Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Confession, Cheap Care, and Clean Carpets

It's an early, rainy, blessedly cool morning here.  The Big Dude left for work, the Little Dude is still asleep, and it's just me, some coffee, the Cooking Channel (my new addiction-they have Julia and Nigella!), and the cat.  So I'm going to take advantage of the quiet to plan out some cooking for the week, and my grocery list.

I do a kind of modified stockpiling-I don't have the room, or the desire, to have a fully stocked basement to last me through the zombie apocalypse.  But I do like to know that I have a few jars of pasta sauce in the cabinet.  So my rules are that I have to have room to store it, and I have to keep it organized so I know exactly what I have at a glance.  The first rule was put into place when I first told the Big Dude I wanted to coupon and stock up on the cheap.  He was for it, but he's been exposed to TLC's Extreme Couponing, so he needed reassurance that I wouldn't set up shelving in our living room.  So food stays in the kitchen, and it's all hidden in cabinets.  Bathroom supplies are either under the sink, or on a shelf in the linen closet.  The closest I've come to "extreme" with the storage is putting Jeffrey's extra diapers and a couple of packs of TP under his crib.  There's a skirt to hide it, so no one can tell it's there.

Here's my confession-the second rule, keep it organized so I can see it all in a glance, came about because I confused several bottles of body wash for shampoo and conditioner.  Thinking that I only had a few bottles of body wash, and knowing that my goal was to stock us up for about 6 months, I bought more.  I now have 15 bottles of body wash, which was a bit beyond my goal.  It did make me feel kind of hoardish, but at least it's something we'll use, and it won't go bad in the meantime.  But lesson learned-know your contents!

In the course of stocking my various shower supplies, I realized that I hate how expensive face wash, masks, and scrubs are.  So I took to the internet for a cheap, natural solution.  And I learned that baking soda is my friend!  A simple face wash is 1 T. of honey and 1/2 T. of baking soda.  Mix, apply to damp skin.  The honey will both soothe and clean (it's antibacterial-who knew?), while the baking soda will exfoliate.  I wouldn't recommend making a large batch, I just mix it in the palm of my hand.  And if you want a moisturizing mask, combine 1 c. plain yogurt with 1/2 c. rolled (non-instant) oatmeal.  Apply to your face, leave on for 15 minutes, rinse.  No need to wash after, and it's safe for sensitive skin.

As far as body scrubs go, I'm super lazy and usually just rub in some baking soda straight.  But if you want a more spa-like treatment, combine 1/4 c. oil (olive is what I tried), 1/8 c. coarse brown sugar, and 1/8 c. salt (kosher works well).  You can add an essential oil if you wish, but take care to not let the essential oil get on your skin without it being combined in the scrub.  Trust me, you don't want a swollen, peeling face because you got it on your fingers then scratched your chin.  This could be made ahead and stored in a jar.  If you have a sunburn, eczema, or other skin issues, leave out the salt and use 1/4 c. of the brown sugar.

Finally-today's Groupon has me all excited.  It's carpet cleaning!  Two rooms, a child's room, and a hallway, cleaned and stain treated, for $47!  It's for the Columbus area only, but I'm totally getting this.  It would clean and stain treat my entire apartment!  It's good for purchase through Thursday, but don't let this one slip by.

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