Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Domestic Bliss

Negative connotations aside, domestic bliss is really just being happy at home. Being satisfied with what you have. So cliche as it may be, that's what I strive for.

I have never professed to being a domestic diva.


I am impulsive, a little lazy, fairly disorganized and a bit of a slob. These traits work against me when it comes to running my home successfully and honestly, sometimes I really annoy myself. However, there are so many awesome resources out there that make me better, more efficient and best of all, save me $!
And while I may never be as organized or creative as our jailbird icon of domesticity, Ms. Martha Stewart, I've learned a few things that have made my life easier and happier and I wanted to share!


1) Meal Plan

If you google "meal planner" about 1,000 free meal plan downloads will magically appear. A few of my favorites are HERE and HERE. I plan meals for 2 weeks (eating out once a week) and then make a corresponding grocery list. I might have to re-stock on perishable fruits and veggies after a week or so, but that's it! Just remember to be realistic!! If you only get the bare minimum there's a good chance you will run out of food and then the temptation to eat out will strike. This will leave you broke AND fat. Insult to injury.

2) Frugal is Gross, Budget is Better

I hate the word frugal, it sounds like the color beige looks. However, you gotta live within your means and that calls for a budget. The first step is admitting you have a problem. (Etsy, Urban Outfitters, Victoria's Secret...when you are poor, these are problems.)
There are great resources and tips for budgeting HERE and HERE.
A super cool budgeting tool that allows you to connect all your accounts and debts AND build a budget is HERE.
*If you are in the military there are some amazing resources for financial management and most are free.

3) Credit Cards are the Devil
Seriously, cut those bloodsuckers up! Now, if you are responsible enough to have a real "for emergencies" card, then rock on. (Our washer just broke, and with two kids that is an emergency in my book!) However, if you have say, a Victoria's Secret card that keeps luring you back in with Angel rewards...*ahem* then cut it up and never use it again!!

4) Don't be Green...
*With envy, that is. Admiring or getting inspiration from someone is wonderful, but don't let that turn into envy. When you start to covet what someone else has it makes you look at what you have with disdain instead of appreciation. It's a vicious cycle because then you become tempted to whip out those evil credit cards to buy things you really can't afford to try to keep up with people who aren't even aware there's a race.
Stop.
Remind yourself that the greatest things in life AREN'T things.

5) Spend time, not $$
Doing something special or cool shouldn't cost you an arm and a leg.
I know some of us don't live in the most glamorous of cities with a less than happening nightlife, but if there are no local events for you to enjoy, make your own! Like fondue? Buy a $20 fondue pot from Target and have a dipping night, with your family and/or friends. Decorate your house, light some candles, get gussied up (or hussied up if it's just you and that special one) and make it special.
Art night: Buy some cheap Michael's canvases or just use plain old paper. Or go to Goodwill and find some crappy old paintings to give new life to. Get some paints and brushes and let the creative juices flow. The possibilities are endless! (We did this as a family and I spent $18 total.)
Explore: Take a drive. This time of year is gorgeous so take advantage of it! Stop at Starbucks and grab your favorite drink, then go where the road takes you. Snap pictures, stop, snoop and just enjoy being alive. Once Spouse and I found a random statue of Jesus in the middle of a field, no joke.

Now, don't forget to enter the fabulous Pamela Fugate Designs giveaway!! It closes Friday!


*All photos property of Anne Taintor

11 comments:

  1. Awesome post with some great suggestions!!! Thanks for sharing!

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  2. Excellent! We enjoy taking drives as a family for entertainment, exploring is fun and inexpensive, and yes, finding unusual surprises is a treat.

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  3. I love this post! I'm a single working gal, but I enjoy domestic life. There is nothing wrong nor shameful bout the word "domestic bliss".

    LeeAnne, Style N Season
    http://stylenseason.blogspot.com

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  4. Love your tips, and of course the corresponding pictures!

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  5. Love this! I have a serious spending problem and am trying to get it under control.

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  6. Thank you for sharing! I learned the hard way about money (never had a good role model to teach me) and unfortunately I am still paying for it.

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  7. totally cool, love this post such great suggestions! aaaaand i lovest all the captioned pics, too funny! it's hard not to want to get everything all the time..stupid money. hahaha! i know, i saw on pinterest awhile back that instead of an advent calendar with candy or giving gifts for the 12 days of Christmas or something, that you should put activities to do as a family together for each day, like one day take a ride and see all the Christmas lights, another day-make Christmas cookies, etc...i loved the idea! time is better than a thing, and they'll remember the "time" not the material object. :)


    xo
    hillary

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  8. Great tips indeed :) I have to have credit cards for work but I HATE them.

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