Posts Tagged ‘real simple’

The Simple-ing: Stage One

Monday, April 16th, 2012

Somehow, I thought just announcing my desire to Real Simplify My Life by blogging it from the rooftops would solve all of my problems and magical elves would swoop in to reorganize my house, color block my wardrobe and fold paper into random objects. Guess what? Didn’t happen. However, I did make some little changes and try some things out. I also started boards on pinterest if anyone wants to follow along with what I have tried and what is on deck.

Snapshot of my morning studies.

The cover stories in April were:

  1. Act Small Save Big everyday strategies to save $5,000 this year
  2. Food Storage 101
  3. The Organized Home Office
  4. How to be More Optimistic
  5. Where did your Free Time Go?

I started with 1, kept 2 for future reference, don’t even recall 3-4 and 5 seemed to be more for people who worked or were much busier than I am (how I get more free time: spend less time on the internet. how I get productive free time: take Spencer to school), but I’ll look at it again.

The financial article was disappointing. There were a few gems here and there (Tried to find one to insert in these parenthesis, so on second thought, maybe nothing groundbreaking), but it mostly focused on stating the obvious. The food and drink/home section had 25 items and basically just said: use coupons, buy in bulk and shred your own cheese. There were a few recommendations for shopping at specific stores for specific savings (like shopping at drug stores from milk). I always find that surprising, but I guess it depends on perspective. They suggest that going a separate place for milk could save up 20%. I would only recommend doing this if you were already going to the store. Otherwise it doesn’t seem worth the time, gas or possibility to buy something else in the store. I’ve also found that Target, Fresh & Easy and Trader Joe’s all sell milk at least 25% cheaper than our chain grocery stores.

The other thing I found very surprising was that they suggested a big savings ($668) by buying bottled water by the case instead of at gas stations. I’m pretty surprised that there isn’t a recommendation to not buy bottled water. The monthly bills section is a little better. Many people don’t know they can appeal property taxes and get reassessed, so good to include that. And they said to dump extras on your landline and somewhere else to bundle your landline, but never to drop your landline, so I sense a corporate hand in some of this. So basically, if you’ve never read an article on little ways to save money, check this one out. Otherwise, skip or scan it. It’s mostly common sense.


I had a lot more luck with the food sections this month. 10 ways to cook chicken thighs! We like chicken! Lemon desserts! We like lemons! I had less luck with an online pot roast recipe, though. So, maybe I should stick to print. Starting up with menu planning was my biggest change, which wasn’t in the magazine per se, but inspired by the project. I’m sure they’ve mentioned it at some point… I did 4 days and stuck to them, with some minor rearranging. It even rolled into a 5th day when I decided to use my leftover pot roast to make chili. If you are looking for a pot roast recipe, don’t use this one. I do, however, highly recommend making chili from left over roast. Delicious!


I only really did 2 things from here this month: purple eye shadow and the magic hairbrush. Seriously, this hairbrush is a life changer. I don’t blow dry my hair and would put it up out of the shower to keep my clothes from getting wet and then hours later, I would end up with bumpy, still damp hair. Now, I get out of the shower, towel dry, brush through and I can leave my hair down or braid it and no wet shirt. Score!  I thought I could test run the lacy bra feature when I found one that still had tags on in my dresser drawer, but it didn’t fit. I’m quite curious about preppy clothes – maybe if I need a new thing or two for BlogHer in august.

This Month’s Question: What change to your routine has save you the most time?

I found this section way more helpful than the article. This is where readers write in answers to a question posited in the issue prior. Maybe I should make it my mission to get one published.  The tips were really good: sort silverware in the dishwasher while you are loading it (I tried this – way harder than it sounds). don’t put it down, put it away (I’m trying this, but it is brutally hard. I’m a stuff abandoner.), choose kid’s clothes the night before (I did this myself for work, will use for Spence when he cares more.)


I also cleaned my kitchen cabinet that was on my 12 in 2012 list for April, but I got the extra motivation from reading such an organization-focused magazine. Baby steps, people. Baby steps. I realized that I can’t focus all of my energy of just the magazine and the website has a lot of listings, although not the current issues recipes (?), so I am going to consult it when I have a question. Like right now, I am thinking about changing out the liners in my kitchen drawers, I will definitely check the site for tips. Maybe I should make myself a WWRSD bracelet.

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