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My schedule is changing quite a bit at the beginning of the year and I will be home a lot more. I’m excited about this change, as I’ll get to be more hands-on with the kids’ schooling again.

This will also give me the opportunity to be a full-time home manager and I’m looking forward to mastering that again.

I’ve been reading a lot of blog posts lately on ways to save time and money, as well as ways to simplify more. A lot of it was stuff I’d written … It’s been like a minimalist natural homemaker refresher course.

I used to be so good at this stuff. What happened? So many things, really. But now is the time to get more intentional again. Yes!

One of the blogs I’ve been reading and gathering inspiration from is The Prudent Homemaker. She has lots of great money-saving tips and every week she posts ways she saved money in the week prior. I love it and have read far too many of them in the past few days.

So, in that same vein, I thought I’d share ways I practiced my minimalist natural homemaking skills last week (saved money, simplified/decluttered/did things naturally).

Many of these things I do on the regular (I guess I haven’t gotten as bad as I’ve thought – maybe it’s just so second-nature that I don’t think about it?) and some are habits I’m starting up again.

Dyed my hair

Definitely not natural but I was over all my greys. Picked up an inexpensive box of black dye at Target and dyed it the next day.

Cut my own hair

I’ve been cutting my own hair for quite some time now and this was my best cut yet. I’m growing out the top AGAIN. I want my curls back next year! But I’m keeping the sides faded up.

Meal planning

Last month, I bought a big dry erase board and put it up on my kitchen wall. I’ve been making loose dinner plans each week, but this week I got much more detailed for breakfast and dinners. Lunches will be leftovers, quesadillas or burritos. I still have no idea what to make for Christmas dinner.

Meal prepped

I take Sunday as a rest day. What that means today is that I did no exercise or work, but I did get up at 6 am and get to work on prepping food for meals this week and making edible Christmas gifts. Rest is hard for me …

Tip: Don’t soak beans in a glass jar unless there is a LOT of space for expansion. My jar exploded and I got to start the process all over again this morning. I’ve been soaking beans for years, but always in a bowl, so this has never happened before.

DIY edible gifts

I made a LOT of edible gifts this week. Aside from my husband and kids, I don’t give many Christmas gifts.

However, the people that do get stuff from me get consumable goods. Usually it’s homemade bar soap, bath salts and salted caramel sauce. The same is true this year.

Budget overview

I sat down the other day and reworked our budget. It’s been a few months and our my spending has been out of control. I hate that. I’ve set a new budget that will require some minor sacrifices and a lot of creativity.

I’m looking forward to it.

Cancelled subscriptions

I cancelled Hulu and Disney+ because the kids only use them each for like one show. And I’m really tired of the one they’re watching on Hulu. We get Netflix included with our T-Mobile bill and that’s plenty.

I also cancelled my Audible subscription. The kids keep using my credits (except I snagged this book and I LOVE it) and they can just use the library instead.

Made vanilla

I’m actually re-making this batch. I had made a batch earlier in the year and thought I’d see if I could use the same vanilla beans a second time. Spoiler: it makes very, very weak vanilla-flavored vodka. Oh well.

I finally moved the vodka to a new bottle with some other vanilla beans, which really needed to be used as it turns out. It will be ready mid-March.

Edited my wardrobe

I went through my clothing and edited down my wardrobe. A couple months ago I wanted to get rid of everything and start over and I’ve done that on a small scale.

I’ve gotten new things on my list through some Black Friday sales (I intentionally wait until then to get certain things I need each year, like wool socks and new underwear), as well as a Thred Up Goody Box. I love those boxes and have ordered a couple over the years. I usually keep one or two things.

I will sell some of the clothing I took out on Poshmark (come join me there) and give some to a couple of my friends’ daughters. My girls have already gone through things and taken what they wanted.

Smart shopping

We all have a shared iPhone note called Family Shopping List. I made sure to update it before going to the store today. I also checked the store flyer for Safeway and saw a few great deals on some of my list items so I noted that.

We always go to Grocery Outlet first because they’ve always got great deals and it’s much closer to our house.

There were a few items on the list that they didn’t have and after pulling up the Safeway shopping app, I saw that even with the drive across our (small) town, we’d still be better off because getting those things there because we’d save so much money. Got great prices on eggs, dairy and some berries my husband needed for the pie he’s making.

How about you? What have you done this week to flex your minimalist natural homemaking skills?