Although I've always been drawn to old-fashioned life, with the downward spiral of the construction industry, we've embraced a much simpler life. This has affected most areas of our lives. To be honest, it has grown us much and we have reaped some very nice benefits from living this way. Life seems less stressful, more rewarding and more rich. I'm very proud of the many changes I've made in the kitchen alone. Made my first ever strawberry freezer jam (and we've probably got about two year's worth...), baked my first from scratch bread (it'll need some help but I'm hoping Karenpie can teach me.... :-) ), and made really healthy and tasty adjustments in our kitchen (which admittedly freak out David sometimes). Amazingly enough, it is not more expensive to live healthier if you just take time to plan. This has been the greatest reward, that we are healthier and spending less money. Sure, I still do purchase some items such as all-natural soap and spend a few extra dollars on those items. However, if you compare that to the price of children's shampoo which became obsolete with the new bar soap, then it actually does save money. There are a few choice items we spent a little more on. But with all the money saved in other areas, I do not feel bad about that at all.
My next step in this journey is to make homemade cleaners. They are both a frugal and safe. With two little ones in the house, that just makes sense. It seems to be a growing trend, so the internet is full with help on the subject. Hopefully the homemade cleaners will be just as good. I'm especially excited about laundry detergent since Abigail breaks out from the fragrance added to most commercial detergents. With making our own and adding natural fragrance, we can again have beautfiul smelling laundry! Below are a few links I've found that we might try in case you are interested in making your own as well. Also, check out the last link which is to karenpie's blog and in particular her fabulous receipe for healthy bread. This is the receipe I will try next.
Keeper of the Home - Basics for Frugal and Green Cleaning
Live Renewed - Clorox Wipes replacement
Live Renewed - Homemade Multipurpose Cleaner
Eco Diva - Hidden Talents of Olive Oil
Live Renewed - Homemade Laundry Detergent
Live Renewed - Homemade Dishwashing Detergent
Fabulussly Frugal - 40 Frugal Ways to Repurpose Household Items
Karenpie - Oatmeal Honey Wheat Bread
Also, you can replace bleach with oxygenated bleach. Can't find the link anymore for that. Get the one without fillers and only Sodium Percarbonate and Sodium Carbonate. Supposedly both are natural ingredients. My store brand which is at least $4 cheaper than the leading one, had just those two ingredients. The brand item had additional fillers and was more expensive. My store brand comes out to be $0.08 per load.