In an attempt to reduce costs in 2012, I am adopting a Do-It-Yourself mentality. One of the areas of my spending that can be virtually eliminated is in the Personal Hygiene category. Using recipes found in the book, Making It: Radical Home EC for a Post-Consumer World by Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen, I plan on buying ingredients in bulk and making my own shampoo, conditioner, and toothpaste.
It may seem ridiculous at first when you think about how cheaply these items can be acquired by shopping sales and extreme couponing but I’m more concerned about the impact my consumerism has on the environment. For very little money, I control what goes into my cleaning products and it will allow me to reuse plastic bottles and tubs. This eliminates the amount of waste I create and gives me a clearer conscience.
Creating a large supply and stockpiling it until it is needed also prevents me from burning gas and making unnecessary trips to the store. Making these items by hand is therefore a win-win situation if you ask me. For the extra time put into creating these concoctions in my own home, I get the satisfaction of knowing that my shampoo, conditioner, and toothpaste is pure, cruelty-free, and cost effective.
Kelly and Erik offer their spin on Homemade Tooth Powder, Four Natural Shampoo Alternatives, Hair Rinses, and Deep Conditioners that use products commonly found in your pantry. Items like baking soda, extra-virgin olive oil, and vinegar are all items that can be used on your body as well as in the foods you eat. Rather than buy separate products for my hair and teeth, I can purchase the ingredients I need from the store and make up small batches of shampoo, conditioner, and toothpaste to use whenever I need them.
Books like Making It are valuable resources because they stress a back-to-basics mentality that is both cost-efficient and environmentally sound. Because I am trying to cut back on spending while trying to maintain my values, I find the less removed I am from the products I use on a day-to-day basis the better. There is no doubt in my mind that the shampoo, conditioner, and toothpaste I will be using will be better for me in every way imaginable.
Making It can be purchased on Amazon.com or through Rodale Books. The 310 page book retails for $19.99 US and can also be found in the House & Home or Sustainable Living sections of your local bookstore. The authors also wrote The Urban Homestead which was called “the contemporary bible on the subject” by the New York Times.
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Filed Under: Frugal Living
About the Author: Charissa Arsaoui is a freelance writer with a love for thrift. She contributes to many different personal finance blogs.