Money Savers

Saving money is something that many of us try to do. We are constantly learning new ways or thinking of how we can be better. This is part of homemaking! We actually are called to save money!

Our husbands work daily for us and our children. They earn the money, pay the bills, and then give it to us for the family necessities. It is our job to use this money wisely. We did not, technically, earn it. So, we must be careful with how we spend it. We should take it and not act with an “I deserve it” attitude. We need to look at it as “This is what I have and what does the family need?”

A good way to foster this question, is to ask your husbands for a budget. Your husbands should have control over the money and therefore, should dish out what you need. If you have a budget, you will more than likely not spend on needless items.

Another helpful tip is to ask your husbands if you can purchase anything before you do. This gives the leader of the home, an idea of what you are buying and allows him to have a better hold on the finances. Now, I know that there are some ladies who do the budgeting and finances for the family. If this works for your family, then continue to do it, however, give yourself budgets and spend only that money. It is also just a good idea and practice to ask your husband if it is ok to purchase something outside of groceries.

Now that we know our budgets, what are some ways in which to use it wisely? There are many, but it mainly involves self-control. Self-control is extremely important! As women, we like to spend money even if we are at the grocery store! Cutting your spending will start to take place if you control your buying eye and stick with what you originally went shopping for.

A good place to start this practice, is at the store we go to once, twice, or three times a month. Yes, you guessed it, the grocery store! Grocery budgets depend on each family, however, it should not be extremely high! The average American family could probably drop their grocery bill by a hundred bucks or more! What are some ways to accomplish this?

  1. Don’t buy name brand! This is a big one. Name brands only bump up the price. They are practically the same thing as the generic. Sometimes, the generic is not as good, but maybe this is a little sacrifice we can make. If you really want to buy a name brand item, first look for coupons! There are some out there! A recent thing, which I love, is that the stores with cards, ( Kroger, Walgreens, Publix, CVS, etc) will have coupons that you can load directly onto your cards. Say goodbye to having paper coupons everywhere! It is definitely faster and a good way to save on items that tend to be higher priced.
  2. Watch the amount of junk food– if you want money to buy some of the more expensive healthy items, cut out some of the junk food from your list. It is also, part of our jobs to feed our families well and with items that nurture them. So, instead of grabbing a bag of chips, go to the produce aisle and pick up some fruits and veggies instead.
  3. Buy what is on sale!– this alone will save you a lot! My Mother’s motto, which I live by, is “If it is not on sale, we are not buying it.” It might mean passing up a less necessary item, but it will help you in the long run.
  4. Look online for some health foods– if you are a health food buyer, be sure to look online for items. Sometimes you can buy in bulk for a much more reasonable price. Health food stores, can sometimes have decent prices if you catch their sales. However, online is more consistent and it is shipped right to your door!
  5. Don’t let your kids throw stuff in your cart!– kids do not think about money, they only think about what they want! So, they will typically, grab the most expensive item off the shelf and if you let them purchase it, it will raise your bill!
  6. Try and stay away from frozen meals-Frozen meals are far more expensive then if you actually made it yourself. The only frozen items that are worth purchasing are frozen veggies and frozen fruit. Occasionally buying a frozen pizza won’t hurt you, but it can quickly add to the final bill.

There are many more ways to save on groceries and other items. The above list is just to help you get started. If you have a way that helps you save, please feel free to leave a comment and tell us about it!

 

 

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The Power of a Smile

Smile! Your life is wonderful! As a homemaker, we have so much to be thankful for and happy about. Even during some rough times, we still have a blessing to smile about.

A smile is something that is very powerful! We can light up a room, put our children in a better mood, and help lift up the spirits of our husbands. All we have to do is smile! It, also can help us during a rough day. When a crazy or upsetting day occurs, before you go to sleep, smile at the good things that you have and the wonderful husband you have lying next to you (or if he works night shift, give him a smile before he leaves for work). Then, when you get up in the morning, smile and attack the new day with a good attitude of thankfulness and joy.

St Teresa of Calcutta said that, “Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.” How can we show love and practice acts of love, if we don’t first smile at those we serve? Sometimes a sweet smile is all a person needs to brighten up their day!

Sometimes, a smile can be a form of mortification. There are times when we don’t feel like smiling or it is something that is very hard to do. St. Josemaria tells us “That joke, that witty remark held on the tip of your tongue; the cheerful smile for those who annoy you; that silence when you’re unjustly accused; your friendly conversation with people whom you find boring and tactless; the daily effort to overlook one irritating detail or another in the persons who live with you… this, with perseverance, is indeed solid interior mortification.”(The Way)  This simple act of smiling can be turned into a gift for God! So, even when you don’t feel like smiling, SMILE!

St. Gianna Molla, whiling working as a pediatric physician, prior to meeting her husband, wrote a hymn about the value of a smile. She is an excellent model for us in this regard. She is said to always have had a smile and a great enthusiasm for her life. This is what made her so beautiful and attractive to those around her. It was also what gave her the ability to choose her child’s life over hers. Here is the hymn below:

Hymn of Joy

“To smile at God, from whom all gifts come to us,

To smile to God, the Father, with ever more perfect prayers to the Holy Spirit,

To smile at Jesus, drawing near to Him in Holy Mass, in Communion, in visits to the Blessed Sacrament,

To smile at him who personifies Christ, the Pope; at him who personifies God, our confessor, even when he calls us to mortification.

To smile at the Holy Virgin, model upon which we must pattern our lives, so that whoever looks at us may be led to good thoughts.

To smile at the guardian angel because he was given us by God to guide us to paradise.

To smile at parents, brothers, and sisters, because we ought to be torches of joy, even when they impose duties on us that go against our pride.

To smile always, pardoning offenses.

To smile in the Association, banishing any criticism and murmuring.

To smile at those whom the Lord sends us during the day.

The world seeks joy but does not find it because it is far from God.

We, full of the joy that comes from Jesus, carry joy in our hearts with Jesus. He will be the strength that helps us.

                                                            -Writings of Saint Gianna Beretta Molla

Notebooks of Recollections, nos. 6-7

So, wear that beautiful smile! Make sure to add it to your makeup bag and may it be the first thing that you put on each morning!

A Woman’s Rights

“Women’s rights” is a very popular phrase used in today’s culture. However, do we truly know what a woman’s rights are? There are SO many definitions as to what this means. In the big picture, it means that all women should have equal rights as men and do everything that they do. This is not a true definition. It is something, that over the years, the secular culture has forced us into believing.

While, yes, there are a few things that both men and women should have equal rights to, such as voting, being able to have a career (when it is required), and obtaining a good education. These things are wonderful freedoms that we, as women today, can enjoy. However, there are many things that men are called to do that women should not do. God has given both man and woman numerous talents. They are gifts that separate men from women.

What are some? Well, here are a few.

1.Woman have the natural ability to nurture and care for those around them. We can immediately look at a situation and see who is the person in greatest need. We can aid  an individual with a hug or words of comfort.

2. We have a gift for design and organization! We can make a home beautiful and organized without having to think too much about it. We can pick out radiant colors for the home. We also have better taste in fashion! We can turn a boring wardrobe into something vibrant and more colorful!

3. We can multi-task! This is probably one of the best gifts that God has given us! It allows us to raise children, keep a house, care for our husbands, and plan for the future without loosing our minds!

4. We can offer kind words of encouragement. While men can be blunt and very straight forward, we can find the right words at the right time. Now, straightforwardness is not a bad thing and we all need it every now and then. However, if someone needs a gentler take on a subject or words that build them up, the women,usually, have the right words to share.

There are many other ways, as to where our true rights lie. I have found a poem that was written in the 1800s that explains it very well! Enjoy!

WOMAN’S RIGHTS!
Some people think that women should
Compete in life’s swift race
With men, and gain each privilege
Position, power, and place
Which he enjoys. I can’t agree
With those progressive lights;
I’ll tell you what appears to me
To be fair woman’s rights.

When passion’s young ecstatic fire
First kindles in our veins,
‘Tis woman’s right to bind our hearts
In Cupid’s rosy chains;
She wields a queenly scepter then
Which we must needs obey,
We’re building castles in the night
And dreaming all the day.

‘Tis woman’s right to be caressed
When love is in the spring
And when affection’s harvest comes
Her right it is to bring
The garnered fruits of happiness
To cheer man’s dreary way,
To smooth his tougher nature
And refine his coarser clay.

‘Tis woman’s right to wean us from
Our selfishness and greed,
A counsellor in trouble and
A faithful friend in need.
‘Tis woman’s right to lead us from
The foot of Mammon’s throne
And take us to a nobler shrine
Where purer joys are known.

‘Tis woman’s sacred right–and this
To her by God is given,
To teach the lisping little ones
The password into Heaven.
No joy man knows on earth can with
A mother’s bliss compare
When listening with the angel choir
She hears her child’s first prayer.

‘Tis woman’s right to lean on man
In sorrow and distress
For he was made to comfort her
And she was made to bless;
Her bulwark against danger, be
She daughter, sister, wife,
Or mother, he should guard her well
Aye, even with his life.

‘Tis woman’s right, ere we prepare
To battle in life’s van,
To shape our future destinies
And mould the mind of man.
And here, where we’re erecting on
Pacific’s breast a state,
The mothers of our rising race
Can make it poor or great.

~ Thomas Bracken

The Benefits of Line Drying

Have you ever considered hanging your wash outside to dry? I know that it may sound archaic, but it is actually very beneficial. It can, in the long run, make laundry easier and fun.

Here are some of the benefits!

1.It is cheaper: You will save on your electric bill! The dryer is notorious for sucking away your money. Line drying will help you save your pennies and dimes and it is environmental friendly!

2. It helps with wrinkles: By hanging your wash up to dry, you prevent a lot of the wrinkles that you get from them tumbling around in the dryer.

3. You won’t forget about them (for the most part): By having your clothes outside, you will more and likely, not forget about them. We often do, when we have them in the dryer and this only leads to more wrinkles!

4. Fresh clean smell: This is one of the best parts of hanging your clothes out! The smell is wonderful and fresh!

5. Whites stay whiter: The sun helps remove stains, so your whites will stay white!

6. It gets you outside: It is an excellent way to get you to step outside and smell the fresh air!

7. You fold your clothes right away: When you go out to take your clothes down, you will immediately fold them. This makes things neater and faster. Say goodbye to unfolded clothes sitting in laundry baskets for a day or two!

So, why don’t you give you a try! Set up a laundry line or just put a laundry rack out for a few pieces of clothe and see how it works! Many homemakers did this for thousands of years! It worked well for them, so why shouldn’t work for us?!

 

You are the HEART of the Home

The Heart. It is a very powerful organ! It enables us to live, grow, and thrive in the world. It cleans our blood and renews our vascular system! It rejuvenates the body! Amazing! Yet, how often do we actually think about it? We don’t even have to think about the heart for it to function. It is one of the hidden organs that we only recognize if it is hurt.

The homemaker plays a similar role. We are hidden from society and are rarely given a second thought about. However, our calling is one of society’s most important. Without us doing our jobs correctly, the world will hurt. The home and family will become extinct and a worse society will rise.

As wives and mothers, we have been entrusted with the body of the home. We make it run smoothly, grow in grace, and make it a place of rejuvenation from the outside world. It is a place for its many residents, to receive renewed oxygen and the means to continue living in a godly way. We provide the world with God-fearing members who will better society by their love of God, by their faith, and by living morally sound lives.

If the “heart” stops, then its body will fall. If the homemaker forgets about her duties, her calling from God, then the rest of the family will fall. The husband will no longer have a refuge to come home to and he will lose his desire to return to it. The children will no longer grow in a godly manner and will not now how to conquer the outside world. The home will turn into a place of chaos and become only a place to sleep at night. The body will loose its much needed love, virtues, and laughter.

While it is important to help those outside our homes, our first priority must lie within our own walls. We cannot aid others if our own hearts are failing. We must rise against today’s message that tells us staying at home is an imprisonment. We must stop believing the lies that it is “not making us who we are”, or that staying at home is failing to allow us  to “spread our wings”. Homemaking is the calling given by Our Lord Himself- to all wives and mothers. It is what we are meant to do. Even if we are not recognized in this life, if we fulfill God’s will, our reward will be great in the next!

The Joy of Cooking

“A wife’s charm delights her husband, and her skill puts fat on his bones.” ~ Sirach 26:13

One of a homemaker’s greatest tasks is cooking. Some women love it and others have a hard time with it.  Some women have never been instructed in the kitchen, and are scared of it. It can be a love and hate relationship. However one feels about it, cooking is an important part of a homemaker’s day!

As queens of the home, we are responsible for the health of our families. We are given the job of preparing foods that satisfy everyone’s stomachs. It is our obligation to make sure that what we putting on our families’ plates, is something that will bring strength and refreshment to our husbands, and aid the growth and development of our children.

So, where do we start? First thing is to cook! All of the meals that are pre-made in your frozen aisles at the grocery, are FULL of unhealthy chemicals and carbs. They do not satisfy and definitely do not taste as good as a home cooked meal.

Stop eating out! We all want to save money, right? Well, you can help your budget if you stop driving through the drive thru or going to restaurants a couple times of the week. Most of the food from these places are full of fat, carbs, and are not exactly fresh.

If you are not familiar with cooking, you should start. There are tons of simple recipes that you can pick up and try. You don’t have to be a professional chef to cook. It is really a quite simple thing to do. Cooking only gets better with time and practice. Try, try again and you will succeed!

Now I know what some of you are thinking, “I am soooo tired at the end of the day and I just don’t feel like doing it.” or “Cooking takes too much of my time, so I just can’t.”  These thoughts go through every woman’s mind from time to time. Thankfully, we live in a thriving country where we can, after a very long day or hard day, go to the nearest McDonalds, other fast food food joints, or even the grocery and pick up a pizza. Sometimes we do just need to do that! However, this should not become the norm or a habit.

One of the greatest things about cooking, is the satisfaction that you get after you are done. The joy of the kitchen, comes from seeing your family laughing and talking around the table enjoying what has been prepared. After the meal, it is in seeing everyone with full bellies, ready to continue on with the day.

So, homemakers, get into your kitchens! Start learning what foods are healthy and beneficial for your families. It may be hard at first, but with time and patience you can “put fat on his bones.”