, taking one day at a time. Tue, 29 Mar 2016 01:20:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8 http://i0.wp.com/frugalishmomma.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/cropped-cropped-image00-14.png?fit=32%2C32 Frugalish Momma http://frugalishmomma.com 32 32 DIY Foaming Hand Soap for Less Than $0.50 a Month http://frugalishmomma.com/diy-foaming-hand-soap/ http://frugalishmomma.com/diy-foaming-hand-soap/#respond Thu, 24 Mar 2016 06:16:52 +0000 http://frugalishmomma.com/?p=386 Are you ready to save some major money? This is one of the best frugal ideas I have ever come across; you are going to be amazed by how SMART this is. This one bottle of soap has lasted our family ONE YEAR and THREE MONTHS. I just refilled the soap in our main bathroom [...]

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Check out this fruga, DIY foaming hand soap!

Are you ready to save some major money? This is one of the best frugal ideas I have ever come across; you are going to be amazed by how SMART this is. This one bottle of soap has lasted our family ONE YEAR and THREE MONTHS.

I just refilled the soap in our main bathroom and noticed the date I had written on the back. I mark the date on the bottle when it is first used to track how much money we are saving! The date on the bottle was December 7, 2014. 2014!

That bottle has lasted us OVER a year! That’s less than $5.00 a year, or $0.50 a month for hand soap. We only have one bathroom on our main level, so everyone is using this bathroom, including guests. And no, we don’t skip washing our hands after the bathroom or anything like that to save soap. We wash up using this soap regularly and it still lasts us for a very long time.

I did not create this recipe. It is something I came across while searching Pinterest for frugal ideas years ago. I do not claim to have created this and would like to give credit to those who did. That being said, THANK YOU to whoever came up with this genius idea!

Here’s what you will need to start saving money:

A foaming hand soap pump 

One bottle of soap 

Tablespoon and 1/3 measuring cup

Warm water

Start by putting 3 tablespoons of soap into the hand soap container. Make sure to “scrape” the measuring spoon to get every last drop of soap! Then add 2/3 cup of warm or hot water. Shake together and viola!

You can see from the picture of my foaming hand pump that there is a line for measuring soap and water. I do not follow them because I think that is way too much soap to add! 3 tablespoons of soap to 2/3 cup water is the PERFECT amount.

To save even more money, buy a foaming hand pump with soap already in it. When the soap is gone, rinse it out and refill using this recipe. These pumps do tend to wear out over time, so I did purchase one for about $10 from a local store.

Here is the cost breakdown without tax. One 32 oz. refill size bottle costs around $3.47 at Wal-Mart. Since the last bottle I bought lasted us about 15 months, it only cost us $0.23 a month to refill our soap. If this size bottle would last you a year, it would cost you about $0.29 a month. Even if it only lasts your family six months, the cost is STILL only $0.59 a month!

An individual bottle of foaming hand soap is about $2.48.

These are huge savings!

Have you ever tried making your own foaming soap? Are you pleased with it as much as I am?

 

 

 

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The BEST Natural Diaper Rash Cream http://frugalishmomma.com/the-best-natural-diaper-rash-cream/ http://frugalishmomma.com/the-best-natural-diaper-rash-cream/#respond Sat, 19 Mar 2016 06:00:27 +0000 http://frugalishmomma.com/?p=249 I am so excited to share this with you! This is seriously the BEST diaper rash cream ever. And you probably have the two ingredients in your house right now! This is a recipe that my mom used on my brother and me, and I use it on both of my kids. And I love [...]

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This natural and frugal cream is the BEST cure for diaper rash!

I am so excited to share this with you! This is seriously the BEST diaper rash cream ever. And you probably have the two ingredients in your house right now!

This is a recipe that my mom used on my brother and me, and I use it on both of my kids. And I love knowing that it’s frugal, natural, and I can make it quickly whenever I need it.

Here’s what you need:

A container with a lid (I use on of my Pampered Chef 1 cup glass prep bowls – which are one of the best baby gifts ever!)

Cooking oil (can be vegetable or canola – I just use what I have available in my cupboard)

Cornstarch

The best and only diaper rash cream you will ever need! Try this natural and frugal diaper rash cream!

It’s super simple to make.

Pour a small amount of oil into the container. I never really measure it out, just eyeball  it.

The best and only diaper rash cream you will ever need! Try this natural and frugal diaper rash cream!

Then I add in a spoonful of cornstarch and stir it up. I keep adding little amounts of cornstarch until it mixes into a creamy paste.

The best and only diaper rash cream you will ever need! Try this natural and frugal diaper rash cream!

The best and only diaper rash cream you will ever need! Try this natural and frugal diaper rash cream!

The best and only diaper rash cream you will ever need! Try this natural and frugal diaper rash cream!

Apply generously to the affect areas.

This works especially great overnight. There was one time my mom and I were driving to a hotel with Peanut. He was still in diapers and had an upset tummy. He would scream every time he would go to the bathroom or in the bathtub because his bottom was so sore, but he refused to let me put ANY diaper rash medicine on him. When we got to the hotel, my mom happened to have both ingredients with her. I thought it was crazy that she did, but I honestly won’t travel without cooking oil and cornstarch ever again. We finally convinced Peanut to let us put some on him, and he was relieved the minute it was applied. And his bottom was so much better the next morning.

This cream is safe and natural to use until your kiddo is back to normal and feeling better.

 

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Why I Won’t Potty Train My Kids in 3 Days http://frugalishmomma.com/wont-potty-train-my-kids-in-3-days/ http://frugalishmomma.com/wont-potty-train-my-kids-in-3-days/#respond Thu, 17 Mar 2016 05:20:06 +0000 http://frugalishmomma.com/?p=243 Potty training is not easy. Plain and simple. I have seen many ideas floating around about the three day potty training method, and I have a friend who potty trained her oldest this way and swears by it. I believe every parent does what they think is best for their kids, but this method would [...]

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Potty training is hard. Here are my reasons for NOT using the three day potty training method.

Potty training is not easy. Plain and simple. I have seen many ideas floating around about the three day potty training method, and I have a friend who potty trained her oldest this way and swears by it. I believe every parent does what they think is best for their kids, but this method would have never worked on Peanut and it certainly won’t work with Pickle.

I contemplated using this method with Peanut when he reached his third birthday and showed no interest in getting out of diapers. There was a lot of competition to see whose child could be potty trained the fastest and unintentional mommy shaming because of his age. I was told over and over again to try this method, but here’s why I didn’t and I won’t.

Going to the bathroom every 20 minutes isn’t being potty trained.

In my opinion, the kids doing this aren’t potty trained, their parents are. I’ve seen countless times where parents are taking their children to the bathroom every 20 minutes to make sure they don’t have an accident. The child isn’t potty trained. The parent is tied to an impossible schedule to keep up with. Sure, my 20 month old could be “potty trained” if I took her to the bathroom every 20 minutes, but who’s the one really being trained?

Strong willed children are not ready to potty train until THEY are ready to potty train.

We tried sticker charts, a few Skittles or M&M’s if he went, buying fun “big boy” underwear, plastic underwear over top of those, guilt, a cute, little potty, a big boy potty chair for the toilet, letting him watch us go to the bathroom, putting his hand in warm water, putting his little potty in the bathtub and dumping warm water over him, and on and on I could go; if it was out there for potty training, believe me, we tried it. And NOTHING worked. There was nothing we could do to get him to potty train.

If you’re not familiar with the three day potty training method, it pretty much amounts to this. The child runs around on a non-carpeted floor without a diaper for three days. The theory is that if the child goes to the bathroom without a diaper on, they will soon learn how it feels to need to go to the bathroom, thus training them to use the toilet. I just couldn’t and still can’t get over the fact of letting a child run around naked for three days and having to continually clean up after him. As a working mom, I would have to take time off of work and stay home for three days straight. Not my cup of tea. Period.

Know YOUR child. Don’t get mommy shamed into something that’s not the best for YOUR child.

I believe this method might work for some children. I really do. But you have to know your child and know that it may not work for your cherub. And that’s ok. Don’t be guilted into pushing your child to do something they just aren’t ready for. Kids have to WANT to go to the bathroom on the toilet and really be ready to make any progress. I know this from personal experience.

One weekend when Peanut was about 2, he pooped in the bathtub. He took a bath around the same time the next day, but this time I was ready. I saw that look on his face, grabbed him, and put him on his little potty. He went on the potty and I was ecstatic! But for Peanut, it was an awful and fearful experience for him. I don’t know what it is, but there is something about kids feeling like part of them is being flushed down when they to the bathroom. I believe this set Peanut way back on his potty training journey. He had been showing signs that he might be getting ready to begin, but that day stopped him in his tracks.

It wasn’t until about three months after Peanut’s 3rd birthday that he was really ready to begin. My grandparents were visiting and my grandma kindly, but bluntly, asked him why he was still wearing diapers. The next day he sat on the toilet to go to the bathroom, and after that, potty training was SO EASY! I swear, this three day method seems like so much more work than compared to what we went through with Peanut. From that day on, he transitioned into training pants. Other parents said that training pants were a bad idea because they are glorified diapers, but that’s why I LOVED THEM! Plus, the pictures on the front were SO inspiring for Peanut. If he peed, the diggers, wheels, or whatever picture was on them would disappear. He was so excited when he kept his picture from fading. He would wear these to bed and for the first few nights, the picture would be gone in the morning, but after that, he was dry throughout the night. No tricks, no bribing, just straight and simple: if you want to keep your picture, don’t pee!

Every child is different and there is not one right way to potty train.

When it comes to potty training Pickle, I will not let anyone shame me into pushing her before she is ready. We have exposed her to the bathroom, have set out the little potty, and had her sit on it, but that’s it. And when she’s ready, she’ll let us know. I will not push the issue like I did with Peanut. Kids will potty train when they are ready to.

Parents, if the three day method works for your kiddos, great! Who wouldn’t love to be done with diapers in three days? But know your kids. Know if this method will really train them, or just train you. Each kid is different and will be ready at his or her own pace. Expose them to the bathroom and try some different things out. But take it from me, don’t push your child to potty train and don’t feel ashamed if it doesn’t meet someone else’s expectations.

Do you have any tips or tricks on potty training? Did the three day method work for you? I’d love to hear what other parents have to say on this topic.

 

 

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Homemade Air Freshener with Essential Oils http://frugalishmomma.com/homemade-air-freshener-essential-oils/ http://frugalishmomma.com/homemade-air-freshener-essential-oils/#respond Tue, 15 Mar 2016 04:52:58 +0000 http://frugalishmomma.com/?p=254 After cleaning out my refrigerator the other night, I realized that it was about time to replace the Arm & Hammer baking soda freshness box. I LOVE baking soda and I use it all over my house! I sprinkle a little bit in the bottom of our garbage can between bag changes, I use it to [...]

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Homemade Air Freshener with Essential Oils

After cleaning out my refrigerator the other night, I realized that it was about time to replace the Arm & Hammer baking soda freshness box. I LOVE baking soda and I use it all over my house! I sprinkle a little bit in the bottom of our garbage can between bag changes, I use it to gently exfoliate my face every couple of days,  and I’ve used it as my shampoo. I LOVE baking soda! I am always looking for ways to keep my house smelling fresh and clean, especially during the winter months when the windows can’t be opened.

 

This is a frugal, homemade air freshener that you can make with things you already have at home.

 

Here’s what you will need:

a small jar or container without a lid

baking soda

ice cream salt

Essential Oils of your choice (I LOVE lavender and lemon)

a coffee filter or a small piece of fabric

I like to use these little mason jars because I think they’re cute and blend in with the decor I have in my house. They’re also small enough to hide behind picture frames or to slide under the couch if you don’t want them in sight.

Fill your jar with a little bit of baking soda. I don’t measure it out, I just eyeball it. Then add a small scoop of ice cream salt. I add about 10 drops of lavender and 10 drops of lemon Essential Oil.

Add Some Ice Cream Salt

Then place a coffee filter over the top and screw the lid back on. You can cut or tear the excess coffee filter off. I’ve tried both and find tearing the edges off the easiest. If there is a stubborn edge that I just can’t tear off, I will remove the coffee filter from the lid and cut the excess off. When I replace it back on the jar, it fits perfectly without any edges showing.

When the extra coffee filter is removed, find a place in any room you’d like to add a little freshness to and enjoy!

 

I change the jars out every month, or about every thirty days. I will also change the coffee filter out if it needs to be replaced.

You can use any combination of Essential Oils that you enjoy. Here is where I have these placed in my house: two in my living room, two in my kitchen, one in my bathroom, one in my kids room, and one in our bedroom. Give it a little shake to invigorate the scent anytime!

 

 

 

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Five Things My 5-Year-Old Expects From Me http://frugalishmomma.com/five-things-5-year-old-expects/ http://frugalishmomma.com/five-things-5-year-old-expects/#respond Mon, 14 Mar 2016 04:05:23 +0000 http://frugalishmomma.com/?p=216 In an earlier post, Five Things I Expect from my 5-Year-Old, I wrote about five important things that I think that a five-year-old should know about or know how to do. That got me thinking about Peanut and what he expects from me. What do kids expect from there parents? Do they align with some [...]

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We have expectations for our kids, but what do kids expect from their parents? Here are some things that my 5-year-old expects from me.

In an earlier post, Five Things I Expect from my 5-Year-Old, I wrote about five important things that I think that a five-year-old should know about or know how to do.

That got me thinking about Peanut and what he expects from me. What do kids expect from there parents? Do they align with some of our expectations? Here are five things that my five-year-old expects from me.

Mom, I may not always be the best behaved at home and I need you to be ok with that.

The hubs and I have expectations about behavior and have rules at our house. We don’t always see eye to eye on where we fall on the spectrum from easy going to strict, but we try to fall somewhere in the middle. Sometimes we may lean to one side or the other depending on the misbehavior. Don’t get me wrong. I am not excusing bad behavior or turning the other way. I am simply reminding myself that Peanut has been at preschool and daycare all day long, where a whole new set of rules and expectations are set for him to follow.

A dear friend of mine shared with me something her mother would say about her as a child, “she’s used up all her good for the day.”  I really believe this to be true. Kids are expected to sit, listen, share, play with others, be helpful, etc., all day long. If they have been working hard at complying with these expectations, they come home exhausted! Some days, Peanut comes home with rave reviews of his behavior that day and the hubs and I know we may be in for an overly active boy that night. We still hold him accountable for the same rules and expectations at our home, but we may have more patience with him.

Mom, I am not a baby, but I’m also not a big kid, and it’s hard to be stuck in between.

Peanut is growing up and I am reminded of it every day. As a mom, I wish he would stay little forever, but I know that he can’t. Peanut thinks he is such a big kid, and he is a big kid compared to Pickle, who is two, but he isn’t a big kid yet. He’s trying to find his way from baby stuff to bigger kid stuff. I know this phase has only begun, because I remember going through it myself. It was the year Toy Story came out and they had puppets of the characters in the kid’s meals at Burger King. I got Hamm, the piggy bank, and I was so excited that I slept with it. But I felt like I was being a “little kid” by doing so and remember feeling torn between being a “little” and “big” kid. And it was hard.

I can only imagine Peanut sees some of the toys, shows, clothes, and shoes he wore when he was younger and feels proud to be a “big kid.” It is hard for any kid to transition from one age to the next, so it’s important for parents to be aware and understand that this is hard for our little ones.

Mom, I WANT expectations and rules. I am little and learning how to be the best little kid I can be, but I WILL make mistakes.

When I was making a list of all the expectations I have for Peanut in preparation for my post, Five Things I Expect from my 5-Year-Old,I was surprised that some of them seemed a little unrealistic. I still have these expectations, but I shouldn’t be surprised if they don’t always go the way I think they will. Since Peanut is the oldest, I expect him to set a good example for Pickle and to help me out with her. I think it’s ok to have this expectation for him, but I NEED to realized that he is still little and learning. He may not always set the best example for Pickle and THAT’S OK. Parents need to understand that kids WILL make mistakes and we should use them as teaching tools. Let’s give kids a chance to know an expectation, practice it, make mistakes, and learn from them.

Mom, I will have many questions and I need you to answer them the best way you know how.

Kids are naturally curious about the world around them and it’s our job to foster that curiosity. Kids are going to ask A LOT of questions, and it’s important for us to answer them, even if we’re tired, busy doing something else, or if it’s the 5,000th question of the day. One of my fondest memories of my grandmother was how she answered one of my questions as a child. I was always curious about why the night sky would turn pinkish red. She answered that Mrs. Clause was baking cookies for Santa and the Elves. I remember asking her, “even in the summer?” And she replied that it took her all year to bake enough cookies to keep them all fed. Every time I look up at a pink/red sky, I remember my grandmother. I have started telling Peanut this in hopes to continue this tradition that my grandmother started with me.

It may not always be easy to turn something into a kid-friendly answer, but it’s SO IMPORTANT for kids to have conversations with their parents from early on.

Mom, I’m getting older, but I still need you to help me discover who I am.

This is one of the toughest jobs for parents. There are so many outside pressures for boys to act a certain way and girls to act another way. I know parents feel the pressure from other parents and family members who have their own ideas on how to raise children. You know your child the best. You are doing what you think is best for them.

If you’ve read 5 Frugal Ways to Put Life Back into Dinner, you know that I take Peanut and Pickle to E.C.F.E. (Early Childhood and Family Education) classes. Peanut has been going since we was about 18 months old, and we started Pickle just after she turned one. These classes offer a variety of activities for children to explore. Our class always has a craft area that connects to the theme of the week. The crafts are always so cute, but Peanut would NEVER do them. From little on, Peanut wouldn’t do any of the art projects. At first I would push him to do them because I WANTED him to do it. But after a few times of him clearly having no interest, I gave up. He just wasn’t a little kid who was into doing the craft. He would rather play with the cars and the trucks, or play with Play-Doh. And he was so much happier when I just him be him. I needed to let him be him. Simple.

Now that he’s gotten older, he enjoys drawing, writing, and painting. But I know that if I had continued to force him, he wouldn’t have discovered on his own how much he enjoys doing these things now. All kids are different and it’s hard not to feel pressure or “mom guilt” if our kids do not live up to some expectation of the perfect kid.

It’s our job to let our kids have many experiences and let them decide what they enjoy. We have to help them discover who they are and who they are not through these experiences. It’s not up to us who they will become, but it is up to us to support them and provide them with understanding as they grow up.

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Five Things I Expect From My 5-Year-Old http://frugalishmomma.com/5-things-expect-5-year-old/ http://frugalishmomma.com/5-things-expect-5-year-old/#respond Mon, 14 Mar 2016 01:32:28 +0000 http://frugalishmomma.com/?p=189 Being a parent is a tough job. We set limits and expectations. We thrive when our children succeed above our standards, and feel overwhelmed and embarrassed when they do not. Are these expectations to help them become better people, or because we feel pressured into having perfect kids? This got me thinking, “what should every [...]

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Being a parent is a tough job.What should every five-year-old know? Here is a list of five things I expect from my five-year-old.

Being a parent is a tough job. We set limits and expectations. We thrive when our children succeed above our standards, and feel overwhelmed and embarrassed when they do not. Are these expectations to help them become better people, or because we feel pressured into having perfect kids? This got me thinking, “what should every five-year-old know?”

 I made a list of expectations and things that I want Peanut to know now that he’s five. Since he’s five, I narrowed down my list to the five must have things that he needs to know.

 

 

Respond politely and courteously when an adult speaks to you.

Earlier this week, Peanut was having what we call a “major meltdown” during our dinner outing. As he’s gotten older, these “major meltdowns” are not as common as they once were. It just so happened that a co-worker of mine was coming over to the table to say hello during this time. He knows this person and would say “hi” and chat with her if he was in a good mood. However, he pretty much ignored her greeting and didn’t even look her way. I was embarrassed and made sure to have an immediate conversation with Peanut to make sure he knew that I expected him to say hello, even if he was not in the best mood. I also made sure to seek this co-worker out the next day to apologize. I explained the situation and what she said got me really thinking and inspired this post. To sum up our conversation, she said that I shouldn’t expect Peanut to be perfect all of the time. She and I have been friends for many years and she has three boys of her own. We have had MANY conversations about parenting and I love getting advice from her since her kids are older than mine.

As I continued the conversation with this coworker, I explained that I didn’t expect Peanut to be perfect, but that I did expect him to use his manners and address the adult that just spoken to him, even if he was in the middle of a “major meltdown.” One of my biggest pet peeves is when a child blatantly ignores an adult when spoken to. I do not mean some random person in the store or on the street trying to talk to a child, but a person that the child knows is a safe adult. A family member, a daycare provider, a coworker, to name a few. Have you ever had this happen to you? I’ve seen this happen many times. An adult says “hi, how are you?” to a child they know and the child knows is safe adult. As they walk by, the child acts like htey aren’t even there and ignores their greeting completely. This lack of respect bothers me SO MUCH!

I am not asking Peanut to have friendly conversations with random people he doesn’t know, but he should be able to carry on a typical “five-year-old” conversation with a safe and known adult, like my coworkers that he knows mommy works with.

Stay seated at the dinner table until everyone is finished.

After Peanut was out of his highchair and booster seat, there was no keeping him at the dinner table when he was done eating. We were fine to let him go into the next room and play so we could finish our dinner. Now that he is in preschool and can sit for a longer period of time, we have made him staying at the table part of our dinnertime routine. I expect him to stay at the table and converse with the people he is with.

I know that sometimes this is a battle, but we are sticking to our guns. A habit is not learned overnight and this is one that I firmly believe will help out our entire family in the long run.

Know that other kids and families have different rules.

This has become one of our favorite sayings in our house. Peanut is totally embodying his role as first born, especially since Pickle came along, and likes to point out when other kids are not following the rules. This was apparent during one of our shopping trips about a year ago. We saw some children his age standing inside a shopping cart and not following the rules we have set for our shopping trips. Peanut was ready to go over and tell these children how to fix their behavior. I had to explain to him that these children had their own parents to tell them how to behave and that not all kids follow the same rules that we have in our family. That was hard for him to understand at first, but we kept talking about it when it naturally came up into conversation. Over time, this idea has just kind of become ingrained into our family culture. This helps him to understand why we may say no, but his friends get to do something or vice versa.

I’m glad we started talking about this at such a young age with Peanut because it has really come in handy with Pickle around. Peanut sometimes has a hard time with fact that we do so much for Pickle because she needs our help, but we expect him to do the same thing on his own. The main trigger for this seems to be getting dressed in the morning and putting on pajamas after bath time. Pickle will be two in June, but she still needs an adult putting on her diaper and getting her dressed. Peanut is more than capable of getting dressed independently, but sometimes we hear him asking why we can’t help him get dressed. We simply say, “different kids have different rules.”

Wash himself up during bath time and know about “swimsuit areas.”

I am a firm believer in bathing my children every night, even when Peanut had his eczema breakouts. I know not all moms see eye to eye on this, and I believe that each mom does what they think best for their own children. When Pickle was old enough to take a bath in a regular size tub, we would have Peanut and Pickle take a bath together to streamline this nightly routine. To make things easier, I would hand Peanut his washcloth full of soap and tell him wash himself up so I could bathe Pickle. I did strategically teach Peanut where to start and how to wash himself up. I know some nights there are parts of him that do not get as clean as I would like, but he is learning and I want to have independent children.

It didn’t take long for them to realize that their “swimsuit areas” were different from each other. A swimsuit area is any area of the body that is covered with a bathing suit when we are swimming. Peanut noticed, but Pickle was the one who started getting “grabby.” This prompted a conversation with Peanut about swimsuit areas. We talked about what his “swimsuit area” was and that is not ok for anyone to touch. We then talked about people who might need to and why, such as a doctor in a doctor’s office or if we’re in a rush and mommy or daddy is washing him up very quickly during bath. This was a precursor to the “good touch/bad touch” conversation.

This is a very important topic for parents to talk with their children about and it’s never too early to start. I don’t want my kids to grow up fearful or worrying, but I want them to be educated on important issues. We can’t think that a 5-year-old is too young to know about what is appropriate and what is not. Our conversation never turned to scary things, but the main point was that no one should touch your swimsuit area unless you’re taking a bath or at the doctor.

Know how to call “911” from a cell phone.

The hubs and I don’t have a house phone since we both have smartphones. That got me thinking about emergency scenarios and what would happen if Peanut needed to call 911. We discussed what a true emergency is and isn’t and that calling 911 isn’t a game. We talked about the first step in a real emergency would be to find an adult. If there are no adults around to help, then he should call 911. I showed Peanut how to get to the emergency screen on my iPhone. He knew that 911 was for emergencies, but didn’t know HOW to make the phone call. We assume that because kids know 911 is for emergencies, that they know HOW to make the call. Peanut didn’t know how to get to the emergency screen on my phone until I showed him.

 

There are many things that 5-year-olds should know about or how to do. And I realize that 5-year-olds have expectations for their parents as well. You can read about this on my post, Five Things My 5-Year-Old Expects from Me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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One Way to Add Peace into Your Relationship http://frugalishmomma.com/one-way-to-add-peace-to-your-relationship/ http://frugalishmomma.com/one-way-to-add-peace-to-your-relationship/#respond Sun, 13 Mar 2016 10:38:01 +0000 http://frugalishmomma.com/?p=144 As I begin to write this  post, I know from previous conversations that what I’m about to say will not be for every couple. But believe me, this has been the BEST thing the hubs and I have done to create and maintain some peace in our relationship. I received this advice about a year [...]

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Looking for a way to add some peace back into your relationship? This easy, simple idea will help you have a more peaceful and restful night.As I begin to write this  post, I know from previous conversations that what I’m about to say will not be for every couple. But believe me, this has been the BEST thing the hubs and I have done to create and maintain some peace in our relationship. I received this advice about a year into our marriage and we haven’t looked back since.

Do you and your significant other continue night after night to have the “Battle of the Blankets?” We were CONSTANTLY arguing about how many layers our bed should have and who stole the covers last night. Growing up, my bed had a top sheet, a light cotton blanket, and a comforter. Being a naturally cold person, I discovered down-alternative comforters in my college years. I like to bundle up and stay toasty warm. The hubs, on the other hand, prefers to be cool when he sleeps. He sleeps with a fan blowing on him, the window open if weather permits, and sleeps with just a top sheet on. Let’s just say he is ALWAYS hot and I am ALMOST ALWAYS cold. This does not create a good combination for sharing a bed and led to both of us feeling like we were compromising and still losing out.

What were we to do? Time travel back to the 1950s when we could each have our own twin bed? Not that we haven’t jokingly talked about it, but that wasn’t an option. Our alternative? We each sleep with our very own blanket! No top sheet, just a blanket of our own choosing.

Now I know this idea has gotten me some interesting looks and comments about how this is terrible for relationships, and how we are literally putting something between us, but this idea has actually made sleeping more enjoyable and peaceful for us. No more fighting over who is hogging the covers, or having 6 layers of blankets on when the other person decides to shove them onto your side. This also helped the hubs and I create our own space in bed. Now I can’t account for the entire night, but it does help keep either of us hogging more than our half of the bed.

If you are a couple who likes to cuddle or maintain closeness during sleeping, this is not the solution for you. But if you’re a couple who likes to have your own space to relax and sleep, this might be a great alternative!

We are going on year 4 of this idea and it has given us a sense of freedom and peace. It really is the BEST way to sleep. Not only are we more comfortable while sleeping, but this has definitely helped us create a more peaceful relationship.

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DIY Scent and Softening Crystals http://frugalishmomma.com/diy-scent-and-softening-crystals/ http://frugalishmomma.com/diy-scent-and-softening-crystals/#respond Wed, 09 Mar 2016 06:00:45 +0000 http://frugalishmomma.com/?p=127 It will be three years in July since I began making my own laundry detergent and I’m only on batch number four. And honestly, there’s no going back to the expensive, store bought soap. It’s a huge money saver! However, the one downfall is that there is almost no scent at all. The hubs still [...]

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Add your own scent and soften your laundry all with this frugal do it your self!

It will be three years in July since I began making my own laundry detergent and I’m only on batch number four. And honestly, there’s no going back to the expensive, store bought soap. It’s a huge money saver! However, the one downfall is that there is almost no scent at all. The hubs still has a hard time with this one, especially when he gets a whiff of clothing that has been washed in Tide or Downy, which we don’t use anymore either.

At first we used Downy Unstoppables as a scent booster and really liked how our clothes smelled, but the price for a tiny bottle was not something I was willing to pay. So we started using Purex Crystals, which gave us more bang for our buck. We used these for about a year, but again, I got tired of paying for these. So we went without anything for a while, but our laundry was just missing something. I had read about using Epsom Salt mixed with Essential Oils as a scent booster and clothing softener. I mixed an entire bag of Epsom Salt into my third batch of laundry detergent without the Essential Oils.

When it was time to make the fourth batch of laundry soap, I decided to do a little more research on Epsom Salt.  Our clothes didn’t seem to be coming as clean as before and they had a slimy feeling to them. It was just a slight feeling, but enough that I wanted to learn more before using it again in the newest batch. I learned that Epsom Salt isn’t really a salt at all, but it is actually a compound of magnesium and sulfate and has no softening qualities. Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Epsom Salt and the amazing things it can be used for. I just don’t love it in my laundry soap.

So here is what I am using to add a scent and soften our clothes now and I am loving it!

One box of Ice Cream Salt, 10-20 drops of lavender Essential Oil, and 10-20 drops of lemon Essential Oil. That’s it!

I put the entire box of Ice Cream Salt into an air tight Rubbermaid plastic container and mixed in the Essential Oils. I use the measuring cup from a tub of OxiClean, but you can use anything you’d like to. I fill the cup up about 1/4 full for each load, toss the crystals into the drum, and our clothes are coming out clean and smelling fresh!

The scent is noticeable, but not overpowering. I LOVE the combination of lavender and lemon essential oil. You can use any oil combination that you enjoy, and can add or decrease the amount to create the perfect scent for your family! I use these in my HE washing machine and have never had any issues. My clothes come out clean, soft, and with a light, refreshing scent.

Here’s the cost breakdown:

Plastic container – free (I already had these)

Essential Oils – free (I already had these)

Ice Cream Salt – $4.31 at my local Hy-Vee

I am still using the first batch that I’ve made, so I do not have the total number of loads that one box will produce. But if we say one box will last 40 loads, your cost per load would be about $0.11! And more loads per box with decrease your cost per load!

This is a great way to add your own, personalized scent to your laundry and soften your clothes without spending a ton of money of dryer sheets or softener.

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Keep Insects Away Naturally http://frugalishmomma.com/keep-insects-away-naturally/ http://frugalishmomma.com/keep-insects-away-naturally/#respond Mon, 07 Mar 2016 11:02:49 +0000 http://frugalishmomma.com/?p=123 Spring is on it’s way! Today Peanut, Pickle, the hubs, and I were taking advantage of a warm, March day in Minnesota. The temperature was only in the 50’s, but man, it felt like summer compared to the cold, winter days we’ve been experiencing. We were outside playing on our swing set and some early [...]

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Tired of insects ruining your outdoor fun? Keep insects away naturally as you and your family enjoy the outdoors!

Spring is on it’s way! Today Peanut, Pickle, the hubs, and I were taking advantage of a warm, March day in Minnesota. The temperature was only in the 50’s, but man, it felt like summer compared to the cold, winter days we’ve been experiencing. We were outside playing on our swing set and some early spring bugs were fluttering around. Peanut was not having any of it and decided that he would not go on the swing set because of these insects.

It got me thinking about how I kept all those pesky insects away last summer. These are natural, kid friendly ideas, and many of them are inexpensive or free!

Cinnamon in the Sand box

Sprinkle some cinnamon in with the sand to keep ants from invading. I usually use an entire spice bottle each season. Mix together for an even spread.  Plus, it smells great! Note: sometimes the cinnamon will clump up. We keep our sand box covered to keep cats and other animals from using it as a bathroom. If your sand area is covered as well,  just break the cinnamon clumps apart the next time you play.

DIY Bee and Wasp Repellent

I have only tried this once or twice, and am not 100% convinced it works, but with my fear of wasps and the abundance we seem to have around our house, I am willing to give just about anything a try. I wonder where Peanut has picked up his dislike of insects… Anyway, this combination calls for 2 ounces of peppermint extract, 2 ounces of mint extract, and 10 ounces of rubbing alcohol mixed together in a spray bottle. I picked one up at the Dollar Tree. Spray this on any area you would like to keep wasps away from, including decks and play areas.

Remove/Add the Proper Landscaping

This is one that the hubs and I have been working on since we bought our home in 2012. The previous owners were green thumbs, to say the least, and had beautiful plants and gardens surrounding the house and property lines. All four sides of the house were planted with flowers and bushes galore, as well as the entire length of the backyard along the property line. I have sweetly referred to this as “the jungle.” We have since removed the jungle after tilling up the ground numerous times. The hubs also removed about 7 bushes from the front of our house, leaving only a few remaining. While the yard was taken care of impeccably by the previous owners, I am not much of a green thumb and I cannot/do not want to find the time or energy to weed and garden everyday, which is what the upkeep needed in order to be properly maintained. The plants and bushes are also one of the reasons we have so many bees and wasps around our house. Although we have removed A TON of plants, flowers, and bushes, there are still so many left that draw bees and wasps near our play areas. This is a continued work in progress for our family.

I have also read that planting lemongrass in places that your use the most outdoors also keeps mosquitoes away. I have yet to try this one for myself, but plan on doing so when the greenhouses open later this spring. I will keep you posted! Speaking of mosquitoes…

Take Care of Standing Water

Since we live in a very humid area during the summer months and have a lake right across the street, we are constantly battling mosquitoes. Two summers ago we spent a lot of time indoors because the mosquitoes were so bad that not even bug sprays helped. We have removed our bird feeder from the backyard since these are basically mosquito breeding grounds.

Peanut and Pickle love to be outside and play in the water. We use sprinklers, water tables, and baby pools during the summer months. While these can be refreshing, remember to empty any standing water from buckets or other toys before heading in for the evening. If you want to be resourceful and keep the water for the next play time, use a tarp or other covers to keep the water clean and free from mosquitoes.

How do you keep bugs and pests away?

 

 

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How We Saved Over $1400 on Preschool Tuition http://frugalishmomma.com/how-we-saved-over-1400-on-preschool-tuition/ http://frugalishmomma.com/how-we-saved-over-1400-on-preschool-tuition/#respond Sun, 06 Mar 2016 22:21:15 +0000 http://frugalishmomma.com/?p=84 If you have children, are planning on having children in the future, or know someone with a child, you NEED to sign up for T.R.I.P. (Tuition Reduction Incentive Program). It’s free, easy to do, and it’s like getting paid for things that you already spend money on! Here’s how it works. This amazing program sells [...]

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How We Saved Over $1400 in Preschool Tuition

If you have children, are planning on having children in the future, or know someone with a child, you NEED to sign up for T.R.I.P. (Tuition Reduction Incentive Program). It’s free, easy to do, and it’s like getting paid for things that you already spend money on!

Here’s how it works. This amazing program sells gift cards for tons of local and national places at face value, and a percentage of the purchase is placed into your account. The vendor buys them at the discounted price and the difference is added to your account. Each business offers their own percentage of “cash back.” This money can be used for tuition payment at private preschools and private grade schools, and it can also be used to help purchase text books for your college age children! This program varies by state and even city, so check it out in your area and get signed up today! It’s FREE and EASY to do.

For example, every pay day, the hubs and I go down to our local T.R.I.P. vendor and purchase gift cards for our local grocery store and gas station (they happen to be the same place since our local Hy-Vee has a gas station). We usually have about $200-$300 hundred budgeted for BOTH gas and groceries for two weeks. At a 4% return for our Hy-Vee gift cards, we get $12 into our account when we purchase $300 worth! It’s like getting free money! Ok, I know there’s no such thing as free money, but it is like a forced savings account. Why not get “paid” to spend the same amount of money that you would have anyways?! And, it’s like using the cash envelope system since you’ve already paid for the gift cards using cash or check. Our local T.R.I.P vendor doesn’t accept credit cards because it would cost them money and they are providing us with a free, money saving service.

Some of the gift cards that we regularly purchase are Target (LOVE those Up and Up diapers!), Amazon, Olive Garden, McDonalds, Shutterfly, and Pizza Hut, to name a few.

Another great feature is that family and friends can buy T.R.I.P. and have it credited to YOUR account. My parents are constantly buying T.R.I.P. for just about everything. I cannot tell your how quickly our savings has added up!

Here is a breakdown of our T.R.I.P. savings so far. We started buying T.R.I.P. for Peanut  in 2011 when he was about 8 months old and I wish we would’ve started even before he was born. Peanut is now in his second year of preschool. Last year, the cost was $70 per month. That’s a whopping $630 for the school year, with daycare costs on top of that. This year the price increased to $90 per month. That’s $810! With the help of T.R.I.P., so far we’ve only paid for his $65 non-refundable deposit for each year. That’s only $130 out of pocket for two years of preschool! That’s a total savings of $1,440!!!

We are currently paid through the month of March 2016 and are working on April and May. I’m stubborn (some may say cheap) and REFUSE to pay any tuition out of pocket. After these two months are paid for, I’ll go into our vendor and ask them to put a freeze on our account until Pickle is ready for preschool in about two years. We will continue purchasing T.R.I.P. and keep adding money into our account for Pickle’s future preschool tuition. After that, we have our sights set on college savings!!

This is an AWESOME program and it’s free! Talk about a double bonus!

Do you use T.R.I.P.? Do you have any other suggestions on how to make this program even better for other families?

 

 

 

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