Our Suppliment and Vitamin Routine

(Images and photos are not working currently. I will try to add them again soon.)

Lately, I have had a few friends ask what supplements we use at our house.  I will start out by saying that I am NOT an expert.  I am just a mama who has done quite a bit of research, and have some smart friends who have helped me along the way.

We believe that good nutrition, and a diet full of healthy (when possible) and (mostly) organic foods.  We also believe in traditional ideas about food and its preparation (check out the book Nourshing Tradations). Food is the foundation to a healthy body and immune system. We are most definitely not perfect. We do the best we can with the budget we are working with and the time we have. Some days we eat well, other days we don’t. You have to find a good groove in these areas. It has taken us years to get to this point and we still have a long ways to go.  By taking gradual steps it really has been so fun and not that hard. You will rarely regret the time you spent making a nourishing meal…or that your hubs spends making a nourishing meal. 🙂

With that being said, there are a few different supplements and vitamins we use at our house.

Here is what we are currently giving the children (and often ourselves too).

1) Probiotics. Most people don’t eat a lot of fermented foods, or good quality cultured foods with probiotics.  Many people eat yogurt, but it is often full of sugar which negates a lot of the benefits, or eats a variety that has few strains of the good stuff in it.  Over time we have also decided to limit our dairy consumption somewhat and this is why we supplement with a good probiotic. Why take probiotics? Because approximately 80% of our immune system is located in our digestive system. Having good gut health and flora is crucial to our health in so many ways. Check out this article for more information.

What to look for- Make sure that the probiotics you are buying in the store are refrigerated. Check to see how many “billion” cells per gram the brand has.  The higher the better. Also, the more strains the better  (lactobacillus casei, bifidobacterium breve, etc)

We use Udo’s Choice Infant’s Probiotics for the children right now. It is in a powder form and can be easily shook on top of something they are eating (like applesauce), or mixed with something like a spoonful of elderberry syrup.

Source-I take Udo’s Adult probiotics (about $15 for 60 count)…hubs is working on it. After he got hit hardest with a cold bug I think he is realizing the value even more. These can be purchased from Vitacost, or your local health food store. If ordering probiotics online make sure that they will be “cold shipped” to preserve the good stuff.

If you or a family member has taken antibiotics recently this will be hugely important for you. Get on a good probiotic as soon as possible with the highest “billion” number you can find. Your local health food store can help you with this.  If you are currently on an antibiotic you can start taking a probiotic, just be sure to not take them at the exact same time.  Take your antibiotic, and then a few hours later take your probiotic. Continue the probiotics after your prescription has ended as well.

 

2) Vitamin D- This is a biggie for feeling well and preventing the flu. After the twins were born I was feeling VERY run down and quite miserable. I went to a regular doctor and finally an endocrinologist that ran every test under the sun and took 14 viles of blood. What showed up? Nothing but a vitamin D deficiency (I was also suffering from serious lack of sleep that was contributing as well). People who have great vitamin D levels are FAR more likely to fend off the flu. “The risk of children suffering from flu can be reduced by 50% if they take vitamin D, doctors in Japan have found.”Read more from the source HERE.

Source/Dose-We use Genestra Brands or Biotics D-Mulsion 1000 for the whole family (You can purchase any drops, just modify the dose appropriately) . I give a drop or two to the children (1000-2000IU), and hubs and I take about 4-5 drops (4000-5000 IU). We purchase this at Vitacost. (New customers get $10 free to spend and shipping is free after a $49 dollar purchase.)

 

3) Fish Oil. We take Nordic Naturals Omega-3 fish oil or Green Pastures Fermented Cod Liver Oil. We prefer FCLO, but often use Nordic Naturals because is more easily sourced, is a well known brand and they take purity seriously.  When you are consuming fish products you want to make sure that you are being careful about things like mercury and other toxins.  I trust these brands and am willing to pay a bit more for the peace of mind.  We all use the Omega-3/FCLO and just give a smaller dose to the children.

Source-I purchase the Nordic Naturals at Vitacost for the best price 0r at our local health food store if I have a coupon. I purchase the FCLO through Azure Standard (a co-op).

Recently I ran out of the Nordic Naturals Omega-3 for awhile and I eventually noticed a huge difference. My excema flared up, a joint in my foot that hurt before I started taking fish oil started to hurt again after a long time, and my skin got more red and blotchy.  It turned into an interesting experiment I had not planned on doing. It was nice to know that these things actually are helping us.

Dose-Of the Omega-3 I take a teaspoon or more a day and give the kids about 1/2 a teaspoon. For the FCLO we just follow the directions on the bottle.

My naturopath said that omega 9 can be a bit inflammatory, and the omega 3 is the most important one for me to get the highest dose of. That is why I chose this version of fish oil.

 

4) Elderberry– We LOVE elderberry.  You can purchase it at the health food store, or easily make it a few different ways. We use it mainly for its amazing benefits for the immune system. Check our this post I wrote awhile back with more info on making Elderberry syrup which includes my sources and dose.

 

We also give the Littles a multi vitamin here and there, vitamin C when needed, things like honey mixed with apple cider vinegar (like Braggs brand), and garlic when it looks like they might be coming down with something.

Other good articles

How to Kick Strep Throat Faster and Better Without Antibiotics

Why You Shouldn’t Get The Flu Shot

 Once again, NOT an expert. Just a mama trying to care for her family.

CSA, Bountiful Baskets, or Traditional Grocery Store?

This is the time of year that I really start to strategize our produce spending.  CSA (community supported agriculture) signups are in full swing and I have recently discovered Bountiful Baskets.  We need to quickly decide if we will participate in our CSA and each week I have a hard time deciding if we will order a Bountiful Basket or not.  It is a bit difficult to decide on Monday what we will be doing late morning on Saturday (when the BB pickup is).  As the weather warms up I like to be free to head out and go on a fun adventure as a family on Saturdays.

This rambling leads me to today’s experiment. I was curious to see how much organic produce $26.50 would buy me while I was grocery shopping (the total of the organic Bountiful Basket plus small fee they charge and also almost the exact price per week for our CSA basket).

I started out at our local natural grocery store called LifeSource to check for any great sales, and then went to Trader Joe’s to get the things I was not able to find there for the price I wanted to pay. Fortunately they were having an awesome sale on Navel Oranges for 79 cents per lb. and Fuji apples for 99 cents per lb.  I prefer to get my produce from LifeSource when possible because they are a locally owned and source local produce when possible. I have been able to find prices close to that here and there lately for those items, but this definitely helped me get a great value for what I was looking to spend today.

Here is what I purchased today for a total of $27.01

  • 8 large bananas 29 cents each (T.J’s)
  • 6.44 lbs of oranges (on sale at LifeSource)
  • 4.62 lbs or apples (T.J’s)
  • 3 large onions $2.49 (T.J’s)
  • 7 lemons $1.79 (T.J’s)
  • Bag of local raspberries $2.99 (on sale at LifeSource)
  • Fresh Broccoli Florets $2.49 (T.J’s)
  • Baby Lettuce Mix $1.99 (T.J’s)
  • Chopped Spinach (pesticide free not organic) $1.49 (T.J’s)
  • Rosemary $1.79 (T.J’s)

So the verdict is that I think I actually prefer picking out our own groceries and hunting for sales.  It was interesting how close I came to $26.50 without even trying. I definitely got more for my money this week than I would have from either of the other options.  I still really believe that CSA’s and Bountiful Baskets are a good value and doing a huge service for their consumers, but this week has proven that I can do okay without them too.  I will probably still order from BB from time to time.  It will also be nice to just modify our weekly purchases this summer as our garden starts to produce, rather than being committed to our CSA.  Because I go grocery shopping weekly it takes me no more energy or trips to choose my own produce and hunt for the sales when I am already in the stores.  It does take a bit of time to know what the best prices are, but it is worth it.  I love being able to feed my family organic foods for an affordable price.

I hope this post helps you as you decide your “produce strategy” for the year. Prices and availability of various types of produce and buying options will be different for everyone.  All of the options I mentioned today will likely provide your family with quality produce for a good price. I just geek out on this stuff a little more than most people.

 

Our First Bountiful Basket Pick-Up

Last Monday I ordered (they call it “contributed” to) our first Bountiful Basket.  Bountiful Baskets is not a business, but is instead considered a co-op. You are pooling your money together to buy things at a great price. The conventional baskets are $15 and you can pay another $10 to upgrade to an all organic basket. There is also a $1.50 processing fee to go towards expenses since all your “contribution” goes towards the cost of the produce. If it is your first time ordering you will also have a $3 fee.

You can order up to 3 baskets (which would be a TON of produce).  There are also some fun things you can add on like granola, tortillas, bread, a tropical pack, a Veggie lovers pack-Mexican theme.  In Oregon I believe our ordering time starts at 12:00 p.m on Monday and closes Tuesday night. Things become unavailable as they sell out. My pick-up time was 11:45 on Saturday at Fresh and Local (used to be called Organic Fresh Fingers).

How did it go?

I think it was probably just a rare fluke, but when I got there some other people arriving to get their basket told me that there was an accident and traffic issues and that the pick-up was moved to 2:45. It sounded like they attempted to email people to let them know, but I never received one and know that some other people did not either.  It was a little hard to fill all that time and go back out there a few hours later.  I do understand that things happen and was glad that the pick-up was still happening. When I got back out there right at 2:45 I noticed that there was already a good sized line of people waiting to pick up their things. We all waited in line with our containers to transfer our food into and at 2:50 they said they were ready for us and started helping people in line.  They asked our names and for the last 4 digits of our contribution number that was on our emails we received. It looked as if most people were getting a conventional basket.  I was directed to pick up my organic basket at the table that you pick up your “extra stuff” at. My produce was already all boxed up and I did not really seem need to bring the tote to transfer it into like other people needed to.  I asked if the traditional and organic baskets contained roughly the same types of items and they said that they were usually fairly different from each other. Next time I will try and snap a picture of the list of contents in the traditional basket.  The produce that was labeled came from a few different states. It was not super local, but I know they work hard to source from small farms when getting things like bananas that are outside the U.S.  I am not sure if the traditional basket is more local or not. By the time I got back in the car it was about 3:15.

Here is what we got (or at least what I think everything is): 🙂

-1 HUGE cauliflower

-1 good sized head of broccoli

-bag of brussel sprouts

-1 large fennel

-1 bunch of radishes

-head of garlic

-1 bunch of celery

-1 bag of red potatoes

-1 large head of greens

-5 bananas

-6 sm-med sized Fuji apples

-1 half pint of blueberries

It was definitely a good value and our family I will probably supplement with more fruit and order every other week since it is still a good chunk of our food budget and a little out of the way from where we live.

There is the low down. Let me know if you have any questions and I will see if this newbie can answer them.

Life in Bullet Points #3

 

  • Attempting bread baking again. Started a loaf yesterday and exercised real patience to try and soak it for the first time.  My friend Sarah had a recipe that already had the soaking instructions incorporated and I could not help but soak it…although it was a little painful to wait even longer. Currently the dough is rising by the (gas) fireplace and I have high hopes. If it knows what is good for itself it will turn out. -Update-Bread fell a touch, but turned out yummy and with great soft texture.

  • Having one of those weeks where the children seem to need my constant direction, help, and training. Love those sweet ones, but looking forward to a time when they play together more peacefully and moods are a bit more even. Some weeks are good, some are hard. As I type this Little Lady just went in and woke sweet baby up trying to video tape her sleeping. WHAT? Guess we won’t be starting school yet this morning. We will get through and next week will be better. 🙂 But look at them…can you resist that?

 

  • Loving our new Berkey water filtration system (Royal size). After an unusual number of tragic rare cancer cases of the same type occurred in our area of town, I was feeling a bit helpless. Environmental causes are in the back of some peoples brains. We won’t know for quite some time if a cause is found, but at least I know we are drinking clean water.   On a recent night away Little Lady was drinking bottled water with a pretty label on it from a nice hotel and said, “This is nice, but I wish it was from our FRESH water at home.” Little man has all on his own declared it “Our BEST purchase ever!” I have really not made a huge deal about the filter so it makes me giggle that the tots are so passionate about it. (I also got the fluoride filters to get the fluoride out. To consume or not to consume fluoride should be a personal decision. Not sure why they think they need to make the choice for us and add it to our water supply…rant over.)
  • Saturday we pick up our first Bountiful Basket (we chose the organic option)! Can’t wait to see what is in it. Why do I get so excited about groceries? Seems like I spend a good chunk of time shopping for and feeding this family of mine. I am so thankful that hubs is a great cook and is so good in the kitchen. It really takes some pressure of that he often cooks for us. Love that man.

Trip to Grocery Outlet 1-25-13

Today I hit up the Grocery Outlet near downtown Salem.  Found a few fun things and thought I would share a picture and some prices for those who are interested.

 

Total today for all of this was $46.11.

Here is what I got:

Organic Yellow Potatoes $2.49

Organic Coconut Milk $1.99

Tillamook Sour Cream 99 cents

Organic Broc (big bag) $3.49

Hair things 99 cents

Aluminum Foil 75sq ft $2.49

Plastic Wrap $1.79

Clif Bars $3.49 (treat for hubs)

Loreal Mascara $2.99 (SO out and desperate)

(4) Annie’s Bunny Pasta 99 cents

Kettle Chips $1.99

Food Should Taste Good Lime Chips $1.49

Natures Path Organic Love Crunch Granola $2.49 (Granola is hubs love language)

Organic Black Tea $1.49

Seventh Generation diapers $6.99

 

Hope this helps! There were lots of other fun things including more organic and natural stuff.

Life in Bullet Points

 

  • We have had some of my family in from out of town and it has been so fun.  Gatherings everyday and many shared meals.  Sadly, they head home today.  Good news…we get to party with Hubs side of the family tonight. Life is full… and I am tired.
  • I told Hubs that I can care for the Littles and carry out a busy schedule, but I can not care for the Littles with a busy schedule, AND keep up on the house.  Can you say laundry mountain? Good thing I have some awesome laundry basket dressers to hold it all while it waits.
  • Captured one of the all time best toddler lineups. Love those sweet faces and wish we saw them more often.

  • Little Man sweetly looked at me nursing our youngest yesterday and said, “You are like the cow….and she is the bucket.”  Good observation.
  • Summer has been a little late in coming (like the last two years) and this morning I brought down a tank and shorts and Little Miss said, “Are we doing summer today?”

  • After a father daughter trip to Home Depot on Father’s day bead board has been purchased.   They are waiting to be installed into my eating area.  I am super stoked! I will post updates as things get moving.

  • Just got my catalog for the Nordstrom Anniversary sale.  Lots of cropped trousers. I am 5 feet tall and looking forward to a different trend.
  • Had a chat with the produce guy at LifeSource (our awesome local health food store) yesterday.  The only organic fruit in the fairly reasonable range for the last couple weeks has been Valencia oranges.  He said we should be seeing some stone fruit coming down in price fairly soon and that most of the organic apples are now from outside the country and will remain spendy till September-ish when we have local apples again.
  • Had an awesome time at the OCEAN Homeschool Conference last weekend.  It is kinda like going to summer camp for homeschool moms (and dads…but I am not sure they get the same buzz from it).  🙂  So encouraging and fun!

I will leave you with this gem.

 

(Review) Eco Store Natural Products

When Eco Store offered to let me review two of their products I was thrilled!  As I dug around on their site to pick out my two products I was even more excited because their prices were awesome!  Who doesn’t love a company whose favorite phrase is “No Nasty Chemicals”? Genius.

When I was looking for my two products to review I decided that I would look for items that I had either not successfully made before, or had not found a natural alternative for at the store (I make a good chunk of our basic cleaning supplies and laundry detergent. Don’t worry, it is super easy).

I chose the Pure Oxygen Whitener (The natural version of OxyClean), and a cleaning product called Cream Cleanser.

 

The first time we used the Oxygen Whitener we threw it in with my husbands whites.  The load included dress shirts and under shirts etc.  He said he could totally tell a difference in their color.  We normally just use my homemade detergent and not any extra bleach or laundry care additives like Oxy Clean because of expense and questionable ingredients.  It was great to have something we felt good about throwing in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I wanted to try the Cream Cleanser because my vinegar and water mixture I use for most basic cleaning was just not cutting it with my sinks.  I really needed something that I could use to scrub and polish.  It was so nice to have something with some more substance to it.  My sinks looked much better after using this stuff.  I do think that for my purposes I would prefer it to have a bit more grit to it.  If you use it be sure to rinse this stuff well after scrubbing to get a nice shine.  It is so nice to have something like this to add to my small cleaning stash.  I think I will mix it with a paste I make out of dish soap, lemon juice, and baking soda and I think it will be the perfect thing for sinks and tubs.

Eco Store caries products within 5 main categories; Baby, Bath and Body, Hair Care, Household, and Pet. The packaging is BPA free and everything is made in the USA. How is that for a commercial?

Although all of the prices are excellent, I was most excited about the value of the baby products. They had Baby Body Wash for $4.25, Baby Shampoo for $4.40, and Nappy Balm (diaper rash balm) for $5.10. That is really good. The only downside I am noticing is that I don’t think the product is specifically organic.  But because it is chemical and “bad stuff” free, I would feel comfortable putting it on my little ones.

The best news? They just posted about a 25 hour sale that runs through tomorrow night for 25% off everything (use code 25for25).  I have not seen many sales from them at all…especially since they have lowered their prices.  This would be a great chance to try a couple things if you are needing anything.  When they posted about this sale I immediately rushed to put this post up so y’all would be able to get the best price.

Let me know if you try any of their products. I would love to hear about your thoughts and how they worked for you.

Disclosure- Beyond receiving the two products, I was not paid for this review and all opinions are my own.

Reader Question: Where do I start with moving to a natural/organic diet?

 

(Welcome Better Mom readers! I mistakenly linked the wrong post. If you would like to read the post titled “Game Mode Mama (Sergeant or Shepard)” please hop over and check it out. Although I think you will enjoy this post too.)

 

A reader and friend wrote me with this question:

“So I have a question for you. How did you get started with eating more naturally? I read about the organic stuff and Azure and everything on your blog. I really want to start working on that, but I just don’t even know where to start!

I was wondering if you knew about a book that could ease me into being more natural?  I want to figure out what is most important and start with that.

I tired to look at the Azure catalog online and it was totally overwhelming! I know I need to start small but where do I start. We have started ordering Bountiful Baskets (but not organic) so we have increased our veggie intake!

I thought you might have some good ideas on how to start! You are very inspiring with your blog, if you can do it with three kids I can do it with two!”

Some basics about their family I got after asking more questions:

  • They live in Rock Springs, WY
  • They have access to a Super Walmart, Albertsons and Smiths (Kinda like Safeway she says), and have a 3 hour drive to a town with lots more options (including Costco).
  • They could likely find an Azure Standard drop near where they live.
  • They drink a good amount of milk.
  • Have just started getting “Bountiful Baskets” (fresh produce) each week and is having fun integrating that into their meals and diet.
  • This mama does not consider herself a “natural cook”, but wants to learn.

 

First of all, way to go for wanting to improve the way your family eats! The first step is being ready to take on the idea of changing your normal routine.  The way most people have found success in moving towards eating healthier and better quality foods is through BABY STEPS.

For us it started after our twins were born.  We used to joke that we had to get the Cheetos out of the house before we had any children.  For the most part, we were able to make that happen.  Once I saw “Monosodium Glutimate” on the label they were not so appealing.  Although I do still crave a crummy (yummy) Totinos pizza from time to time. Ha.

 

Back to where I was going with this… Baby steps.

Here is basically how our progression from traditional groceries-natural/organic went…

1) Organic produce (started when we were making them baby food and finger foods)

2) Organic milk and yogurt (started when they transitioned to cows milk)

3) Mostly organic grains and snacks(rice, pasta, oats, wheat, etc).  Often we choose Trader Joe’s non organic snacks when we can’t find an affordable organic source because I know it will at least be GMO free.

4) Grass fed beef from a local source (store bought organic when we don’t have it).

5) Farm fresh eggs when we can get them (organic or at least cage free when we can’t).

6) Hormone and antibiotic free chicken (organic when affordable).

7) Organic sugars (usually Wholesome brand) and some baking ingredients, organic (cold pressed usually) olive oil, non-GMO canola oil, organic store bought bread, organic butter, natural toothpaste, shampoo, etc.

This process was influenced by our twins transitions as they grew, what we ate the most of, and developed as we could find affordable sources for each.  We still have a few things in our kitchen that are not organic.  We are not obsessed with only feeding our children organic and natural foods.  We still eat out sometimes and buy non organic foods when organic foods are hard to source at an affordable price.  Making the transition slowly as I have been able to find where I can get each item at a good price has actually been so rewarding.  To know that I can feed our family healthy foods at a price we can afford is such a good feeling.  I feel like I am giving my children a great gift.  As the saying goes, I would much rather pay the farmer than the Doctor.

Here is what I would recommend for your family

1) Keep getting your Bountiful Baskets since it sounds like it is helping your family eat more fresh produce.  If you have to chance to join an affordable organic CSA (or one that is at least spray free and follows mostly organic practices) go for it! CSA’s are usually a great value and the perfect way to get organic produce for a great price.  Supplement your Bountiful Baskets with organic produce from wherever you can find it. Buying a big box of apples from Azure Standard to eat off of would be a great way to get affordable produce.  If they start to go bad before you finish them make apple sauce.   I also recommend following the weekly ad from whatever grocery store that has the best selection of organic produce and then stocking up on whatever is on sale that week (message me if you are not sure if it is a good price or not). Look up the “Dirty Dozen.” And pay particular attention to purchasing those items organic when possible.

2) Since your family drinks a good amount of milk, I would start buying organic milk as soon as possible.  I have done a fairly good amount of research and for us it is totally worth it.  We have gone down on our milk consumption quite a bit, but I still think it is important.  If you are having trouble affording it, at least get milk that is free of hormones etc.  We also buy whole milk rather than 1 or 2%, but I will save that for a whole ‘nother post. 🙂 If you eat yogurt switching to organic would also be a great move. Most people eat larger quantities of yogurt, rather than things like sour cream, cream, butter etc.  Also, large tubs of plain organic yogurt are good value (we choose plain because it is so much lower in sugar). Mix in fruit, jam, honey, or maple syrup if you prefer flavored.  Also, watch for markdowns on organic dairy.

3) Whatever grains your family eats a good amount of could be the next step.  Do you eat lots of wheat? Start there. Do you make a good amount of rice? Do your boys eat crackers or animal crackers regularly? What about oatmeal?  Grains are a great way to make the switch to organic for not too much money.  Purchasing bulk amounts of the grain is always cheaper than purchasing organic packaged or boxed foods.  It is also healthier.  Also, organic just refers to the quality of the ingredients based on how they are grown, and also what ingredients are allowed to be put into the processed foods.  It does not mean that the product is necessarily “healthy”.

4) Find a local farm source for eggs and beef if you eat those regularly.  There is nothing like eating animal products that have been raised on pasture (what they were intended to eat).  Grain fed chickens and cows (even if organic) will not have the same nutritional and vitamin content in their products. A local source for chicken would also be fabulous, but I have had a hard time finding it at a price I can justify.  Research local chicken brands a bit by asking the butcher what they would recommend you purchase (antibiotic and hormone free, vegetarian…and pastured if possible). Also, whole chickens are often more affordable than breasts etc.  We love roasting chickens in the oven and then using the bones for soup/broth after taking all the meat off!

After that go from there.  Also, be sure to have good communication about these changes with your husband.  It is so important to have his support. This transition will mean some changes for your family in both what you eat, and how you are spending your money.  Create a budget, and have fun feeding your family healthy foods! Keep us updated and keep asking questions!

If you bought 1 book, I would recommend Nourishing Traditions.  It is fabulous and has both information and recipies. It will stretch your mind and challenge traditional nutritional information we have been told.  Pretty much everybody who reads it loves it.

Readers…What books or articles would you recommend to her as they work towards eating more naturally and organic diet?

—————————————————————–

To follow up on your question in the near future I will write posts on…

-Cheap organic staple foods. Organic foods that give you the best bang for your buck.

-How to cut back in other areas to be able to afford organic/natural foods.

-A list of what stores I generally buy different items at.

-What is a good price? Target prices I like to pay for each of our groceries (when I am feeling up the the challenge of writing this post).

 

I am linking up with Raising Homemakers.  If you are popping in from there I would be thrilled if you said hello! I would love to come and check out your blog too!

Natural Homemade Disposable Wipes

I ran out of wipes 2 days ago and did not have plans to go to the store.  In fact, I did not really want to buy wipes even IF I went to the store.  Such a rebel.  I had heard of someone making homemade disposable wipes and thought I would give it a try.

Pretty sure my semi-chrunchy status was confirmed when I had the ingredients to fake one of the recipies from stuff I had on hand.

Ingredients and supplies:

  • Natural baby wash (1 tablespoon) OR Castile soap (1 teaspoon) I used Dr. Bronners Baby Mild Castile soap from the bulk in LifeSource
  • 1 drop of tea tree oil
  • 1 tablespoon (or less) of natural oil. I used some castor oil I purchased to try the “oil method” eventually on my face.
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 roll of sturdy paper towels. I used Sparkle. They were perforated to create smaller sheets and I that was great for this purpose.  The sturdier the better. They soften up when they get wet.
  • 1 container or bag to hold the wipes
  • Serrated knife to cut the roll in half (only through the towels)

These ingredients were what I recommend after modifying my recipe a bit. You may want to also use just a bit under a tablespoon of the oil and see how you like it. Mine might be a bit greasier than I prefer. I also used 1 tablespoon of the Castile soap.  Because Castile soap is more concentrated than regular baby wash I recommend starting with a teaspoon or so and go from there.

1) Cut your paper towels in half with a serrated knife.  You only need to go through the paper towel layers…not the cardboard tube.  After that run a butter knife around the tube to separate it from the roll. Pinch the tube to collapse it  and wrestle the paper towels off of the roll while trying to keep them rolled up.

2) Mix up your solution and pour over your towels.  Use half of the solution for each half of the roll. Start by gradual adding the solution to make sure not to over saturate them. You want them all wet, but not soaked.  Different paper towel roll sizes and brands will require slightly different amounts.

Instead of getting your roll wet with solution, you could also put the liquid ingredients in a spray bottle and just wet them one or two at a time.  This might be what I try next time.  I am thinking they might hold up even better if they are just wet when I need them.  Pre-moistened work do best for travel though.

I know what you are thinking. Why is she not using cloth wipes? Well, we are not in the cloth diaper routine right now and even when we are I just can’t get into cloth wipes. I like throwing them away.

Do these work as well as nice store bought wipes? Not quite. They are not quite as sturdy and a bit thinner. BUT, they are much cheaper, easy to make, and ALL NATURAL!  Natural wipes are expensive and when I tried the Seventh Generation brand I was not too thrilled with them.

The ingredients probably cost me maybe 10 cents? And I got the roll for 75 cents as a part of a 6 pack I bought on this trip.

Let me know if you try it and if you made any adaptations to the recipe. 

 

P.S. If you are feeling up to it, have the little ones help you. Great lessons in measurements and absorption.

 

Upcoming posts.

1) Reader question- Where do I start if I want to switch to a more natural and organic diet?

2) Review of 2 products from Eco Store.

 

Why I blog about my grocery trips.

I am pretty sure that 90% of my Facebook friends think I am crazy when I do posts about my grocery shopping trips.  Most people probably don’t get it.  Here are some reasons why I sometimes snap pictures of my groceries and share what I paid for them.  Sometimes I wonder if anybody even cares, but I still keep coming back to it.

Maybe this is why:

-Often when I have a little time to myself and head out to do something I usually end up at the grocery store.  If I was doing something more interesting you might be seeing pictures of that instead.  I would rather grocery shop alone than go to Starbucks alone and take all 3 to the store later…so to the store I go.

-When I feel the itch to blog, but have had a rough time with the tots I often blog about grocery shopping.  Instead of blogging about how I just might lose my mind if my children scream again about the sibling who touched their toy or that the string fell of their pretend pet dog again…I blog about groceries.  I don’t mind being real one bit, I just don’t want to fuel any discontentment that other moms are already feeling.  When my heart is not in the right place I don’t want to lead others down the wrong path with me.

-Because it is SO fun to go to one store and see an item for $3.99, and then go to another store and see it for $1.49.

-It is a way to feel productive when I know that if I moved more that 5 feet away from the tots the world I came back to might be more than I had the energy to put back together.

-I used to be totally overwhelmed by the grocery store. I did not know what the “good” prices were, I did not know what meat to buy, and I was intimidated using coupons.  Now I have more confidence and I actually enjoy shopping. I love that my husband can come straight home from work most nights instead of dropping $35 on a small stash of groceries to get us through the next dinner and restock on eggs and produce.

-Because sometimes I don’t have the energy to delve into the deeper things swirling in my head.

-It is a way to help other families while I am home with mine.

-Because I hope that I can inspire you that you really CAN buy your family good quality food for a price you can afford…even without clipping tons of coupons.  There are deals all around!