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Three on Thursday

  1. This idea has totally caught my attention and imagination this week.  It’s called the Saved Quarter challenge.  You can read more about it here.  (http://thesavedquarter.com/)  I’m not committing to it yet but it has me thinking.  Thinking about selling stuff off and decluttering all in one.  And putting that toward something.  My thoughts aren’t complete yet but the idea has my imagination again.
  2. One of my favorite bloggers is the Frugal Girl.  (http://www.thefrugalgirl.com/)  I just like lots of things about her.  Pictures, home school, saving money…  She’s a smart cookie!  And on a side note, my husband and I once joked about me and one of my pals that we were the frugal friend network.  I might have to start a category for that.  More thoughts to have rolling around in my head.
  3. I ordered two new lunch accessories that arrived this week.  One is the Easy Lunchbox system and the other is these awesome fabric snack/sandwich sacks by Reuse Zone on etsy.  (http://www.easylunchboxes.com/ and http://www.etsy.com/shop/reusezone?ref=pr_shop)  I’m looking forward to reviewing both for you soon.  So far, two thumbs up on both.

PS – they are calling for snow this weekend and one day next week around here.  I. am. not. amused.

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    Lunches

    Over this past year, I’ve become very interested in food.  How much sugar we are eating, how much the food is processed and how much money it all costs.  This has also translated into a lot of my attention going to the lunches my children eat – especially those I’m packing for them to eat when I’m not with them.

    According to ilunchbox.com, it is estimated that the average school aged child generates 67lbs of lunch waste per year.  Not only is that a big impact for our environment, it’s a big impact to your wallet.  I currently only have one child in school daily eating during the lunch hour, but it’s still a large impact.  The child himself doesn’t even weigh in at 67lbs!  Yikes.

    In my search for waste free lunches, I’ve come across a few eco-friendly lunch boxes and lunch methods that I’ll be sharing.  At first some seem to come at a hefty price tag, but I’ve significantly cut down on the cost of my disposable plastic baggie consumption so I think we are coming out ahead in the end.

    Over the coming weeks, I intend to share with you two of the bento lunch box options we use at my house but for today, I wanted to start out sharing something else with you.  Today I discovered ilunchbox.com.  This is a source that I had not previously discovered in my web surfing searches for better lunches.  I am particularly pleased with her video series that you can see here.  http://www.monkeysee.com/play/17858-packing-healthy-school-lunches

    If you have an elementary aged child who is in a scouting program, have them watch this series with you.  In addition to be valuable information to put in their head, it will help them earn a badge.

    My favorite tip from her that I hadn’t previously thought about – ask your child to bring home what they don’t eat.  If you discover that your child routinely only eats half their sandwich, you can start only sending half a sandwich.  I had previously asked my children to empty their containers in the garbage at school for the sake of my own convenience.  Now that I’m seeing what’s coming back home, I’m seeing what they will eat and where I’ve been wasting money.  It has also brought to my attention some social issues that have come up over the lunch table.

    Finally, my picture of the day.  In January, I went to a wonderful homeschooling/homemaking retreat for moms.  It was hosted by Vicki at EverydayHomemaking.com.  I noticed that she used cloth napkins in her home for all 20+ guests she had there that weekend.  I also noticed these cute little ribbons with binder clips hanging off the back of her kitchen chairs.  She mentioned that her children routinely wipe their face once on a napkin and toss it.  As a result, she realized that the napkin could be used for more than one meal so she came up with this solution.  I came home and promptly whipped up a batch of fun cloth napkins from inexpensive fun prints and flannel material I already had on hand.  It was a fun project for my 9 year old daughter and I to do together as she is learning to sew.  The beauty is that she could learn to sew and mistakes didn’t matter.  I was also able to experiment with the various stitches my machine offers in a practical manner as I quilted some of the napkins.  It’s been over a month since we instituted this at my house and it’s working beautifully.