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Back To Basics

We are getting back to basics. My goal is to make, re-use or recycle as much as we can. Not everyone is happy about it because it also means we're trying to eat and live healthier than our current lifestyle. I've been keeping track of what we spend on everything and our budget needed an overhaul.

No more paper towels or paper napkins. No more antibacterial wipes. Just about anything can be cleaned without harsh chemicals. I've tried everythingt to get fingerprints and streaks off the kitchen appliances with special cloths, paper products, and a variety of toxic prays. To my surprise, nothing works better than water in a spray bottle and those fluffy towels that fussy people use to dry of their automobiles. They don't want fingerprints or streaks on their cars either, so imagine the job it can do on a kitchen appliance? They go into the washer and the initial investment was $1 a towel! I tackle grease with rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle. Walmart sells alcohol and hydrogen peroxide already in spray bottles in the 'cuts and scrapes' section. I can disinfect a cut AND the counter tops in one spray. Sorry Mr Clean, I'm just not in love with you anymore.

I started taking a closer look at the ingredients of some of the things my grandsons eat all the time. Whoa! Scary stuff. Those frozen waffles they woof down are more high fructose corn syrup than anything else. Now I make big batches of french toast or pancakes, and freeze them. I found a great granola bar recipe and the boys love it. I don't like making cookies, (apologies to my mom, who's probably rolling over in her grave) but cakes are okay. Plain cakes like molasses, oatmeal or yogurt, you know, the substantial ones that don't fall apart when you pick them up. I cook them in loaf pans which makes it easier for portion control and storage. No frosting, just some whipped cream here and there. Nice in lunches. Everyone loves them! And bread. I decided against the bread maker (the crockpot is always on the counter now taking up space) and got the 'healthy bread in 5 minutes a day' book instead. There's a learning curve but hopefully I'm learning! I refuse to buy boxed mac n cheese, and whole wheat pasta is the only one in the pantry now. I even make the dogs' food. I got tired of all the recalls of commercial dog food. Plus my calculations show I'm under budget on what I use to spend on dog food and my dogs are getting 'real' food, not just P&Gs's idea of real food. I've made a ton of changes, with more to go.

This really isn't anything new for me. When my kids were small, I made everything from scratch. Even baby food and all of our clothing! It's a behavior change. Our reactions are so automatic when it comes to most things. We get in ruts that are easier to stay in than get out of. It takes a lot of time and maybe when I have some dog training classes up and running I will need to make some adjustments. But for the most part, we're back to basics and it's not a bad way of living!