Years of experience have taught me you are never too old to learn how to do things better. I wish I had known about these things when I was a young mom. I did search for shortcuts and for healthy alternatives, but was often duped by media hype (ads) or was so busy with three boys, a husband, a home, a job and life in general that I didn't have time to stop and think...."What is this doing to my body, or my family, or the planet."
For instance, I always wanted to recycle. Good for the planet, right? But in order to do that I had to clean and sort all my paper, plastic, cans, etc and then store them until we could get them to the recycle center that was only open for a few short hours a couple days a week.
I always wanted to feed my family healthy food, but to come up with an idea, ingredients and a recipe that everyone would eat -- lost to a box of precooked, pre-seasoned, mixture that somehow we managed to "enjoy".
I have tried to pass on what I have learned to my sons. It has been a hit and miss experience...so I am taking the time to jot some things down that may help them and you if you are reading this. I hope if you have some to share, you will add them to the comments.
Biggest time saver I ever learned: Don't clean what doesn't need to be cleaned!!! I thank Don Aslett for that tidbit. His books (before internet) were loaded with tons of hints on cleaning. Check out his websites/blogs for some great ideas.
Another idea from Don was to wash windows using a sponge, squeegee and paper towels. I will trust you to look up the steps for clean streakless windows.
Oh, and keep cleaning supplies where you use them (i.e. paper towels & cleaner for mirror, counters, toilet, tub in the bathroom). Of course you need to keep in mind that if children are around these items should be up high, out of reach.
Misto just fill it with your own oil, pump and spray.
READ FOOD LABELS! Avoid anything that contains:
hydrogenated oils, corn syrup, food coloring or that has a list of ingredients a mile long OR anything you can't pronounce.
Try to use cleaning products that do not harm you, your family, the items you are cleaning. You have to experiment on this. Shaklee products are excellent however they are costly up front, but if used as directed may actually save you money. Vinegar is a great cleaner. Lemon juice is a great stain remover.
Substitute natural things to color items.
Red - beet juice after you cook them (and eat them) is naturally red!
Tea - stains things to make them look aged.
Carrots - try using the peels to dye things orange
Blueberries - blue duh?
Many folks suffer from allergies. So make sure your laundry, bath, and kitchen cleansers do not contain fragrances. Just think about that a minute. In a normal day we shower with a scented soaps or shampoo, rinse with a scented conditioner, maybe put some moisturizing lotion that also has some scent to it. Then we put on deodorant so we don't smell! Yet is smells. (I have even seen one scent called "locker room"...yuck!!!)
Eat food as close to its natural state as possible. Overcooked and processed food have most of the nutrients leached out of them.
Soda is loaded with sugar and diet drinks are loaded with chemicals to make you crave more food. Sugar, too, tells your digestive system it wants more fuel. So keeps sugary drinks and food to a minimum. Try seltzer mixed with half your favorite fruit juice (the 100 % kind). Wallah! A healthier drink without all the processed sugar!
Vacuuming not only removes dust from your carpet but also dust mites and other critters that eat off the stuff that gets embedded in your carpet, so vacuum at least once a week. Throw rugs can be tossed in the washing machine once a week.
Sheets should be washed at least once a week, two at the very minimum. Dust mites live in the mattress and feed off of your dead skin...air the bed out before making it so the moisture from your body can dry out. You can also buy bed sacks that cover your entire mattress and pillows to cut down on the dust mites.
I have always loved fresh pineapple, but the work to get out the fruit was just too much. Now I'll probably eat more of it with this tool.
I do have more ideas, but this is enough for now...
Oh, try never to pay full price on anything. Patience and a knack of negotiating can get you the best deals and save $$$.
What more could you ask for?