Black Friday at Value Village 11/27/15

Today is Black Friday. Most people went to conventional store to snag deals. Value Village was doing 75% off pants/bottoms till 1PM. I needed sweat pants/lounge pants, so off I went.

These are 100% Linen pants that were $1.50 each. The same pants sell at Nordstrom for $59.oo.

I tried these on and never wanted to take then off. They are by Arden B. These are a challenge to find online. It appears that Wet Seal used to carry them but don’t any longer. You can buy similar one on Thread Up for around $17. I’m not a member, so they wouldn’t let me do a good search. I did find these for $17.50. I paid $2.00.

Victoria Secret Pink Sweat Pants for $1.50. These start at around $42.00 on V.S. Pink website.

Starting at the left is a pair of cropped Aerie sweatpants I bought for $2.00 It is not the season for cropped pants, so online searches are a challenge but I found these on the website for $20.97.

Next is the pink Calvin Klein cropped sweat pants I bought for $1.00. On the C.K. website, they have a pair of cropped sweatpants for $49.00.  Bay does have a pair that is closer to what I bought for $18.95.

The final thing I bought was cropped Aeropostale sweatpants for $1.50. These are very close for $10 on the website.

I spent $12.05 today and bought 7 pairs of pants. This should last me awhile. Did you do any shopping today for Black Friday? What deals did you find?

Cloth diaper math, on the fly!

I was doing laundry and thought I would count the diapers in the load and do the math quickly. I am doing the math for the first time in the post, so if I am not clear, go ahead and comment. Then I can fix it or explain it better.

This load had 28 diapers and 8 “wipes” (I use wash cloths and don’t buy into the idea of needing special cloth wipes, but that is for a different post).

I figure for my toddler, disposable diapers cost, about, 30 cents a piece (some brands more, some a little less but for this post I am saying 30 cents). With that, because of water costs in the wash, it is about a quarter (25 cents) back in my pocket for each cloth diaper used.

In the case of this load, that is $7.00 back in my pocket (I am surprised it worked out that perfect, I didn’t plan that).

Wipes cost a penny or 2 a piece, depending on brand (I like Honest company and theirs are little more). At most that is 16 cent back in my pocket.

I make my own detergent and the cost per load is actually less than a penny, so we will round-up to the penny. The vinegar is probably a couple of cents a load (I have never figured out how much I use per load, it may be time to do that, a gallon of white vinegar only costs $1.50 at our local Costco), so we will say 3 cents for the math for now. A 30 ml bottle of lemon oil (that is about 500 drops) is 10 bucks through Plant Therapy and I use 2 drops a load. It is 2 cents a drop, that is 4 cents a load.

I need to subtract 8 cents for laundry cost.

Math: $7.00 + $.16 – $.08= $7.08

The total I save for this load with 28 diapers and 8 wipes is $7.08. Now I can go on the figure out per week savings compared to disposable but on the fly that feels like a lot. I will say I do at least 2 loads a week of diapers, some weeks 3 loads. It will depend on where the loads fall in the week (and if the little one has had an icky week 😛 ).

What do you think of my math? For us, $7.08 is about 2 dinners. It makes a huge dent. What about in your life? What would 7 dollars back into your pocket every couple of days do for you?


Empty EO bottle?

This is my short and frugal tip of the day.

Have an “empty” essential oil bottle?

Open the bottle all the way, including taking off the stopper and put it in a ceramic up.

Boil some water. Once it is boiling, pour the water in the cup. Make sure the bottle fills. Do just enough to cover the bottle.


Now place it in a room and it will diffuse the left over oil and you will still get the benefit from it.

When the water cools, I add it to my ultrasonic diffuser  and continue to use it.

Now the bottle is clean and ready for the recycle. Plus, you didn’t waste a drop! YAY!

My cloth diaper washing routine

We have been trying to potty train. My beautiful daughter is 26 months, give or take. I introduced the potty at about 18 months. Now, that was a little early. I should have probably waited. She gets all the mechanics of going potty but just doesn’t want to. So, instead of fighting, we are taking a step back.

I thought now was a great time to reflect on my cloth diaper routine.


My total investment in cloth diapers is somewhere between $15 and $20. Yes, that is all. I received some hand me downs but mostly my wonderful mother and I made a bunch of diapers. My mom made a couple dozen fitted that worked great when my little one was tiny (and will work again when baby number 3 gets here in August). I made 3 or 4 dozen pre-folds, which has been my go-to for my older toddler. I just fold them up and place them in a cover and snap them on. We both made them out of rags and old sheets that we had lying around. Neither of us bought anything. I have had to buy a few covers over time but when I did, I would hop on ebay and get some for no more than $3 shipped. What helped was that I’m not picky about condition. All the covers are worn and not the prettiest but they work and are covered in pants 95% of the time.



I, also, work at keeping the washing routine as simple (and cheap) as possible. When the baby is little and breast feed only, it is really easy. Their poo is water-soluble, so I would throw everything in the wash machine. I did a hot rinse first, then did a normal wash (I will go into that in a second). Once you introduce solid food or if you formula feed the situation changes. You can’t throw the diaper in the wash with any solids in it. I rinse the diaper with solids in the toilet, you can use a sprayer if you have one. I, just, have never invested. Plus, hands wash easily and I am not squeamish. That is a me thing, though. There is no judgement if you choose to use a sprayer. I throw wet diaper straight into the wash (or diaper pail).

When I wash I use a quarter of a cup of my homemade detergent and a scoop of OxyClean. I am using OxyClean only because it was cheaper per load than bleach. I have used bleach in the past and see no problem with it. I just try to save as much money as possible.  I set my washer on the “small” load size and hot. I use vinegar and 1-2 drops of lemon oil in the fabric softener dispenser. If you don’t have a dispenser, invest in a Downy ball. They work great. The vinegar pulls out any left over detergent and icky-ness that may be left in the diaper, as well as killing bacteria. The lemon oil accomplishes the same thing.

I dry on a normal cycle in my dryer, on low heat. I have you high heat in the past but I found it drys just as well in low heat and uses less energy. Hang drying in the sun is best but here in the greater Seattle area, the days you get to do that are few.

Do you cloth diaper? What does your routine look like? Have you done anything that really didn’t work or tried something that worked well, that you weren’t expecting?


How this got started…

How did this get started?

Well, the truth is, I am not sure. I have always been against starting a blog. There are a million voices out there. I didn’t want to add to the clutter.

BUT…… as life has gotten more complicated, I craved something simpler. I want to share what I know, what I have learned and what I am learning about a simpler life.

I have always been a little bit of a hippie. I enjoy that aspect of myself. And, unlike the perception a lot of people have of “hippies,” I find that it goes hand in hand with my Christian faith. As a Christian, I believe Jesus has called me to be good stewards of everything He has given me.

There were 2 moments of revelation for me. The first was when Reclaimed Boy was just a baby. I was in a store, buying disposable diaper when I came across a pack of cloth diapers (I may do a cloth diaper post later). The pack of cloth diapers cost the same as a pack of disposable and I could use them over and over again. That seemed far more practical them having to buy diapers over and over again.

The second moment was when I started couponing. I started extreme couponing in 2008. I was amazed at the money I was saving. As I researched, though, I found there were other ways to save more money. Those ways didn’t involve clipping coupons and searching store ads! It involved making stuff myself, using what I had, and thinking outside the box.

All this has grown into a lifestyle I love and want to share. I still have some huge vices and things I am working on. I am hoping you, my dear reader, will participate in this lifestyle, glean ideas off me, and give me new ideas I have never thought of.