Cleaning & Laundry
Cleaning supplies can really add up. Luckily there's one thing you can make to use all over your entire house! Vinegar mixed with water, add some essential oils to make it smell better and viola, you can clean your bathtub, toilet, floors, counters, and windows for just a couple of bucks. Not only is it inexpensive but it's 100% safe for your family and the environment.
Speaking of vinegar, ditch those fabric softener sheets and just use some vinegar during your wash. Even "all natural" fabric softeners contain toxic ingredients. I haven't even had to use fabric softener at all with my Country Save detergent, but the vinegar really works in softening and brightening them up.
Make some wool dryer balls. Forget the PVC dryer balls (PVC is toxic! I will come back to this one), wool is the way to go. You can make some yourself using this tutorial, it's super easy! It will cut down on your drying time and fluff up your clothes.
Grow your own food! You don't need a ton of space. Even if you have just a balcony you can grow some food vertically. You can plant small pots of herbs and spices, grow tomatoes vertically, you can even grow potatoes vertically in old tires or an old garbage can with holes in the bottom.
If you have space invest in some chickens. For the price of one carton of cage free organic eggs you can buy two day old baby chicks. You do need to initially invest some money into them, but if you can find things like a dog house or fencing on craigslist for cheap or free then you won't need to invest much! Chickens start laying eggs when they are around 4-5 months old, they generally lay about 1 egg per day, so you could have two chickens and be set! Not only will you have delicious, fresh, organic eggs, but you can use their droppings and the hay you lay down for them as compost.
Shop at farmer's markets. You can usually find some good deals at farmer's markets. Buying locally means the amount of energy it takes to get you your food is not much compared to importing food from places all over the world. Not only will you be buying local, but your food was most likely harvested that morning.
Start making your own pastas and breads. You can really save big here. Organic bread and pasta is so expensive, yet so easy to make. All you really need to buy is some organic flour!
Set up a graywater system. This will cost you some money at first but in the long run you will save (and reuse!) - graywater is the non-toilet wastewater produced by your household. Think about all the water that goes down the drain in your bathtub, sinks, and your washing machine. Instead of it being wasted you could reuse that water to water plants or even wash your car. You can also collect rainwater, rainwater can be filtered and used for drinking.
Invest in some organic wool blankets and socks. This will minimize your heat usage in the winter saving you money! You can even get organic wool rugs to keep your floors warm! Wool lasts forever so it will pay for itself in a short amount of time.
Organic beauty products are also pretty pricey. Luckily there's one thing you can use for your hair and your teeth that will not cost you more than $3 a month. Baking soda! I recently came across this blog, Birth Routes. I love it, I sat here reading every entry one night, this is how I learned about no-poo. Read her blog and try it for yourself! It's on my list of things to do once I run out of shampoo. For teeth brushing just mix some with water. If you want you can add a drop of peppermint oil (just a drop, peppermint oil is really strong), and you have an all natural, chemical free toothpaste!