Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Saving the pennies

I've posted quite a few times about going chemical-free, particularly when it comes to things like cleaning and laundry products, and personal care products.  The reasons for this decision are mainly:
  1. it's much, much healthier
  2. it's better for the environment
  3. it's far cheaper
In these tough times, when even the minister for farming is encouraging us to grow our own food telling us we need to "dig for survival", it's all the more important to save the pennies wherever we can.

I can honestly say I used to spend a lot of money on cleaning stuff, toothpaste, mouthwash and the like.  Knowing what I know now about the ingredients in most commercial products, I don't particularly like using my stash of Molton Brown et al, but waste not want not and I won't simply throw them out, I just won't acquire any more.

When I went out shopping, I'd put another couple of boxes of toothpaste in the trolley, or another bottle of spray cleaner, or a bottle of fabric conditioner, just because they were on offer.  It got to the point where things were getting a little ridiculous and I'd got about 20 unopened boxes of toothpaste in the bathroom cupboard.

Since I stopped shopping like this and stopped using commercial products, not only has my family been healthier due to removal of a lot of the toxic chemicals from our lives, our funds have improved a bit more too.  This can only be a good thing as there are a few more pennies to go towards food instead.

In the last 6 months, I've spent nothing on shampoo/conditioner and nothing on fabric softener.  My washing powder costs me about £1.70 for 20+ washes and my cleaning products now consist of two old spray bottles filled with a vinegar/water mix with a few drops of essential oil added.  A single 48p bottle of Asda's white vinegar lasts for absolutely ages.

I don't colour my hair at all, or use make-up very often, and I make my own cleansers, toners,  face creams and body butters.  I'm slowly using up my stash of toothpaste, and have also started making my own fluoride-free tooth cleaner, which looks totally revolting but actually tastes great and leaves my teeth feeling like they've just been polished by the dentist.  I also make my own mouthwash, storing it in a recycled commercial mouthwash bottle.

I'm sure we've all been brainwashed into believing we need all this stuff, when really we don't.  My house smells clean and fresh without being artificially perfumed, we're definitely benefiting health-wise from less dangerous chemicals , and my pocket definitely appreciates the lack of expenditure on items that are largely unnecessary when you can make your own cheaper, healthier versions.

What do you do to save money?

Until next time.

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