Friday, February 4, 2011

Spending less on Personal Care products

This week I thought I would get back to the discussion on ways we do spend less or are thinking about spending less in different budget categories.

Today I will cover Personal Care Products. Things like Shampoo, Soap, Deodorant, etc.  One of the big ways I save money in this area is by simple not using some things. An example of things that I do not use or buy are: Make-up (I prefer going natural and that helps me to save both time and money), Hair spray, mousse or styling gel (I do have a tube of gel that I bought around 5 years ago- it is pretty much full), Hair coloring or perms (again I prefer being natural) and more. I guess I am very basic when it comes to personal care.

  Here is what we do use and how we do or we want to save money on that item:
  • Shampoo- Traditionally I would have bought on sale and got cheap brands. I do still look for sales and use coupons to get Ken's shampoo. For the rest of us however we are now normally using my own homemade shampoo. To make it I heat up about 10 cups of water, I shred one bar of soap into it and let it dissolve. Then I remove from heat and put in around 3/4 cup of baking soda. I stir that well and then I pour it into bottles that I have saved and cleaned from other things (like ketchup, shampoo, honey, etc.). Let it sit overnight and it will thicken. I have started experimenting with using herbs in this but need to test it more. Use it like regular shampoo.
  • Conditioner- I am using Apple Cider Vinegar as a rinse a few times a week and it is working well. I don't seem to need conditioner anymore with the use of the homemade shampoo and vinegar. I have been doing this for around a year. Currently I have just been buying Vinegar by the gallon but it is my dream to make it someday (soon I hope!) instead of buying it. Here is a site I found that has what seems to be fairly easy instructions.
  • Soap- I have stopped using soft soap in my attempt to have as little exposure to Sodium Laurel Sulfate as possible. So I just buy bar soap which can be found very cheaply. However I would love to learn how to make my own soap (Maybe Goat's milk soap since we get goat's milk from my parents).
  • Toothpaste- In my attempt to not use SLS I stopped using regular toothpaste and have been using baking soda instead. This is obviously way cheaper! The rest of the family is still using purchased toothpaste and I often buy more natural stuff for the kids. Currently I don't have any great money saving tips on that. I also haven't come up with any great ways to save on floss.
  • Deodorant. This doesn't seem to be a huge expense as it seems to last forever however I do have all the stuff and have been wanting to try making my own. A fellow blogger e-mailed me a recipe. This recipe seems quite similar.
  • Shaving- Ken uses an electric razor which doesn't require shaving cream and lasts a long time. I use disposable razors with bar soap. I rinse them carefully and I don't consider them disposable- one will last me a long time! The cost here for us is quite small.
  • Chapstick/ Lip balm- We don't use this much and so far have just bought stuff on sale for what we do need. I do think it might be interesting to try making it.
  • Lotion- Again we use this very rarely and I have usually been given it as gifts so it is not really a cost issue.
  • Menstruation- I use a Diva Cup (which I purchased here) which has worked quite well and saved me a bunch. I also really like that it eliminates a lot of trash. I do also use light pads some of the time which I generally buy with a coupon and get almost free. I do think I might look into making cloth pads instead at some point.
I think that pretty much covers what we need. It's pretty basic but I like to be that we in this area. Do you have any tips for saving money in this area?

I am linking this to Life As Mom.


Mary Ann said...

I keep it pretty simple too by using only a few products.

I save a bundle of money by shopping CVS and other drug stores using their store rewards programs and sales. Don't know if you have any of these stores where you live but the sales are very good and by rolling over ECB's (CVS) I can get a lot of what we need for very little money out of pocket.

I've washed my hair with baking soda and water with great success(the no 'poo method)and need to get back to it.

Travis said...

Your shampoo recipe sounds interesting. How long have you been using it? does it lather?

Abbi said...

Mary Ann,
We don't have CVS here. We do have Walgreens and for a while I really stocked up on things like tooth care products, after they changed their program I have had a hard time thinking it was worth my time to go there. I possibly should look into it again.

I tried the no 'poo method for a while too but ended up having a sore scalp a few times - I think I was possibly using the baking soda to often or too much and I have ended up liking my other stuff better.

Abbi said...

My shampoo does lather some because the bar soap is in it but it doesn't lather as much as normal shampoo. I have been using it for around 1 year, nearly all the time. I have been trying doing it every other day for the last month of so rather than every day. I still take a shower I just don't put stuff in my hair.

Becky R said...

The only things I buy is toothpaste (Tom's of Maine for kids) and shampoo.

I don't wear make up. I don't use hair products, other than shampoo ( I tried no poo method but my hair is long and it was getting dull and knotty.)

I don't wear deodarant and am currently not shaving (but when I do I use a disposable razor.)

It is so easy to find cheaper alternatives (like baking soda for toothpaste.) Plus I do not want all those chemicals on my skin.

Susan Sophia said...

Do you use any specific kind of bar soap? I have very long, thick hair and so I worry about dulling and knots. What does that apple cider vinegar do? I'm most interested in this because I'd love to eliminate the sodium laurel sulfate. It's in everything. I recently heard from a cousin how to make liquid soap for just about anything. Just melting bar soap in water.

Nola said...

I use cloth pads. I love mine. They have PUL on the back and have wings. Some kinds don't but mine do. They are not bulky. I couldn't use the regular store kind (nor are they good for you) so I was using an expensive brand and now we save hundreds a year and I just wash them with towels or underwear or things like that. They are so great!

Abbi said...

I have used a variety of soaps but I think most often I have used Ivory. I don't think it dulls the hair.
Apple Cider vinegar helps to clean, kill germs, remove build-up,
and close up the cuticle scales so that your hair is smoother and easier to manage. My fairly long, thick and wavy hair is just as easy if not easier to comb through than when I used conditioner.

Nola, It is nice to hear from someone using cloth pads and liking them. Thanks for the encouragement. I hadn't thought of changing so much for health reasons but I am glad you mentioned that!


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