In this money matters money I will tell you how we save by making our own, and using simple techniques and tips to save your hard earned money in the bathroom.
While I am sure there other ways we haven’t tried yet, different versions, or even better techniques. I would be interested to hear them. There is always something new to learn. Leave a comment.
Deodorant – There are so many recopies out there for making your own deodorant. After years of spending $2-3 per bar of toxic gick (Paul Wheaton term) that I spread under my arms I opted for a simpler option. Gone are the days of buying bars of toxic substances and applying to my lymph nodes to be passed into my body. For $0.50/6 mo compared to $3/mo. I use simple rubbing alcohol purchased at the Dollar store or other places. I recycled an old red wine vinegar bottle from the recycle container and fill it up. A few shakes rub under the arm and I am good to go. Now, it doesn’t last the whole day and depending on the level of work I may need to re-apply. Have no worry, when I am away from home, I have a few alcohol pads in the car. Purchased on clearance for $1.00 for 200 pads I can apply as needed in a pinch. The test, the wife says she can’t notice and she is closer than anyone else should be. The smell isn’t from the sweat, it is from the bacteria that grow in the wet damp, areas. Sweat is a way for the body to cool itself and removes wastes. Side effect, and it may be from the non-chemical. I can smell everything now. When my daughter gets into the car from a weekend at her mother’s I can smell the lotion, hair conditioner and fabric softener as soon as the door is opened. When we go out, I can smell everything, and usually try to avoid isles in stores with lots of chemical fragrances. Benefit, flowers smell that much better, food smells better, and I notice things more. You can add a bit of essential oils, tea tree (be careful it can burn the skin) lavender, sandal wood or other fragrance. Beyond the fragrance most of essential oils have anti bacteria properties and makes the alcohol last that much longer. My wife seems to like a few dashes of lavender and vanilla in her mixture.
Toothpaste – Fluoride is extremely toxic. As a chemist background I can tell you this stuff is not something to mess with. A level 4 (out of 4) toxicity level it can kill. Yet we are forced to have it in our water. Fluoride that is added to our drinking water is a byproduct of toxic waste from industrial processes. Being forced to drink fluoride as a treatment for the surface of your teeth is the equivalent of being forced to drink Coppertone 60 for the prevention of sunburn. Have you ever noticed that the label on the toothpaste says if you swallow more than a pea sized portion contact poison control? So why force feed it into your water supply? Ever noticed how there is water specifically without fluoride for babies? Why is that? We now make our own toothpaste and have had great results. Baking soda, water, and a few drops of essential oils. That is it. If I wanted to I could eat it and no harm. It is safe for kids of all ages, however not the tastiest. A few spoons of baking soda, and I like to use peppermint, Thieves, and vanilla essential oil and enough water to make a slurry. Done. I used to get canker sores all the time. Since switching, none. My teeth are smooth like when I visit the dentist. My wife recently went and she indicated far less scraping than she has ever had. Why? The essential oils kill the bacteria in your mouth preventing tooth decay, gingivitis, and canker sores. We did buy some xylitol (a natural sweetener that will not add to tooth decay) but haven’t tried using it yet. Each batch, maybe ¼ cup lasts a month or two and costs roughly $0.10 to make.
Cleaning products – Vinegar, and baking soda. These two will clean just about anything. Use apple cider vinegar every once in a while just to add something different. This is used to clean tub, tile, sink, toilet. Rather than spending $30-50 on cleaning products that are again toxic gick, and something you already have on hand. We buy both in bulk. We maybe spend $0.10-0.30 a month on cleaning products. Do you know what you get when you combine bleach and Windex? A version of mustard gas. Yes the same gas they used to kill people in WWII. Read the label. Again, my chemistry education. If you only knew the things you could make with household cleaning products. A bomb…yes…Nerve agents…yes…poisonous gas…yes…eat the paint off your car…yes…dissolve concrete…yes. Yet people use this every day and expose their family to them.
Water reducer – we use low flow shower heads and faucets to reduce the amount of water we use. When waiting for the water to get warm for a bath there is a 5 gal bucket. This bucket is used to water plants, put into the Berkey add to fish tanks. Don’t let the water simply go down the drain.
Hot Water – we turned down the thermostat to the highest setting we could stand straight out of tap on full hot. Rather than super heat water to cool it back down with cold water just use the hot water straight from the tap.
Other tips- When in the shower take an old dish sponge and wipe down the curtain and walls with a little soap on it. This will prevent mold and mildew from building up and additionally clean and soap scum, and mineral buildup as it starts. We also have shutoff valves on the showerhead. The water will stay hot and the same temperature you left it while you stop to lather up, shave, or shampoo the hair.
Make your own soap. Because several of us have sensitive skin, we use the plain basic soaps with no fragrance, and no unneeded chemicals. My wife has started making our own soaps. It was super easy. Many of the components we already had and I can make it without harsh components. Since we just started, I am so far on board with it. Still evaluating. But at 1/10 the cost of purchased soaps it is well worth it. Out at The Farm we hope to reuse gray water so having a more natural soap is really beneficial.
Conditioners and hair care. With a house of 4 women and girls conditioner and other products seemed necessary. Mayo, eggs, vinegar, chamomile tea all aid in their hair care rituals. I cannot speak to them. I use the bar soap for everything having short hair this works for me and the boy. Shaving, bathing, and shampoo. It all has worked for us.
Toilet paper – find one you like and buy in bulk. Not like it goes bad. No expiration date. Before you buy in bulk, make sure you like it. Nothing worse than using 20 grit sand paper because it was the cheapest alternative.