Buy Nothing Challange

Posted in Saving Dough on August 1, 2009 by Kate

Well, today is August 1st, the day marking the beginning of the Buy Nothing Challenge.  Scott and I have both signed up for this challenge and have set our rules.

  • No buying new clothes
  • No buying new stuff (excluding food/personal care items)
  • No restaurants (gonna be the hardest for me)
  • No movie theatres (we are allowing ourselves our redbox movie rentals on weekends)
  • No gas station convienence foods (soda, chips, snacks. . . etc)
  • No big nights out in bars

Most of this will be harder for me than it will for Scott, but he will be challenged too.  We can buy groceries, personal care stuff, and I will have to buy the kiddo school supplies.  We will also be participating in the Sunday confessional at Crunchy Chicken.  We hope to save money, cut spending, and really watch where our money goes.  Wish us luck!


…and now Healthy!

Posted in Cutting Out the Chemicals, Saving Dough on July 29, 2009 by scottski74

Well, my battle with cigarettes is now over and I won. It has been two weeks since I had one and I feel pretty good. I have to thank Chantax (which I will call the drug from now on) for the help, but when it comes down to it you just have to want to stop. I have tried to quit before with no success. Gum, lozenges, patches, chewing toothpicks or whatever I could get my hands on, none of that worked for me. Although, I have to admit, I’m not sure I really wanted to quit when I tried those things. Smoking was better that the replacement. But the drug really worked! After about 5 days on the drug I felt I “could” quit, but I wanted to make sure it was the right time. I smoked 6-7 cigs for 3 weeks, then the day came when I just didn’t want to have a smoke. For me it was just that easy. I have urges every now and then, but I know what I was like when I was trying to quit and I don’t want to go through that again and neither does Kate.
I know the cost has gone up and you really can’t smoke indoors anywhere, but the real reason for not smoking is the way I feel. I can taste things again. I don’t get tired walking up steps. Plus I don’t smell like an ashtray. Here’s to life w/o smoking!

Official Update on the “No Poo” Situation

Posted in Livin' Green, Updates with tags , , , , , on July 20, 2009 by Kate

Ok. . .I have to confess, my baking soda/apple cider vineger shampooing method isn’t working out so well.  It works wonderfully for about 5 days, then my hair  feels gross, so I give in and shampoo.  I am almost all out of shampoo, and am in need of a better option.  A friend suggested trying Dr. Bronners liquid soap.  So I went out and bought the peppermint scent.  I cannot stand the smell, and I seem to be allergic to it, as I broke out in all kinds of hives.  Also it makes my hair feel even more gross than the baking soda/ACV.  Only I could be allergic to something so natural.  Ah well, I am open to any suggestions, help??? On the plus side I have been shampooing much less often, every 4-5 days.  Grr.  .  . I am still using the Dr. Bronners for cleaning and such, but I can’t use it on my body or my hair.  Now what?

On a much more positive note, the baking soda as deodorant is working beautifully.  Really, I will never ever ever ever use anything else. . .

Buy Nothing Challange 2009

Posted in Livin' Green, Saving Dough with tags , , on July 18, 2009 by Kate

Deanna from Crunchy Chicken has just announced a new Buy Nothing Challenge for August 2009, I just signed up.  If you are interested just head on over to her site and sign up too.  I know that I need to to reign in my spending a bit, and it’s better for our wallets and the Earth to not buy a bunch of new stuff.  I encourage every one to sign up, it will be interesting to see how we all do!  So click on the little banner below and go sign up. . . go now.

Buy Nothing Challenge - August 2009

UPDATE: Scott has informed me that he is “in” as well.

The cost of “Green”

Posted in Livin' Green, Random Rants, Saving Dough with tags , , , on July 13, 2009 by Kate

Two instances this week people have made comments to me about the cost of green products.  Instant one was when I was with my good friend as she was showing me her garden and we were talking about soap nuts.  I was of course complaining that no local business sold them.  At this point I feel I should let you all know that we live in Wisconsin, and not Madison, so we don’t have many places to buy this type of product (we’re a little slow on the whole green thing here.)  I then told her about a new local boutique that was geared towards “going green” (which does not carry soap nuts by the way, and the guy just looked at me funny when I asked) and how everything cost so much.  Natural deodorant for $8.99 , really? My baking soda works just beautifully thanks.  Anyway, she then made the comment that it was a “rich hippie” store.  Yeah, it kinda is.

The next comment was made during my son’s 5th birthday party by my mother.  Amongst his presents from me were two books made out of recycled paper and paper from sustainable forests and printed with vegetable inks, she managed to catch a glimpse at the price on the back of one of them and said, “slap a ‘green’ label on something and you can charge twice as much.”  Well yeah, sometimes.

Part of the point of this blog Scott and I started was to show that you don’t need to break the bank to go green.  There are plenty of things you can do to help the Earth (and yourself) without spending a ton of money on new green products. . .in fact, we save money.   If you can afford all of that stuff, buying organic/sustainable clothing, cleaning products, toothbrushes, deodorant, and so on, well good for you.  Unfortunately not all of us have that kind of money.  Fortunately there are many alternatives to buying these products that are also better for the Earth.  That is what we hope to bring to you, and ourselves, and that is all I have to say.  Thank you, thank you very much. . . I think I may be just a little too tired.

. . .Wow

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on July 10, 2009 by Kate

Couture water. . .really?

Soap Nuts. . .Where have you been all my life?

Posted in Cutting Out the Chemicals, Livin' Green, Saving Dough with tags , , , , on July 9, 2009 by Kate

I am so in love with soap nuts.  Seriously.  I got several trial size bags to start me off, I was initially planning on giving them to a few friends so we could all try them together, but I liked them so much I kept them all to myself and have been using them for the last month to do my laundry with.   I love them.  I have weird allergies to things randomly and have always had to be careful with laundry detergents, lotions, make up, and so on, I never really know what something is going to effect my skin.  I previously used Tide Free, but even though it is fragrance free and dye free it is still full of chemicals.  Then I heard about soap nuts.  A completely natural, sustainable, and apparently effective detergent. . .can it be so? I was a little skeptical, but still curious enough that I purchased the sample packs.  I didn’t do any fancy liquid or powder making.  I just threw the little bag with the soap nuts in the washer with my clothes. . . and Voila! my clothes came out clean looking, feeling, and smelling.   They clean my little grub-ball child’s clothes as well, and he gets pretty grubby during the course of a day.  I haven’t had a problem, and I never pre-treat anything.  Well since I have had such good results I decided to order more.  I ended up getting a 16 oz bag from NaturOli and 3 extra bags so I can force some friends to try them.   Yesterday I made up three little “sample packs” to give to my friends as well as some directions, and am patiently waiting to hear back.  As long as you buy a large enough package of the soap nuts they are a much better deal than commercial laundry detergent, at least the Tide that I was using, of course if you buy the small packages and trial sizes, it is not so much of a great deal, but really that is common sense.  I am really trying to get friends to fall in love so we can get together and order them in bulk.  You know. . .to save more money.