Every Monday, I answer a few of the questions that my readers send me. If you have a question you’d like me to answer in a future Q&A post, just leave me a comment here or email me (thefrugalgirl [at] gmail [dot] com) and put Q&A in the subject line. I look forward to hearing from you!
Before we get to today’s questions, I have a Cyber Monday deal on my ebook, Reuse, Refresh, Repurpose.
Buy a copy today for just $2 instead of the usual $4!
Reuse, Refresh, Repurpose is filled with 20 thoroughly-photographed ideas for breathing new life into old clothes. Some of the ideas are really simple and require almost no effort, while others are a little bit more involved.
I decided to make this super simple, so you do NOT need a coupon code.
Just click right here, add the book to your cart, and the discounted price will automatically show up. Easy-peasy!
Now for a few questions….
I have a question of curiosity for you. Do you consider it wasteful or “un-green” if I reuse plastic grocery bags? I use them as garbage bags throughout the house and as poop bags for when we walk the dogs. Is that wasteful or eco-unfriendly, and if so, is there a better product for garbage bags and poop bags?
Since I don’t own a dog, I can’t really speak to that part of things. But I will say that using grocery or produce bags for poop bags doesn’t seem to be any worse than buying bags for that purpose, and I can’t imagine wanting to walk my dog and carry the poop in something reusable (blech.)
As far as the garbage bag issue goes, I do understand that. Though some trash cans, like the one in our office, can go without liners (and can then be dumped into the larger kitchen trash bag on trash day), it’s nice to have liners in some of the other trash cans that get more messy.
However, even with faithful reusable bag habits around here, we still seem to end up with enough bags for that purpose.
If we didn’t use reusable bags at the grocery store, we’d end up with a LOT of plastic bags around the house…really, way more than we could responsibly use. (by way of example, that photo up there is from one week’s worth of groceries on vacation a few years back.)
If we needed that many trash bags, I’d be more concerned about the amount of trash we were producing than I’d be about our trash can liner choices, you know?
So, yes, I can see a place for plastic grocery bags as trash can liners and as poop bags, but I’d venture to guess that the average household brings home more plastic bags than they can actually need for reuse purposes.
How do you balance being a homeschooling mom and also having friendships and/or accountability and/or biblical community? Right now I just have one daughter (age 2), so I’m able to get together with other women for morning walks or lunches or just a sit-and-chat coffee date pretty easily, and I just parent my daughter as I do those things, but as our family grows (both in number of kids and age of kids), I expect that I’ll need to devote more dedicated time to parenting and schooling, and I wonder how I’ll fit in those encouraging times with other women, and I’d love to know if and how you do it!
Being a homeschooling mom does make that trickier, but then again, a mom who works outside the home would face similar challenges.
I don’t necessarily think I have this down perfectly (I’m always trying to find the right balance!), but here are a few ideas that have helped me.
- Do some your friendship-maintaining via phone or email. This isn’t as lovely as face-to-face conversation, but it’s better than nothing! You can share prayer requests and check how the other person’s day is going this way. And of course, you can also pray for a friend without being there in person.
- Find friends who are also homeschooling moms. You might be able to take field trips together or if your kids take an extra-curricular class together, you and the other moms could chat.
- Have friends over to your house. If you’ve got multiple kids, meeting at Panera won’t be that relaxing, but at your house, your kids can play while you and your friend talk.
- See if there’s a way to be with a friend while you’re doing something you’d do anyway (if you need to go to the gym, go at the same time as a friend, for example.)
- Remember that the stage of having children at home is temporary. (It’s a pretty long sort of temporary, but still, it’s just a season!) So, you might adjust your expectations for a while and remind yourself that you’ll have more time for socializing during other phases of life.
Readers, what are your thoughts on reusing plastic grocery bags? And if you have any tips about carving our friend time when your life has a lot of other demands, do share.