Clients always ask me how I can afford to buy organic and eat grass fed meats because higher quality products are indeed, more expensive. I am in agreement that my budget for vegetables and meats has increased. Processed products are much cheaper and quicker, thus tend to be the go-to items for most. However, in high quantities, these products do indeed add up on the grocery bill. In some cases, as in frozen pre-made meals, it can be more expensive per serving than buying grass fed ground beef and some organic mushrooms, onions, and peppers.
When I switched to a whole food, real food diet, and became aware of the bath and body products I used, there were so many things I didn't buy anymore: boxed mac and cheese, salad toppings, salad dressings, English muffins, pre-seasoned rice, canned soup, hair conditioner, all purpose cleaner, the “perfumed” lotions and soaps from bath and body stores that are full of chemicals and parabens, and the list goes on. The costs associated with these items were eliminated, and flowed right into my whole food, real food budget.
Here are 3 (out of many) ways you can save money by ditching the fake stuff and going 'au naturale':
1. Conditioner. Shampoos and conditioners include a lot of chemicals that you don't really want soaking into your skin. What works just as well to condition your hair? Apple cider vinegar. This makes a rinse that restores the PH balance of the hair, and detangles. Buy a generic gallon of ACV (no need to get organic for this task) and find an empty glass jar (the pasta sauce ones will work fine) to put in the shower. After shampooing, pour 1 T (2 T if you have really long hair) into the jar, fill about ¾ with water, then pour over your head. Rinse immediately.
2. Body Lotion/Moisturizer: Most of these lotions contain endocrine disrupters and chemicals that are soaked into your body through the skin. The skin is the largest organ and is meant to excrete toxins from the body through sweat. Unfortunately, we are adding more toxins to the body this way rather than vice versa. Use extra virgin coconut oil instead. Buy in bulk through Amazon (will save money) and a 32oz container will last a long time. Plus, you can also use it for cooking. While it may seem 'greasy' at first going on, it quickly absorbs into the skin, moisturizing and reinforcing the skin's natural lipid barrier.
3. Household Cleaner: For a quick and easy cleaner safe for surfaces touched by little hands add equal parts vinegar to water and a few drops of tea tree oil to a spray bottle. Easy peasy.