How to consume less, save $$$ on useless products and why you should create more!
Retail therapy? American shoppers at Black Friday sales
I hate it when companies use the word ‘consumers’ to describe you and me. Like we aren’t unique people, we’re just nameless beings with an open wallet. Jerry Seinfeld once joked about commercials for OTC medicines; “you always see a silhouette of a guy, no face, mouth open, this is how drug companies see the public.”
Creepy, but true.
I admit, I sometimes feel lost. I want to do some good in the world, but I haven’t ‘found’ my direction yet. What is that elusive life purpose? I think most people of my generation feel this way. We’re all looking for that magical life purpose that will make us feel fulfilled… We work, socialize & buy stuff, but there’s something missing. What is that something? Could it be that we do too much consuming and not enough creating?
History of Creation
When is the last time you actually made something with your own hands? I’m talking something other than last night’s dinner ;) It wasn’t too long ago that we humans made lots by hand. We had to. Women made bread from scratch (plant wheat, let it grow, harvest, dry, grind, make dough & bake), men built their marital bed from the wood they chopped with their own hands (well… and an axe). These days, we let faceless companies make our food, toys, furniture and clothes from scratch. We don’t feel connected to the things we put in and around our bodies or to the people who make them… probably some poor chick in China who sleeps on top of the conveyor belt after her 18 hour shift…
‘Look ma, I made it!’
It looks homemade for sure, but I’m still pretty proud that this came from my hands :D
The Art of Homemade
I believe that creating gives us a sense of fulfillment that consuming never can. When I give a friend a homemade cake or bag, I feel more connected to my friend. And the response I get tells me they understand the “added value” of an object that is the result of my thoughts of him/her combined with the time invested. It’s not that a homemade gift is any more useful than something store-bought -and in my case the gifts are definitely not better looking-, but it has value of another kind.
It’s in our nature to channel our creativity and make it into something we can see or feel. If we don’t, if we spend our time watching mind-numbing TV or cat videos, we get too much time to think. And I don’t know about you, but for me that’s not a good thing. When a bad thought pops into my mind and I have nothing to do to occupy my thoughts, it goes on repeat and it becomes a downward spiral.
Necessities of life?
Do we really need all the things we think we need? If we believe commercials, we need 4-ply tissues with aloe vera, and special lotions for each part of our body… I’ve worked in media for many years, I know what is used to sell you products: sex & fear. Without <insert brand here> deodorant, the girls won’t shag you and without ‘intimate wipes’, the boys will not come within 3 ft of your nether regions… But have you considered that maybe you don’t need half of the stuff you’ve been told you need? That we humans have been doing just fine without deodorant and intimate wipes for many, many generations? That in fact those very products can be bad for our health?
Because getting the slicer, putting the strawberry in there, removing the slices and cleaning the slicer is so much easier than just cutting it with a knife… right?
Did you know that the skin around your eyes requires exactly the same care that the rest of your face does? And that the simple, cheap-ass combination of vinegar and baking soda is just as -or more- effective than expensive, harsh cleaners? Just keep this one truth in mind the next time you’re at the store: manufacturers do not care about your well-being, they care about making money. If you remember that and you limit your exposure to advertising as much as possible, you take the power back that you gave to companies. That’s when you start realizing that you can benefit your health and your wallet by never buying over-priced, unnecessary items ever again!
Here are some of the body care products you can stop buying:
||Save your pennies; this stuff doesn’t work. They’re just preying on your insecurities to get your money.
If you want to lose your cellulite, losing weight & exercising are the only things that can work.
||Coconut or jojoba oil. Simple and good for you.
|Eye & neck cream
||The same moisturizer you use on the rest of your face
Read why eye cream is useless
||Honey, yogurt, berries, avocado… And you can lick it off when it drips :)
I’m not saying all commercial face masks are bad, but you can definitely save money by just making one in your kitchen!
Here are some recipes from the epic WellnessMama.
||Gimme a break. Just moisturize.
Try this: get some coconut oil and a pair of soft cotton socks. Get into bed, rub the oil on your feet and then put on the socks. Go to sleep and wake up to soft tootsies!
|Intimate wipes & moist toiletpaper
||Nothing! Just don’t use this stuff, it’s full of chemicals your body doesn’t need.
And here’s why
|Kitchen & bathroom cleaning products
||Baking soda, white vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, Borax, castile soap & essential oils. You can make almost any cleaner with these ingredients.
Green cleaner recipes
||Just apply a (natural!) lip balm every now and then. Should your lips still be chapped, brush your lips gently with your toothbrush in the morning.
|Shampoo & conditioner
||Shampoo: 1 tbsp baking soda per 1 cup of water.
Conditioner: 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar per 1 cup of water.Guys, I can’t even begin to describe how happy I am that I found this recipe. My hair feels amazing, perfectly clean and my wallet is happy. Also, what do sodium laureth sulfate, parabens, fragrance and all the other mystery ingredients of hair care products do to our skin? Let’s stop believing cosmetics companies saying we need their products to be shiny & happy. We don’t!
||Just skip this step in your cleaning routine; your skin doesn’t need this.
Buy in bulk:
- Apple cider vinegar
- Baking soda
- Castile soap
- Coconut oil
There, I just saved you hundreds of $$$. You’re welcome :)