Pig Tits and Parsley Sauce

Slash your grocery bill by living sustainably

How To Halve Your Grocery Bill – Hawkes Bay Today

here is a cool story from the Hawkes Bay paper. Reporter Jolene Williams gave me the following list and I slashed it to bits and made it like how we shop, saving about $92 (and I was lenient).

Budgeting guru Lyn Webster can preventabig wad of your cash
from disappearing into supermarket tills, writes Jolene Williams
OUR SHOPPING LIST
*********************************
Jolene Williams shopped at Pak’nSave in Hastings for a family of four.
Lyn Webster immediately struck off items that never make it into her
own family’s trolley and suggested where improvements could be
made to maximise value and minimise cost.
2x Lettuce ………………………………………….$2.98each
Cauliflower………………………………………….$2.98
2x Brocolli for ……………………………………$2.99
3kg “Moonlight” potatoes ………………..$5.98
1.5kg carrots ……………………………………..$3.98
2kg apples …………………………………………$3.98
2x bunches of bananas………………………$3.49 each
2.4kg oranges…………………………………….$6.58
3x 2L of Pams milk……………………………..$4.08 each
6 loaves of Sunny Crust bread …………$1.98 each
2x blocks of Anchor butter………………..$4.18 each
500g Mainland cheese ……………………..$6.98
2x 6 pack Fresh’n’Fruit yoghurt 2 …….$3.48 each
12 pack Tasti nut bars ………………………$7.17
2x Sileni wine ……………………………………..$11.98each
6 pack Macs beer ……………………………..$13.98
2x 8 pack of Sizzlers sausages…………$3.34 each
1 whole fresh chicken size 16………………$12.52
428g Pak’nSave brand premium mince ….. $7.26
200g Pams bacon………………………………$3.58
750g Weetbix……………………………………..$3.48
12 pack Cottonsofts toilet paper …….$5.98
2x 20 pack of Budget nappies…………..$5.42 each
120g Colgate toothpaste ………………….$2.81
2x Budget canned tomatoes …………….$0.93 each
100g Nescafe coffee ………………………….$4.98
350g Farmbake cookies 450g…………..$3.21
70g Tasti cashew nuts………………………$1.64
2x 150g Bluebird chips……………………….$1.64 each
500g Pams jam………………………………….$2.84
550g Domio pasta sauce ………………….$2.98
1kg Budget long grain rice………………….$1.08
500g Budget pasta spirals ………………$0.51
TOTAL..$206.49
ITWAS a lean grocery list
handed to budgeting guru
Lyn Webster.Weshopped
at Pak’nSave, buying
mostly the cheapest brands and
taking advantage of specials.
And still she slashed more than
$92 from the bill, nearly half of
our $206.49 total. Some may
flinch at the cost-saving
measures. She wiped alcohol,
yoghurt, muesli bars, nuts and
chips clean off the list and had
tips for every other item.
‘‘You don’t need two
bunches of bananas,’’ she says.
Buy tinned fruit instead, often
for under $1, for school lunches.
Or bag your own fruit at
orchards for a fraction of the
cost. The oranges had to go, but
the apples could stay. Lyn’s not
big on variety. ‘‘Just get a few
fruit and vegies and that’s what
you have to have for the week.’’
Shop at greengrocers, or
better yet, grow your own.
Other savings could be
made buying meat direct from
butchers. She swapped the
whole chicken for boneless
cuts. You’ll be more conscious
of the cost because you eat
exactly what you pay for. She’s
sceptical of the sizzler sausages
and suggests ‘‘investing’’ in a
better quality meat, on special if
possible. ‘‘Buy bacon ends
[from the supermarket deli],
you don’t need whole rashers if
you’re making something like
fettuccini, where it’s cut up
anyway,’’ she says.
Have a couple of meat-free
dinners and bulk up dishes with
pasta and pulses. Rice and
pasta, they’re the goodies. Look
on lower shelves for the
cheapest brands.
Substitute the pasta sauce
for your own version from
canned tomatoes and add
onion, garlic and herbs. Buy
dried goods from bulk bin
supermarkets. Make your own
toiletries, cosmetics and
cleaning products. Use cloth
nappies. Bake your own
biscuits, muesli bars and bread.
The Warehouse sells 40 rolls of
toilet paper for $9.99.
Ask yourself if you really
need coffee. Lyn’s family drinks
only milk and water. Buy in
bulk. You can halve the per kilo
price of spuds if you buy the
10kg bag.
Treat butter as a luxury, buy
it on special and freeze it. If
you’re really feeling the pinch,
make it go further by adding oil
and water. Buy cheese in big
blocks on special. Go without
when it’s not.
Lyn could have made more
savings if the list had featured
more toiletries. Not a single
labelled product is in her family
bathroom. It’s all homemade.
The toothpaste costs about 10
cents per three weeks.
Lyn reckons she’s saved at
least $30,000 in two years by
changing the way the family
grocery shops. The Taranaki
sharemilker, recently relocated
to Whangamata, used to spend
$300aweek at the supermarket
to feed her family of three. That
was reined in to $100, then $75.
And despite two recent
additions to the family, they’re
not left wanting.
Lyn is known around the
country as a super budgeter.
She’s coming to Hastings next
week for a free public
presentation to demonstrate
how to make huge savings in
the supermarket bill.
Two years ago, her financial
situation reachedanew low
and she was forced to do
something drastic. The answer
was reducing her weekly
shopping bill.
In a society still coming to
grips with the recession, it’s
hardly surprising Lyn’s
budgeting advice has captured
the interest of national media
and average Kiwis.
Her weekly column for her
former local newspaper
brought in 50 emailsaday. Her
website received 14,000 hits
within about 30 seconds of her
second appearance on
Campbell Live. She also sells
recipes online, runs
demonstrations from home and
gives public demonstrations
around the country.
The cost of living is an issue
for many Hawke’s Bay families.
In March, eastern region
unemployment stood at 7.1 per
cent compared with the
national rate of 6.8 per cent. On
top of that,anationwide survey
by online company Seek found
the Bay had the second lowest
average annual salary. Wages
have risenapaltry 2.5 per cent
nationwide in six months and
are not expected to rise for the
next year, failing to offset
soaring food, fuel and
electricity costs. Lyn says our
spending is out of kilter. New
Zealand is stillawell-off
country, she says, although
some may be crying recession,
but chances are they still have
internet access, cellphones and
a car.
‘‘People say they’re
struggling because of the
recession but it’s your own
spending and I can teach that to
other people.
‘‘I can ease the pressure. It’s
ahard lesson . . . it wasahuge
culture shock for us for the first
couple of weeks, now it’s like
second nature.’’
There’s no way the family
can go back to their old ways,
she says. The kids Stevie, 13,
and Danni, 19, and now Danni’s
boyfriend Simon, have taken up
Lyn’s budgeting philosophies
with enthusiasm.
Like other families, they
argue in the supermarket. But
it’s likely to be the kids
debating which option offers
the best value.
■ Public presentation: 7pm,
June 15, Assembly Room,
Hawke’s Bay Opera House,
Hastings. Free admission.
Lyn Webster, website:
www.pigtitsandparsleysauce.
co.nz

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FACE BOOK FANS

I am currently sitting on 390 FB fans, so use the link below right to join my Face Book page and get regularly updated about my shows and TV appearances etc. I’d love to have over 1000 FB fans but right now 400 would be a good start – don’t be shy.

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MAKE Advert

As a thank you for me sponsoring MYM (Movies you Make) – Taranaki’s community opportunity to see your own movies on the big screen at Art House Cinema, Kirsty Richards made this short movie of me promoting make your own toothpaste. Check it out by clicking the link (far) below right.

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MAKE A Change

Since making a conscious decision two years ago to cut the grocery spend right down to $75 a week it is amazing how far we have come. Buying pre –packaged food from the supermarket has become a thing of the past for us and as a result we have become much more financially free.
The weekly burden of affording a massive grocery shop has disappeared as we look for less expensive and often healthier alternatives to main stream grocery shopping.
No rocket science here… most of our personal hygiene needs are taken care of with basic products, home made using simple ingredients – mainly baking soda, (recipes are available to purchase on this website – online or hard copy).
Baking Soda also covers most of the household cleaning tasks and white vinegar plays a huge part in this too. (Baking Soda and White Vinegar reference books also available on this web site.)
Which option do you prefer? Air freshener in an aerosol can, environmentally risky and horrible smell for $8-00. Or spray white vinegar from a recycled squirty bottle, eliminates all odours immediately without harming the environment and costs less than 20 cents for 250mls.
That is just a small example of the benefits available if you seek them. You don’t even have to think outside the square because we have done the thinking for you, put it into practise and are living the lifestyle.
Read the blogs or contact us directly. MAKE your own cleaning products and cosmetics, MAKE your own bread, MAKE your own veggie garden, MAKE your own destiny. I am happy to help you MAKE a change.

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One Good Thing….

One more good thing about making your own stuff is the money you save can be redirected too something else, something cool and something you like. I like ArtHouse Cinema in New Plymouth and with my new found wealth have sponsored MYM (Movies You Make). This is to encourage home grown films from local people and to get those films up onto the big screen at Athouse Cinema. How cool is that. I even got my own film made (thanks Kirsty and Rimca) and will post it on this site ASAP. Meanwhile check out Movies You Make – maybe you can start something similar in your community. http://graphic-design-branding.com/arthousecinema/ (Connect directly by scrolling down to the right to find a direct electronic link to Movies YOU Make.)

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Nothing to baby Blog About

We were going to blog about the baby but we use no products on him and cloth nappies and it is easy and cheap and he is lovely and smells yummy – so nothing to blog about really!!!

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Nappies

This page is not all about babies and nappies but it is interesting that I took cloth (eco) nappies to an expo yesterday and people treated them like some sort of fascinating new invention. The cloth nappies we are using (most of them hand-me -downs) are similar to disposables in style, you just wash them and re-use. No secrets, no drama, no skill needed just cheaper for us and much kinder to the environment. That is a no-brainer as far as we can see. More challenges may arise when baby is older and passing bigger volumes but I will let you know how we cope with that.

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Baking Soda Baby

Danni and Si’s baby born on Wednesday. Trying cloth eco nappies, and no branded baby products. We are going to clean him with sweet almond oil, baking soda baths, shampoo etc. All his gear and clothes are 2nd hand. Wooden hand made toys. Hope to prove that babies don’t need to be an expensive environmental hazard. Will post honest progress on web site. ie: If we can’t make it work we will tell you

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Recent Aricle I Had Published in Taranaki Daily News

Ouch! We are feeling the pinch and struggling to make ends meet on our self imposed $75 a week grocery budget. Last year, when GST went up to 15% I expected to feel the impact, but seeing we mainly buy staple ingredients items like flour, sugar, chickpeas etc the increase seemed to pass us by. However recently with the price of even the basic, basics (like butter and vegetables) soaring and no doubt slammed into outer space by the effects of outrageous fuel costs, world food shortages and the like, I can see the $75 is definitely not going as far as it used to.
Apart from the occasional bar of yellow washing soap and loo paper, we no longer buy anything from the cleaning and cosmetics aisles which allows the bulk of our budget to be spent on food. Even the most budget-est of budget bread has increased in cost by twelve cents, from $1-51 to $1-63.
We are so lucky being on the farm with access to unlimited supplies of milk which is getting so costly on the supermarket shelves that it could be priced out of some family’s reach. I hope people can adjust their other buying preferences to allow basic dairy to remain on their list.
Because the prices of dairy products seem to vary so much, I imposed a $2.99 limit on butter and an $8-99 limit on cheese. If these items are priced above this, we are not allowed them. I was recently forced to up this to $3-99 and $9-99 respectively, otherwise we wouldn’t have had any butter or cheese for months. I am interested in seeing whether Fonterra’s timely consideration in freezing the domestic milk price will relieve the prices of butter and cheese? Who buys the cheese for $16-99? Not me. I wait for the $9-49 special which comes up all the time at various supermarkets, then buy three and freeze them.
It is not only food that is sucking your bank account dry, take fuel increases in to the equation and you are getting it from all directions. Instead of whining about expensive prices the consumer needs to take action in the form of change. Change is difficult and unwelcome but sometimes ‘ya gotta do what ya gotta do!’ Make an action plan to keep living in a happy, healthy way but still keep some money in your own pocket. I would challenge anyone to make a few cuts to their grocery budget. If your family is whinging about this, spare a thought for the Kenyan families that often have a food free day to make their meagre resources stretch as far as possible. Try a meat free day once or twice a week or the occasional make your own sandwich night. Get the kids to suggest some ideas to save grocery money. Successful baking is handy and a cheaper, healthier way of providing snacks and lunches. Substitute that expensive butter with cooking oil in most cake and muffin recipes to get a moister, less fattening result. Snacking on seasonal fruit is cheaper and healthier than chippies and biscuits and you don’t have any packaging to dispose of.
It is a bit of an outrage to be referring Kiwi families in the land of plenty to the starving billions so they can get their own grocery budgets into perspective, but the era of cheap food is over and we need to realise we remain the lucky ones, but perhaps can no longer afford the luxury of taking things for granted. I was informed recently the cost of sugar is about to skyrocket. It was suggested to me that I could invest in a 25kg bag of sugar now and stave off the price rise, which is to be significant. While tempted, I decided to continue buying the sugar in smaller quantities and just take to cost increase when it comes. Storage was an issue and you can’t justify an expensive bulk purchase on a tight weekly budget. ‘Sorry kids, no food this week – Mummy’s just bought a year’s supply of sugar!’ But it made me think about my own personal sugar consumption, which has crept up on me a bit over the years. I’m going to have to alleviate the sugar crisis by cutting down my usage. It will be easy for me to cut three spoonfuls in my coffee down to one – and eventually I could just cut it out altogether. My waistline and wallet will both be winners.
Same thing with electricity and fuel costs rising – you’ll have to cut back your intake and if you are anything like me, it will be easy, because chances are you had never thought about it before and used the resources willy-nilly, taking it all for granted. Danni has become the electricity police at my house and drives us all mad switching off the lights and turning appliances off at the wall. I’m not allowed anywhere near the clothes dryer anymore and the heater is a no-no. I hate(her) it! But when the leccie bill came and it was only $70 (it is usually about $230), I had to thank Danni for her efforts.
So use the price hikes as an opportunity to examine your spending and utilisation and try an few changes here and there. You may be pleasantly surprised at the results.

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Times are Tough

Really starting to notice the $75 has to stretch thinner each week as the cost of living soars. The GST increase is starting to bite into even the most basic foods. Thank goodness we have broken the cycle of buying expensive, unhealthy pre-packaged food. My motto for living on a strictly limited budget is to buy the cheapest ‘most acceptable’ item. We have discovered that despite many people having negative feelings towards budget bread that the $1-51 loaf at most supermarkets covers our toast and sandwich needs adequately. Even this staple item has recently gone up to $1-63.
I had a limit on butter at $2-99. If it cost more than that I wasn’t allowed to buy it. I am a butter fan and when butter prices rose I extended that limit to $3-99, otherwise we would have never had it. I just got one and it cost $4-29, we will only use that butter for baking. If I happen to see any butter for less than $4, I will buy as many as I can afford that week and freeze them. Same for cheese. My limit of $8-99 has been extended to $9-99. Occasionally Countdown has it on special for $9-49. I didn’t buy cheese today as the cheapest one was $11-09.
On the bright side that will do my waistline the world of good. I have been spreading avocado or banana on dry toast which is actually really yummy and healthy. Still it is a worry that basic foods like bread, butter and cheese and becoming unaffordable. Thank goodness we’ve got heaps of veges coming along in the garden…..

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Shampoo Shame

We have a bottle of shampoo in the bathroom given to us by a friend who refuses to believe we prefer to wash our hair with baking soda. As a novelty (as I haven’t used shampoo for 2 years) I lathered up. How slimy and strange the once familiar foam felt and how overpowering seemed the perfume…. actually rather unpleasant.
I looked on the plastic bottle to read what I had actually just put on my hair: aqua.sodium laureth sulphate.PEG7 glycerol cocoate.sodium chloride. Disodium cocoamphodiacetate.glycol distearate.sodium benzoate. Benzopenone-4.laureth-4.laureth-2. Polyquaterium-10.acid violet43….. plus about 10 more equally unfamiliar ingredients. And my friend thought she was doing me a favour getting me to put that on my hair and skin! I think in future I will just stick to Baking Soda – at least I know what is in that.

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Why You Should Try Making Your Own Cleaning Products & Cosmetics

Nearly two years ago we made the decision to limit the groceries to $100 a week and stick to it. Even though our family-size has increased by one adult person, we managed to cut that budget again to $75. The outcome is we are eating more fruit and vegetables and way less processed food. Wastage (food scraps) in our household is minimalised and due to us choosing less pre-packaged consumables our rubbish pile has shrunk to next-to-nothing. My grocery list mainly consists of ingredients such as flour which we purchase from a bulk store (Bin Inn), where we can fill our own containers.
So not only are we healthier and richer, we have significantly reduced our impact on the environment from a rubbish point of view. These changes make life so much easier, grocery shopping is no longer a time consuming, money draining chore and the products we buy now do not create piles and piles of packaging to dispose of. There is no down side.
Making your own cleaning products and cosmetics has also proven to hold many favourable spin offs over time… my teeth, skin and hair have never looked better and they have not had a branded product near them in 2-years. Knowing what is in the products you use is very empowering especially when they out shine ‘the bought stuff’ in price and quality.
The strong perfumes in purchased cosmetics and cleaning products have started to repel us and we are overwhelmed by the chemical smells in the cleaning aisle in the supermarket. It took about 18-months of making our own before we started noticing this which just shows how desensitised to strong chemicals we become after exposing ourselves and our families to them for years. Women in particular have a big responsibility to make good choices for their families and mainstream chemical based cleaning and cosmetics to me seem an expensive and unhealthy choice.
Making your own stuff is NOT time consuming, in fact I’d say quicker than buying, which involves a trip to town. We are so addicted to the supermarket habit and constantly bombarded with advertising for ‘branded’ products that steal all out hard earned cash, changing your ways is not easy nor does it happen overnight BUT if you are committed to change and want to be better off financially, healthwise and to the betterment of the environment, then sussing out home made products and cutting back on your grocery spending is well worth the effort.
Check out my earlier blogs to see how we started off 2-years ago and how it got us to where we are now. The positive changes are phenomenal.

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WASTAGE

Developed countries waste from one third to half of all the food produced. That is not only unsustainable and an insult to the farmer who produced the food in the first place but ultimately will bring the world as we know it to its knees. The next war will be hungry people fighting over scarce resources in an over populated world.
What can I do about that you may ask? Your efforts might not seem to amount to much on a global level but you are in a position to cut back on wastage in your own home. We have found that slashing the grocery budget is a great way to cut back on household waste. When a great quantity of unlimited food is not taken for granted in your home, then the amount of food scraps chucked out rapidly diminishes. The other upside is all the money you can potentially save. Think about it…. if you spend $150 a week on groceries and half is wasted… surely then you could eat just as well on $75 a week if you were more careful with portion size, variety of food offered and reusing leftovers???
This is a very simple concept – just do it.

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I met Dr Stuart Jeanne Bramhall recently – here is her interesting Blog

Making Non-Corporate Choices
America’s pre-eminent consumer advocate and former presidential candidate Ralph Nader frequently talks about the last two generations growing up “corporate” in their attitudes and lifestyle choices. An important aspect of growing up “corporate” is automatically giving into constant pressure from the corporate media to see ourselves as “consumers” rather than citizens – and to oblige by continually consuming. A strong proponent of the voluntary simplicity movement sparked by Vicki Robin’s 1992 Your Money or Your Life, I have always viewed myself as pretty non-corporate in my lifestyle choices. Like many of my friends who have also chosen to “downsize” their lifestyles, I have felt no sense of sacrifice or deprivation in choosing not to own a car, DVD player, cellphone, flat screen TV or digital camera – or in choosing not to subscribe to satellite TV or spend thousands of dollars on fashions, cosmetics and plastic surgery to make myself look younger. If anything, our lives have been happier and far less stressful without the financial pressure of paying for all this.

I am also scrupulously “non-corporate” in other ways. I hang my wash out, rather than using a clothes dryer, make do with a small refrigerator that fits under the counter and shop at second hand stores for most of my clothing, furniture and appliances.

Needlessly Wasting $1,000 a Year

Thus I was extremely surprised to discover – after attending a class by local Taranaki mother Lyn Webster – that I am needlessly wasting thousands of dollars on commercial cleaning products and toiletries. Webster (http://pigtitsandparsleysauce.co.nz/) offers classes all over New Zealand and on national TV demonstrating how ridiculously easy it is to make most kitchen and beauty products at home yourself.

Webster’s daughters

As a single mother with two kids to support, Webster acknowledges her motivation for learning to make her own kitchen and beauty products was entirely financial.

Dangers of Endocrine Disrupters

My own reasons relate more to my concern about the environmental toxins in most commercial cleaners and toiletries. Women’s cosmetics especially contain a number of endocrine disrupters – chemicals that interfere with human hormonal functioning. Most pass though sewage processing unchanged, which means they wind up in our drinking water – and are found in measurable amounts in all our bodies. This is of major concern to epidemiologists, owing to increasing evidence linking these endocrine disruptors to epidemic levels of breast cancer, early puberty in girls and low sperm counts.

Why Kiwis Tend to be Less “Corporate” Than Americans

Most of Webster’s household cleaner recipes rely own baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), white vinegar and something most Kiwis know as “Sunlight” soap – even when referring to cheaper generic brands – a plain bar soap with no added perfumes, skin lotion, or chemicals. Both baking soda are highly reactive (but safe – both are used in cooking) compounds that readily dissolve oil and grease and kill most bacteria. Webster stores her products in a variety of recycled containers. This is where the savings comes in, as packaging is the second biggest factor (after profit) in the cost of commercial products.

What I find fascinating about living in New Zealand is that multinational corporations were late (thanks to a strong tariff system) in penetrating the New Zealand market. This means there are many women of my generation who can recall their own mothers washing dishes in Sunlight bar soap. They swear it got dishes much cleaner than any commercial dishwashing detergent. The only drawback was that it left an ugly scum in the dishwater owing to New Zealand’s hard water. Webster has solved this problem by adding a “water softener” – calcium carbonate (also known as washing soda) to her dishwashing liquid, as well as her powdered detergent for the dishwasher and laundry. This combines with the calcium and magnesium that make water “hard,” preventing them from combining with soap to make insoluble salts that float on the surface as “scum.”

To be continued with a list of recipes and discussion of how we became addicted to more expensive and toxic “corporate” products.

Webster on TV NZ:

http://tvnz.co.nz/good-morning/s2009-e021009-lynwebster-video-3045353

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PRESENTATIONS/DEMONSTRATIONS

Here’s a list of the presentations I can do for clubs, schools, community groups and individuals. Both Lower Hutt and Upper Hutt Councils have hosted me to Wellington for a Cleaning Products Demonstration which enabled over 1000 people in those communities to see and hear how they can save money while reducing their household waste and environmental footprint. These presentations can also be used as fundraisers.
MAKE Home Make Cleaning Products Demo
MAKE Home made Cosmetics Demo
How to Use Vinegar in your Home
How to Use Baking Soda in your Home
How We Live on just $75 A week Groceries.
Contact me via this website or by e-mail to find out more.

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Chemical Free and Better Off

Most people will not make the transition to Making your own cleaning products and cosmetics overnight. We are really brainwashed/addicted/trained … to go to the supermarket and source all those products. Trouble is we’re spending way too much money, the ingredients are chemical laden cocktails and our shopping creates so much wastage and packaging rubbish that it is strangling the planet. Just think of all those plastic bottles.
So it is worth the effort to get some recipes (mine are tried and true – see buy books and recipes). The shampoo people have been conning our hard earned cash off us for years with false promises and alluring fragrances. You will feel weird washing your hair with baking soda and even weirder using white vinegar for conditioner but after you get used to it – it took me about a week – you will reap the benefits, financially, healthwise, looks- wise and environmentally. I wouldn’t be caught dead buying shampoo and conditioner now. Even making that change alone is a huge step forward.
The beauty industry is a huge con.
We went down the cleaning products aisle in the supermarket the other day, walking past all the worthless stuff we used to buy and both my daughter and I were struck by the overpowering chemical odour. Since using only homemade cleaners (mainly baking soda and white vinegar) in our home for the last 18-months we have become chemical free and can easily detect the poisonous fumes that we used to bring into our home. I’m so glad we have made the change.

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The Story of Stuff

Check out www.storyofstuff.org (click the link at the bottom right of this home page). This American web site features some easy to watch cartoons about sustainability. Very relevant to improvements/changes you can make using the ideas on www.pigtitsandparsleysauce.co.nz
The Story of Stuff: where our stuff comes from and where it goes when we throw it away.
The Ugly Truth About Cosmetics: Makes me glad I make my own cosmetics and cleaning products (and you can too – see Buy Recipes and Books).
The cartoon on bottled water show how ‘manufactured demand’ pushes what we don’t need and destroys what we need the most… affirming the advantages of sticking to a strict grocery budget and buying only essentials. Have a look – the cartoons are short, thought provoking and really entertaining. Leave me a comment letting me know what you think about ‘The Story of Stuff’.

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Life Saver/Planet Saver/ Money Saver

I am amazed at how my attitude towards mainstream products like toothpaste, shampoo and laundry powder has changed since I found out how easy it is to make your own. For thirty years I spent a fortune on consumable products to clean myself and my home… if only I had known what a big rip-off it all is.
A simple, affordable, edible product – white vinegar – has replaced, deodorant, conditioner, almost all cleaning products, fabric softener and air freshener in my home. At 15 cents for 100mls just think of the money it has saved me and all the packaging and chemicals it has saved from polluting our overloaded planet. The white vinegar does the same job or better at a fraction of the cost.
We are all slaves to advertising really. I have now gotten to the stage where branded products that I used to pay big dollars for without a care the world ie: Impulse, Rexona, Glade, Persil… are really annoying me and I would not touch them ever again with a bargepole. And to think I was training my children up to spend all their money on these expensive rip-offs.
I think by stumbling across the idea of making more things yourself, I have saved a lot more than mere money. Just the 18-recipes in my pamphlets and the knowledge learnt from the Baking Soda and White Vinegar books is all you need to get started – once your mindset changes you are away and supermarkets shopping will never be the same again, with you as the big winner.

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