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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Organization Part 3

The second part to organizing the home, is that the homemaker maintains her things. We have all heard the common saying, “A place for everything and everything in its place.” How many of us follow it?

There are many ways in which we can follow the above statement. The first step is to answer the questions, do I really know where everything is? Are the places where I keep my things neat and easy for others to use? If you answered “no” to the first question, then that will be your next chore. It is time to go through your house and put your things in order. If you answered “yes” to the first, but “no” to the second, then your next chore will be to neaten up the cabinets, shelves, drawers, etc.

How do you organize your home? This is a fairly open question. You should order your home according to what works best for you. One way of organizing might work for your neighbor, but not for you. Everyone has different lives and different ways in which to go about things. The goal, however, is that whatever way you do it, your home is neat and orderly.

Here are a few steps that might help you as you journey towards bringing order into your home!

  1. Get rid of stuff! This is huge! How many of us, have items in the home that we hardly ever touch or don’t realize we have until we are cleaning a room one day? If you don’t use it, wear it, or even think about it, you should probably give it away. This will help open up space. It will also help give the home a cleaner look! There are lots of places that take donations; i.e. Goodwill, a pregnancy center, St. Vincent De Paul Society, etc. You could also have a yard sale! This is a great opportunity to make a little extra cash!
  2. Go to the Dollar Tree or Dollar General: Yes, go shopping! Shop for containers. Both of these stores have great containers for only one dollar! You can get so much for only 15-20 bucks! Also, make use of the containers that you have at home. Getting rid of stuff will help make some available.
  3. Pick a room to start in: Don’t overwhelm yourself! Take it one room at a time.
  4. Pull everything out of the cabinets! If you are in a room with cabinets, i.e. Kitchen or Bathroom, empty them. Go through what is in them. Throw away any expired food and empty soap bottle/boxes.
  5. Put things in containers. For the kitchen, put all your bagged, dry goods in a plastic container. This will help keep little critters away! In the bathroom, put your makeup, hair supplies, and extra bath items in a box or bin. (Pencil holders work great for ponytail holders and bobby pins!)
  6. Step back and see what you think!

After using these steps, show your children and husband where everything goes. Hopefully, they will learn, too.

If you have any organization ideas or questions, please feel free to write them in the comment boxes below! We would love to hear from you!

 

 

 

 

Organization Part 2

f3da97301bd6521f8ec81c4e6dcdf7fe--gift-quotes-gospel-quotesOrganization of Time: This is the first thing a homemaker must tackle, in order to achieve much in her day and bring peace into the home. Time is an easy thing that we can waste, even without knowing it. We can also take it for granted. St. Josemaria Escriva said,    “What a pity to kill time which is a treasure of God”. Time is a gift and it must be used wisely, in order, that we might reach our goal of eternal life.

What are some ways we waste time? I am sure that you can make a list of your own, but I will provide a few ways:

  1. Sleeping in– This is a BIG one, which some would not consider. It is important for the homemaker to awake before her children! Proverbs 31:15 says “She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household.” Now, this does not mean that you need to rise at 3 or 4 am….it could be 5 or 6 am. Whatever works best for you. It will take practice, but you CAN do it! In doing this, you are providing yourself time, without the little ones, and are able to prepare for the day.
  2. Making Excuses This is another one that we can often do. We sometimes like to push things off until tomorrow or talk about what needs be done , instead of just doing it. St. John Paul II said that “An excuse is worse and more terrible than a lie, for an excuse is a lie guarded.” This is very true! When we make an excuse, we are only lying to ourselves that we can’t do it right know, when in reality, we probably can.
  3. Media How often, during our day, do we look at our phones, email, Facebook, etc. ? Probably a lot more than we think. In today’s world, electronics and social media are things that we must battle, daily. Cardinal Sarah said, recently, in his book, The Power of Silence, “…his [man’s] eyes are red, haggard, and sick. The artificial spectacles and the screens glowing uninterruptedly try to bewitch the mind and the soul.” (The Power of Silence, paragraph 45) Technology is a great distraction! We can waste so much time, without even knowing it. The internet is great for making one do more than what they originally intended to do! Technology can be a gift, when it is used rightly. It is a thing that must be monitored and must not be turned into a way of avoiding the task at hand.

Time management is very important! It enables us to avoid distractions and making excuses. When we organize our time, we are more capable of living out our vocation to its fullest.

Organization Part 1

d4f617d60083e08c4f02225dda4fa7b5Organized! A word we all like to have in our personality traits, however can never really put into action.

In this first part, we are going to go over the need for organization in the home. In parts two and three, we will discuss a few methods of how to organize your time and your home. Let’s dive in!

First off, what is organization? It is simply “arrang[ing]  into a structured whole” (Dictionary.com). Unfortunately, the tv world and magazine articles, have given us the idea that to be organized means our homes must look like something on HGTV or in a Better Homes and Garden Magazine. Those homes are not reality and  definitely do not give a realistic meaning to organization. Organization is, realistically, having structure and an understanding of what needs to occur throughout your day.

Why do we need organization? St. Josemaria Escriva, founder of Opus Dei, says that, “Order will bring harmony to your life, and lead you to perseverance. Order will give peace to your heart and dignity to your composure.” (The Forge, paragraph 806) This is a very true statement! When we know what must be done throughout the day and the time laid out to do it, our work becomes more of a harmonious routine. We no longer waste time wondering what to do, where to go, or where did I put that item I need. We are also able to carry ourselves with more confidence and be more of a witness to our Catholic faith. Now, will everyday be picture perfect and go as planned? No, but organization helps when unexpected events do occur.

St. Josemaria goes on to say, “With order, your time will be multiplied, and you will be able to give more glory to God by doing more work in his service.” (The Way, par. 80) When we organize our time, we accomplish more than we can imagine. (This was the secret to most of the Saints’ lives) We have more time to give to our families, friends, and most, importantly, God. Our homes will turn from places of chaos to places of peace and structure.