Friday, April 25, 2008

Using Less

First off, I just want to say I'm so sorry I haven't posted in awhile! It seems it's been four days since my last post! Where did the time go?? To be completely honest, I've been so excited about playing with my new sewing machine that my blog got neglected - I'll try to make it up to you. :) I may even come back and post some of my sewing creations so at least you will know I've been productive. :)

Anyway, on with the show!

For Frugal Friday today, I'd like to continue with last week's theme of Not Buying, and focus this week on using less. Obviously there are still some things we do buy - like food, and some household and personal products. I'm working on reducing these things, by starting my own garden this year, making my own cleaning supplies, and learning to make my own personal care products. In the mean time, however, we are using store-bought organic and natural products.

When I first made the switch to natural and organic products, I struggled with how expensive they were - and I wasn't really sure how we were going to afford it. However, I knew I wanted to make the change, and as they say, where there's a will, there's a way. And in this case, the way was to use less! Of everything! Most of the organic/natural products are more concentrated anyway, so it really wasn't that hard to do. But I still found I was able to drastically reduce how much of everything I used. My laundry soap calls for one ounce per load. I find I can use as little as 1/8 of an ounce for diapers, and 1/2 an ounce for regular laundry, and it still comes out clean! A jug of natural laundry soap lasts me six months or more. Same goes for shampoo and conditioner. I can put a tiny little bit in my hand, add water to it, and it lathers right up - I don't even notice a difference! We can go a couple of months on the same bottle of Burt's Bees shampoo! We used to squirt a lot of ketchup on our plates, and most of it would end up getting washed down the drain - so now we only use a little tiny bit of organic ketchup, and none of it goes to waste. It's amazing how when you pay more for something it suddenly becomes a precious commodity, and you become so much more aware of your wastefulness. We never, EVER throw food away now, because we pay a premium for organic food - so I use every last scrap. Organic cheese will cost you your first born... but now we are more repectful of our cheese. :) We use it very, very sparingly, and you'd be surprised how thinly you can slice a piece of cheese if you try. :) Think about it - do you treat something you bought at the dollar store differently from how you treat your expensive electronics? Do you take better care of your real gold and diamonds than you do your costume jewelry? When I used to buy things in giant containers for next to nothing, I would use far more than I needed, because I knew it was cheap and replaceable. My organic products are the equivalent of gold and diamonds. :)

I would have to say, that while I thought going organic was going to cost us MORE money, it has actually cost LESS - simply by putting us in a position to recognize how wasteful we were before, and by learning to conserve our precious resources. It feels so good knowing that not only are we using products that are better for our health and for our planet - but we are also consuming less overall - less product, and less packaging.

I hope this tip has been helpful, especially for those of you who have been on the fence about going organic because of the cost. It truly is affordable, and the rewards are greater than you could imagine.

For more Frugal Friday tips, go on over to Crystal's Blog!


  1. I agree with you. I just recently start to introduce organic food to our grocery budget. And yes, it's expensive and I think using less is the way to go. Not only, it saves you money but we live healthier by eating an appropriate portion instead of stuffing our face with food. :)

    Amy @ The Q Family

  2. Yes! Love this read my mind. It is difficult to get used to the higher cost of organic products, but using them frugally makes them last! It also instills a new thought pattern of really considering things like "do I need this much" and even "do I need it at all"? Great post- I hope you don't mind if I put a link to it from my blog :) Thanks!

  3. Hey Christine,

    Of course I don't mind - I'd be honoured. :)

  4. This is a great post! I have been on the fence about organic and you've helped me to decide. I'm cheap, but I know the health benefits are worth it. Thanks for the extra needed push!