Since January I have been on a quest to simplify my life, become more frugal and more environmentally friendly all at the same time. I’ve spent many hours researching the ideas of people who have gone on similar journeys and I have found some amazing suggestions. So far, here are some of the things we’ve done:
- Cut out most processed foods
- Grocery shop more wisely (using discount stores such as Aldi, as well as buying store brands and using coupons elsewhere)
- Decrease Disposable products and waste: We have switched over entirely to cloth napkins and dishtowels, eliminating the need to buy paper napkins or paper towels, I use reusable kitchen sponges and cloths that I wash weekly, I sweep vacuum and mop now and no longer by disposable cleaning supplies like swiffer pads and Clorox wipes, and we have started composting our kitchen scraps which has reduced the amount that we take out the trash thus downsizing the amount of trash bags that we use.
- Grow a small amount of our own food: I have, so far, grown spinach and am working on a summer garden to supply us with a little bit of produce
- Canning: I have only just begun to learn how to can, but I canned us some jam when the strawberries were at the height of their season.
- Air drying laundry: Our dryer is old and we used to have to run it for almost 90 minutes to get one load of laundry dry. It was using an excessive amount of electricity and killing our clothes. Now, I wash our clothes on the light cycle in cold water in the washing machine and then hang them up on hangers around our laundry room over night. Then I fluff them in the dryer for about 5 minutes to get them soft. This has helped our clothes and our electric bill.
- Finally, DIY projects: So far I have begun making my own laundry and dishwasher detergent but now its time for more…
Each of these changes happened gradually, giving us time to adjust before making a new change. A while back, I promised myself that when my current batch of personal care and cleaning products ran out I would begin some DIY versions… that time is quickly arriving. In the coming weeks I will probably be attempting to make my own all-purpose cleaner, dish soap and conditioner. However, for right now all I have run out of is face soap. I ran out late last week and began searching DIY options. My only problem was that our budget is extra tight this month and I didn’t have the option of buying any extra ingredients. Whatever I made had to already be in the apartment, I googled everything from recipes involving oatmeal to buttermilk and beyond before finally settling on this simple sugar scrub. I have a large bag of white sugar sitting on top of my cabinets that I had to buy for a family recipe that I took to an event a few months ago and since I don’t cook with sugar normally I figured this would be a perfect use for some of it. The rest was simple. I had some olive oil in the cabinet that I rarely use and some extracts that would add a great scent. 3 minutes later it was done, packaged in a glass jar I saved a while ago and sitting in my shower. It works fantastically I have used it for a few days now and I love it! My face is so soft and I have to use so little per shower that it will certainly last me for months! My only alert would be to say that when you use it you will still be able to feel some of the oil on your skin after you rinse but just wipe it off with your towel when you finish and it will come right off. My face has been exfoliated and moisturized all day since using this wash but never extra oily. Anyway, here it is: enjoy, and keep in mind that this would also make a wonderful gift idea as well.
Facial Sugar Scrub Recipe:
1 Cup of granulated sugar
½ Cup of oil (I used olive oil but coconut oil or another healthy oil would work here as well)
A few drops of scented oil or extract ( I used a few drops of vanilla extract and a few drops of coconut extract to give it a summery smell but you could use anything from lavender to peppermint)
Combine all ingredients in a medium sized mixing bowl until they are evenly combined. Spoon mixture into a jar, label and enjoy. To use place the jar in the shower and, using no more than a teaspoon, apply to your face a neck rub gently to exfoliate and rinse off. If oil lingers, simply wipe off with a towel when you dry off.