Easy cleaning

I don't really like cleaning & our house is usually chaotic, however, cleaning doesn't have to be a big chemical smelly meltdown. I gave the bathroom a quick once over this morning before the boys went to school and it took me all of 10 minutes to do & I only needed 4 things.

1 microfibre glove

1 old cloth (a quarter of an old nappy)

1/2 cup of borax

1/4 cup of white vinegar

...and a little bit of elbow grease!

The borax (doesn't harm the environment) and vinegar are for the toilet only. I sprinkle the borax into the toilet bowl and then spray the vinegar all around inside the bowl (I have the vinegar in a spray bottle marked "VINEGAR" for any of those dirty marks on the walls etc. It's a really good cleaner.). This I then leave for about 1 hour whilst I do other things in my life (sometimes longer as I often forget about it). After about an hour, I pour a kettle's worth of boiling water into the toilet (don't breath in) and then using the toilet brush, I scrub. Miraculously, it becomes a beautifully white toilet again, and loses the odour of four boys! Hallelujah

The rest of the bathroom gets the treatment with the microfibre glove (any of the bathroom ones that you can get from the supermarket are fine) with cold water & I rub & rub until it is all clean. I then follow myself around with the dry cloth (old nappy) and dry it up. All done. Clean bathroom. Wallah!

"I don't like green soup"

They were the words from our youngest when he saw this bowl of soup last night. After a little encouragement, we get him to take a taste & the next words were, "I do like green".

This is a good soup to make because it is cheap, full of nutrients, quick and easy. If I can make it, anyone can.

We have now christened it Green Soup (it did used to have a fancier name of ...Green Pea Soup)

Chop up a couple of cloves of garlic and about four sticks of celery.
Saute them in a splash of olive oil.
Put a good sprinkling of cumin in the pot & stir it around
Chuck in about 2-3 litres of chicken stock. If you have homemade chicken stock, this would be grand to use, however, bought stuff would be just as good.
Add about 1kg of frozen peas and bring it to the boil

Once the peas are all mushy, blend together with a stick blender
Add a tin of chickpeas or any other legumes
Smash up some pasta (about 300g) and add this too, bring it up to the boil again and then make sure that you stir it so that it doesn't stick to the bottom.
Serve it up with a dollop of natural yoghurt, grating of parmesan cheese & cracked pepper.
Yummy & green

record and save your water

A great way to help save on your water bills is to take a record of your water meter every day in a book. This will create a great awareness of how much water your household is using each day and help you understand when you are using excessive amounts of water. You will need a column for:
  • date
  • water meter reading start of each day
  • total litres used for each day
  • litres used per person (make a note if this changes)
  • extra detail (ie washing, watering, etc)
This is a copy of our book with our scratchy columns - not fancy, doesn't need to be, but it works. It helps us to save water.
What we found is by the simple act of recording the numbers and aiming for 155 litres per person a day, it became a game where we all wanted to achieve the goal. There were days that we were unable to meet it, but it has enabled us to look at the month overall.
There will be three benefits to this. One will be saving water. The second will be saving money and the third will be a real awareness and education about water - especially if there are kids in the house. Get them involved. If they like maths, let them do the sums, graph it...etc, to see how you are going. This is their future. Make them proud of what they are doing in order to save the water. Make it all worth while. It isn't that hard to use less water when everyone gets involved.

If you have concerns that there may be a leak in your pipes at all, you can add another column for a water meter reading at the end of each day to see if there is any water being used whilst everyone is sleeping.

whatever the weather

It rained today! We have had too days without rain, and while I'm rejoicing in the rain, look at the plants glistening in the moisture, and smelling that fantastic wet earthy aroma, I started to think about some of the things that are great to do in the rain.

It's a great time to put a raincoat on and grab a microfibre cloth and clean the car. No extra water is needed. Just start from the top and wash. You can always put a bucket out to collect some extra rain water to chuck over the car when you have finished if you feel like it.

Drizzly rainy days are the best days for planting new seedlings. The ground is moist and ready for new plants and it minimises the shock for the plants.

We love to run around and put buckets out to catch water when it rains so that after the rain the kids can play with the water & have fun.

It is a great time to sweep verandahs and paths clean with a hard broom.

It's great fun to make boats with paper or boxes and float them down the gutters and chase them down the street and get really wet and laugh.

It is also lovely to run through puddles and get wet - even as adults, and I mean really wet.

And when this is all done, it is really nice to get out of your wet clothes, and have a warm shower or bath and hot tea/chocolate and smell the moist earth.

time to tighten up, lighten up and enjoy our earth

Now is the time to tread a little more lightly on our earth so that it all lasts a little longer.

I have always thought that "thrifty living" went hand in hand with sustainability. I was brought up with washing plastic bags to reuse, cleaning foil to give it another go, mending clothes so that they can last another season and living in hand-me-downs. This is now the new green. To those who have not been brought up with these valuable life lessons, welcome and we hope that you will enjoy the journey to a greener and thriftier life.

We are a family of five and we live a simple, but normal life. We have 3 boys in primary school and are currently part of the "great economic downturn". We are trying to see the lighter side of it. More time to spend with the kids, time for Matt to hang out in the shed & make stuff, time to get through all the stuff that we have always been wanting to get to.

That being said, thrift is important to us - as it always has been. We don't like to waste money on "stuff", so we thought it may be good to share some of our thoughts, tips on thrift and sustainability with the wider community.

We live in the inner city of Melbourne, Australia and have a vegetable garden to help supplement our food intake. We cook most of our food from basics and I will share some of my favourite recipes that work on a tight budget and taste great. I will also share tips on cleaning, health, children, toys, clothing, patterns, budgeting and anything else that pops into my head.

We are on a journey to a more sustainable life and there is so much more that we can learn about and implement. At the same time, I always believe that there are more layers that can be stripped away to enable us to become more thrifty. We are never at the end. Welcome to our blog.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...