Monday, March 14, 2011

Saving....the earth, the cash.

It is spring break around here so the posts have been a little sparse. But, I have accomplished much around here including a full day out in the yard. 3 new trees, dead bushes trimmed and a garden prepared and ready to be filled tomorrow. Yipee. How little it takes to make me happy!

I have been trying this year to eliminate waste. You know, the whole save the environment, save your pocket book type thing. Throw in there the whole save your body from contamination thing also. We just waste so much and really could save some grocery store dollars is we just made a few changes.

The most noticeable change for me has been my paper towel usage. I am a big time window cleaner. I like my glass door to be CLEAN. Like no fingerprints at all CLEAN. I also like my mirrored closet doors clean, counters clean, walls clean, etc. That equals lots of paper towels. This year I made the best purchase ever. Seriously. I am so in love.

MICROFIBER TOWELS. I bought a huge package at Costco for some insanely cheap amount. There is enough towels in there to last me for a decade. They clean like nobodies business. Totally streak free and grab dust like a magnet. I sound like an infomercial but seriously, LOVE THEM! They have almost completely replaced paper towels for me. I save the paper towels for the really icky messes that I don't want to go into the washer. I used to go through a large 10+ roll of paper towels a week. Not kidding. Now, I maybe go through one roll a week. I start with a micro fiber towel in the morning and do the kitchen counters, then the mirrors, then any wall smudges, then the bathrooms. All in one towel. I use a different one for any dusting that needs to be done. 

I have blogged about this before but my very favorite thing to clean with in the whole wide world is a spray bottle filled with 16 oz of water, 10 drops of grapefruit seed extract and 6 drops of peppermint oil. It smells heavenly and disinfects and leaves windows streak free. They go from counters to mirrors. One towel, one cleaner. 

For the tougher jobs, I use the same spray bottle but add a little baking soda to the cloth. I just spray the cloth a bit then sprinkle a little baking soda. It cleanse the sinks, counters, wall smudges, etc. No harsh chemicals, no rough abrasives. Perfect and something like $.59 a box. It is great on stainless steel sinks, getting rust spots and grime off. It can make your paint look new again as it takes off most smudges.

Now onto the kitchen soap. I go through lots of that too since I have lots of kids using lots of dishes. They do the dishes and like to use lots of soap. To combat that, I have taken precautions since they simply aren't going to use less soap. I've tried. 

Fill up half the bottle with dish soap, preferable one without chemicals and toxins, and add the other half with water. Give a little whirl and there you go. It pours out easily and is less concentrated so you don't waste so much. You really need very little soap to get the job done. I can't believe how long the soap lasts now. 

Now onto the body wash. Another big thing that produces lots of waste in our house. 7 bodies to clean. Kids love to make bubbles. They think they need like 7 squirts to clean one little body. My favorite combo:

The photo is hard to decipher but it is the wildflower hair and body shampoo from Abe's Market. It comes in a gallon for about $15 bucks. I use it for shampoo on Tate but it is mostly our body wash. I put some in a pump bottle , dilute with water and add in my favorite peppermint oil. It wakes up the senses, leaves you with a little tingle and with no harsh chemicals at all, your body will thank you. I have hardly used any out of my new gallon thanks to the "watering down" method. It is amazing how it stretches it out. I also love it on my face in the shower. 

As far as food goes, simply plan meals around what is on sale. I am talking produce and meats here. If you are trying to buy good organic, local and seasonal foods, wait to plan your menu until you hit the market. Buy what is on sale and available then go home and plan your menu. If you do this, you can end up really not spending more on your food than if you bought regular conventional. For instance, Sprouts has organic apples on sale right now for less than there conventional apples. Buy lots, make apple fritters for breakfast, apple sauce for homemade granola for lunch, apple crisp for dessert. Organic sweet potatoes were on sale last week. We had Jamaican sweet potatoes and black beans, sweet potato fries, sweet potatoes in our soup. The sweet potatoes were once again cheaper than the conventional potatoes. You just need to buy smart and cook smart. 

You don't have to go to the poor house by adopting a healthy lifestyle. I hate when I hear that excuse. You just have to use your head a little and plan a little better. 

What are some of your money saving tips at your house? Please share.


Cindy Thomas said...

Hi Shari. Who is the manufacturer of the hair & body shampoo (or company name)? Thanks!

Shari Goodman said...

It is by Eco-products, called Wildflower hair and body shampoo, commercial size. I get it from Abe's Market online. Here are the ingredients:Water, Vegetable-derived surfactants (from coconut and palm-kernal oils), natural wildflower extracts.

Cindy Thomas said...

THANKS! I googled lots of companies but they ALL had $10+ s/h and Abe's had $4 shipping! In the mail. Thanks Again.

Taryn said...

I don't know if you knew this but you are also a mind reader. For days now I have been needing to look up a recipe for a natural cleaner....thanks for thinking of me:)

miss honeybee said...

Thanks a million for this info!! I was spending $45 a gallon for Dr. Bronner's 1 gallon of soap.

Shea said...

Haha! I bought that same package of neon yellow towels at Costco and my husband thought I was crazy! I cut a few up in quarters to use as washcloths, since I think the size they come in is a bit too big to use as a washcloth. They work really well to remove stuck on food from the counters and table when wiping the down. I also use them to clean the mirrors and windows.