Personal care products.
What do all these things have in common?
They're generally made from things that aren't very good for your body or your health. They're expensive. And I think I can do better. With some help, of course. I have already gotten started:
-For cleaning, I already use white vinegar, mixed with water in a spray bottle for general cleaning and sanitizing. That's about it.
-I tried making homemade liquid soap--which I haven't used up yet, and I may or may not try this technique again.
-I've just started using the baking soda and apple-cider-vinegar hair cleaning method. (More on that in a future post, but five days in, I love it!)
I've been reading ideas and recipes for all sorts of natural, homemade products to replace conventional ones.
The reason I'm interested in making homemade versions of products that most people spend a lot of money on, is mainly the simplicity of it. There are more frugal alternatives to commonly-used products, more all-purpose products (like vinegar and baking soda), and homemade versions that I think work just as well or better than the "store-bought" versions.
(Please understand, I don't have a problem with people who use shampoo, Lysol, Windex, etc, etc. I'm just excited in researching alternatives for myself and my family.)
I have found several bloggers who have embraced this kind of "homemade" lifestyle, and I wanted to compile some of my favorite ideas of theirs that I have found--for my future reference and your benefit.
From Shaye at The Elliot Homestead:
Castile soap and all its amazing uses--shower soap, hand soap, shampoo, general household cleaning, and more!
A variety of what Shaye calls "cleaning products for the poor," starting with my friends vinegar and baking soda.
And a list of all Shaye's homemade products, including baby items and lip balm.
From Thank Your Body (the writer has more of a "hippie" lifestyle/mindset than I will ever have, but she has some great ideas and recipes for a lot of things):
Homemade hand soap (different recipes than I used, including one that's yet another use for Castile soap).
Natural "bleach"--hydrogen peroxide and lemon juice!
Homemade deodorant--this one sounds nice, although probably not something I'll need to make for a long time--my body doesn't need deodorant much anyway, so it takes me ages to go through a regular stick. I have got to invest in some coconut oil, for a ton of reasons!
I also want to invest in less refined foods--like raw honey and real maple syrup, all whole wheat flour (and ground oats, and other non-white-flour grains). I want to start using healthier fats, like high-quality butter and coconut oil. I have all these dreams, plans, and ideas... but I keep reminding myself, I'm doing pretty darn good for a young, year-and-a-half married, college student on a little bitty budget!
Bottom line, I want to use the gifts God has given us to the best of my abilities--to honor God with our bodies, which includes the way we eat and the chemicals we use in, on and around our bodies. I want to make the best use of the resources we have, especially food. I want God to be glorified in all aspects of our lives, and that means not making all this stuff into a god, but focusing (there's that word again!) on THE important thing in my life: not health, not money, not food--GOD.