Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Living Deliberately - Green Cleaning

Today, a visit with Rhonda Jean finds her talking about going green with the cleaning. I might say, "What cleaning?" but the truth is I spend more time cleaning than I do gardening, which I like a whole lot better! But, just as is true in the garden, non-toxic cleaning products are a lot safer for your family than the nuclear-reactor-style chemicals we are urged to buy at the store.

This is an area I have not yet tackled, though I have now bought all the supplies, except for soap flakes. I could buy a package of Sunshine Brand bar soap, and grate as I needed but that is a lot of work for my wonky arms, so I think I'll look for some Ivory flakes. I have always loved the smell of Ivory soap. That and chlorine bleach were my mother's stand-by cleaners. The chlorine bleach is now an environmental no-no, but at least the Ivory stays!

Rhonda has recipes for all the green cleaners on her blog, so I won't repeat them. I do plan to go green with my cleaning products as soon as the few household cleaners I have in store run out. Maybe sooner, as I could save the "un-green" products for those few times that green simply isn't muscular enough to do a job.

As for the no-spending week, this has been a sort of free-fall spending week for us so far. Medications $300.00, groceries $180.00 - The fridge and freezer were empty empty. It echoed in there! But I'd last stocked up on chicken and steak when Zak arrived at the end of April, so you can't say I'm profligate. It just so happened that my need to stock up and Rhonda's "No Spending Week" coincided.

I have to admit my jaw dropped when I was looking at one of Rhonda's links about stocking your pantry and shopping in a frugal way. The writer said blithely, "When diced tomatoes are 19 cents a can...." WHAT? Nineteen cents a can? Tomatoes are routinely $1.29 a can here. I stock up in the fall when they go on sale for 89 cents, and feel extremely virtuous. I still have half a dozen 89 cent cans of tomatoes left in my cupboard, so I feel really good about that. Food in Canada is very expensive. I know from talking to my brother in Texas that he pays half as much for milk, 1/4 as much for eggs, etc. It's crazy. This is an excellent country to grow produce, but there's very little grown locally. We need a few of those one and two acre farms to supply local needs.

We do get bargain prices briefly in the fall, and I am thinking of ways to preserve and store away that bounty. I think when potatoes are $10.00 for a 50 lb bag this fall I will buy a bag, cook them about 3/4s done, shred them and dry them. In this form they rehydrate overnight, or while cooking if you put them in the crockpot with a stew. You can use them for hash browns, which we like, or in any other way you'd use shredded potatoes. I keep frozen hash browns in the freezer but while a bag was 69 cents a few years ago, they are now $2.98!

Anyway, speaking of cleaning, my trip to town yesterday means that I have bags and food to put away, dishes to put in the dishwasher, floors to clean, laundry to do, all the things that accumulate when you've neglected them for a day. So off I go to do all those things, and more.

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