How I do Zero Waste on a Budget with a Family & a Full Life…
A lot of you that follow me on Instagram expressed your interest in me writing this blog post so it’s my pleasure to oblige
A Typical Day in our Home is as follows:
5:30am wake up at the latest (4:45 on Friday/Saturday’s as I open the cafe)
Lunches / breakfasts prepared while I drink my tea
Kids dressed & ready by 7:30am leaving them time to play/create/chill
I’m out the door by 7:45am as I start at my family’s cafe at 8am, hubby does the school drop off run & heads straight to his office.
Work til 12/1 depending on the day – bike home to get dinner started, eat lunch, spend 30mins or so with hubby if he is home (he works from home but travels for meetings, speaking engagements)
2pm : head to the school as parking is atrocious, take paperwork/current book I’m reading so that the 45mins wait til school is finished is not wasted. While waiting I check emails, write blog posts, do paperwork for either the cafe or the Martial Arts branch that I run.
3pm: Home with the kids, afternoon tea, homework, spend some time with them cooking/crafting/playing.
5pm : On Training Nights I’m out the door to Teach a Martial Arts Class – on my way to my class which is 25 mins from our home I drop the kids to their Class as they train under my superior Instructor, this way there is no clashing between us as Parent/Child during class
6pm: Run Class (SUPER FUN!) this is what I classify as “me time” as I love what I teach & get so much out of it.
7:10pm : Leave Class to collect kids on my way home again. I have an amazing Assistant that packs up my hall & attends to any remaining students so that I can leave on time.
7:45: Home, quick Dinner that I prepared at lunch time for us all
8:15: Kids in bed – dishes, clean up, prepare lunch boxes for following day, finish up any paperwork needed for following day, do any top up cooking to baking needed for the following day.
10:30-11pm : BED
Hahahaha, when you look at it, it looks like a big life, and truth be told it is, but it’s all worth while for the future ahead.
I use any spare moments among the chaos to research, read, study & learn about my passions ( anything Zero Waste focused, saving the planet focused etc) and I do my best to implement 1 new thought/idea into our world every 1-2 months so that it’s well used so to speak by the time that I share it with you guys.
We own a very cute 3bed, 1 bath post war cottage that we love – our mortgage is well under the Australian average, we are very blessed to live in what is still classified as a “country town” so land prices are not as absurd as the rest of the Sunshine Coast… Hubby & I keep our earnings separate, so we take turns paying the mortgage payment, and split life’s costs between us for the rest of it. We deliberately chose to live in a smaller town as this keeps our day to day living costs down & this way we can save towards our future
We choose to buy all fresh produce package free, 80% unpackaged staples & make as much at home as possible, this really does keep our costs down as we’re not paying for the convenience of it being made for us.
When we were buying plastic wrapped bread for example, it was costing $4 a loaf for the good quality wholemeal or seeded bread. Now that I bake it at home it costs $2.90 a loaf & the slices are huge therefore we eat 1/2 as much as we used to, making the loaf I bake last longer than the bought one did…
I use Sunday afternoons to bake/cook up a storm for the week ahead. Cookies, bread, at least 3 nights worth of dinners, any other snacks we need etc. a big salad for lunches & whatever else is needed. This takes me 2-3 hours but it’s “me time” once again as I’m happy in kitchen because I know exactly what’s in the food I’m nourishing my little family with.
Each night I make sure the kids uniforms are ready for the next day, their bags are cleaned out, their lunch boxes are empty ready for the next day. Any books/activity items etc that are needed are placed close by for the following day. I try & remember to prepare snacks for myself for work the next day so that I’m not tempted by all the yummy treats we sell at work
I have most Sundays off which means this day is used for anything & everything I enjoy – walking the beach, exploring a rain forest, chilling at home, reading etc. Down time is the only way I keep going each week – it is SO important
I also make it a priority to “date my husband “ – this is essential to our lives running smoothly as without a happy marriage, life generally goes to crap (speaking from experience) now our dates are not extravagant or expensive – most of the time it is simply cooking something I know he will enjoy & know has been made especially for him. We will put on some nice music & just sit n talk about life, laugh at the silly things we’ve done that week ( I’m always doing or saying something that turns out to be mixed up & therefore quite amusing) sometimes the night turns into deep & meaningful conversations, every now & then heated discussions and just about all the time it ends with us both feeling closer together again & ready for the next week ahead…
I make sure my reusable bags are always ready, my jars are washed as soon as they’re empty & put aside ready for my next trip to the Bulk food store & that their are reusable cups & produce bags in my handbag, the basket on my bicycle & in the car… this stops us needing to use plastic or single use items… We all take our Water Bottles EVERYWHERE and if for some reason they’re forgotten, we ask for a glass of water wherever we are rather than buy a plastic bottle or we make do til we get somewhere that we can get a glass of water…
I think that’s just about everything, if you have any questions, feel free to email me or contact me on Instagram.