Green Life Experiment Week 21 -- How I Save $500 a Year Going Natural

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Tonya (science_spot on CafeMom) has decided to go green in her household and blog about her experiment along the way.

There are many parts of my natural transition that make me happy. I'm happy with how my family has accepted the changes in our lives. I'm happy that my hives are decreasing (and confident they'll decrease even more in the future). I'm happy with how much I've learned about synthetics, their uses, and their effects on humans and the environment. I'm also happy about the wonderful friendships I've made during this transition.


I'm also happy about the monetary gains. Initially, I worried that the cost of natural products would be beyond what I could afford, but I'm happy to be proven wrong! I'm now convinced that going natural is a money-saving endeavor, and it should be explored by anyone who's having trouble with finances. Even my husband is surprised.

For example, the changes made to our personal care regimen have come down to reducing the number of synthetic products we use. In this case, if something natural is more expensive, my net cost is still lower because I reduced the number of products I purchase.  

  • I do purchase slightly more expensive organic shampoo and conditioner, but I no longer use any styling products (I straighten my hair instead) or hair dyes. Estimated savings: $110 per year.
  • I use natural soaps, which cost about the same as the body washes I no longer use. I use this same soap on my face instead of facial washes. Estimated savings: $30 per year.
  • Since the soaps are better on my skin, I no longer use large amounts of moisturizer. Instead, I get away with a small amount of shea butter when needed. Estimated savings: $60 per year.
  • I now use very little makeup, and the products I use are made from natural minerals dispensed in refillable containers. Estimated savings: $200 per year.
  • I use a natural bubble bath now. This costs more, but we just make baths a special occasion and use it less frequently.
  • I seem to have solved the skin issues the kids were having, so I no longer need diaper cream or eczema lotions. Estimated savings: $90 per year.

The grand total: A savings of $500 per year.

I put this money toward re-useable items, like tote bags, cloth napkins, metal straws, etc. OR I may invest this money in more plants to clean the air, better kitchenware for cooking my homemade meals, or a water purifier for my home.

I've found that being flexible and creative has helped me to rethink how and WHY I do things, because the old way is no longer assumed to be the best way. I'm starting to see myself as beautiful, without makeup, curly hair, and fancy foods. I'm finding a new me that I love. In the process, I'm finding incredible new products and incredible new ways of doing things and meeting some incredible people.

Previous weeks:

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Week 6

Week 7

Week 8 (Part 1)

Week 8 (Part 2)

Week 9

Week 10

Week 11

Week 12

Week 13

Week 14: Hey, It's Toxic Out There!

Week 15: Go Preservative Free to Save Money

Week 16: Metal Straws and Soap Nuts

Week 17: Chemical-Free Kiddie Party

Week 18: Don't Forget Your Pets

Week 19: A Good Hair Day

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