Thursday, January 21, 2010

Frugalicous Domesticity - Thursday Edition

Good day dear readers~!
Thought I'd share a photo of me with my fridge.

I finally made it to the grocery store today.
Between the two stores I went to, I spent $121.57.
That will feed me, Glenco, and Aaron, breakfast and lunches, and me, Glenco, my sister Cindy and Aaron dinners for about a week and a half. I don't think that's too bad, but I'd like to see it lower. My sister and Aaron eat supper with us more often than not. The family eating together is incredibly important to me, almost a sacred event. After working a full stressful day, I don't see why my sister should have to go home and cook, when I have food right here, hot and ready.

I had the absolute delight, and the absolute horror of meeting one of my readers today at Aldi.
I seriously have to dress myself before I 'go to town'.
Pam, it was such a delight to meet you!
Thanks for introducing yourself to me.
If you see me in town again, looking like I did today, please look away.

Today was Bedroom and Livingroom day.
I took the nicest photos of both rooms.
I can't get them transferred to the computer.
My camera is in a box now, ready to ship back to Canon.
What is a blogger without a camera?
It's going to be ten days before I get it back.

It's's like peanut butter without jelly.
Like coffee without cream.
I'm rather lost.
A tad frustrated.

I'm going to TRY and take pictures tomorrow morning with my phone.

Today's blog seems a little pointless without pictures to explain things.
To show you how sparsely my bedroom is decorated.

Well, my bedroom is very sparsely decorated, but I do love it. I have a dust allergy, as I've mentioned before, so I have no carpet. I don't have a lot of 'things'. I wouldn't have any books in there at all, or curtains. Nothing that will collect dust. I don't have a pile of pillows on my bed. I can't use the 'fancy' sheets because I have to wash them in hot water to kill the dust mites. I also keep nothing under my bed, so that it's easy to dust mop or vacuum under.

Before becoming a better homemaker, I had to take Allegra D everyday to deal with my dust allergy. I no longer have to take it. I do notice on Thursdays, from dusting the house that I do wheeze a little.

My weekly bedroom routine involves the 'work around the room' method. Working top to bottom, right to left, all around the room, ending with the making of the bed. Vacuuming is done with the rest of the house.

As I mentioned before, you should air your bed every morning. As soon as I get out of my bed, assuming Glenco is out of it too, I take all the covers off and open a window in the summer and turn on the ceiling fan. I can't open the windows in the winter, because we have that plastic on the windows that you blow I just turn on the fan.

Your bedroom becomes oxygen depleted throughout the night, from breathing. It's true! I like to replenish the oxygen, and let the bed breathe some. It makes a big difference.

I vacuum the bed about once a month, when I wash the dust allergy mattress cover.
If I'm in the mood and have a little extra time, I'll dust the blinds, or the ceiling fan.

Once I can post the bedroom pictures, you'll notice something suspiciously missing from my bedroom.

That would be a closet.
I have none.
I have one, 3' x 3' closet upstairs.
It houses our scuba diving gear and a couple of random coats.

I have an antique dresser with two large drawers, and two small 'sock and underwear' drawers.
If it doesn't fit in those drawers, I don't have it.
I own about three pair of shoes.
It's hardcore simplicity with my wardrobe.
I simply have no room for it.
If there were ever a candidate for 'what not to wear', it would be me.
Ask Pam, she'll tell you.

The livingroom is the same.
Work around the room method, dusting everything from right to left, up to down. I dust all the pictures, etc. Again, I have a very simple, yet inviting decor. I find it so easy to keep clean. I do not allow magazines to accumulate. I do not buy movies. We have a CD player that holds 300 cds. We have a booklet that holds all the cd paper covers, so you know what number the cd is, and I don't have all the clutter of the cd's about. I am vigilant about not letting it get cluttered.
I vacuum the upholstery every other week.
I shampoo the carpet every month.
Not necessary, but it just makes me feel better, ok?
I know I have issues.

Total time today spent on housework:
29 minutes.
Two rooms completely cleaned and dusted.
House vacuumed.
Bathroom spot cleaned.

You know what I love about this routine?
I never come home to a mess.
I never wake up to a mess.
When I see dead lady bug carcasses (does anyone else that lives in an old house have ladybug troubles?), stuck next to the baseboard and carpet, I don't freak out...I just know, that on Thursday, I'll get that. When I see a dustball rolling through my bedroom, I don't think....oh woe is me, I know that it will be dealt with on Thursday. When I see dusty kitchen shelves, I don't feel that I need to spend my day cleaning, I know that on Monday, when I'm cleaning the kitchen again, I'll get it.

You'll be surprised at the freed up brain cells you'll have.

A few of you asked about the tub and bathroom.
If you look under 'labels' and click on This Old House, scroll down a few posts and you'll find everything about the bathroom re-d0.

I'll leave you with a great recipe, since I've no pictures to show you.
Dirt cheap and delicious.

Spicy Black Beans and Rice

Prepare enough rice to feed four.

In a skillet with two tablespoons of olive oil, saute four cloves of minced garlic with a medium onion, chopped.

Add one 14 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed.
Add one 14 oz can of diced tomatoes with chilies.
Add ground red pepper to taste (I use a 1/4 t)

Simmer for ten minutes.

Serve over rice, top with shredded cheese and cilantro.


  1. Hi, I don't have a closet either. It sure cuts down on the clothes doesn't it? Our house was built in 1802 and I think they only had two outfits- every day and Sunday go to meeting.

  2. Thank You for your encouragement, I threw away one bag full of stuff and filled up two bags to take to the thrift store...still not where I need to be but it's a start. My closet is three feet by two feet and I guess I should be grateful for it!

  3. Argh I have got to get rid of all my clothes.

  4. Hi Jayme,

    Sorry about your camera.

    Thanks for all the cleaning tid-bits. It's encouraging me to try some different things.

    As for the lady bugs, it's not just old houses. My house is 10 years old and I find stinky little lady bugs very often lying around on window sills and around doors.

    I have been getting rid of stuff too, and OH MAN, it feels good. Freeing, isn't it?

  5. Your commitment to your cleaning routine makes a lot more sense, now that i know that you suffer from dust allergies.
    I have heard several people talk about someone called the "flylady". ?? Reminds me of you- inspiring people to declutter and keep things clean in just a few minutes a day.
    Can't wait to see your pictures, after your camera comes back.

  6. Jayme,

    Thomas and I share an antique bureau and our 'closet' consists of two hooks behind a door. As, I've said on my blog, in the 1800s all you needed was one set of work clothes and one set of Sunday best.
    I thought I was the only one who aired out her rooms.
    I enjoy reading you even when there are no pictures!
    Oh, speaking of pictures, Pam has your meeting on U-Tube under Funky Chicken.



  7. Thanks, Jayme, for another encouraging post. I have to confess though...I MUST have closets! If I didn't where would I "stuff" everything? Oh...that's right...maybe when the decluttering is finished at my house I won't need closets either! ;)

  8. James - we seriously need a week long blog about cutting down on the food bill with everyone maybe contributing recipes (cost cutting) I have got to get mine down!! what do you think? sorry about your camera how will you EVER take pics of your birthday dinner on Sunday here!?!?! LOL

  9. No! But really, I wear so very few of the things that live in my closet, I could probably get by without it. We have those ladybugs too, but they aren't ladybugs. Some kind of japanese beetle or something, look like a ladybug only orangish in color. In the fall I sweep up hundreds at a time! I am not even kidding. This time of year it is usually about 10 at a time. How cool to meet a local reader! And at the ALDIs to boot! :) Even if you weren't prepared for it...still cool!! :) Loving your posts!!

  10. I've been airing out my bed since I read about you doing that last week. It cuts down on the stale smell in the room too. I actually opened my window and turned on the fan. I couldn't believe the difference when I went back in to make the bed....well, I didn't really make the bed....just kinda pulled up the covers and fluffed pillows.

    Think I"ll try the beans and rice. Only one veggie to chop. :)

  11. Good reading again today. I got a call from the Salvation Army - they will have a truck in our town from 9 till 5pm for anyone wishing to donate used items....Saturday will be the day some things will be leaving our house! Very convenient, wouldn't you say?

  12. I've enjoyed going through your cleaning routines. It is less stressful. I didn't know that about the bed and airing out. I will try that today would have been the perfect day because it was 63 outside today. Felt like spring but I'm not fooled.:)

    Thanks for your encouraging post.

  13. Wanna come clean my house? :-D

    OK it would probably kill you... between all this space, 3 big dogs and all the crap we track in the house from the dusty chicken coop, stables and gardens... Aye!

    When you have 4,200 sqf to vacuum, dust and mop you kinda give up after a while. I will clean a room, do the next one, come back to the first room and it doesn't even show that I cleaned anything.


  14. What a great idea to time yourself - it's amazing how little time it really takes to keep a neat and clean house. Thanks for sharing, Jayme and I am looking forward to pictures!

  15. I'm sorry to hear about your camera - I dropped mine in August and have been using my daughter's ever since. I've been stashing cash aside to buy a digital SLR - with a STRAP!

    I love your simplicity in the bedroom. Some days, I wish my house were that sparse so cleaning would be even easier! Every time I buy something (which isn't often anymore since I'm getting a bit older and wiser), I ask myself, "Do I love this enough to dust it every week?".

  16. Ahhh Jayme...if it had been me you ran into at Aldi, you'd have felt downright comfortable with your wardrobe selection! Quite often I run out for a quick trip in my warm ups, no make up and glasses, hoping no one from church recognizes me! This plan has backfired on occasion.
    Thanks for your recipe...sounds delish! LOVE beans and rice and cilantro. I do think I could eat cilantro on about anything!
    I have to admit, I missed your pictures today, but your camera will be back in no time...and you'll be taking snaps of the Spring thaw! (right?) Till then, we'll have to use our imagination and that, quite often, is our best picture! {I look a LOT better in my imagination than when I actually see myself in a picture! Ha!} is what it is...and I'm good with it.

  17. Danged lady bugs anyway. Did you know they bite? Our old house is still packed with them - the little buggers are still alive and well.

    Thanks for the inspiration and encouragement. Quite helpful! Good luck with your camera & hope it's back soon. I'd be lost! Oh, and today was my ALDI day as well... love that store :) -Tammy

  18. And here I am thinking that my problem with a cluttered house is because I have not nearly enough closets (old house syndrome) and no basement!! I guess I will have to come up with another excuse now!!

    The recipe sounds delish and may just be put to the test today while we are all iced in!!

    Do you mean that Pam did not you in your housedress? Weren't you wearing the same one in your picture?

    What a good sister you are to have her meal prepared when she gets off work. I am sure that she appreciates it more than you will ever know!!

  19. Jayme Louise, Can't wait for you to come blow up my closet.

  20. Lady bugs, oh yeah, especially upstairs from some reason and also...plastic on every window too. Glad I'm not the only one.

    Now here's a rhetorical question, since you asked about the toilet paper, I can live with it over or under, but prefer under but the toilet seat...should always be down! Still training the girl twin and the MIL about that one, want to sign up? LOL! : )

    Bee well!

  21. Somehow those ladybugs even make it out in the dead of winter. I just flicked one off my arm when I sat down at the computer. Nice, huh?

    Thanks so much for sharing your cleaning routine. It's so interesting (seriously!) and there are always little tidbits of info that make me think...'hey, good idea!'

    A little each day... that's the ticket. :)

  22. Wow! my name in your Blog talk about exciting- Just as exciting as meeting you in the Aldis! I hope I did not scare you but I first spotted Aaron and that wonderful smile he has then I thought WOW! it's her -it's Jayme I must say Hello and Thank her for her wonderful blog-It always gives me a chuckle and makes my day. Also you have inspired me to work on looseing some weight-your like a celebrity to me. Let's face it in Lowell there are not to many celebrities! I migrated out here 16 years ago from Schererville and my Sister followed me- a few years later she moved to Texas but the one thing she used to say she loved about Lowell was you can get up in the morning throw on a coat and head to the grocery store everyone else in Lowell does it! That's the beauty of Lowell you don't have to worry about impressing anyone you can just be yourself. I am so glad to have had the chance to meet you and Aaron and I will continue to enjoy your words....

  23. I am so much enjoying your blog. I found this post quite interesting! I have that ladybug problem too! Also those other bugs...the black ones with the orange border around them, drives me crazy.


  24. You Are Incredible...In record time. Can we submit you to Guiness Book of Records? Hmmm. you could probably win several categories! You are just too good. Keeping me inspired. I tackled my Walk-In yesterday. (it's a start) My family loves Black Beans and Rice...rockin'!
    Keep it up Have a FUN Friday.

  25. Jayme, you have completely charmed me. I stopped by for a look-see and stayed much longer than I had intended. I'll be back often. I've become a follower. Can't wait till next time. Blessings...Mary

  26. Hey - I think your grocery total is not too shabby! Especially for all the mouths it feeds...and all the yummy meals you make! (Do you guys eat left-overs??? Just wondrin.)

    Your personal testimony of the Aldi encounter is enough to just shake me right out of my days-old sweatpants. Honestly, Marty, you would be appalled by the way I leave my house at times...

  27. The migration of the ladybugs is presently going thru my 1850's farmhouse along with all the cluster flies.
    Fortunately I have a cat who jumps up the walls to grab the flies and a dog that eats most of the ladybugs that hit the ground or buzz by.
    In the dead of winter there is a lot of life in an ancient farmhouse. Should I even mention the mice and moles that climb up the old pipes to get into the house, from under the sink ?
    I find mouse tails where the cats have finished eating their raw snacks.

    Thanks for the cleaning tips.

    Hope you get a replacement camera, SOON.

  28. Is it somewhere in your blog how you decluttered to start out with? If so, I will look, if not can you share please..I need help.

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  30. Jayme, great post. Of course as soon as I saw the total for groceries my training went into auto pilot and I had to calculate the cost per meal. This is not taking into consideration any leftovers, just based on the number of meals served. You did good! $1.21 a meal. Great Job. Given that figure what you spend a day for 10 meals served. Most people would spend on one fast food meal. I get really excited when I see figures like that! Don't want to ramble - but on the closet issue - we are building our new farmhouse and designed the bedrooms with no closets - no dressers - nothing. A room open to our bathroom houses our laundry and closets. I will explain this in a future post.. the peace I have now with no clutter -sweet!

  31. I wondered why you air your bed. Now, I know why.

    You are so thoughtful with your sharing of meals with you family. I love family meals. But, usually it is just me and My Guy.

    Have a great weekend.

  32. My house is a pit. I needed direction so I came running back to your blog. {thank you!}

    I re-read this post. You seriously shampoo your carpets once a month???

    I'm powering down now so I won't be tempted to come back in here and bloghop till the work is done.

    Just wanted to tell you I come to your blog to get motivated! : )

  33. Jayme ~ I made the black beans and rice tonight. Served it on
    the side of chicken,green chili and spinach quesadillas. Big hit. I would like to toss out an addition ~ a must add addition ~ fresh squeezed lime juice.
    Have plenty of extra rice and beans for lunches this week. Mmmm!

  34. ps I know there are a couple of Andreas that leave comments ~ the above is Andrea in NH :)


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