so this is supposed to be my ideas for making life easier with kiddos. first of all, sometimes i don't capitalize because it saves time, ha ha! some friends of mine and i were talking about how we wish there was more drive-through things for when you are on your own with the kids. one of my tricks is that i will call friends or family when we are out and see if anyone wants to run errands with me so that they stay in the car while i run into a store. i have also been known to call friends and ask if one of us can use their bathroom so i don't have to go into a store and get everybody out of the car to take one kid to the bathroom.
when it comes to finishing laundry, cleaning up or craft projects i always just prioritize. i think we all do that though. the best thing that works for us is we encourage putting away stuff before getting out something else and at bedtime and bribe accordingly. "you want to read a couple of books at bedtime? well let's all put away the trains together." "you want to build a tent in the living room? well we need to put away all the car toys so we have space." one time my parents were coming by for a visit and i said we needed to put away toys so mimi wouldn't trip and they boys were so excited about putting away toys. so now i love it when we have company over because it is the fastest way to clean up the den.
another thing that we do is rotate toys. we have a box in the basement with toys and that helps to keep the toys under control a little bit more. also, everything has it's place so the boys know where everything goes and can clean up without help if i am busy with the baby or cooking.
one thing i wanted to talk about is how we save money as a family of 5 on a very small budget. with our vegan diet and i am pretty health conscience, we mainly only shop at whole foods, trader joe's and the farmer's market. so i buy things on sale and i signed up for every possible mama saving website like mamabargins.com, babysteals.com, ecobabybuys.com- there are tons of these things. we also mostly buy second hand clothes for the kids at a local shop. i signed up for amazon mom to get scheduled deliveries and save tons on everything from dish soap to diapers/wipes. we also use cloth diapers a lot when we are home and i try to use washcloths and rags to clean up as much as possible to cut down on paper towels. oh and i have one credit card for Old Navy so i buy groceries on that and pay it off every month but earn points/credits. so i get $30 bucks here and there to spend at old navy. we also have a really great used clothing store for women's clothes and i make a lot of my clothes too or just buy stuff and "re-make" it into what i like. last winter i wanted sweater skirts so i just bought sweaters at goodwill and made a couple of really cute skirts. last summer i wanted a cool jean skirt so i made one out of my dad's old jeans. i also save money on fabric for sewing projects by waiting to shop the 50% off sale twice a year at the nice fabric store in town. here are pictures of the jean skirt and one of the sweater skirts. i took scraps from one of the other sweaters and made flowers for this skirt.