Monday, March 29, 2010

What is this crazy lady doing?

Hello all.
At the beginning of this whole blog thing (way back when in January), I told you that I was doing this to share my attempts at living more frugally. That I'd talk about ways to save money, tips to stretch what you have, or use things you already have around the house in new and creative ways. And now, here I come, talking about wacky things like honey-as-face-wash, grr-US-school-lunches-food-culture, and "I have long hair." You are probably wondering what I'm doing right about now.

Couple of things:
1) Turns out, there is a lot I don't know about saving money, stretching a dollar, and multi-purposing common household items. So, I am trying to learn. But, I don't want to go around preaching what I haven't at least tried. I *know* that you can use baking soda as a household cleaner, to replace shampoo, and even as deodorant. The things is, I haven't actually tried these things out, and don't want to just be a link-fest. Resources are great, wonderful, and helpful, but I want this blog to be more. I want to also provide (yet another) personal story of triumph or frustration, so that someone else can learn from my experiments, and feel a little less scared about trying it.

2) I do feel that living frugally and sustainably or thoughtfully go hand-in-hand. I know that some of the organic (or advertised-sustainable) products have a higher up-front price, but I do feel that they can be worth it, if they are truly free of toxic and carcinogenic chemicals. The way I see it, the more I can reduce my own and my family's exposure and risk, the more peace of mind I'll have, the healthier we'll be, the more potential time we'll have together, and the lower our lifetime health bill will be.

Also, with a lot of things, quality products can last longer. Good, whole wheat bread is more filling than the super cheap, fluffy, over-processed stuff. So you don't need to eat as much at a meal with the former to nourish yourself and be full. A good quality lotion will actually alleviate my dry skin (thanks, Mom) in one go, so I don't have to constantly re-apply or slather on ridiculous amounts. Lesser lotions, even though the same sized bottle may be cheaper, end up costing me more in the end, because my skin just doesn't get hydrated, and I have to keep on re-applying. And, while this example is not from my own experience, I think it illustrates my point well. My mom, and my step mom (as in my dad's second wife) have both noted to me that when they feed their dogs a higher quality (and more expensive) dog food, the dogs eat less, and poo less. In the good dog food, there are fewer fillers, so less is needed to keep the dog nourished and full, and less of what is consumed is unusable and therefore passed.

So, that may not have been the prettiest of images, but think about it. If you are thoughtful about what you actually need and consume, even if there is a higher initial price, you may end up consuming less, thereby saving money in the long run. Not to mention that the good stuff is often better for you. I also recognize that sometimes, in the moment, someone may want to purchase the more expensive, organic product, but simply doesn't have the resources to do so at that time. Been there. I understand. We can only do what we can.

All of this being said, I hope you can understand what I'm trying to do, and that I am only human, with constraints. I still have a lot of my own laziness to overcome, and waste in my life. I have a long way to go. I'd be honored if you'd stick around for the ride.

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