Friday, June 30, 2017

Large Family Living: Toiletries

Toiletries are the forgotten aspect of large family living. What can you do with and what can you do without? What are ways you can spend very minimal on these items? We spend about $100 a month on these things including clothing. Here’s how we do it:

#1) Learn to live simply. You don't need everything you think you do.

We use cloth diapers. Love them. If you register for them for your baby shower, they’re free. I’ve used just about every kind and my favorites are just plain old pre-folds and covers. Easy to wash, easy to use, work well and don’t have build up like most of those pocket diapers. I'll purchase disposable diapers for when we're out and about, but when we're at home, we stick with the cloth.

Paper Towels are REALLY nice to have on hand for things like urine, blood, raw meat drippings, and cleaning the toilet - things I’d rather just throw away then leave sitting in a rag. So we purchase these, but usually only once every 4-6 months and use them very sparingly. We use regular dish rags or sponges for 90% of our cleaning.

Toilet Paper you can't compromise. Hahaha. Costco is the way to go. 
Kleenex is also a must for us since we do a lot of ministry at our home and we want to provide this. I shop at Costco and usually only buy kleenex once every 6 months to a year. 

For toothpaste we just use baking soda with a few drops of peppermint essential oil (that is until Ancient Medicine Cabinet LLC comes out with the remineralizing toothpaste!!).

Body Wash we just use all-natural bars of soap usually that I've bought from the Farmer's Market for a good deal, or I'll purchase from friends I know that make them.

Shampoo and Conditioner I get in bulk at Costco, usually when there is a sale on one of the ones we like. Otherwise, when we run out, we just use our all-natural bar of soap and do a vinegar rinse. I do buy nice leave-in-conditioner for my girls since their hair is a texture that needs some nice product which is worth spending a little more in my opinion. Still this lasts us a good 6 months or more. 

Deodorant I use this kind since it's safe for my kids and me! I have also used a salt stick in the past which lasts a full calendar year before needing another one.

For years I made my own Laundry Soap which is very economical and worked very well! When things are in a pinch I’ll still do this, but I’ve been managing to make whatever is on sale at Costco that doesn’t have any fillers or scents in it work. If you follow the directions, you’d be surprised to find out how you’re probably using too much soap in each load. 

Since I preserve a LOT of food over the summer in preparation for the winter, ziplock bags, specifically freezer bags are always needed. I usually wait until these go on sale at Costco and I stick up. I also get sandwich bags for our active lifestyle to pack a quick snack. BUT I wait until their on sale and only use them when I need to. Otherwise I use tupperware. 

I don’t buy house cleaner... EVER! I became a Shaklee Distributor and buy their Basic H cleaner maybe once a year which is concentrated and takes care of ALL our cleaning needs. It's all natural and completely safe for kids. I simply mix the required amount of cleaner (1/4tsp) and fill the bottle with 3/4 hydrogen peroxide (for disinfecting properties) and 8-10 drops of an essential oil. Shake and ready to go!

Menstrual pads and Menstrual Cups. I’ve used them for year now. I love the resale pads and only use the menstrual cup on really heavy days. I forget I even had my cycle when I use the menstrual cup. We made our own reusable menstrual pads with left over cloth diaper inserts, some patterned receiving blankets, and some snaps. Now I was blessed with some new ones off of Amazon from my sister. 

As far as clothing goes, hand-me-downs is the best way to go. Find someone with kids a little older then yours and ask them to bag up old clothes and pass them down. If that isn't an option, thrift stores are great for kids clothes. Find out when your thrift store has sales on kids clothes. "Toddler Tuesdays" or holiday sales. Most thrift stores will give you a coupon when you donate old clothes or items. 

Shoes have usually worked as hand-me-down or thrift store every year for us except this last year where we needed to purchase new winter boots. We waited for a sale and purchased new boots a size or two too big to last them a couple years. We've never done this before so it was quite exiting for the kids!

Once again, the real key is learning to live simply. 
I think that's the key to saving money period. 
Be content with what you need.

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