Thanks everyone for the advice and feedback from my last post! There were plenty of good ideas swirling around (I knew there would be!) and lots of encouragement too. I got a hanging rack for the boys' clothes and while it is not very aesthetically pleasing to a room, it has already made a marked improvement to the rumpled clothes situation. Another major factor after reading your comments is that I have no dirty clothes baskets in the childrens' rooms. They have to haul them downstairs to the laundry-which apparently is too much hassle. ;-) I am thinking a hamper in each room will not only help the kids take care of dirty clothes but also will be a good step in them doing their own laundry. Because we use the outside clothesline exclusively when weather permits, it isn't always possible to do a load a day or give certain people laundry chores on certain days...but for the moment it would be a great introduction to laundry duty for the children.
As you gathered from the last post, every winter I get bit by the clutterbug and now is right about the time. And when I get bit, nothing is safe from scrutiny. Not even the food. Right about now is when I start looking at our freezers, pantry and canning shelves and realize all that work I did of 'putting up' is only worthwhile if we actually eat it.
I have a confession to make: I am pretty terrible about going deepsea diving in our freezers and instead 'skim off the top' and supplement with the grocery store.
It's apparently too much hassle. (blush)
Thef fact is...there is no need to go to the grocery store for meat and veggies when I have two freezers worth of food and a fully canning cupboard waiting for me. That is pretty ridiculous. I need to use up the food we have put up right now in order to make room for the food we will be putting up this year. Not to mention- I could use the extra cash I save from avoiding the grocery store. Not to mention, the bathroom scale is begging for me to stay away from the sweets and crackers that inevitably come home with us from the grocery store. Win.Win.Win.
This month I am giving myself another NO GROCERY CHALLENGE in which I will not buy any food at grocery stores for the whole month. I did a Nothing-But-Dairy grocery challenge in 2014, incidentally, also in February. (Is this maybe due to the fact that February is the shortest month perhaps?!) But thanks to the abundance of dairy that Penny is giving us (four gallons a day at one milking!) I won't even need to buy that. I know we will run out of certain convenience things (like bread) and some delicious things that I can't produce myself (like cheddar) but overall, it shouldn't be all that much of a challenge. I have put up or can produce much of what we ordinarily consume anyway. It is just making myself DO it (and not stop for a bag of chips because they taste SO good or a few loaves of bread because I don't feel like baking them or a family pack of ground beef because I forgot to thaw something) that will be the challenge. Self-discipline...that is always my challenge.
Disclaimer: This is a challenge specifically for human food. I may find I have to go out for animal feed (a surety) or toilet paper (I just saw I am almost out of SHOUT!) and I am okay with that.
Some specific goals for the month:
~ use up some dried beans/legumes
~ Empty at least half of chest freezer in laundry room (I'd like to defrost it and move it to another location)
~ Post some recipes on the food blog
~ Make a big batch of feta (maybe two)
~ make Valentine treats instead of buying them
~ inventory the freezers
~ make Matt's birthday meal without going shopping (and without him feeling gypped). If that can't be done, I may make an exception for his requested birthday feast.
~ use the crockpot five times
~ can some meat to free up some freezer space (making a country Mamas' version of convenience food)
~ make a new food budget. Mine is woefully outdated.
At the end of each week I'll blog about how things are going. I can post my menus for the week if there is enough interest to do so. The money I am saving from not going grocery shopping is going towards fixing up the boys' bedroom...the first Papa Project of 2016.
This should be fun!