Wednesday, December 28, 2011

6 Ways To Earn an Income a.k.a Make Money



Since categorizing myself as a work-at-home mom/wife/homemaker, empowering women in their quest toward becoming grass-roots entrepreneurs is something I am sincerely passionate about.

Women all over the world are beginning to leave the industrial workforce in order to rediscover the joys of keeping the home. We are in the early stages of witnessing homes returning to their rightful places as units of production. With that said, I strongly believe stay-at-home moms will continue to play a vital role as financial contributor to the family by:

  • working hard to saving money.
  • looking for creative ways to earn money from home.
  • rearing children that are emotionally filled to the brim and therefore content with less.

There are so many different avenues for women to generate income without having to neglect their highest priorities of being a wife and mother. Listed below are just a few sustainable ideas. Most of these I have personally found to be profitable in the past, or I am currently seeking out as possible ventures for the coming year.

6 Ideas For Generating Income From Home

1. Grow and sell fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Not only will growing your own groceries save on super-market purchases, but it has the potential to generate a bit of income during the growing season. Selling at local farmer's markets and to your spouse's co-workers can easily cover the costs of growing the produce and put a few extra dollars in your pocket.

2. Raise your own chickens and sell the eggs. 12-15 backyard hens could give you a couple dozen extra eggs each week, over what your family can consume. Free-range eggs are selling for $4-$5 dollars a dozen in my neck of the woods, this could potentially add $60-$100 per month to our budget. Obviously, the more hens you have the more money you make; and, if you are lucky enough to have a large grassy area, your cost of feed will be dramatically reduced.

3. Start plants from seed. This growing season it is my goal to start plants from seed and sell the transplants to neighbors, co-workers, and at my local farmer's market. Growing and selling organic, heirloom plants can bring in $2-$3 per plant, effortlessly covering the cost of a packet of seeds. Depending on the market in your area this can generate a lot of money come spring.

4. Begin making and selling herbal remedies. Start now planning your medicinal herb garden. Keep it small and manageable, growing those herbs that you are interested in. Learn to make tinctures, salves, and syrups. In mid-summer start asking family and friends if they will consider hosting herbal remedies parties for you (think cookware parties and jewelry parties) and start your own herbal remedy party business. See my inspiration for this here...

5. Blog. If you are passionate about something and have a lot to say about it, you should consider blogging. The Internet is massive and there is a niche out there perfect for you! Sure...there is a risk in blogging, isn't there in everything? I can tell you this, blogging has been one of the easiest, most difficult things I've ever done (Wait, did she just say easiest, most difficult? Okay, just making sure!) I have only been blogging for 3 months, so I am by no means qualified to give you advice; but here are a few people that I really respect who have a lot to say on the topic:

6. Sell your stuff. Declutter, down-size, reorganize, whatever you call it, just get rid of the excess. Here are a few tips for profiting off of your stuff:

One last word of caution. During desperate times we can become hasty in our decisions. There are a lot of evil people trying to make a buck on offering stupid work from home opportunities. Unfortunately, I've learned that there aren't many sustainable get-rich-quick options out there. Don't fall victim to their scams!

YOU have what it takes to be successful! Look no further than yourself.



See this post and a host of others like it here: Simple Lives Thursday, Your Green Resource, Show Off Your Stuff

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways #7


The Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways Wednesday Blog Hop


Welcome to Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways Wednesday, this is a blog hop! It is my hope that together we can create an amazing collection of frugal and sustainable ideas that will be an excellent resource for all of our readers. Please feel free to link-up and share as many posts as you would like pertaining to:

  • Homesteading Notions
  • Anything DIY or Homemade
  • Frugal Recipes (we like real food 'round here)
  • Preparedness/Survival
  • Repurposed Projects
  • Upcycled Frugal Finds
  • Animal Care
  • Natural Gardening Tips
  • Herbal Remedies
  • Green Cleaners

The list could go on...

Basically, anything that you think will build and encourage our community.

This Week's Featured Posts

I want to say a big, huge thank you to all of you who participated last week!

Here are the most clicked on posts, in order, from last week:



 
1. 12 Easy Steps to be More Frugal and Green. Written by Maria of Our Heavenly Homestead.
 
2. Natural Hair Care Documentation. Written by Jessica of Mosquito Creek Farm.
 
 

3. Homemade Hand Sanitizer. Written by Susie of Our Simple Farm.


Congratulations!!! Please feel free to grab my "featured" button below and place it within your post or on your side bar.




Please Note: I share my personal favorites on my facebook page throughout the week!

It's Time To Share Your Posts

Bloggers, use the linky tool on the bottom of this post to share your best post. Non-bloggers, feel free to add a comment here with any ideas or thoughts you have concerning frugal and/or sustainable living. Every week I will be featuring the most viewed posts so link-up your best ones:)

When linking your posts, there are only a couple simple guidelines I'd like for you to follow:

1. Remain sensitive to the mission of Frugally Sustainable. Frugally Sustainable exists to be a resource for all things frugal and sustainable. Therefore, in order to maintain the integrity of the mission, share your best posts - old or new - on anything pertaining to frugality and sustainability.

2. Please link your posts back to our blog hop. Linking back here helps build our little community by sending your readers to all of the other posts shared. Grab the Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways button below by installing the html into your post. Or simply create a text link somewhere:)




What will you share this week? I am so looking forward to your submissions! Remember: My favorite posts will be shared on my facebook page!!!


Here we go!

Non-Greasy Homemade Moisturizing Lotion

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Finally!

A homemade lotion that I can use throughout the day without my skin feeling like a grease pit!

As a family, we usually go through several bottles of lotion during the cold, winter months. But, I must say that I have been generally unhappy with the homemade recipes I have tried in the past for several reasons:

  • Many recipes contain borax (love borax for cleaning, not so much on my skin).
  • They're just to greasy. Like "can't hold on to anything" greasy.
  • Some recipes involve ingredients that are hard to find.

And the lotions I find on store shelves are:

  • super expensive
  • they don't work
  • ladened with chemical preservatives that I'm not okay with 

For all of these reasons, I decided to continue on my quest for the perfect non-greasy homemade moisturizing lotion.

I've finally found it and now, as always, I'm sharing it with you!

Lotion Making Method


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Gather the Ingredients

-1 cup aloe vera gel
-1 teaspoon vitamin E oil
-3/4 ounce beeswax, grated or broken into small pieces
-1/2 cup almond or grapeseed oil
-1 tablespoon cocoa butter (I added this for a slightly more luxurious lotion during the winter, but this is optional.)
-10 drops essential oils of choice (optional)

Directions:


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With a makeshift double boiler, over low heat, melt beeswax and oils.

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In a medium-sized bowl, combine aloe vera gel, vitamin E oil, and essential oils.

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Pour the melted oils into a blender and allow them to cool to room temperature. This is a vital step in order to prevent separation. Once cooled, with blender on low speed, slowly and continuously pour in aloe vera mixture. Run a rubber spatula aganist the sides of the blender to incorporate all ingredients. Blend until the mixture has the look and feel of lotion. Note: This step may also be performed in a mixing bowl with the use of a handheld electric mixer.  

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Pour the lotion into sterilized jars. You can use sterilized canning jars if you have them on hand. I keep a jar on the bathroom counter and one in the refrigerator. The lotion will keep for up to 6 weeks in the refrigerator.
 

Notes

-Almond oil and grapeseed oil are readily absorbed by the skin thereby leaving the non-greasy feeling.

-My favorite essential oil combination for this lotion is geranium and lime!

-This lotion is not only perfectly moisturizing for these winter months, but with the addition of aloe gel, I anticipate this recipe will carry me through the summer as well! I think it's going to be perfect for those after-to-much-sun days.

-Best of all, I like that this recipe contains NO chemicals. It is as pure as any healthy, nutritious food you would eat. Rubbing something into your skin is the same as putting it into your mouth, so I’d rather use good things like almond oil, aloe vera, and natural beeswax. Not to mention, this lotion costs a fraction of the retail price when compared to it's commercially-prepared counterparts.

-To purchase ingredients needed for this recipe look in your local health food store or order online through Mountain Rose Herbs.

Pin It


See this post and a host of others like it here: Crafty Sasse, Deep Roots At Home, Raising Homemakers, Women Living Well, Crystal & Co., Real Food Wednesday, Simple Lives Thursday, Your Green Resource, Show Off Your Stuff

Monday, December 26, 2011

Simple Homemade Remedies For A Variety of Respiratory Illnesses


It's the holiday season, and with all of the festivities that can mean...large family gatherings, crowded shopping centers, parties, shaking hands, hugs and kisses all around! It's a breeding ground for the spread of a variety of ailments that effect our respiratory systems.

You know what I'm talking about--runny noses, sore throats, bronchitis, asthma, coughs, and earaches.

Unfortunately modern medicine has made its attempt to fool many of us into believing that the simple, homemade remedies of days-gone-by are no longer beneficial. In fact, it is estimated that Americans spend nearly $4.4 billion on over-the-counter cold and cough remedies. Amazingly, there is no evidence to prove that many of these remedies have any effect at all.

Most of the commercially-prepared products we can buy actually set their aim on suppressing symptoms rather than preventing or curing them.

Homemade Remedies For Respiratory Illnesses

Medicine cabinets stocked with healing herbs from the garden, and pantries packed full with nutritionally dense foodstuffs, provide some of the finest curative powers that have been known for centuries--and have been proven to be easy on the wallet as well!

The Common Cold
  • The many benefits of homemade chicken broth are being researched and they are finding that the science behind this "old wives' tale" is in fact an effect treatment for the common cold. Try this Garlicky Chicken Broth.
  • Enjoy a sandwich made of whole-grain bread (homemade is best), raw yellow onion, a half-inch of grated horseradish, one slice of cheddar cheese and brown mustard.
  • Use garlic, yellow onions, parsley, and thyme frequently in your cooking (thyme and parsley contain an extremely high amount of vitamin C).
  • Drink several cups of warm honey/lemon water daily.
  • Wash your hands.
  • Keep the indoor thermostat set at 68 degrees F or below.
  • Humidify the air with a stove top pan full of water, cinnamon and cloves. 

Coughs

Sore Throat

Asthma
  • Drink horehound tea.
  • Suck on Horehound Lozenges.
  • Drink chamomile tea (a natural antihistamine).
  • Add chamomile flowers to hot water and inhale the steam.
  • Incorporate raw, local honey into the diet.
  • Consume 1 tablespoon of white mustard seeds in water or molasses twice a day.

Notes

-Fevers are often associated with respiratory illnesses. See Natural Treatment of Fevers.

-If there are symptoms of an earache, whip up some of this.

Pin It

See this post and a host of others like it here: Fat Tuesday, Handmade Tuesday, Tutorial Tuesday, Terrific Under Ten Tuesday, Traditional Tuesday, Teach Me Tuesday, Crafty Sasse, Real Food Wednesday


DISCLAIMER: Please remember that I am not a doctor and have no authority to diagnosis an illness. The statements made here are simply my own opinion and have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. These statements are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure or prevent any disease. This notice is required by the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. Seek the advice of your medical professional before using any of these remedies.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Decluttering After Christmas: How To Make Purging Your Stuff Profitable

In the aftermath of Christmas morning, I find myself going around picking up tape stuck in the carpet, bits of wrapping paper laying all around, and little toy parts all throughout the house.

The older toys have been pushed aside for newer, shinier ones; and my organizational/decluttering self is starting to kick in.

But before I go and throw it all away, I want to make this post-Christmas purge a profitable one!

Here are a few useful tips on how to turn a profit when purging your stuff.

Start by labeling 3 boxes "Sell It", "Give It Away", and "Maybe." Today I set out to conquer the toy closet and the two kid's rooms. Setting aside a couple hours, I was totally able to knock it out. Remember, we really don't have that much to begin with; and, this will look different for everyone, but here are the basics:

  • "Sell It." Certain items such as gently used toys, DVD's, and clothing should be sold on craigslist.org, ebay.com, at a yard sale, or my personal favorite, sold at the consignment shop (My local consignment shop gives a very generous store credit percentage. So much so, that I always have a credit and rarely ever have to spend money on clothes for the children.)
  • "Give It Away." This box is for items that I know I couldn't sell or would bring in to little profit for my effort. This is the Goodwill box. Note: If you're planning to give things away, be sure to get them over to the donation center before the New Year so as to receive a donation tax credit for this year.
  • "Maybe." Not ready to commit to selling it or giving it away? Put it in the "Maybe" box. These are items that may save me money later on; but right now, I need them out of the mix. These could be items to re-gift, seasonal things, or pieces useful for future projects.

Notes:

-Enlist the help of the children! Make them part of the process. I find that it helps increase the value and respect for their belongings.

-Set aside a few hours for this project (or 15 minutes if that's all the time you have). I say do whatever works best for you. This is simply my strategy for decluttering. For me, it’s more beneficial to set aside a few hours of the day, or an entire morning, to declutter a closet or a room. I like to do it all at once, because when I’m done, I feel amazing!

-Work quickly. Don't deliberate over every item, make quick decisions and move on.

-After your work is done...sit back and celebrate your newly decluttered space and a few extra bucks in your pocket!




Join us for the 23 Day Frugal Living Challenge where we will discuss in greater detail the art of decluttering and preventing the impulse buys that get us into this position to begin with.

Share with us your decluttering strategies!

See this post and a host of others like it here: Show It Off, Monday Mania, Homestead Barn Hop, Made By You Monday, Mad Skills, The Girl Creative, Homemaker Monday, Fat Tuesday, Handmade Tuesday, Tutorial Tuesday, Terrific Under Ten Tuesday, Traditional Tuesday, Teach Me Tuesday, Crafty Sasse, Deep Roots At Home, Raising Homemakers, Women Living Well, Crystal & Co.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

To Those Who Are Lonely

Christmas is without a doubt the most wonderful time of year in my book! I love everything about it (with the exception of all the hyper-consumerism). It's not only the joy of Christmas, but it's the entire season of holidays and festivities that bring such a blessed feeling.

Above all, I am so grateful for the presence of my family.

However, today my heart is burdened for those who are lonely. You may be going through this holiday season without family, or anyone for that matter, and I imagine that is an extremely difficult thing. On the other side of the coin, the very thing that causes me to rejoice today, could be the thing that causes you the most pain.

This is not to say that all of those who are alone are unhappy. I just think for some, this time of year has the potential to be a spring board into loneliness and depression.

And to those who are lonely, here are some encouraging suggestions:

1. Embrace and Forgive. We don't necessarily have to be alone to experience loneliness. It could be in the midst of family gathering or large company parties, that the intense feeling of loneliness sets in! Perhaps you are mourning the loss of a dear loved one? I challenge you to embrace those around you. And if it is forgiveness that is needed, give it freely (whether it be toward others or yourself). We are not promised more than today.
2. Volunteer. George Matthew Adams said, “Let us remember that the Christmas heart is a giving heart, a wide-open-heart that thinks of others first.” The true spirit of Christmas is realized when we serve those who are less fortunate than us. Volunteering helps us to realize how blessed we truly are, not to mention the good feeling we get from helping others. Open your heart to those around you that may be feeling just as lonely. Trust me, there is a local organization still in need of volunteers during these holidays.
3. Keep it simple but festive. In an attempt to ward off any unnecessary stress, attempt to keep it simple but festive. On top of everything else on the to-do list, multiple holiday parties and get-together's can send us into overdrive. It's all about balance! I suggest getting into the Christmas mood by: 
  • attending a few parties with close friends 
  • playing Christmas music
  • decorating your home
  • celebrating another year of life
Remaining simply festive just may help in healing your heart.
4. Spend time with friends who may be lonely too. Complementary to suggestion 3, spend time with those in your life who are like-minded and may be lonely also. Opening yourself up to others can provide encouragement and a platform for sharing similar life experiences. But don't wait to be invited...you do the inviting:)
5. Avoid excessive indulgences. Many times when we feel lonely we resort to one of two things: overeating or alcohol. However, indulging in these two things will never fill the void we are experiencing. Instead, we know that these things lead to a deeper depressed state. Key word here: moderation.
6. Pursue those things that make you come alive and live your passion. The new year is coming. Spend this time, over the holidays, considering those things that make you come alive! Set new, attainable goals, join the 23 Day Frugal Living Challenge, and start living your passion!

How do you combat loneliness during the holiday season?

Disclaimer: Please remember that these suggestions are only my opinion, I'm no professional. If you find yourself in a really bad spot, please seek professional assistance.

Inspiration for this post came from this post.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Horehound Lozenges: The Homemade Remedy For Sore Throats, Coughs, and Asthma


Horehound is a perennial herb from the mint family. Known for it's bitter taste and incredible curative properties, it is used primarily in the treatment of respiratory and bronchial illnesses--such as sore throats, coughs, and asthma.

It acts as an expectorant as it loosens phlegm in the chest. Marrubiin, one of the compounds in horehound, stimulates bronchial secretions thereby helping to break up congestion. Research also indicates that marrubiin acts as an antibiotic as well as an anti-viral.

Additional Benefits of Horehound

In addition to the respiratory system, horehound is also beneficial for the digestive system. In fact, horehound may help with all of the following:

  • Intestinal gas
  • Nausea
  • Parasites
  • Jaundice
  • Sore Throats
  • Cough
  • The common cold
  • Asthma

Horehound is often prepared as a syrup or tea. However, our family prepares horehound lozenges to have on hand for a quick go-to remedy, should the need arise.

Horehound Lozenge Recipe


Ingredients

-1 cup dried horehound leaves
-1 cup water
-1 1/2 cup raw, local honey

Equipment

-stainless steel pot
-cheesecloth
-spoon
-cookie sheet
-candy thermometer (optional)

Directions:
  1. In a small stainless steel pot, boil the horehound leaves and water, covered, for 25 minutes.
  2. Cool and strain the mixture using a cheesecloth.
  3. Reserve the liquid and compost the leaves.
  4. Add the honey to the liquid, return to the pot, and bring to a boil once again.
  5. Once boiling reduce to a simmer.
  6. Cook mixture, stirring constantly, until the syrup reaches 300 degree F (this will take a while). Or, if you're like me and don't have a candy thermometer, use the "test" (see below).
  7. Grease a cookie sheet with butter or coconut oil and pour in the syrup.
  8. When the syrup has cooled and is pliable, begin pulling off small piece and rolling between the palms of greased hand, form a small ball. Work quickly as the mixture hardens pretty fast. I like to institute the help of little hands! The children love helping at this step:)
  9. Allow lozenges to cool on pan.
  10. Store in a cool, dry place.
Notes

-The "test." I do not own a candy thermometer so I use the "test" method when making this remedy. To insure that the syrup has reached the right temperature/consistency, I place just a drop or two of the syrup into a bowl full of ice water. If the syrup turns and stays hard (like a cough drop) then you know it's ready. If it is still soft and sticky, it needs to keep cooking.

-Yes, these lozenges will have a slightly bitter taste. That is part of what makes them so effective as an expectorant.

-The yield is dependent on the size of your drops. I like to make some larger for adults and some smaller for the children.

-I purchase some of my herbs from a local health food store that sells herbs in bulk. Otherwise, I like to purchase from Mountain Rose Herbs or The Bulk Herb Store.

-Check here to find a source for raw, local honey.

Pin It


See this post and a host of others like it here: Your Green Resource, Frugal Friday, Friday Favorites, Fight Back Friday, Living Well, Nifty Thrify Things, Show It Off, Monday Mania, Homestead Barn Hop, Made By You Monday, Mad Skills, The Girl Creative, Homemaker Monday, Fat Tuesday, Handmade Tuesday, Tutorial Tuesday, Show Off Your Stuff

DISCLAIMER: The statements made here are the sole opinion of the author and have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. These statements are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure or prevent any disease. This notice is required by the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. Please consult a medical professional prior to using this remedy.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways #6


The Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways Wednesday Blog Hop


Welcome to Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways Wednesday, this is a blog hop! It is my hope that together we can create an amazing collection of frugal and sustainable ideas that will be an excellent resource for all of our readers. Please feel free to link-up and share as many posts as you would like pertaining to:

  • Homesteading Notions
  • Anything DIY or Homemade
  • Frugal Recipes (we like real food 'round here)
  • Preparedness/Survival
  • Repurposed Projects
  • Upcycled Frugal Finds
  • Animal Care
  • Natural Gardening Tips
  • Herbal Remedies
  • Green Cleaners

The list could go on...

Basically, anything that you think will build and encourage our community.

This Week's Featured Posts

I want to say a big, huge thank you to all of you who participated last week! What a great resource and inspiration this is becoming! Here are the most clicked on posts, in order, from last week:

1. A New Blog About Living Off The Grid. Written by Glo D of Off the Grid at -30.

Post image for Baking Day 12/9
2. A Week of Freezer Meals In an Hour. Written by Merissa of Little House on the Prairie Living.
3. Feeding a Family of 6 For $200/month. Written by Breana of This Mama Says......


Congratulations!!! Please feel free to grab my "featured" button below and place it within your post or on your side bar.






Please Note: I share my personal favorites on my facebook page throughout the week!

It's Time To Share Your Posts

Bloggers, use the linky tool on the bottom of this post to share your best post. Non-bloggers, feel free to add a comment here with any ideas or thoughts you have concerning frugal and/or sustainable living. Every week I will be featuring the most viewed posts so link-up your best ones:)

When linking your posts, there are only a couple simple guidelines I'd like for you to follow:

1. Remain sensitive to the mission of Frugally Sustainable. Frugally Sustainable exists to be a resource for all things frugal and sustainable. Therefore, in order to maintain the integrity of the mission, share your best posts - old or new - on anything pertaining to frugality and sustainability.

2. Please link your posts back to our blog hop. Linking back here helps build our little community by sending your readers to all of the other posts shared. Grab the Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways button below by installing the html into your post. Or simply create a text link somewhere:)






What will you share this week? I am so looking forward to your submissions! Remember: My favorite posts will be shared on my facebook page!!!


Here we go!

Localism: 8 Steps To Encourage Sustainability In Our Communities

Do you ever get the feeling like we are a part of something so much bigger than ourselves? It almost seems as if there is another great awakening brewing...and it excites me! 

Yesterday the kids and I drove out to a local farm for a private farm tour. "Tonopah Rob" is probably one of the nicest individuals you'll ever meet. He so graciously showed me around while Josie, Jenna, and Isaiah ran the length of his 5 acres, petted the turkeys, and heckled the chickens.


He operates a pretty cool CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program in my community and he loves to have people out to the farm. He shared with me his desperate need for more land due to the growth of the CSA this past year and as he plans for this coming year, he's already having to put families on the waiting list.

I am proud to support him and I am proud to call him my farmer!

A Growing Movement

You see, "Tonopah Rob" is not a lone wolf by any means. This movement is not happening just here in my community, it's happening everywhere! Look around...there are small, locally-owned shops, farmers markets, and restaurants using locally grown foods in nearly every town.


I feel like our communities are entering into some sort of sensational renaissance through a silent revolution!

8 Steps To Encourage Sustainability In Our Communities

So how can you encourage local sustainability in your own community? Attempt to follow these 8 steps and begin supporting your neighbors now:


{Step 1}
Consider what local sustainability looks like for you in your community. Every one of us live in very different communities. What works for me may not work for you. This is often due to climate, terrain, or population. Find what is functional in your current setting.

{Step 2}
Define your values and live by them without compromise. If you don't believe in it...don't buy it. This step will not only encourage sustainability but it will also save you money:) These days, there are few things that I can buy that I truly believe in.

{Step 3}
Identify and build relationships with local farmers. Begin communicating with them your food preferences, remember they are beginning to plan now for spring gardens and markets. Your opinion is their livelihood. Embrace those seasonal foods that grow well in your area. You can find farmers in your areas using these links:

{Step 4}
Frequent farmer's markets in order to learn the diversity of products that are created in your community. Awareness of the local resources available to meet your needs helps promote a vibrant, sustainable economy.

{Step 5}
Reduce box and chain store shopping. There may not be a suitable local substitution to all the items we require. However, choosing to spend the majority of our money locally will, by default, reduce our dependence on box stores and chains.

{Step 6}
Seek out like-minded people. Whether it be in your neighborhood, through your place of worship, or at your children's sporting events, start sharing with people the lifestyle changes that you are experiencing and bring them along side of you. For example, the next time I go out to visit "Tonopah Rob" I'm taking someone with me.

{Step 7}
Join a local bartering group or start one of your own. Bartering is the money of the future.

{Step 8}
Offer your expertise, lend a helping hand, and volunteer with local charities. Historically, my focus has been on helping others in 3rd world countries, you know, those people who really need my help. But what I have neglected are those people who really need help here in my own town. My town, my state, my country, and my world.




Now it's your turn! Are you sensing a societal shift? Why is this movement toward localism and sustainability so important?

Join the discussion here in the comments or on our facebook page.


Inspirational Source:

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Shampoo Bar Soap Recipe


I begin my journey into soap making almost 2 years ago. It all started when I read this post and began to understand how easy and cost-effective making my own really is!

I am by no means a soap making expert. I usually stick to pretty basic recipes and I haven't experimented much with scents or creative designs.

Hot processed soap is the way to go for me. Cold processed takes a long time to cure and I'm just to impatient for that! (Okay...don't freak out if you have no idea what I just said! Stay with me on this!)

Determine Your Method

There are so many recipes and soap-making methods out there. If you are new to soap making I strongly suggest you read through these super informative posts and find what will work for you. Here are just a few:


I would also recommend borrowing a few of these books from the library if you really find yourself wanting to know more:


Why shampoo bar soap and not just baking soda?

What a great question! I'm so happy you asked (smile). I have found that baking soda has more of a clarifying effect on my hair. Even after a vinegar rinse, my hair is still very dry and it doesn't feel conditioned.

I have long hair and I was so frustrated. I could hardly even brush through it. This even after a month of allowing my hair the transition away from commercially-prepared product.

I really didn't want to be dependent on store-bought shampoo! I know about all of the nasty, toxic chemicals in it  and they kind of freak my out. With more people bringing awareness to the problem, I knew it was time to commit to a change.

So I set out to create a solution!

Gather The Supplies

Alright! Here we go. It's time to gather all of the supplies and ingredients. If you are new to soap making there is going to be an initial start up cost. But, I'm going to recommend to you the suppliers that I have found to have the cheapest prices. And the savings in the long run are huge!

Lye

I purchase lye, sodium hydroxide, online through The Soap Dish. Last time I checked I was $6.95 for a 32 oz container. This will get you through quite a bit of soap recipes and lasts a long time!

You will need to run your recipe through a lye calculator to be sure that you are using the proper amount of lye and liquid (i.e. water, coconut milk, goat's milk, etc.). I use the recommended amount of lye for a 5% superfat soap. (Trust me, this will make more sense when you start working with the lye calculator.)

Do you really want to learn a sustainable practice? Check out this information on making homemade lye from wood ashes!

Note: Be careful when working with lye and follow all of the recommended precautions. What I'm trying to say is, I can not be held responsible for any craziness, mishaps, explosions, etc. that may happen when working with this recipe. 

Oils

Shop around for the cheapest oil prices. I like to purchase from a combination of local stores, The Soap Dish, and Mountain Rose Herbs.

You can design the properties of your soap based on the oils you use. For example, use:

  • Lard or tallow for a hard, long-lasting soap
  • Coconut or castor oil for lathering
  • Olive or canola oil for moisturizing and conditioning properties
  • Cocoa butter, shea butter, and jojoba oil for a luxurious, extra moisturizing effect

Have fun and experiment!

Equipment

Most of the equipment you will need can be found in your kitchen. I do not have appointed tools for soap making simply because I use glass and stainless steel bowls and utensils. However, it would be necessary to have tools specifically for this task if you were to use wood or plastic.

See this exhaustive list of recommended equipment, tools, and molds.

Note: I do have a dedicated crock pot for soap making. It is an older model that I purchased from the thrift store for $4. The older models don't seem to get as hot and that is a good thing.

Now on to the recipe!

Luxurious Shampoo Bar Soap Recipe

-9 ounces coconut oil
-9 ounces olive oil
-5 ounces castor oil
-3 ounces jojoba oil
-2 ounces shea butter
-2 ounces cocoa butter
-1 ounce beeswax
*Please note, all amounts are per weight. You will need to use a scale for these measurements.

-4 ounces water
-6 ounces coconut milk
-4 ounces lye
*You could use only water, an herbal infusion, or any other type of milk. This is just my preference for a shampoo bar, because I love the conditioning properties of coconut milk.

Optional Essential Oils
-Rosemary and peppermint for dark hair
-Lavender and lemon for blonde hair
-Lime and coconut for all types
*Use approximately 0.5-1 ounce of essential oils for this recipe. Yes they are a fun addition, but not necessary.

Directions:
  1. Place the water and coconut milk into a large glass measuring cup.
  2. Measure out the lye by weight into a 1 cup measuring glass.
  3. Carefully add the lye into the liquid and stir to combine. (Adding the liquid to the lye could cause and eruption.) Be careful, the liquid is caustic and not to be touched in anyway. The outside of the bowl will be extremely hot as well. Note: Take the necessary lye precautions with this step. 
  4. Allow the lye mixture to stay under a vent and cool down while you prepare the oils.
  5. Measure all oils, by using a kitchen scale, and pour into a pot.
  6. Warm oils and beeswax on low heat until all are melted.
  7. Pour melted oils into a crock pot. Be sure the crock pot is on the lowest setting. Note: Do not allow the oils to get to hot.
  8. Add the lye/liquid mixture to the oils in the crock pot and stir. Note: Any equipment the lye touches needs to be neutralized in a mixture of vinegar, soap, and water. Vinegar will neutralize the lye.
  9. After a brief stir, grab your stick blender and get to work! Blend the oils, lye, and liquid in the crock pot for at least 3-5 minutes. We are working toward "trace."
  10. Blend until the mixture becomes a thick, pudding like consistency. 
  11. Once the mixture is pudding-like, cover the crock pot and "cook" the soap for approximately 1 hour.
  12. By the end, the mixture should have folded in on itself and it should be completely transparent. Turn off the crock pot.
  13. Now it's time to prepare the molds. I just use a standard glass loaf pan greased with coconut oil and it's always worked perfectly. 
  14. Now is the time to add the essential oils (if using).
  15. Spoon soap mixture into molds.
  16. Allow soap to cool and harden for 24 hours.
  17. Remove from mold on to cutting board and cut into 1 inch thick bars.
  18. Place bars on a tray with good airflow so that they can harden further. But go ahead and use your first bar!!!

The Savings

This recipe costs approximately $8-$10. It produces approximately 10 shampoo bars. They will keep our family of five in supply for 6 months. That makes it all worth the effort!

Notes

-I'm telling you, this is the most amazing natural hair product I have used! My hair is so shiny, soft, and manageable. And the real test...my husband even uses this shampoo bar soap and LOVES it!

-When showering, be sure to complete the use of this shampoo bar soap with a 1 part apple cider vinegar and 3 part water conditioning hair rinse. I like to put this in a spray bottle and spray my hair with it just prior to leaving the shower. I do not rinse it out (more conditioning that way). The smell of vinegar will dissipate once the hair dries.

-I'm sure there is something I have left out! So if you have any questions leave them in the comments or ask them on my facebook page.



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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Simply Clean: DIY Solutions For A Naturally Clean Home

Tired of spending tons of money to clean your home? Are you sick of exposing your family to the dangerous, chemical-laden commercial products?

What if you could learn how to clean your home by using 5 simple, frugal, and natural products? What if by doing this you could save your family hundreds, maybe even thousands, of dollars a year?

Simply Clean is your answer!

In this book, we will walk through each room of the home and learn simple cleaning methods based on the folk recipes of days gone by!

$2.99

Add to Cart

By purchasing Simply Clean you will gain immediate access to the following:
  • 30+ tried and true natural homemade cleaner recipes for every room of the home.
  • A list of simple, money-saving, and non-toxic ingredients you will need to get started.
  • Tips to save you hundreds, maybe even thousands, of dollars each year. The more DIY recipes you make, the more you save!
  • Money-making potential! Whip up some of these recipes and start selling your own homemade cleaners!
  • Support in your journey away from hyper-consumerism; and the ability to take one more step toward decreasing your dependence on commercially-prepared products.
  • The tools necessary to revive forgotten wisdom—revived wisdom that can once again be transferred through the generations.

At $2.99 this book will pay for itself when you make your first batch of all-purpose cleaner!

$2.99

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It is important to note that…you do not need an ipad, ipod, Kindle, etc. in order to read this ebook. Upon your purchase through paypal, Simply Clean will be delivered to you in a .pdf file which you can open and read instantly on any computer. There is no extra special equipment or software needed. All you will have to do is open the file and begin reading!

Kindle version to be available soon.



Affiliate Program
Click Here To Learn About Our Affiliate Program

If you love this book, you may want to consider signing up for the affiliate program. It’s super simple, and you just might be able to make all your money back (and a ton more!) by participating in this program.

All the information you will need is on this page, but basically, I’ll give you 50% of the sales you generate. In other words, if you love the book and can sincerely recommend it as a valuable resource to others, you can make a little extra cash, and you'll be able to help a lot of other people save money in the process! Click here for more info…

Final Note

In an attempt for full disclosure, I will tell you that approximately 50% of these recipes can be found for free in the archives of Frugally Sustainable. The benefit of buying this ebook is for ease of use. Instead of searching through posts, all of your recipes will be neatly organized in one place. Not to mention, 50% of it is new material!

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Time Barrier

Living in these modern times, there are so many barriers that hinder our ability to focus on what is important and to live frugally sustainable lives.

I recently posted the question on the wall of my facebook page: "What are some your biggest barriers to sustainable living?" The top 3 overwhelming responses were:
  • Time
  • Money
  • Knowledge
Some of the answers varied, however time was everyone's top concern.

Universally we shout..."I just don't have the time!" But what we really should be saying is, "I'm trying to pack-in too many things into the time I do have."

There's no doubt that we have a poverty of time in our industrialized nations; and, we have been are caught up in the consequences: loss of family structure, anxiety/depression, illness/disease, stress, loss of ingenuity, etc. However, no matter who we are, where we are from, or what language we speak, we all have 24 hours in a day. It's how we choose to spend that time that makes all the difference!

We will find the time to do the things that we value.

It all comes down to mindful, daily decisions. These are what contribute to--or in some cases, take away from--our ability to live meaningful lives.

Consider these statistics

These stats are based on time use during an average work day for those persons employed, with children, and between the ages of 25-54. This is not true for everyone.
  • Working (8.6 hours)
  • Sleeping (7.6 hours)
  • Leisure, watching TV, and sports (2.6 hours)
  • Caring for others (1.2 hours)
  • Household activities (1.1 hours)
  • Eating and drinking (1.1 hours)
  • Miscellaneous (1.8 hours)

How do you spend your time?

Sometimes it helps me to write things out and visualize my reality.

Do you feel as though time is slipping away and you have no idea where it is going? Or perhaps, you feel like you don't have time to do the things you really want to do? Let's evaluate where, when, and how we are spending our time.

Complete the chart below (What I really mean to say is make one like this, but better. Obviously graphic design is not one of my areas of giftedness!). Fill in how you spend your time over the course of a typical day. Include extra activities in the blank spots, but be sure not to go over 24 hours.


Time Spent
(hours)
Work

Sleep

Driving

Household

Meals







Total
24


How do you want to spend your time?

Let's try this again...this time fill out the chart based on how you want to be spending your time. Prioritize these activities based on your values.

What would you love to spend your time doing?


Time Spent
(hours)
Work

Sleep

Driving

Household

Meals







Total
24

Making Changes and Setting New Goals

Resolve today to make a small change, one that will move you closer to spending your time the way YOU want to. This is one of the most important things you can do to move toward living a frugally sustainable life.

Set a new goal!

Let's us know your time saving tips here in the comments. Or, join the discussion on our facebook page




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