I have been working on a new household schedule. Two months ago I purchased a daily appointment book. I decide that if I was going to keep our house more organized that I needed to pencil in all the things that needed to be done and I soon found out that there is not enough hours in the day.
So I look back in time because that is what I like to do. Above is a 1932 grocery ad, the month of April. In the past shopping was normally done once a week and on a certain day, being that there was money for food during this time.
Many years ago I would take my mother-in-law grocery shopping and we would go on a Thursday and she would buy nearly the same food each week. She kept a summer garden and would put up peas and corn, okra and the greens she grew. She would keep her staples to make biscuits and grits and she liked to serve mashed potatoes with most meals. She kept meat such as beef patties and bacon and always a loaf of sandwich bread. My daughter remembers her small one serving vanilla ice cream cups. She always picked up a six pack of coke a colas in the small glass bottles, the kind you returned the bottles for a refund. In her later years she used jiffy mix to make cornbread and small cakes.
She sewed to make extra money, she made quilts and sewed dresses and she could do the most beautiful smocking over the top of a dress. Older people in my past knew how to save and repurpose and most importantly, not spend.
I would take my mother-in-law to the grocery store called Quick Check which later became Winn Dixie.
It depended on where a person lived in the country as which day the main shopping day was. Those vintage embroidered kitchen towels normally said, Wash on Monday, Iron on Tuesday, Mend on Wednesday, Market on Thursday or Market on Friday, Clean on Thursday or Clean on Friday, Bake on Saturday, Rest on Sunday. I have seen other kitchen towels embroidered with a different schedule and most likely to fit in their own personal time of when they could do their washing, mending and going to the market.
Many women were very routine in what they did as far as running a household. They were also very good at planning and writing a grocery list so they did not leave anything off because if they did they would have to wait until the next week on normal shopping day. I hope I can get back to better meal planning and only shop once a week or maybe even once every two weeks. I did it before and I can do it again. I have been working on this.
It takes discipline to live a less wasteful life and every trip to a store is fuel, it is wear and tear on a automobile or it is a fare if one does not have a automobile. the small things we do to save money adds up to dollars and that can be applied to the grocery bill or the utility bill. It can be applied to needed medication and the more ways we find to save can add to savings.
When I was researching, I came across a local grocery ad of April 1932 and there was a recipe on that page of the newspaper for Escalloped Cabbage and the recipe follows
4 tablespoons butter
6 tablespoons flour
2 3-4 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
1-4 teaspoon paprika (1/4 teaspoon)
1-4 teaspoon celery salt
3 cups chopped, cooked cabbage
2-3 cup cracker crumbs (2/3 cup)
3 tablespoons butter, melted.
Melt 4 tablespoons of butter and add flour. Blend and add milk and cook until creamy sauce forms. Add seasonings. Blend and add cabbage. Pour into shallow, buttered baking dish and cover with crumbs which have been mixed with melted butter. Bake 25 minutes in moderate oven. Serve in dish in which baked.
Our lives are in constant change and we go through different stages in our life and especially when we are raising a family. When we get older we sometimes need to readjust how we do things.
So I decided I needed to make a schedule, a temporary schedule so I could develop a new routine that could become just that, a routine so I would not need the schedule after I learn my new routine. I do not want to live by a schedule but I do prefer to have a routine.
When I first started keeping my own home I would shop only once a month, we had little money and one car and one paycheck that came once a month.
Then as we went through the years and everything around us was changing we changed too. Commonly women stayed home to raise the children and the man left the home to go to work. As years moved along, more women started working outside the home and the family went from one car to two cars. Life started getting complicated, women were good at doing their best to keep the home running smoothly but it became clear that many women simply took on having two jobs, the outside the home work and the work that had to be done at home.
Slowly life was becoming more casual and actually a bit sloppy, manners and good etiquette were noticeably fading and households were becoming crammed with too many items because advertising was always pushing people along to purchase new items. Often the old items went in storage and the serious clutter began. Quality was disappearing so there was a need to replace items more often.
In the past when telephones entered the market and a family could afford a phone it would be a single phone in the household and often on a party line, sharing the same line with other households.
Time went by and there were private phone lines, the next thing we have arrived to the year of the arrival of a home computer. They were quite a bit different than what we see today. Then beepers, to wear on the waist and then brick phones, the first cell phones and then small cell phones and the time had arrived to most people were connected to something all the time.
Today we see that many people shop most anytime they want, there seems to be little routine in this instant world and sadly many people are living with debt and depression.
Homemade fajita bowl. This was our one day international food day.
As Charles and I have advanced through the years, fast food and the food in the grocery stores have become available day and night and anything easy to eat 24 hours a day, seven days a week and all year around unless they close for Christmas or New Year and we have a society that is not only losing valuable how do repairs and maintenance but also how to cook a simple meal. I have concerns for our young people. One way to help them is be examples.
During the time while electronic devices were increasing and just before, mega size televisions were being hauled into homes, crazy high cable bills and cell phone bills Charles and I decided we wanted to go back to basics or at least as much as we could. I called it going home, I felt homesick and just not right about things. I knew a better time and I wanted it back.
We wanted to do even more than that, we wanted to be out of debt, we wanted to live a life of what made sense. If we all follow what others are doing just because they are following others we end up chained to debt and live a terribly stressful life. We had already accumulated some debt and were stressed. So we turned around and went back to where we could remember life before all of this. We got ourselves out of debt and we will do whatever it takes to keep it that way.
Yesterday I was folding laundry and so I laid out some of our cloths that we use to keep us from spending money for disposables. Disposable costs money as well as it fills up our landfills.
I realized when I was putting away the laundry how far we had come in our journey to less spending. We re-introduced old ways of how things were done and we also learned new ways of how to break bad habits.
We use cloth instead of paper. We use everyday dishes and glasses instead of disposables and we do our best to cook homemade meals and only pick up a carry out if we are in a bind. We have been reducing plastic in our home and our goal is to be as sustainable as we can considering that we live inside the city limits.
Small things add up to big things.
Constantly spending money, even the small amounts of money, adds up to a lot of money or a lot of debt.
Reducing spending and going paperless as possible can save a surprising amount of money.
Charles and I still use handkerchiefs. I Keep a few in my purse and Charles always carries a handkerchief in his pocket.
We keep a wash pot hanging in the laundry area to toss anything that needs a special clean up. Saying this, most items that we use in the home can simply be placed in the washer in hot soapy water. A special clean up would be possibly a need to add bleach or possibly boiling in a pot.
I iron our handkerchiefs for extra sanitizing. Steam is also good.
We use cloth dinner napkins for all our meals. We have everyday casual and also formal.
I have cut flannels to go under our dish rack and it absorbs just right.
I do not even hem them, some I do and some I do not, they stop fraying after awhile of washing.
I have blogged about these before.....
I looked back and I wrote my first article about paperless toilet paper in 2013 and many of these wipe cloths have been around since then. They are a bit smaller as we go through the years but still perfectly good to use.
I found some of the flannel in thrift stores using baby receiving blankets and scraps of flannel. I actually purchased some flannel when I realized there was so much more I could do to reduce paper products. I never dreamed how long these flannel wipes would last and they look like they will keep on.
They get tossed into a special container in the bathroom and then washed in hot soap and water. We started off with a simple personal bottle bidet to clean our down there part after number 2 and then we decided to add a bidet to our toilet the next year. For women they are really nice to use since we wipe or pat after we pee and there are no toilet paper particles to hang around down there which can cause irritation.
Just never flush them in the toilet as they will not break down, they are completely reusable. I wash them in soap and very hot water and then hang them on the outdoor line in the sunshine or the folding rack.
Wash cloths have a tendency to fray..
So I like to edge our cloths with crochet thread. This is a simple shell stitch that I have been doing for many years now..
I do not use yarn for this type of edging, I use number 10 cotton thread and a crochet hook, I forget the number of the hook because I have not made any recently. I use a fabric/quilting awl to punch holes around the cloth to attach the first edge row. I could not find the original video of an older woman crocheting edging on terry cloths that I learned from because it was many years ago but this young lady is crocheting her edge the same way that I do. If you are interested in learning to do this click the link below to view a video.
This flannel is what I use instead of paper towels. I like single ply fabric so it is thin but absorbs and washes and dry's easily. I feel if they are sewn together and then turned and stitch the edges then they might not get as clean as a single layer. This is why I personally like to have a simple one layer of flannel.
I would like to eventually edge all of our cloths.
I do zigzag the edges of some of the items. This is a small cloth for a small clean up. Sometimes we would grab a paper towel and tear the half in half. So we have this small size for those smaller jobs. I use darker colored cloths to use for coffee and tea clean ups and messes that would stain.
When I am doing laundry and I see a fray, I simply clip off the fray and if I have time I will zigzag over the edge if I feel it will become a big issue.
I may have posted about these before, at the moment I cannot remember if I did or I thought about posting it.
These are homemade panty liners. I call the sneezing pads. It is common for women to need a pad occasionally or all the time and they are so easy to make. A package of disposable pads is expensive and they can be made for monthly times or dribble or sneezing issues. They are soft and more comfortable than disposable.
They snap around the panty on the bottom side.
They can be folded and put in your purse or in a container in the bathroom. There are many videos and articles on the internet how to make them. Some are made really nice and turned so the seams are inside. I just like to make them like this so there is less bulk.
This is some of the ways we save money because we do not have to spend the money to purchase items that are going to be used once and thrown away and then have to purchase it again over and over. Who cares what they look like, nobody but us uses our personal pads.
I will mention baby diapers in case you have never read my post on baby diapers. I never used disposable diapers, I do not even know if there was such a thing when my children were babies. I know they make the cloth diapers now that are fitted and pre made. However the old fashioned single cotton cloth diapers wash and dry quickly and get very clean leaving no residue or odor.
Here is a youtube how to fold a old fashioned plain, flat diaper by a very sweet sensible young lady. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kV4YNYMG7m4
We are going back to a once a week shopping day for now and may even change to twice a month if we get it all figured out. It all depends on how we plan meals.
This meal was a jar of beef stew that I canned and put in the pantry along with the other jars of home canned stew. I added some frozen mixed vegetables and some sauted onion. This is good for stretching the days until the next shopping day.
We have adjusted our time to go to bed and time to get up in the morning to help us feel more rested so we have more stamina for all the things we look forward to doing during the day. It is easy to get off track and slowly find we are eating our meals a little bit later and reading a book long past our bedtime. It is all about discipline.
I have made a video to go with this post. Click here to view the video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4CFUEdYSjw