16 June 2011

Snip Deals

I heard about The Learning Channel program Extreme Couponing.  While flipping channels last night, I caught the show.  I was glad to see the couple who worked so hard to make almost a thousand dollar purchase for zero dollars.  They gave it all to charity.  The next show made me frown.  A woman spent many hours and a huge effort to prepare to go to the grocery store.  She got all diva’d up and dragged her husband with her.  She pushed her husband to empty the shelf of mustard; more than 50 bottles.  He then exclaimed, “I don’t even like mustard.”   He had to leave to go to work.  Then she put on more make-up and continued to shop.  After 2 hours of checking out with the cashier manually entering the coupons: bill $1,902.63; cost $103.72.  She took it all to their home.  The next family had a house full of over 6,000 items stuffed under beds; in playrooms; bedrooms; special shelves and then some.  She called her kids a litter.  The family went shopping for carts full of processed foods and paper goods.  The next featured family spent 7 hours in the store, even though they had over twenty thousand dollars value of stockpile at home.  This family created eight transactions in order to purchase over three thousand dollars in items; all to be donated to charity.  My frowned turned upside down.  
Lots of stuff for free.  In the land of the free, we are not really free; free has consequences.  Hobbies turned into obsessions resulting in child labor and hoarding.  Making kids cut coupons and push carts to shop for 130 boxes of couscous, which no one in the family had ever eaten:  really?  How can these families use all of the things they obtain?  I don’t understand this lifestyle, but it is interesting… for about 60 minutes. 
I support the use of coupons for items that are necessary for our health and vitality.  There are many healthy foods that come in cans or bags and many body and cleaning products that are packaged.  Anything in extreme excess is far removed from ordinary and far removed from being environmentally sound.  The fact that American commercialism and consumerism provides the opportunity and basis for the television program is disturbing.  I believe in saving money, but there are ways to save money and being less wasteful of natural resources.  I cannot visualize the amount of trees destroyed and chemicals used to create the newspapers and advertisements from which the coupons were cut; the packages holding the items; the bags that carry the items; and the gas used to lug the weight of the purchases home.  I can imagine my household environmental and monetary savings since we do not buy huge amounts of bottled drinks; boxed sweets; candy; cleaning products; or personal care products like the families featured on the program. 
Fresh fruits and vegetables don’t come in a box.  Products can be purchased for their intended uses that can be mixed to create multiple uses such as baking soda; olive and coconut oils; salt; and vinegar.  Water from the tap is really inexpensive.  Check out some recipes and discover how much you can save.  We try not to spend too much and we stopped stockpiling items some time ago.  There are many families who are much more conservative than us and we always try to reduce our footprints on this earth.  I feel good about our progress over the last few years and recognize we can still do more.  We have fun trying to find environmentally sound practices and products for our future dream green home….only in our dreams.  Dreams do come true; right?
Thanks: publicdomainpictures.net

05 June 2011

Sunday Morning Scrub

Start your Sunday morning breakfast with a menu of fresh coffee, cinnamon French toast, eggs and more.  Oh, what shall I do with the ingredients sitting on the counter?  I know!  Re-use them!  
Grab a glass bowl and mix up a batch of a wonderful aromatic body scrub to enjoy with your Sunday morning shower. 
1 cup fresh used coffee grinds
1 Tablespoon of table salt
About 1/3 cup of olive oil or coconut oil (warmed to liquid)
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
Optional: about 10 drops of fruity essential oil

Mix well.  Add a bit more oil if the scrub is not saturated to make it moist to wet.  Take it to the shower with you.  After you wash, gently scrub your body.  This scrub is wonderful for your feet, elbows, knees and hands if you just scrub a little more than gently.  Rinse yourself and the shower surround.  Your shower and or tub will have some oil residue.   Clean the shower with a baking soda and vinegar paste. 

If you only have time for a quick facial scrub, use the following recipe and gently scrub your already dampened face and neck.  You skin will be left oily, so follow up with a bar of Castile soap or your favorite non-drying gentle facial soap, and rinse well.  A bit of the oil will remain, naturally moisturizing your skin for the rest of the day.  Clean the sink with a baking soda and vinegar paste. 
Quick facial recipe:

Two tablespoons of fresh used coffee grinds
Teaspoon of table salt
Teaspoon of cinnamon
Tablespoon of olive oil or coconut oil - just enough to form a moist paste

Your skin will be left soft and smooth with a hint of the cinnamon scent. This recipe is great for guys.  I tried it on my husband’s face this morning.  We had some bonding time and a bit of fun.  He wants me to do his feet next.  Since he always makes our Sunday breakfasts, I think his feet deserve such a treat.
If you have any coffee grinds or mix left over, just add it to the compost bin.  It’s all natural and all good.  This scrub can be made for pennies with ingredients most of us already have on hand.  You are welcome to purchase a 6 to 8 ounce jar of coffee scrub for prices ranging from $7.00 to $37.00 and I’ll be yelling in your ear, “Make your stuff at home!”