The Eco-Friendly Family

Eco-Friendly on a budget

ChiccoBeanzChiccoBeanz member
2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers Name Dropper
edited August 2015 in The Eco-Friendly Family
Hey Ladies,
   I'm a newbie to all things eco-friendly. I wanted to know if any of you would be kind enough to point me in the right direction for resources for being any eco-friendly mom on a budget. I'm doing my own research, but if I any of you multi-time mommies or even first time mommies have an suggestions or tips, I'd appreciate it. I also searched this topic and didn't find anything. Thank you ladies in advance. 
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Re: Eco-Friendly on a budget

  • I just wanted to say "thank you" for posting this because I was thinking about posting a similar question  recently.  I'm going to follow this very closely. 
    ChiccoBeanz
  • Baking Soda and Vinegar :) They will become your cleaning buddies. They're are many blogs out there that have everything from homemade window cleaner to homemade eye liner. I started most of my research at Keeper of the Home blog(it is run by Christian women FYI) One Good Thing by Jillee is another fantastic blog for Eco-friendly cleaning recipes. Budget bytes and 100 days of real food are down to earth food blogs. To give you hope... This is a journey I'm still apart of, but our family of five eats 90%(the other 10 is mostly my husband's snacks) organic, local food and I don't own a single chemical cleaner/detergent/soap. Our grocery budget is under $600 and I spend $10-15 on misc cleaning/body products a month. The only thing I splurge on is shampoo. I buy natural stuff, but haven't and won't join the "no poo" group. :) Enjoy the journey and have fun learning!!!
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    ChiccoBeanzMrsFL2015[Deleted User]CantanteLirica
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  • I second the making your own cleaners! SSOOOO much cheaper! I stalk pinterest for ideas for budgeting and eco friendly :)
    Me: 24 | SO: 23
    Started Dating SO: 9/26/2009
    DS Born: 6/02/2012
    Tied the Knot: 11/14/2015
    Trying for Number Two since 9/1/15
    ChiccoBeanzMusicEBA22
  • Thank you for posting this question. I used to be much more eco friendly but got lazy and now want to get back to it. But I have a toddler and baby on the way and a new house and a pending layoff at work, so cost is definitely a factor for me.

    Here are a couple of low-cost eco friendly things I've started doing:

    1. Install a clothesline if you live someplace where it's allowed. You'll save $ on your electric bill and do some good for the environment because the dryer is one of the biggest energy drains in the house (even the HE ones).

    If you can't hang a clothesline outside, see if there's a place inside where you can hang a pull-out one.

    If you can't hang your clothes to dry, try to run the dryer late at night/very early mornings when the energy grid is less taxed. Some electric companies even discount rates during off-peak periods of use.

    2. compost if you can. They sell small indoor composters if you don't have a yard. If you have a space away from the house, like a wooded area at the corner of your lot, you can build a compost bin out of pallets that you can get pretty easily for free. You just might have to buy $10-15 worth of brackets to hold it together. They also sell the big black plastic outdoor composters on Amazon for $80 or $90. We got a counter compost bin for $5 through a program our local health department is running so we can store food scraps in it until we're ready to go outside and add them to the compost heap.

    Composting not only lowers your trash waste, but also creates great soil for gardening.

    3. Grow your own fruits, veggies, and herbs. This is something I tried to do on my small deck at my condo, but now that I have a house with a yard, I think I can be more successful at it. It costs very little (especially if you use your homemade compost instead of buying fertilizer) and you'll save $ on groceries while helping lessen the environmental burden of produce distribution costs.

    Please share any good tips you come across in your search!
    ChiccoBeanzMusicEBA22slradske0626
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  • jrschubejrschube member
    Seventh Anniversary 10 Comments Photogenic 5 Love Its
    edited September 2015
    If you're wondering in terms of brands that are more affordable, I found ways to cut costs while still buying eco friendly prod ucts. Target's simply balanced brand is great and affordable for dairy, eggs, canned beans, etc. There are constantly sales and coupons. Joining an organic CSA is an amazing way to support a local farmer and reduce food miles. The amount of food you get in a CSA is pretty phenomenal too. If you're looking for clothes for baby TJ Maxx often carries the Burts Bees clothes at a significant discount from elsewhere. Zulily is also a great resource for lower priced organics. TJ Maxx also carries Green Toys and Plan Toys. The resources I used most while pregnant were: http://peaceloveorganicmom.com/non-toxic-toys http://www.womensvoices.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/2014-Baby-Non-Toxic-Shopping-Guide.pdf http://themindfulhome.blogspot.com/2013/03/the-complete-guide-to-non-toxic-eco.html http://blog.totscoop.com/the-complete-guide-to-non-toxic-baby-products/ I will say, most of these resources aren't too concerned with price...especially the women's voices for the earth guide. You can certainly find things you're comfortable with for reasonable prices. I have an ikea crib made of unfinished wood that probably cost 80 dollars with my more expensive lullaby earth mattress. It's all about prioritizing where you spend your money based on what will have the greatest impact, I think. I spent hours and hours researching baby products and I'm in the environmental field, so it's a huge interest of mine. Please feel free to message me if you have any specific product questions or anything like that.
    ChiccoBeanzLife is Excitingcrsanchez87
  • Thank you ladies
    Lilypie Pregnancy tickers
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  • Check out garage sales.  I bought a bunch of cute high-quality baby clothes for $20 bucks!  Also, consignment shops can have some good deals, especially when seasons change.  The one down the road from me has a bag sale a few times a year.  $11.50 for all the clothes you can stuff in a grocery bag.  

    I really wanted to buy used swing, bouncer-- that sort of stuff.  But, I am now paranoid about bed bugs.  We had a scare before, and they are a big problem where I live.  Anything that can be washed, wiped down with alcohol, or at least tumbled dried for 45 minutes, I consider safe.  So, some baby items present a problem.  If we had a deep freeze, I'd stick the items in there for a few days.  I know this sounds paranoid, but I don't want to go through that again.  

    Also, check out crunchybetty.com.  She has lots of great eco-friendly beauty products you can make at home.  

    I, also, garden.  I don't know if it saves us much money with it just being the two of us, but with kids I think it will.  Seems like I get so many veggies at once that I have to give them away.  Don't have much freezer room, and now that I work full-time I'm not really into canning anymore.  But what's weird is my garden makes me nauseous now, bc I have a veggie aversion with all this MS.  Haha.  
  • You probably already know this, but use cloth diapers, if you still have a little one. They are not the work people assume they are, and are so much more efficient than disposables, as well as being eco-friendly. 
    Life is Exciting
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  • I make my own laundry detergent. Really easy recipe. One bar of castile soap (Dr. Bronner's unscented baby or Kirk's. I don't like the smell of Kirk's myself. I don't use a lot of smells in my house so to me it's strong, but the Dr. Bronner's is twice as expensive as Kirk's) and two cups of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda. Some people use borax but I have been leaving it out because of the baby. It still works great. My sister uses it and works in a deli, her clothes never smell bad. It works great on stains except poopy, which I just leave out in the sun and they're gone. I grate the soap bar down then put it in with the washing soda and blend it in the blender into a powder. Two tablespoons per load. I use this with my cloth diapers and haven't had any problems.
    I also use vinegar on arm pits stains and B.O. Do a mixture of vinegar and some water, saturate the armpits with it, let it dry, overnight usually, then wash.

    Good luck!
    crsanchez87
  • These are some great tips!
    We cloth diapered, breastfed and had mostly hand-me-downs to save money on baby and be Eco-conscious.

    One tip a lot of people mention is homemade detergent which can be great on clothes but it a terrible idea for cloth diapers. They can cause a multitude of issues.

    We also swapped out our car for a car share system. We live downtown in a larger city so the infrastructure is there for us (10 cars within a 10 minute walk of our home). It saves us loads of money and it isn't any harder with a now toddler than before we had him.
    Life is Excitingmthoomom
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