What’s a crunchy mom?
Well, there are varying degrees of “crunchy”. However, if you do any of the following, you’re on the spectrum of CRUNCHY!
-drug-free, all-natural births
-breastfeeding and extended breastfeeding
-co-sleeping or bedsharing (yes, they’re two different things)
-using all-natural and organic foods, cleaning products and hygienic products.
I don’t really consider myself a hardcore crunchy mom; I do think I’m “crunchier” than the majority of America because I do 5/7 from my list. But, like I said, there are varying degrees of crunchy.
For example, if I wanted to up my crunch factor, I could:
-buy a hybrid car (but with a family of 6, my choices of hybrid cars are extremely limited)
-ONLY shop organic and local (I try to do my best with this. I’d say 85% of our food and products are organic and I enjoy shopping at our local Farmer’s Market.. but most of the time, I’m shopping at Fresh&Easy)
-use my backyard for a luscious garden to grow my own food (which I fully intend on doing, but we just moved and our backyard project is on the backburner unfortunately)
-homeschool (right now, that wouldn’t be an option.. for my own sanity. But I do plan on homeschooling once the kids are all older and less dependent on having my attention 24/7)
-and if I *REALLY* wanted to get all hippyriffic, I could start buying organic materials and making our own clothing…. buuuuuut that will never happen because I cannot sew, crochet or knit to save my life. So, hopefully, nobody ever says, “make me a shirt or I will kill you” because… I will die.
I haven’t always been so crunchy. With my first 3 children, I had epidurals, didn’t breastfeed for very long, didn’t bedshare, bought the cheapest cleaning supplies and hygienic products (which are mostly made of harmful chemicals) and I thought “organic” was just a marketing ploy and didn’t have any health benefits).
Now that I know better (and am SLOWLY transitioning my family’s lifestyle), here are the things I do.. and how I do crunchy the CHEAP way!
Top 3 products I buy in bulk:
#1. Coconut oil and hells ya, I buy the 1 gallon tub. Check out 101 uses for it! I use it mostly for toothpaste, hair gel for the boys and for our skin!
#2. Baking Soda. I use it as a face wash/scrub (just warm water and baking soda, mixed until it makes a paste.. and ta-daaa face wash.. and yes, it totally works.. my skin is bootaful… especially when I use coconut oil on it afterward as a moisturizer. Just remember to wipe off the oil after about 10 minutes if you plan on going out of the house.. otherwise you’ll be supah shiny. I like to let it all soak in though.. I don’t mind the temporary oily feeling). I also use baking soda in my laundry (I used to get all fancy and made homemade laundry detergent… but I ain’t got time fo dat. Okay, I do… but I found that just using baking soda and vinegar with hot water in my washing machine works just as well for us) **I want to add that for laundry, I don’t use fabric softener sheets in the dryer; instead, I use Woolzies. Mine are unscented, but sometimes I will add a couple drops of lavender essential oil to them! I also use baking soda, vinegar (and lemon juice) in my dishwasher as well instead of my fancy homemade dishwasher pods. And lastly, baking soda is GREAT for those stuck on messes (especially on the stove). Just make a paste, let it sit for a bit and scrub it off! I do this for my countertops, stove and oven, bathtubs and sinks.
#3. Vinegar. Did you know that vinegar is a natural disinfectant? It is! Sure, it smells… but the smell goes away once it dries. So, I use it to disinfect my countertops, bathtubs, sinks and the kids’ toys. It also works great as a window and mirror cleaner!
So, what about other hygienic stuff? A common misconception is that you need all those chemicals to keep yo stank nasty self in check. But you have to remember that what you put ON your body is just as important as what you put IN your body. So, let’s review my family’s hygienic items:
Shampoo and Conditioner:
My husband and I use Renpure Organics. I was doing the whole “no ‘poo” thing for a while (almost a year!), but truth is, I missed the fruity smells! So, I found the most affordable, organic alternative! I buy it from the Grocery Outlet for less than $4 each.
For the kids, I am still doing the no ‘poo because they’re kids and haven’t hit puberty yet and they don’t care! For Bella’s conditioner/detangler I use organic Argan Oil. (which I also use for my hair since I have dry hair).
baking soda/water paste mixed with essential oil (I like lavender)
I have a Diva Cup .. however, I have yet to use it because I’ve only had ONE period in the last 2.5 years (thank you breastfeeding!!!) and it was so light that I didn’t need it. Sorry, TMI?
We use Nature’s Gate Organics. I typically order it from Amazon for less than $5 and it lasts us a month.
DIY Foaming Hand Soap
I had made a liquid hand soap prior to finding this recipe, but it didn’t lather and that freaked out my husband. He thinks that no lather=not clean (which is not true). 😉
Toilet paper and paper towels:
I won’t lie, sometimes we do “family cloth” (usually when we run out of TP…LOL).. but since we have so many kids, it can get gross since they don’t care to dispose of it as discreetly. I’ll leave that to your imagination. So, I buy Seventh Generation in bulk on Amazon or if I need some in a pinch, I buy the Green Things brand at Fresh&Easy.
Other tips on how to be crunchy the cheap way:
-Use reusable bags (I keep some in my car, some in my stroller and some in my bike that way I don’t ever forget them)! Look around in thrift stores and garage sales so you don’t have to spend $1-$2 on a bag.
-walk or ride your bike instead of driving (luckily, I live in a really small town, so the kids and I usually ride our bikes or walk everywhere). If you live in a bigger city, check out your local transit services. When the kids and I lived in San Diego, we rode the buses and trolleys a lot and even though it took forever to get to some places, the kids thought it was fun; like an adventure!
-RECYCLE! I can’t stress this one enough…. seriously, it’s so easy. So, just do it.
-Have a compost pile or bin! Having one helps a lot especially if you have a garden. I’ve already started my compost buckets so It’ll be ready when I finally get to my garden! Right now, I just have a couple buckets that I drilled holes in the top and bottom to aerate them.. but I plan on doing THIS!
-get rechargeable batteries and dispose of the old ones correctly!
-Use compact fluorescent, LED or halogen bulbs instead of conventional incandescent bulbs.
-cut out as much plastic from your life as you can. Stainless-steel and glass is much better.. my personal favorite are mason jars. I LOVE doing these spill-proof mason jar straw cups and use stainless steel straws.. For plates and bowls, if you have young kids like I do, make sure to use glass that’s durable. Corelle is an excellent substantial brand and these ones are my kids’ favorite so their food doesn’t touch! And I love the thermos Funtainer cups for my kids when they’re away from the table!
-use stainless steel or cast iron pots and pans. Quit using those non-stick pots and pans that are dangerous!
Alright, I think that’s about all I can cram into this blog! I hope you have the time to take a look at the links provided for additional information!
If you have any questions or requests for future blog posts, leave a comment below!