4 ways to save money on natural cleaning products

4 ways to save money on natural cleaning products

We all want to use the natural products to clean our homes. From concerns over the toxicity of conventional cleaning products to allergic reactions to ingredients used in laundry detergent, more and more people are seeing the benefit to going green.
But you may have noticed that the prices for more holistic alternatives tend to be higher. This has been one of the top concerns many of my readers have vocalized: they want to go green, but want to do it without breaking the bank.
In today’s post, you’re going to learn three ways to save money on holistic home products!

DIY Your Own

Our family loves making our own cleaning products using natural ingredients that we have purchased at our local store, or even common ingredients you find in your kitchen.

For example, you can create an easy to use and affordable surface cleaner by diluting lemon essential oil with water and putting it into a glass spray bottle. Mixing essential oils with baking soda also makes an excellent air freshener if you place it in a recycled jam or babyfood jar.

Vinegar is another low cost item that clean windows to toilets and even as a laundry brightener!

Resources:

Herbal Academy of New England
HANE is an excellent resource for how to create natural alternatives to conventional ones. Both their blog and courses are fantastic.

 Grove Collabortive

The Grove Collaborative ( previously called ePantry) offers natural, eco friendly household products for a good price.

They carry brands such as Mrs. Meyers, Method, Seventh Generation, and Dr. Bronner’s and ship throughout the US.

iHerb

Another fantastic place to save big on natural healthcare and household products is iHerb. We’ve been using them for 6 years and they ship internationally at an extremely low cost ( $4 dollars to ship to Thailand).

iHerb has an array of green household cleaning products that you can save on in three ways.

For starters, they sell holistic products at a discounted rate and repeat customers get loyalty rewards points they can use to save even more. Their referral program is another way to get additional credit to your next purchase.

There is no minimum order nor scheduled shipping, although for international orders, there may be certain customs restrictions on certain supplements, or a maximum weight for your package. For example, here in Thailand, shipping is $4 dollars and you can buy up to $80 dollars worth of items that way less than 4lbs.

We’ve ordered from iHerb from everywhere and find them to be extremely reliable and the items have always been well packaged for international shipping.

Buy in bulk

I always tell readers that the best way to save money on healthy foods is to buy in bulk when possible. The same goes for when you purchase green home cleaning products as many brands have the option for you to buy larger sizes that are more cost effective than buying say a smaller size every month.

Costco is carrying more and more discounted bulk items, as are other stores throughout North America. Not sure if you’re favorite brands sell products in bulk? Contact them directly to ask if there’s a store near you where they are available.

This article contains affiliate links to stores we personally have used and recommend. It was originally published on holisticdad.net, our other site.

Eating Magic! Helping Kids Eat Healthy

How to get your kids to eat healthy

 

It isn’t an accident that my daughter eats a variety of healthful nutritious foods. It is my personal mission.
My mother fed me wholesome, home cooked,vegetarian fare abut 85 percent of my childhood. There was fast food and junk food and some meat here and there. I received an education in balance. My grandmother home cooked all meals.  I can not remember ever once having a take out meal or eating with her in a restaurant. This upbringing gave me confidence in the kitchen and a working evolving knowledge of food and its power.

I’m determined to give this foundation to my daughter in an even better upgraded superfood and herbal medicinal curriculum.
To lay the  foundation for this I’m starting with healthful eating as a way of life. The entire family unit eats the good stuff. We all eat the same. I present her with an array of awesome choices.
Some she likes some she doesn’t even want to try. That’s ok. Aside from normal level parental prodding to try a bite or eat a meal when there is obvious hunger, food is a no pressure zone. I find the more relaxed I am the more likely she is to try something. So far it’s working out. I have a three year old that eats big salads of greens, quinoa, super smoothies filled with powerful foods, green juices, homemade mega veggie soups and more. I’m not saying there aren’t nights I have to opt out and give her a pb and j but, it’s not every night. It’s not even every week.

Here are a few ways that I use on a regular basis to keep the healthy flowing in and junk off the radar.

Offer Offer Offer!
She didn’t eat kale the first time I presented it to her. I brought it again and even again before she tried it. But, she tried it and now eats it on a regular basis. We named it lettuce lollipops. She picks baby kale up by its stems and chomps away. I always offer and offer again and again. Sometimes switching up how it is prepared. For example, the lettuce lollipops turned into a favorite when I massaged avocado all over them. WIN!

Cut Snacks!
In most situations other than say, long car trips, sports days, or when truly needed, snacks are really just taking up valuable space for real meals. Unless your kid is a grazer as some are then just cut snack type foods as much as possible. When they do snack use fruits, vegetables, and nutrient filled beverages. Leverage those snacks into really healthy items and then you won’t be disappointed or worried when meals don’t go down as planned.

Walk the Talk!
You must be eating Healthy if you want your children to eat healthy. Bottom line, they learn by watching us. As i recomend for adults I also recommend for children do not be totalitarian in approach. Temper your journey with ease and wiggle room. This imparts the healthy lifestyle in a gentle and digestible manner.

Related Post: 5 Steps To A Healthier Home

Presentation!
I don’t make whales out of tomatoes or cucumber frogs but, I do slice and arrange pleasantly. I add visual appeal whenever possible.

One meal for all!
I  am not saying I don’t sometimes short order cook. But, for the most part we all eat one thing. I may make the salad free of onions and serve her then add some spicier items to the adults salad but, it’s the same salad and she sees us eating what she is eating. This can take what feels like an eternity to break into if you have been cooking different stuff for the whole family but trust me eventually they will come around.

Identify Favorites!
My girl really loves berries so I make a huge pile of those on the plate and then add a few new items I want her to try. Her enthusiasm for the berries gets the eating motor started and then she is more likely to keep feasting on the new items.

These are just a few methods I have found that work. I know once you start your journey you will have even more brilliant ideas. Maybe you are already teaching kids to eat healthy. Share your genius here in the comments, please!

Unblock creative energy

Unblock creative energy

After a long grey winter my house wasn’t the only thing that needed some sprucing up. My psyche had some dust bunnies and cobwebs to clean too.

I’ve been creatively pent up.

I’m on a mission to let creativity out of the cage

First I had to find where it was locked up. I’ve been feeling a bit stifled.

My first inclination of where my creativity was being held hostage was while doing a little beginners belly dancing . During a break down of basic steps I was encouraged to open and push out my heart. I actually found this incredibly challenging. I realized in that moment how much I round in and block off my heart.

Locate Where You Might Round In and Protect Your True Power So You Can Release and Flow

I looked up information on my heart chakra. I started focusing on the color of the heart chakra (green according to most information). I did some meditations, chants, visualizations, and mostly just told myself as much as possible that it is safe to open my heart.

Yesterday I went to the healer ( see: The Spa ) and during what was the most epic facial of my life, provided by an amazing aestheticism, I again saw my heart space as a golden cage jailing my most brilliant ideas. I meditated on this and broke the cage bars while also vibrating as much love into that space as possible. Go figure! Lack of self love will make your sweet little heart close up and shrivel. In turn that shrived heart-space will block the flow of awesome ideas.

So, If you are feeling stuck in any area here are some suggestions.

1. Move that body! Your body wants to get moving. Just a simple walk with no intention of a destination can get your mind loose and your blocks can start popping up for observation. Doing some basic stretches can also help by locating areas of tension. For me it was my heart. For you it may be your belly or your throat. Find the tension, move thoughtfully into it, see what you find.

2. Once you identify where you are holding yourself back inject major doses of love into that space. Open it up and know that it is safe to have dreams, desires, talent, genius, it is safe to be totally awesome.

3. Investigate, research, get connected. Check out how people are living like you want to live, creating the way you want to create. We are not alone! Remember that. Use other peoples insights, build a tribe. This tribe can be physical, digital, ethereal, made of cookie crumbs…whatever works

4. Create space, in your mind and your home. Even if you just move the couch across the room, or toss out that pile of papers, you will change the flow of your environment and could be quite surprised by the results.

Good Luck, cleaning your psyche!

Why Stopping Monsanto Will Unite Our World

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I was lucky as a child. I spent most of my youth in a country that highly values quality food and ingredients ( France). Our town had some of the world’s freshest seafood, vegetables, and everything else. Pizza was freshly made in wood fired ovens, and fast food was generally still fresh, to a degree, with lots of salads and veggies included. We had no fast food giant like McDonald’s, unlike the town in the States that I spent the other half of every year. Fast food chains were not only common there, they were the norm. Obesity was a huge issue, and chronic disease and illness were common.

Quite a contrast! I learned many lessons from my experiences in both parts of the world. I learned to appreciate quality food and eventually abstained from any fast food chain. My health improved greatly when I began to continue my high school education in France. All of my sinus issues disappeared completely once the fake food was out of my diet.

I haven’t been back to my to childhood home in France in years, but I have no doubt that things have changed. ‘Macdo’ as it was called was becoming popular with teenagers and most probably opened up a chain in Antibes. Nonetheless, I know that the same high quality farmer’s markets and health stores are still there and as popular as ever. And thankfully, France has taken a stand against GMOs.

Yet, I have a daughter. And more nieces and nephews than I can count ( seriously, I have a huge family). And these kids deserve to know the truth about Monsanto and other companies that strive to put profit over concern about my family’s health, future, or the world in which we live. In fact Monsanto has so little care for humanity that they’ve hired people to troll activists and those of us who speak out and attempt to inform others about their dangerous seeds of deception.

There are several things to note about Monsanto. For starters, yes they are harming us. Second they are destroying the lives of small farmers around the world. According to Dr. Vedana Shiva:

The creation of seed monopolies, the destruction of alternatives, the collection of superprofits in the form of royalties, and the increasing vulnerability of monocultures has created a context for debt, suicides, and agrarian distress.

Dr. David Suzuki and hundreds of other scientists have warned about the dangers of GMOs and their affects not only on human health but on biodiversity. Our bees are dying and as Einstein stated ‘If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left.  No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man.”

Let’s not beat around the bush: Monsanto’s continuation of its patents on life means the destruction of the world as we know it. It means a sharp increase in allergies, cancer, disease of all varieties and immune issues. Thus, a shorter lifespan for all of us.

It’s easy to get depressed on this issue, trust me I feel you. It’s easy to feel helpless. However, 2 million people just marched globally against the GMO giant. There are millions of people worldwide who are aware and active. The issue keeping the others in apathy is they are simply unaware of how their diet impacts their health as well, and most have never heard of Monsanto. But, just like you, when they find out about the dangers of GMOs and how this company knowingly keeps us sick and has incredible control over the US government.

In other words, this issue is so huge ( it effects every being on the planet) that it has the ability to bring millions ( or billions) of us together, unified in making a difference in the lives of our children and the planet. It already has, as is evidence by the 2 million strong protest.

In order for us to continue in this cause, unified and effective, we need to stay informed and organized. Hand out as much info as you can to your friends, family, local media and government about GMOs and Monsanto. Plan a monthly Meet Up with other informed activists in your area. Create a blog of some form, podcast, etc and share your research regularly on your social media.

We can overcome this, and in the process we can unite our world, despite our differences. United in the belief that we are all entitled to high quality, nourishing food.

Resources

Seeds of Death full length documentary by Dr. Gary Null, free on youtube

Geffrey Smith on GMOs

Understanding GMO by dr. David Suzuki

GMO soy repeatedly linked to sterility

Study reveals GMO corn to be highly toxic

 

5 Basic Steps To A Healthier Home

5 steps to creating a health home & life

Starting to adopt healthier lifestyles can be a rewarding challenge for many of us who have been eating a Standard American Diet high in processed foods. Although it can be tough to start out with, the rewards for every family member are manifold. Illness and disease can subside or be eliminated. And children can have a healthier start on their lives; these habits will be ingrained in them for possibly decades.

Here are 5 basic steps you can consider if you are wanting to have a healthier home but aren’t sure where to begin.

1.) Avoid Commercials That Advertise Junk Food

Kids are easily swayed to consume junk food of various kinds by the multimillion dollar marketing campaigns that work tirelessly to hook kids as early as possible and have them as customers for life. Many adults today were subjected to such marketing and without their even knowing it are reaching for their favorite ‘comfort foods’ because of the advertising they saw as a child. Hence the struggle many of us have to adopt healthier eating habits.

2.) Join Like Minded Support Groups

If you aren’t sure of what’s best to buy, what’s in season, where your local farmer’s market is located, try joining a few online groups that can offer you support and advice.

Some sites to check out:

–  Our Holistic Families group on Facebook

Herbal Academy of New England ( which has excellent classes on herbalism and uber helpful blog posts)

Mothering Mag forum for almost every holistic question you can imagine!

3.) Talk To Your Local Organic Farmer

One of the best ways to learn more about what you eat while supporting your local economy is to speak with organic and pesticide free farmers in your area. Head on over to your local farmer’s market and take a gander around and develop a relationship with the farmers, ask about any specials they may have and what they recommend.

4.) Begin Reading Holistic Health Books

One of the best ways to enrich your life is by learning as much as you can about anatomy, biology, nutrition, and botany to name a few!  As daunting as that may sound, there are plenty of easy to read ebooks and books of all varieties, many of which may be available at your local library or bookstore or if not, on Amazon. One book I send to all my family and friends is Healthy Living From The Inside Out by Mariel Hemmingway. It offers great suggestions, resources, tips/tricks for eating healthier and also for cleaning your home. Patrick Holford’s Optimum Nutrition Bible goes more in depth into vitamins and supplements and nutrition. Prescription for Natural Healing is a must have resource that goes into herbs and their usage.

5.) Begin to replace toxic house hold cleaner with natural ones

Clean with vinegar and/or essential oils instead of toxic chemicals. You will save yourself money too! It’s relatively easy to make a general antibacterial soap from mixing the unscented Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap with Thieves essential oil, which is a blend made from cinnamon and other amazing essential oils that can kill germs. On Guard from DoTERRA and Germ Fighter from Plant Therapy are similar blends. We use the latter, which comes in a 30ml and 100ml size and is quite affordable. We use it for sanitizing surfaces too.

Another bonus tip to help you create a healthier home is to green your makeup and skincare items. You may think that this will cost you more but I’ve found that by buying fewer makeup items ( and purchasing more holistic versions) plus making my own facial serums I actually save money when compared to buying cheaper items at say the pharmacy. Why is that? We ladies tend to purchase more when we’re at say Target or a drug store beauty counter because things cost less. And there is such a variety! And while it may be fun to peruse the makeup isle, it’s better on your wallet to only order your staples ( like a good natural mascara and lipstick) and ignoring the ever-changing popular makeup trends. But, if you want to go all-out Kardashian and still go green, there are loads of eco-friendly and organic, cruelty-free brands on the market.

Related Post: The Best Skincare Brands For Holistic Moms

Start where you can and within your budget!

Welcome Holistic Families!!

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Welcome friends and fellow holistic families!

I’ve created this blog as a place to learn about holistic living, join forces with other holistic families, share recipes, and delight in the joy of natural parenting.

Stay tuned for new posts and updates!!

 
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