Spending Strike: Day 19 - No-Cost Cleaning Supplies & A Sunday Potluck


Can we just take a minute here to reflect on the fact that I have, for the first time ever, blogged for 19 days straight?

Let's pause and think about how awesome {and time consuming} that daily blogging is. I often wondered how hardcore bloggers - those crazy cats who blog daily - make it through without writer's block, or repetitive content. And what about those days when you just want to dump whatever is knocking around in your brain?

Because today, friends, is one of those days. And this post is one of those posts. I'm just going to dump a few things from my noggin to the keyboard and hope it makes sense.

There are really two things I wanted to share with you today, and one is a continuation from yesterday's post. I love cleaning, as I professed yesterday, but I don't want to buy bright blue window cleaner or toxic 'lemon fresh' cleansing sprays. I like using cleaning solutions that have a light, natural scent and won't leave a toxic residue in my home.

I make most of my own cleaning supplies, and keep a shelf under the sink stocked with rags (make from old t-shirts and towels) so I can tackle the smallest mess or a good ol' Sunday deep clean (like today). Actually, I get a lot of my cleaning supply 'recipes' from Ruth at Living Well, Spending Less. She's a blogging goddess.

GO HERE for her list (and now it's become my go-to list, as well) of 10 Green & Thrifty Cleaning Product. What I love most about Ruth's blog is that she creates amazing printables that I can save on my computer, or print and put in a plastic sleeve for easy reference and use with a dry erase marker.

For example, here's her printable for those cleaning supplies:


If I could give you one piece of advice, it would be to make Living Well, Spending Less one of your go-to blogs. Sign up for email updates from Ruth. You will be so glad you did!

The next random thing I wanted to brag about tell you about is my ability to make a killer potluck dish out of crazy random items in my pantry.

Every Sunday we have family dinner with John's family, and it's always potluck-style. Sometimes there's a theme, and sometimes everyone brings whatever they have on hand. {I take particular pleasure in family dinner when we all bring whatever we have on hand, because that means we'll have about 7 kinds of dessert and a pasta salad of some sort. It's awesome-sauce.}

Today we had a Mexican themed dinner, with a taco bar, beans, rice, fresh guac, and chips and salsa. I was scavenging my cupboards for some sort of side dish to accompany that theme.

Girlfriend came up empty-handed.

I seriously thought about Facebook messaging my foodie friends Diana and Ally to see what suggestions they might have, because going to the grocery store was NOT going to jive with this spending strike.

However, the solution was just a short Google away. I had some taters, so I Googled "Mexican Potatoes".

This, among many other things, is what came up.

Of course, I can't follow a recipe for the life of me, so I substituted my own special touches and came up with a home run side dish for our family dinner.


I followed the same directions…


But these are the ingredients I used:

5 russet potatoes, peeled
a handful of sliced onions
a spoonful of garlic
a handful of diced green peppers {frozen from my summer garden}
a pint jar of whole tomatoes {canned from my summer garden}
a pinch of cumin
a pinch of coriander
a pinch of cayenne pepper
a pinch of oregano
a half stick of butter
a big handful of sharp cheddar cheese

Now, I completely agree that this recipe, as I've just written it, is challenging to decipher. It's a weird mash-up of Taste.com and my own rendition.

But you're all smart cookies. You'll figure it out.

In the mean time, I'm going to catch up on last week's episode of The Bachelor that I missed, and fold some laundry.

Brain dump is officially over.


Here are the numbers -

Money Spent Today: $0
Running Total: $75
Money We Didn't Spend: $15 on ingredients for a Mexican side dish

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