Cheap Goes Crunchy

Recycle AngieWe’re a little late to the crunchy party. Sure, we’ve been living a minimalist lifestyle for going on four years now and yes, we make a lot of our own cleaning products, recycle, compost, and have (recently) ditched processed foods altogether but I never considered us really crunchy.

You see, in the past we were always too cheap to be completely crunchy. I know, that sounds weird since even just the word crunchy often invokes images of frugality and the hippie-lifestyle. But being cheap is easy. Just step into a dollar store and there you’ll find everything you need for personal hygiene and household cleaning, food and food storage; and the prices won’t break the bank. Being crunchy isn’t that easy…yet.

It was while inside the Dollar General this week that I found enlightenment…with regard to going crunchy, that is. I was out of hair gel (and believe me, that’s not a sight I can live with for long). Having read so many articles lately on the importance of knowing what’s in our foods, it was inevitable that I would also run across articles on the importance of knowing what’s in our personal care products too.

Skin is the body’s largest organ. It absorbs about 60-70% of what we feed it with. What we put on our skin makes its way into our blood, tissues and organs, and therefore has an impact on our health just as much as, if not more than what we put in our mouth. – Sophie @ The Green Life

And so it was, there I stood, dumbfounded in the hair care aisle trying desperately to find anything at all that did not have propylene glycol in it. But alas, everything at the DG had PG. And pretty much everything else on this list too.


As I’m typing this post, my hair is a wild mess – I will have to put on a hat to go to the mailbox – but the brain underneath my unstyled mop is full of new (to me) knowledge. For 2 days I researched both DIY and manufactured natural/organic skin and hair care products before deciding on a plan of action to replace all of our chemical-laden personal care products with ones that are friendlier to our health and the environment.

I’d love to say that we decided to make everything from scratch but as it turns out, we’re still too cheap. The ingredients to make a deodorant (that we may or may not be allergic to) would have cost upwards of $30. Sure, those ingredients would make 3 batches (at $10 a bottle) but it was just last month that our deodorant cost 99 cents. And remember, that’s just the deodorant. We also needed a new shampoo and soap and lotion and hair gel! Most importantly though, we needed to find a compromise between our desire to go green and our desire to keep cash in our wallet.

Today, a big box arrived from containing all of the new natural/organic, Paraben-free, fragrance-free, petrochemical-free goodies that I ordered (along with a big bag of samples of a dozen other natural products). My items of choice – lotion, shampoo, and deodorant from a company called Kiss My Face and simple castile soap.

I’m anxious to give these products a shot. I’m hoping they work well because they didn’t put a strain on our wallet to buy them.

On a side note, I did try washing my hair in baking soda this week. It was a comedic experience, as I ended up with more baking soda on the floor than in my hair. I’m not completely ruling out the no-poo method though.

While Angie is out of town these next two weeks, who knows what other not-so-good products I might get rid of. I’m thinking perhaps a purge of plastic-ware might be in order.

If you want to read a great article on going crunchy, check out:  The Great Granola (Lifestyle) Comeback. Benefits of Going Crunchy.

If you want more recommendations on natural products, here are some of the best articles that I read this week:

I Tried 13 Natural Deodorants So You Don’t Have To

Safe Mama’s Safer Deodorant Cheat Sheet

Propylene Glycol: The Good, the Bad and the Alternatives

12 Great Ways to Use Castile Soap

4 thoughts on “Cheap Goes Crunchy

  1. I make my own antiperspirant from 50% cornstarch and 50%baking soda. Apply it with a powderpuff, which is washable, I have not bought shampoo or conditioner for 5 years. I use a bar of Pears Glycerin soap for everything bathroom related and personal hygiene. A rinse of diluted vinegar is my conditioner. This has simplified my purchases and works well. A good haircut also helps tame my unruly grey mop. G


  2. Amazing how it all evolves, isn’t it. Taking the same journey myself and went totally with water only hair washing and no deodorant. Great thing about post-menopause- oil production is much less!


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