Sunday, November 17, 2013

{you} clean up nice



Remember my handsome husband?

We finally got a new specialist.  Who immediately laid out an anti-cancer diet to fight off those bad cells and hopefully give him some energy back.

This meant an end to those nightly ice cream bowls.



A painful end.



Then the doc started using weird words like quinoa and talking about how he has brown rice and raw nuts for breakfast.



And in short, we can’t have dairy or grains or red meat and our diet needs to be mostly vegetables.  Organic, of course.

No milk, no butter, no cream, no yogurt, no ice cream, no sour cream, no cream cheese, no salad dressing with cream.  No wheat, no grains, no gluten, no pasta, no bread.  One egg a day.  12 ounces of red meat a week.  And soy substitutes are full of estrogen = bad for men.

I was doing okay until he said:






Mr. Daddy gulped, half-laughed at my reaction.

Then the doc said,








So now I pretty much want to do this to anyone moaning over their Pumpkin Spice Latte on Facebook.




But in the process of learning about the junk we’ve been putting into our bodies (I promise, we’re not all granola about stuff… we’re hardcore bad-for-you-food-eaters about some things), it intersected with some other changes we’d been making over the past year.


Do you know what your body’s largest organ is?


It’s your skin.


You can bet your sweet bippy that the stuff we’re putting on it is getting absorbed into our bodies at some point.


This is not a sponsored post – this is a post about how we did something better for our bodies that ultimately ended up saving us some change$$$.  I can’t stand it when people get all preachy on me – so take it from a convert who is all about cheap and easy.

When you live out in the country with lots of this:






…you also have a fair amount of laundry.


I thought I was doing pretty good by getting the “gentle” detergents, and later the natural softener and dryer sheets.


tidesoftenerdryer sheets(click on pictures for links to Amazon pricing)

I had no idea what kind of chemical mess I was putting into my clothes until articles like this started popping up online and pretty much scaring the snot out of me.


So I went looking for some truly natural detergent on Etsy.  Because y’know, I’m all about EASY.  And if I can’t even follow recipes in the kitchen, you would see me on the 5 o’clock news with a hazmat team if I tried to do THIS! 


I’ll admit – I was a total doubter.  This stuff only takes a 1/2 tablespoon?  Or a full tablespoon for a really dirty load?

Until the day my booger got “washable” paint on his brand new shirt.

And it had gone through a good 10 washings with my usual detergent and some mega stainlifters.  It was one of those “I gave up” things – it was a shame to throw it away.

Except, I washed it with this new stuff ONCE, and the stain was gone.


So I decided to do the math.  Because let’s be honest… even if it takes the same amount of TIME, some decisions come down to the dollars.

What we were spending on about 300 loads/year:

$53.88 detergent

$64.71 softener

$27.75 dryer sheets

= $146.34 per year


And now?

That natural detergent from Etsy was $54.30 for six bags.  We truly do get about 50 loads from each package.

We also converted to a vinegar/water mix for a softener.  But y’know, I just put the mixture into my cute Mrs. Meyer’s bottle and no one is the wiser (except for y’all).  And who doesn’t have a cute squirrel by all their laundry supplies?



So breaking down the cost of 300 loads with our “new” healthy way?

$54.30 for the natural detergent (including shipping)

$15.00 for a 3 bottles of vinegar

and oops, I forgot dryer sheets!


Except… instead of dryer sheets that I’d have to throw away, I finally invested in some felted wool dryer balls.

dryer balls


These were $40.80 including shipping.  Big investment.  Except, I’ll never have to buy dryer sheets again.

So the total for our green laundry gear is $110.10 per year.

Not seeing where we’re saving serious $$ ?  The dryer balls last 8+ years.  So this next year, the cost difference will be:

Chemical products = $146.34

Green products = $69.30


But get this.  We’re saving money on the fact that it’s such a good stainbuster that we rarely need to pretreat.  And the dryer balls reduce drying time – so I was saving a good 10+ minutes of electricity every load.  (Holy smokes… that’s 50 hours every year).

I’ll be honest with you.  My favorite things about the dryer balls is the fact that I keep finding them in random places.  Can you see where they ended up in Boog’s ultra-cute undies?


(what does the FOX say?!)


I love Etsy.  And these women were super kind when I asked if they had any discount codes for Miracle readers.

Green Bubbles is offering a 10% discount with the code: FALL10

You can find Green Bubbles here on Facebook, and on Twitter.

The detergent comes in eight different scents. 

*Peppermint Scented
*Sweet-Orange Scented
*Lemongrass Scented
*Lavender Scented
*Clean Sheets
*Tahitian Vanilla
*Baby Powder

I can vouch for the Sweet Orange and Tahitian Vanilla.  Trust me, there was not a HINT of elk estrus left on my husband’s hunting gear!


And for those dryer balls (that are also conveniently fun to throw as mega bombs during Nerf Wars ahem):

berry bog

Bog Berry will hook you up!

(Oh my word – don’t you love those anchor ones?  She does them custom!)

You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, and on her Bog Berry website.


She’s created a special code for you guys! ONCEUPON10 for 10% off!


Her fella has his own shop of hand carved beauties.  This scoop would be sweet for that jar of detergent!



You can pick it up at Ember Handcraft.

(psst:  with the code FORESTFRIEND for 10% off!)


As always, we’ll be back with more Etsy favorites in time for Christmas shopping.  That $$$ I’m saving on laundry ought to come in handy Winking smile



Now… back to stain-making…






Tamar SB said...

1. I need that underwear for my what does the fox say (recently toilet trained) nephew!

2. Try the coconut milk yogurt - it's so good! Since that is my diet - (dairy, soy, and gluten allergies) feel free to pick my brain for recipes and tips!

3. go to - get many products for SO Much cheaper!!!

Candance said...

My granola, hippie heart loves everything in this post!! And I want the dryer balls. Really bad. I'm out on soy, too, because of my thyroid, but we use almond milk and it's pretty dang good. Well, in stuff. I don't like milk, so I don't drink it. Grace does, though, and she hates milk, too, so that's kind of huge.

robin said...

Wow! What a diet change!! Sounds healthy...I need to print that out just to make a few changes around here.

I had never heard of that song (what does the fox say?) up until two weeks, I think I hear it in my sleep (my kiddos LOVE it!)

Angelwithatwist said...

Yeah perhaps if I told Mr. Daddy the reality of bacon and pork in general he wouldn't be so upset about letting it go. .. Since this family has so many allergies I finally broke down and make my own laundry detergent, which I might add Gene whips up about once a month. I laugh at just 300 loads of laundry a year.. must be nice. I can also teach you a recipe for homemade fabric softener because the vinegar water one doesn't seem to keep enough of it static free for me.. ..sighs.

sara said...

sounds like you are on a diet similar to the Daniel Fast. There are some great recipes out there for it and I have a board on pinterest that has some if you need some ideas!

Stacy said...

Um…wow. That is quite the diet change! Can you eat anything that has any fat in it?? You both are going to be half your size in a few months if you can't eat all of that. Dang! (BTW quinoa isn't half bad, and it has a lot of protein in it)

I should go that all natural route on the detergent, too. We have dry skin people in our house and they do tend to get worse in the winter. I use the free and clear, but apparently that isn't the best either. :(

RaD said...

I started changing our laundry soap about a year ago too only I just make my own using goat milk soap. And yes, I've gotten set in stains out with that stuff. we're talking go through the dryer by accidents stains out. And my son doesn't have skin problems nearly as much since we switched to natural goat milk soap in the bath as well. In fact I haven't needed to put anything on his skin for dry sky or his slight case of excema in a very long time.

Don't forget to switch your bath soap and shampoo too!

Floortime Lite Mama said...

you are going granola girl
and you are inspiring me too !!!

Unknown said...

Checking them out now! Thanks Rachel :)

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your fam!

Angie Vik said...

Bet you're feeling good from eating the right foods. It's always hard to pass up yummy, fattening stuff, but other than tasting great and being mentally comforting, they don't satisfy for long. It's nice that you're eating the same foods your husband has to eat. Might make for a silent meal if he's eating salad and you're eating fried chicken. Keep up the good work.

Unknown said...

We are what we eat so I am glad to see you are earnest about the diet. You will all benefit from it, and you are also right about our skin being our largest organ so we are able to protect our bodies from further damage by reducing what we come in contact with. I've been washing my hair with baking soda and water and rinsing it with vinegar and water.

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