4 ways to save money on green cleaning products

4 ways to save money on green household products
We all want to use the natural products to clean our homes. From concerns over the toxicity of conventional cleaning products to allergic reactions to ingredients used in laundry detergent, more and more people are seeing the benefit to going green.

But you may have noticed that the prices for more holistic alternatives tend to be higher. This has been one of the top concerns many of my readers have vocalized: they want to go green, but want to do it without breaking the bank.

In today’s post, you’re going to learn three ways to save money on holistic home products!

DIY Your Own

Our family loves making our own cleaning products using natural ingredients that we have purchased at our local store, or even common ingredients you find in your kitchen.

For example, you can create an easy to use and affordable surface cleaner by diluting lemon essential oil with water and putting it into a glass spray bottle. Mixing essential oils with baking soda also makes an excellent air freshener if you place it in a recycled jam or babyfood jar.

Because essential oils are so concentrated, a little goes a long way, which is why it saves you money in the long run.

Vinegar is another low cost item that clean windows to toilets and even as a laundry brightener!


Herbal Academy of New England
HANE is an excellent resource for how to create natural alternatives to contentional ones. Both their blog and courses are fantastic.

Shop at Grove Collabortive

The Grove Collaborative ( previously called ePantry) offers natural, eco friendly household products for a good price.

They carry brands such as Mrs. Meyers, Method, Seventh Generation, and Dr. Bronner’s and ship throughout the US.


Another fantastic place to save big on natural healthcare and household products is iHerb. We’ve been using them for 6 years and they ship internationally at an extremely low cost ( $4 dollars to ship to Thailand).

iHerb has an array of green household cleaning products that you can save on in three ways.

For starters, they sell holistic products at a discounted rate and repeat customers get loyalty rewards points they can use to save even more. Their referral program is another way to get additional credit to your next purchase.

There is no minimum order nor scheduled shipping, although for international orders, there may be certain customs restrictions on certain supplements, or a maximum weight for your package. For example, here in Thailand, shipping is $4 dollars and you can buy up to $80 dollars worth of items that way less than 4lbs.

We’ve ordered from iHerb from everywhere and find them to be extremely reliable and the items have always been well packaged for international shipping.

Buy in bulk

I always tell readers that the best way to save money on healthy foods is to buy in bulk when possible. The same goes for when you purchase green home cleaning products as many brands have the option for you to buy larger sizes that are more cost effective than buying say a smaller size every month.

Costco is carrying more and more discounted bulk items, as are other stores throughout North America. Not sure if you’re favorite brands sell products in bulk? Contact them directly to ask if there’s a store near you where they are available.

The Culinary Nutrition Expert Program

Simple Living for Holistic Beings

simple living

A balanced life is a well lived one. Ask yourself right now – are you living up to your full, meaningful potential?

Holistic nutrition is just one part of our existence where we can mindfully choose to embrace healthy, active lives. We are what we eat and the softness of our skin, the strength of our hair and the density of our teeth show us if we are on the right path, or whether we have an imbalance in our diet.

There are simple things we can do to correct dietary imbalance:

  • Eat seasonally
  • Buy locally
  • Support organic farming
  • Forage for nutrients
  • Reduce grains and refined sugars
  • Eliminate processed foods

To only change our diet is not enough to overcome the imbalances created by a consumer-driven life. We must become unbusy so that we have time to enjoy things that truly matter. We must declutter to find space. We must reduce stress so that we can be grateful. We must regard all of nature and the greater environment if we strive to become holistic beings.

We must understand connections if we dream of a sustainable world. Then we need to act.

Simple living is a gentle way of life that reminds us of how interconnected the world actually is. We become conscious of what we own, what we waste and what we really need – and with a different, more aware mindset we will find that it is much less than what we have been led to think.

Natural simple living may be right for you, if:

  • You are seeking a less complicated way of life
  • You are ready to live in a non-toxic home
  • You are willing to search for health through food, rather than medication
  • You realize the importance of organic clothing – for your body and the future of agriculture
  • Your natural beauty is ready to shine through
  • You already feel the positive benefits of earthing, or are ready to walk barefoot like a child once again
  • You desire more self-reliance in your life

There are a myriad of ways to slow down and enjoy the benefits of a simple life. Choose a place to start and take the first steps towards a lighter tomorrow.

simple living

A special offer for Holistic Dad readers!

Sign up for Natural Simple Living: Crafting Solutions for Your Healthy Life and Home – a month long, 8 lesson e-course to help get you back to the simple, meaningful life you long for, at a reduced price of $35…

and receive a free bonus – 21 days of e-nspirations for Everyday Simplicity.

The knowledge gathering takes place in the month of February, starting on the 1st. Special offer valid until January 31st, 2014 – take the first step right here.

A $60 value now offered to you for nearly half the price!


cheryl magyar


Cheryl Magyar is a sustainable life designer who shares a blog with her husband at Handcraftedtravellers. Sign up for their free newsletter Weekly Ideas for Simplifying Your Life at Home and Away and step into a simpler day!

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Top Ten Daily Uses for Essential Oils with a Giveaway!!


Today’s guest post comes from Stephanie Doyle at  My Chemical Breakup!


In our hectic world, taking the necessary time to center and nourish your body, mind and spirit is so important.  Essential oils are an excellent way to give your body exactly what it needs to find physical, mental and spiritual balance and wellbeing.  Here are ten easy ways to incorporate the healing benefits of essential oils into your daily routine.

  1. Wake up energized with citrus and mint.

I like to alternate between Lemon, Lime and Wild Orange essential oils in the morning along with invigorating Peppermint.  Put one drop of each into the palm of your hand, cup your hand near your nose and mouth and inhale deeply for instant energy and focus.  As a bonus, rub the remainder onto the bottoms of your feet (this is one of the best places to absorb essential oils quickly) and start your day feeling positive and energized!


  1. Nourish your hair with Rosemary.

One or two drops of Rosemary essential oil, massaged into the scalp before a bath or shower will do wonders for your hair.  (Shampoo as normal after massage.)  Rosemary is very balancing, so it can be helpful for both dry and greasy hair; and it’s also a great oil for stimulating hair growth.   If you have problems with itchy scalp or dandruff, add a drop of lavender in addition to the Rosemary.  You can also add 1 or 2 drops of Rosemary and Peppermint to unscented shampoo for a clean, invigorating hair cleansing experience!


  1. Boost oral health with Peppermint and Clove.

Both Clove and Peppermint essential oils are analgesic, antibacterial, antiseptic, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory.  Peppermint oil mixed with water makes a great natural mouthwash.  If it’s too “hot”, cut it with a drop or two of Lemon.  Have a toothache?  A drop of Clove essential oil applied to the affected area will numb the pain while fighting germs.  (Note:  If you are sensitive to hot oils, dilute with a carrier oil before applying to the mouth.)


  1. Support body and mind with Frankincense.

Frankincense, by far, is my very favorite essential oil.  (Although there are many close seconds.)  Many people, myself included, find that Frankincense helps to stabilize moods as well as calm anxiety and nerves.  This is not surprising, since Frankincense is one of the few oils that can pass the blood brain barrier and is therefore often recommended for issues dealing with the brain.  It’s also a great immune system booster as well as an incredible anti-inflammatory.  Basically, Frankincense is good for just about everything.  It’s great on cuts and scrapes, skin conditions, digestive issues, it’s an anti-depressant, anticatarrhal, anti-cancer, anti-tumor, expectorant and sedative, just to name a few.  One to two drops on the bottoms of the feet would be beneficial any time of day, and a great addition to morning or nightly routines.


  1. Clean and freshen with Lemon.

Toss a washcloth with 2 or 3 drops of Lemon essential oil in with your laundry for super clean clothes and uplifting scent.  This is also a great way to freshen up a load that, ahem, you may have let sit a bit too long in the washing machine.  (Not that you or I would ever do that.)  Lemon is a natural antiseptic, so it can also be used to wipe down counters or even stainless steel.  For counters, add a few drops of Lemon to a glass spray bottle with water.  For the stainless steel, apply a drop of Lemon directly to a microfiber cloth and buff to a shine.  (Note: be sure to use a glass spray bottle when using citrus oils, never plastic, as Lemon dissolves petrochemicals.)  Lemon is also known as antidepressant, so while you clean you’ll be giving your mood a boost as well!


  1. Improve your outlook with uplifting Bergamot.

Apply one or two drops of Bergamot essential oil to the back of the neck, over the heart, or on the bottoms of the feet to increase self-confidence and combat negative emotions.    Bergamot may also be helpful in dealing with stress, anxiety and nervous tension, making this an excellent oil to diffuse as well.  (Note: as with all citrus oils, do not apply on areas that will be exposed to sunlight for up to 72 hours after use.)


  1. Find your focus with Peppermint and Wild Orange.

2 or 3 drops of Peppermint and Wild orange essential oils make an amazing, energizing blend for diffusion.  Not only will this blend help you get through an afternoon slump, but it can help improve focus and concentration as well.  If you don’t have a diffuser, add a few drops to a small spray bottle with some water and use as a natural room freshener.  You can also place a few drops on a cotton ball and set it behind a desktop fan to help circulate the therapeutic aroma throughout a room.


  1. Keep headaches at bay with Peppermint.

Peppermint is one of those oils that has so many different uses!  A tiny drop on the temples or back of the neck and help relieve headaches and can prevent little headaches from turning into giant ones. (Be sure to keep well away from eyes!) Peppermint is also very soothing to the digestive system; a drop applied topically to the stomach does wonders for both indigestion and nausea.


  1. Wind down with Lavender and Roman Chamomile

Add 1 or 2 drops of each to a half cup of Epsom salts for a soothing, calming bath.  If you don’t have time for a bath, add 2 drops of lavender and 1 drop of roman chamomile to 10 or more drops of carrier oil (I prefer fractionated coconut oil) and massage over feet, neck and shoulders to help tension melt away.


  1. Encourage restful sleep with Lavender, Marjoram, and Vetiver.

Lavender oil on its own is can be very effective for encouraging sleep and relaxation.  Massage a few drops onto your neck, feet, or even around the ears just before bed; or add some Lavender to a small spray bottle with water for a relaxing pillow spray.  If you are still having trouble sleeping, try adding equal parts Marjoram or Vetiver.  Marjoram can help relax muscles and may also help with anxiety that may be keeping you awake.  Vetiver is a deeply relaxing oil, and while it does smell a bit pungent, it is extremely effective for those who have trouble falling or staying asleep at night.  To tone down the smell, you can add a few drops of lavender.  This oil is best used on the bottoms of the feet or (if you don’t mind the scent) the back of the neck.


Modern Essentials Fourth Edition, Aroma Tools

You can learn more about Essential Oils by contacting Stephanie on her blog, on her facebook page. or her DoTerra consultant link.


And now for the Give Away – Don’t forget to come back every day and share the post on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and even your blog!  Just copy and paste the URL of the location you shared it and enter it in the first box for a quick 10 points!

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Top 3 Reasons Why you should Clean ‘Green’ and a Giveaway!

cleancourseGuest Blogger Makenna Johnston——

Four years ago, I made the big switch. So long commercially made cleaners, welcome homemade products.

Having grown up around a mother who often smelled of vinegar, lavender, and isopropyl alcohol, I wasn’t exactly new to DIY cleaners, I just hadn’t ever made them myself. She was a master cleaner creator, at least counter spray and a few others. In fact, it was her go-to hostess gift, welcome to the neighborhood present, and even birthdays if the mood struck her. I loved watching her brew simple, home-spun cleaners, decant them into metal spray bottles adorned with delicate calligraphy labels, and wrap them with cellophane into vintage baskets. Despite the nearly monthly ritual, the knowledge was never passed to me.


In college, with my mother’s habits 2000 miles from me, I bought the cleaners on sale—my lack of budget insured that I bought dollar store creations, and the idea of natural cleaners had yet to be introduced to me. Post graduation I bought the ‘natural-ish’ cleaners on sale, usually name brand items that were marked ‘naturally derived’, ‘hypoallergenic’, or ‘green’. In graduate school, my budget was curtailed to an all-time low, even sale natural-ish cleaners became unaffordable, so I started making my own—save for Febreeze and Windex as I couldn’t part with these good friends. A year later, I threw them out as well.


A lot of my friends ask me why I have continued this trend, despite the fact that I am a working professional. Even many of my naturally inclined friends don’t make their own cleaners. Sure, technically my family can afford even the best ‘green’ cleaners from the big box natural stores, but I haven’t turned back.


 The Top 3 Reasons –

  1. Homemade cleaners are dirt cheap

Yes, I can choose to afford to spend $8 on a counter spray, $12 on laundry detergent (a month), $6 on scouring scrub, etc etc etc. But I don’t have to. My laundry detergent costs less than $4 for nearly 100 loads of laundry (and my clothes smell peppermint-y). My scouring scrub I can use WHILE taking a shower, and costs a whopping 50 cents for 15 tub scrubs. My counter spray smells like citrus fruit, saves my citrus rinds from the trash, and costs 10 cents a bottle. Yup, a BOTTLE!


  1. Easy. Seriously.

I spend no more than 5 minutes a week making cleaners.  I work four jobs. I don’t have time to waste on making cleaners, but I have yet to find a week where it takes more than 5 minutes. Some weeks, I have so much cleaner lying around I give it away. Also, you don’t NEED essential oils, you don’t need much of anything. Sure there are plenty of recipes that call for such things but most recipes don’t need anything other than things you can buy at your local grocer.



  1. Germs are GOOD for you and your family

The research shows that the bleach everything method of cleaning is not only potentially dangerous because of the amount of bleach you might absorb, but that bleaching everything isn’t good for your family. Sure, a hospital needs bleach! Restaurants that serve processed potentially E. Coli ridden beef need bleach. A day care center with 20 kids, bleach is good. A typical family? No way!


Vinegar kills germs, a lot of germs. And it leaves some good ones in place, giving your body a chance to fight them. That is called boosting your immune system. A lot of people don’t like cleaning with vinegar because well, it smells like vinegar!  But the great thing is that if you save your citrus rinds (grapefruit, orange, lemon, lime) you can change that.  


      • One Jar
      • Citrus Rinds to Fill Jar (I like oranges best)
      • White Vinegar

Fill the jar with the rinds, pour over vinegar, and let it steep.  At least a few weeks.  Strain the vinegar out and voila!  Your vinegar will now smell citrus-y.  Dilute with water (about 6 parts water to one part vinegar) and you can use it for cleaning almost everything.  

I also add lavender essential oil to this mix (lavender and orange together smell divine) as lavender is a natural antimicrobial agent.  Just add a few drops to your spray bottle of diluted vinegar and you’ll amp up the power, and the fragrance is to die form.  Bonus:  Did you know that lavender’s etymology is steeped in cleaning?  Lavender comes from the latin word lavare, which means to wash!


Four years down this road, I can honestly say it was the single best decision I have ever made. I no longer have unexplained headaches or rashes. I no longer cringe before taking a hot bath, worried about what chemicals might be leeching into my skin. I clean without gloves, often while using what needs to be cleaned (example: shower!) My house smells clean, but not chemical, and to the naysayers dismay my house is clean!

And now for the Giveaway ———–!
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MakennaEvie-74Makenna Johnston is a nomadic Air Force wife, a doula and midwife assistant, holistic life coach, and soulful lover of her earth. Her doula style encourages women to embrace their internal power and ferocity during childbirth. As an educator she focus on empowering women, teaching the history of women healers & midwives, and enlightening through courses on natural living (such as CLEAN).


You can find her on her website www.makennajohnston.com where she blogs about her family life, her travels, and her journey in this crazy world.


Want to learn more? Makenna’s e-course is starting in July!