7 Money Saving Hacks for the Minimalist Want To Be


Money Saving Hacks for Minimalists

For the past year, our family has been on a journey to “less” – now commonly known as minimalism.  It has been amazing and I would encourage you to look at how you can shift your lifestyle as well.  

One area I get asked about often is how we are living on less and saving more.  Here are just a few quick hacks I have for you in the area of saving money when living with less.

Use Amazon to it’s Fullest

Since moving to a more remote location, it is even more critical that we use services that deliver items we use consistently to our home.  It means less driving, less gas used and less stress.  I use amazon for almost anything I can, because it just makes plain sense.  We have a monthly subscribe and save order with my favorite coffee creamer, organic pumpkin for my favorite no sugar smoothie, cocoa powder, and more.  Items we need every month are in our order, delivered right to our door.

One Product for Multiple Uses

Since simplifying our life and also focusing on a healthier toxic-free lifestyle, we’ve managed to save money and eliminate things that were not only wasting our money but promoting illness.  Since going into remission from Lupus, through helping my body to heal itself (so so grateful!!), I’ve learned the chemicals I were using in my home were poisoning my entire family.  Now I use one cleaner for all our needs – cleaning stove-tops, counter, floors, showers, windows and more.  One bottle taking space under my counter instead of ten to twelve.  Thieves Household Cleaner is the one for me!  It’s concentrated, all plant based and I can make up a bottle with the exact level of cleaning I need for a job.  

Stop Buying Bottled Water

We make this decision several years ago and are so happy.  Instead of wasting the money on bottled water and adding to all the plastic bottle waste, we purchased a BIG BERKEY and have amazing filter and fluoride free water at our finger tips.  Each family member have glass water bottles and we fill those when we are headed out and re-use them.  Yes, the cost of the Berkey is an initial expense, but the savings over time is great.  We even have the Go Berkey to use on the road.

Wash in Cold Water

Most detergents work just as well in cold water as they do in hot. We have been using cold water on all but our sheets and it has worked great.  My favorite detergent in the Thieves Laundry detergent, also a concentrate and amazingly effective.  When you can switch to cold, your clothes and your energy bill will thank you!

Get Rid of Clutter

This is a process – we’ve done the clutter reduction and purging three times in the last year.  It feels amazing to live in a small space and not have every counter or table top covered in stuff!  When you have less around, you reduce the risk of buying soothing you truly don’t need plus you can easily find things, so you are not wasting time.

Be Smart About Organic

As I have grown in my journey to give my family the best of toxic-free living, I’ve learned where it’s important to prioritize.  We can’t buy everything organic, so it is helpful to know what is most prone to be contaminated with chemicals and worth buying organic.  You can check out the list of the “Dirty Dozen,” and determine what is truly most important to buy organic.

Reduce Your Wardrobes

Just how many pairs of jeans does a person need?  I am in the process of reducing my wardrobe and really want to dive into the Project 333 — still thinking, but in the meantime I have cleared my closet considerably and it is so freeing!  By investing only in clothes you actually love and enjoy wearing it is easy to keep things organized and you actually look forward to getting dressed each morning!  I am in the process to do this with my  seven year old – to reduce his clothing as well.  


2017 Weekly Household Planner


2017 Confident Mom Weekly Household Planner

It’s here – the much awaited 2017 Confident Mom Weekly Household Planner (which, by the way, is in it’s fourth year as a FREE resource for busy moms). It’s ready and waiting for you to download!

I know you’ve all been so excited to grab your copy for 2017 and begin to get organized. We changed a few things for 2017: added a blank page with no date correlation so you can fill in and print out a page and use it for multiple weeks, added a new Donation Tracker printable, added a Freezer/Pantry Inventory printable, and added a Multi-Store Shopping List in the Supplemental Pack.

Check out the 2017 Confident Mom Weekly Household Planner NOW!

(If you are reading this via the RSS feed, click through to view the video below.)

You can grab your FREE copy here. Don’t forget to grab your Supplemental Pack that is available for $7 with all the printables you could ever need to get your family organized for 2017! I loved adding new forms to the pack this year so moms can stay even more organized and on track.

The 2017 Weekly Household Planner Supplemental Pack includes handy fill-in forms, enabling you to add your information directly into the form. Just type your information, save, and print! This is a wonderful feature when you are adding lengthy information or important names and numbers!

The Weekly Household Planner Supplement includes the following digital fill-in forms:2017 Planner Supplemental Pack

  • Master Family Planner – Keep track of the entire family’s activities on a daily/weekly basis all in one convenient place.
  • Special Occasion Calendar/Gift Planner – You’ll always be prepared for the next birthday or special occasion.
  • Holiday Gift Planner Worksheet – Keep track of your holiday shopping list and purchases and what still needs wrapped or delivered. Never forget that well-hidden gift again!
  • Babysitter Information Form – This form makes it easy to provide your sitter with all the information he or she needs so you can relax and enjoy your time away.
  • Quick Contacts – Helps you keep important emergency contacts available for easy reference when you need them in a hurry as well as frequently used numbers.
  • Family Emergency/Medical Information Form – Record your family’s medical and insurance information on this form – it will be easy to find and share with those that need it.
  • Website/App List for Kids – An easy way your kids can list the websites they want to visit, or apps or songs they want to buy. This gives you a chance to review first and make sure the content is age appropriate!
  • Website/App List for Me – A place to record websites you want to visit or apps you want to buy during your downtime.
  • Account Keeper Sheet – Keep track of online accounts, including usernames and passwords. Never get locked out of your account again!
  • Household Maintenance Log – Record when you did routine maintenance items, such as changing your furnace filter.
  • Special Occasion Reminder Chart – To help you plan card gifting for birthdays, anniversaries, and other special occasions.
  • Gifts Received List – For recording gifts received which also creates a log for thank-you cards you need to send.
  • Let’s Plan a Party Form – Helps you keep track of party planning details such as guest list, menu, party favors, and activities.
  • Blessings For Your Home – Because everyone needs some daily inspiration.
  • Weekly Menu Planner/Shopping List – So you arrive at the store prepared and don’t over-purchase.
  • Monthly Bill Schedule – Never miss a payment again when you record your monthly bills and payments on this new form.
  • NEW – Track Donations – Make tax time easier when you write down all your donations on one form for the year.
  • NEW – Freezer/Pantry Inventory – Helps with meal planning and also saves you from purchasing something you already have on hand.
  • NEW – Multi-Store Shopping List – Get rid of all those little sticky notes and scraps of paper! List all your shopping list items for different stores on one organized form.
  • Bible Bookmarks – Use these monthly reading bookmarks with suggested reading each day of the month, enabling you to read the entire Bible in a year.

Go grab your FREE copy now, and you can add the Supplemental Pack too for only $7! Be sure to pin this page to Pinterest to pass around this FREE household planner so other moms can grab a copy too.

11 All-Natural Kitchen Cleaning Recipes


11 All-Natural Kitchen Cleaning Recipes

Who wants to save money cleaning their home? Yep, I know – everyone is raising their hand! Here’s the deal – making your own homemade cleaning products is not only good for your budget, but amazing for your health too!

I began looking at the ingredients in my cleaning products about three years ago as I started seeing great improvements in my health when I began eliminating chemicals in my diet, my personal care products, and cleaning products.  

Pull out the products in your pantry and take a look at the ingredients and see how they rate on EWG – the Environmental Working Group. This is stuff you will want to know!

I do feel confident and empowered knowing that when I make my own products, I can control what goes in and limit my exposure to ingredients I don’t want.

My standard cleaning mix in my house is the amazing and versatile Thieves Household Cleaner from Young Living – but when I need some specialized cleaning or feel like mixing things up, I use some of these family-friendly recipes.

All-Purpose Cleaners

DIY Kitchen Cleaning Wipes via Recipes with Essential Oils

#1: DIY Kitchen Cleaning Wipes via Recipes with Essential Oils

DIY All-Natural Cleaner via TODAY.com

#2: DIY All-Natural Cleaner via TODAY.com

For Your Dishes

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent via Joyful Adorations

#3: Homemade Dishwasher Detergent via Joyful Adorations

Homemade Dish Soap via Oh Lardy

#4: Homemade Dish Soap via Oh Lardy

Natural Dishwasher Rinse Aid via Whole New Mom

#5: Natural Dishwasher Rinse Aid via Whole New Mom

Silver and Crystal Cleaner via The Greenbacks Gal

#6: Silver and Crystal Cleaner via The Greenbacks Gal

Pots and Pans Cleaner via Mom 4 Real

#7: Pots and Pans Cleaner via Mom 4 Real

For Your Appliances

DIY Homemade Oven Cleaner via Rooted Blessings

#8: DIY Homemade Oven Cleaner via Rooted Blessings

Cleaning Your Coffee Maker Naturally via The Creek Line House

#9: Cleaning Your Coffee Maker Naturally via The Creek Line House

For Your Floors

DIY Wood Floor Cleaner & Polish via O'Boy! Organic

#10: DIY Wood Floor Cleaner & Polish via O’Boy! Organic

Homemade Tile Floor Cleaner via Recipes with Essential Oils

#11: Homemade Tile Floor Cleaner via Recipes with Essential Oils

Many of these recipes call for essential oils. To learn more about the huge benefits of Young Living Essential Oils, click here.

Young Living new member special

If you put it off, you’ll be sorry! Take time now to be proactive and protect your family. 

Online Homemaking Conference: Finding Balance


Online Homemaking Conference: Finding Balance

Are you feeling a bit overwhelmed? Has the fall back-to-school season thrown you and your family for a loop? Are you like me and perhaps in a season of transition and finding it hard to get new routines set into place?

I have got something that I know will help you get back on track and find some practical solutions to prioritize your role in your home.

Introducing the Homemaking Ministries Online Conference 2016!

The theme of this year’s conference is Finding Balance in Your Home and all of the amazing speakers will address different aspects of learning how to better balance all of the roles and responsibilities that we juggle every single day. 

20 Sessions All Addressing Different Aspects of Finding Balance Within Your Home

Online Homemaking Conference

Wonder why this conference is so special? Anyone can attend! It’s all online! It is perfect for those of us who cannot travel to attend a conference. Whatever your reason, this conference has a spot just for you!

You can view the sessions live October 25, 26, 27, & 28 or have access to them anytime! How awesome is that?  

Even after 23 years of motherhood, I have seasons of struggling – wondering if what I am focusing on is where God wants me, determining how much time and where I need to prioritize, etc. Our lives are a constant influx of change, so when we can intentionally take time to feed our soul in our most important job – motherhood and homemaking – we will be blessed and find peace that only He can bring!

Two Ticket Options This Year:

Basic Ticket ($29.95)

Includes full access to the conference and all live events during October 25-28. Great ticket if you are on a budget and just want access to the conference!

Register Now

Premium Ticket ($49.95)

Includes full access to the conference and all live events during October 25-28, as well as:

  • Immediate access to Jami’s brand new Goal Setting for Greater Balance and Purpose in
    Your Home
     course and workbook! (Normally $30!)  This offer was originally suppose to expire on October 3rd, but the FREE Goal Setting course and workshop has been extended!

Goal Setting Course and Workbook

Keep reading for more details about these amazing bonus items! The premium ticket is great for those who want to get even more out of this year’s conference for finding greater balance and purpose in your day!

Ticket price increases after October 24th. Grab your ticket today!

Register Now

I will be attending and please know I would never share this with you if I didn’t think the value and content will be helpful in your journey as a mother.  

I encourage you to pray about this and decide which ticket price would be best for you and your family.  Why not share this blog post with a few friends and start your own small group covering some of the material you will learn during the four-day course?  

What a great way to grow together! 

Help Your Dog Enjoy the Outdoors Annoyance Free


Help Your Dog Enjoy the Outdoors Annoyance Free

Raise your hand if you’re a dog family? {HAND UP!!}

Now that spring has sprung in most parts of the country, managing outdoor annoyances on our pets can be tricky. 

I am excited to share how I love applying essential oils on my dogs – it is a fabulous way to support their wellness in big ways.  I love caring for my pets in a chemical free way.

I also had the pleasure of discovering a mom in my community who has a cottage business selling homemade dog collars which are 100% cotton and great for using essential oils with.

RepelAroma A great essential oil to try is RepelAroma™ from Young Living which is an exclusive blend of purifying and invigorating Citronella, Idaho Tansy, Palo Santo, and Tea Tree essential oils. Your pet will love being outside! You can easily apply a few drops on the cotton collar and send your pup outdoors and feel safe.

A portion of all proceeds from Animal Scents products goes to support Vital Ground, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting the habitat of grizzly bears and other wide-roaming wildlife. Isn’t that amazing? The wholesale price for RepelAroma is $12.75 for 15ml. That is fabulously economical! If you are not a wholesale member with Young Living be sure to check that out here.

Young Living new member special

If you want to learn more on how you can incorporate essential oils into your pet’s life, this is a great animal resource that I use.

Now I want to share with you a bit about my friend, Kathryn Maxson, who I had the great pleasure to run across and hear about her heart for Cimarron Valley Humane Society.

1. Tell me how you began your business of making items for dogs.

A little background of me: I have always been an animal lover. My bedroom growing up was decorated in the 101 Dalmatians theme. My grandfather built me a barn, and I always had a dog. I have also always had a sympathetic heart, crying over the simplest things. But it wasn’t until college that these two parts of my life came crashing together.

I really don’t know what was the trigger towards the collision, but I got involved with a promotional company my junior year and we were each asked to organize an event that called to our heart strings. And my first adoption event was planned. After that I became heavily involved with rescue, specifically Cimarron Valley Humane Society.

There are times when being a foster parent is hard. Most of our weekends are full with adoption events, transportation, or training. But the knowing that you are saving a life keeps you going.

2. Tell me a little about yourself and your heart for animals.

I have been an avid sewer for years. I learned how to sew as soon as I could reach the pedal of the machine. Like my mother, I do not broadcast this too much so that I don’t get inundated with people asking me to do little projects for them.

However, in 2013, I had a friend call me wanting me to give her a basic sewing lesson. I love teaching people how to sew. I think that it is a skill that is very useful for someone to know. So she wanted me to teach her how to sew so that she could start a side business of making collars for her pups and other people.

After teaching her how to do it I had to go out and buy the essentials to make some custom collars for my own dogs. Of course then one of my friends through the rescue wanted one (or four). At that point it occurred to me, maybe I could sell these to raise money for the rescue. That way we could be constantly getting money in without begging for it. And so began CVHS’ Creative Collars and Things.

It didn’t take long for some of my other crafty friends to start introducing me to craft shows where I could sell the collars to raise the money. Then it was – well, we need more items to sell than just collars – so Pinterest gave me ideas to add leashes, bowties, flowers, poofs, etched treat jars, leash/treat holders, poopy bag holders, and toy mice to the stock of items I make. This “business” was born out of a way to help the rescue beyond fostering and asking people for donations.

3. What is your favorite way to incorporate essential oils and your all natural collars to help your pet in natural wellness protection and enjoying the outdoors annoyance free?

Last year in February I finally won the discussion with my husband over trying essential oils. I had originally been introduced to them the previous year and had learned that they can help support our immune system in the changing of seasons. But to convince him was a bit harder, but I succeeded.

Then it was a matter of realizing that the company that I chose, Young Living, supported my love of animals by having items that were specifically geared towards them. I use the animal line with my pets in two ways – one is simply putting one drop of the blend RepelAroma on their collars once a week or so, and knowing that the collars that I have on my pets are ones that I have made and I know the makeup of the fabric and that means I know the oils won’t harm or deteriorate the collar.

The other way is I have made a mix of grapeseed oil, Infect Away, Mendwell, and Puriclean and this gets sprayed on when there is a need to support healthy skin. The blend is just different enough that the dogs don’t try to lick it off.

4. Tell me about how you donate profits to the shelter and what impact it has made.

I wish I could say it was as easy as the profit goes to Cimarron Valley Humane Society, but I can’t. It is actually easier. I give all of it to the rescue. When you purchase a collar through CVHSCC that money goes straight to CVHS for the dogs’ use. All of the purchases of supplies comes out of my pockets as part of my donation to the rescue. The money, which is much more needed, goes to them.

The craft shows that I participate in on average bring in $150 and though at the moment I only do four a year, that is still money that is desperately needed. Often times the money raised during these event has already been earmarked for a use, whether that be paying our bills at the vet hospital, sending dogs on transport, or paying for training for the needy.

5. How can dog lovers order items from you?

Orders are usually custom orders so they take some time because I am making the collar to your exact specifications. They can be received at a craft show, through the Facebook page associated with the business, through our website, one on one conversations, or through our Etsy store.

The easiest method is to either message the page on Facebook or email me through my personal email address – Kathryn.s.maxson@okstate.edu. I do work full-time and this is all out of my pocket so sometimes I am a bit delayed in updating shops or websites. Please work with me to get you the best collar for your animal.

So, go grab your pup a new collar and try some essential oils this summer! You will not only be thankful you did, but you will be supporting a great cause as well.

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