It’s been 2 weeks since I wrote a food blog and meal planner. I was ill last week and this weekend I went away. I noticed that as I hadn’t planned the food, things went astray and old habits crept back. I spent more money than the week before and I had food left in the fridge with no plan of what I was doing with it at the end of the week. This has really enthused me to makes sure I keep my challenge going.
There were some positives though, the food I had made and frozen was used when I was ill so this was a great help. This saved us money and we knew what was in the food we were eating and it quick and easy to cook. We also tried some new recipes and I can say the ham and cheese muffins were a huge success. I’m even being brave and seeing if I can make it into a loaf as it can be frozen. I’ll keep you posted on the results but I am pleased I’m getting more adventurous.
This week I’m looking at other ways to cut the weekly shop bill. I’ve noticed that people use lots of cleaning products and there are so many available from the shops. Advertisers spend huge amounts showing us in detail all the nasty bugs that can be in our houses, lurking in toilets, kitchen surfaces and anything to do with children. They feed our natural anxieties by showing us cartoon germs; they use emotive language like ‘protecting your family’ that lead us to thinking we aren’t protecting our family if we don’t have them. There are cleaners for windows, ovens and bathrooms; showers, carpets and toilets. In fact for every area and utensil a new cleaner is invented. But do we really need all these cleaners though? On the flip side aren’t we also being told that our houses are too clean and our children aren’t coming into contact with the necessary bugs to build, test and strengthen their immune systems? We listen to this on the news and we know this yet we still want to clean like mad. I looked at cleaner prices and each one is roughly £1-£3 which if you have 5 or 6 products that’s quite a bit but put it with fabric softeners, shower gels, shampoos conditioner bubble baths and soap then cleaning your house and yourself really does begin to become quite expensive.
It got me thinking to what we use at home. I have 1 disinfectant product and washing up liquid and that’s it. I use the disinfectant spray on the bathroom, toilet, surfaces and even the carpet. I clean windows and mirrors with hot soapy water and then buff with a fry lint free cloth. I don’t use shower gel (I really don’t) and have stopped using fabric softener –I can’t honestly tell the difference with our clothes when I did/didn’t so there’s another saving. I don’t buy cleaning wipes but use and wash cloths daily. I do use liquid soaps for the boys as I feel washing hands is a must and is proven to reduce germs spreading and illnesses starting. The boys have bubble bath as you can’t be too careful with 3 boys in a wildlife filled garden, and shampoo is used to wash their hair but I don’t use soap on my body as I prefer to shower every day and let my skin have as less chemicals to recover from as possible and I am neither spotty nor smelly. Do you bath the children every day – should we? This is something I’ve been thinking about too…
So this week maybe we should look at the chemicals we use and the reasons we use them. Some you will want to keep them and should; I don’t believe in totally getting rid of all cleaning products but if you go to your cupboards and have a look at what you have try to take an objective look at how much money is sitting there doing nothing in bottles of cleaners you may only use occasionally. Maybe it’s time to break the habit of buying the brightly coloured bottles with the many coloured liquids and actually think about what we really need to clean our house. Hot soapy water is your friend, a single multipurpose disinfectant and not letting our houses get too dirty in the first place. If there isn’t much dirt, you don’t need the tough cleaners. Easy to say and much harder to do I know though!
So that’s what I’m focussing on this week. I’m going to go through the cupboards and check what I really use. I do need to research some household remedies for lime scale though, I hear vinegar or lemon juice is great so I’m going to have a go at making my own. I’ll post the results of how it goes.