As a person lacking independent wealth, I find it important to employ conservation efforts to prevent the children from forcing us into bankruptcy. See, kids don't typically think in terms of how much things cost. Shocking, I know. They don't understand that money is required to buy the toilet paper in the bathroom. They simply want to see how much of it they can unroll before an adult stops them. It's not just about saving the immediate buck either, as some efforts are done in the name of eco-consciousness. One bathtub of water is enough to sufficiently clean three kids, with some warm water being added if need be and also barring any pee or poop making an appearance. If the pajamas make it through breakfast without getting a taste of pancakes and syrup, they can do for another night before heading to the laundry pile. A few small changes can save water and energy (mine, mostly) one chore at a time.
Some conservation efforts are premeditated and other are happenstance. For instance, this morning Son #2 was eating breakfast. Having emptied his bowl, he asked for more cereal, but of course as soon as it was refilled all his attention turned to the cinnamon raisin toast in front of his grandmother. At the same time, Son #1 entered the kitchen and announced he was ready to have breakfast. As he settled himself at the table I quickly assessed the situation; Son #2 getting himself into optimal toast-mooching position (a.k.a. Nana's lap), a fresh bowl of cereal on the table and a hungry Son #1. "Here you go, honey," I said as I slid the bowl over. "Thanks, Mommy." Problem solved. Cut to 15 minutes later when Son #1 had eaten his fill and left the table on a quest for juice. Son #2 had successfully finished his grandmother's breakfast and spied the cereal bowl. He promptly sat in the chair, said, "I not done yet" and drained the few mouthfuls that were left. Everyone ate, no food went to waste and there was one less bowl and spoon to be washed.
Momma go BOOM! And that's how it's done.