Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Coupons and Bubbles

I love a good deal. I started using coupons about a year ago and never looked back. I will admit that much of what can be bought with coupons isn't worth buying at all. But trust me, there are coupons for usable, healthful items if you know where to look. This month alone I used coupons for flour, olive oil, organic tomato paste, organic butter, canned beans, toothbrushes, natural cough drops and produce. That's not to say I haven't picked up a free can of Pringles here and there, but the point is that you can use coupons and still stock a reasonably healthy pantry.

In fact, I often use coupons to get things for free. I haven't paid for a toothbrush in who knows how long. Shampoo and conditioner, some of the last body care products I have yet to "green up" are often free as well. My local grocery store makes all coupons a dollar. When my Garnier Pure Clean Shampoo is on sale for a dollar, I take in my thirty cent coupon and BAM! Free shampoo.

Another common coupon freebie is hand soap.  We go through a LOT of hand soap. There are always muddy hands to be scrubbed, toy cars and engines to be "washed down" by my son, and ponies to be bathed by my daughter...the kid's bathroom dispenser always seems to be empty. And as stoked as I am to get hand soap for free, I can't help but feel that familiar twinge of guilt when I pick pocket over health and planet. For example, the last time I stocked up on hand soap, I got Soft Soap's Lavender & Chamomile. It ranks a 5 on the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Database meaning this particular product should be of moderate concern. But I was shocked to find out that it may have formaldehyde in it! The ingredient DMDM Hydantoin? Yeah. Usually contaminated with formaldehyde. Embalming fluid in my hand soap? I don't care if it was free! No thanks!

My son taking his cars to the "carwash"
So how do I buy a safe, natural product that won't break the bank? There are lots of lovely, chemical free hand soaps out there but at five dollars or more a bottle, they aren't exactly easy on the checking account. Luckily, there are lots of wonderful, like-minded bloggers out there, one of whom was experiencing exactly the same conundrum. Her solution is quite genius actually...make your own hand soap!

I don't need to rewrite her instructions here but I am so pleased with both the price and quality of my DIY hand soap. It was a little blobbier that I'm used to, even after I whipped it in my mixer, but it smells good and lathers well. One bar of natural soap (I used Shea Moisture's Organic Coconut and Hibiscus soap which was on sale and yes, I used a coupon!) made one gallon of hand soap. By combining a sale and a coupon, my $2.99 bar of organic soap will refill my soap dispensers many times over. Free? No. Cheap? Of course! Easier on my conscience? You betcha.

Thanks Robyn for your fantastic tutorial!

(This post is linked to the Green Resource. Visit every Thursday for great green tips!)



  1. Glad you liked it! I love your blog design!

  2. Yeah, you're right not all coupons are really effective and useful. I enjoy reading this a lot. I can relate on how you feel.

  3. I know what you mean about balancing budget with healthy skin care. My son has extremely sensitive skin which forced me into seeking out cheap, yet healthy options. I ended up learning how to make soap. But, I'm going to go check out that recipe for liquid soap because that would stretch it even farther. Thanks for a great post!

  4. Cheap, and safe for you and the environment!!!