Category Archives: green

Back-to-School #CleanCouponing Twitter Chat

Back-to-school time is nearly upon the typical American family, and preparing children for this transition is no small test of parental endurance!  Could you possibly fill the class supply list for under $50?  Why did the teacher ask for the impossible-to-find brand of #2 pencils?  Why did Johnny have to outgrow every pair of shoes during the summer?  Should you choose school lunch or pack your own?

pile of books with one book open on empty green  school board background

Join a back-to-school themed #CleanCouponing chat on Thursday, July 23 from 9 to 10 pm Eastern time, when @CleanCouponing and @FlourSackMama host this monthly chat on Twitter.

Please help me spread the word by copying and tweeting this:

Join me for Back-to-School #CleanCouponing chat with @CleanCouponing & @FlourSackMama Thurs, July 23, 9 pm ET!

We’re inviting public/private school parents, homeschooling parents, and any parents who wants to share tips and encouragement about this annual rite of passage.  We’ll cover some tips on stocking up with supplies, encouraging schools to be wellness-minded and eco-friendly, and green back-to-school ideas that could save you money.

Please follow guest panelists @Mike_Schade who is Mind the Store campaign director for @SaferChemicals@Langford_Mom who can speak to homeschooling, mom Tamara at @LeadSafeAmerica, Spit That Out author @PaigeWolf, former Kindergarten teacher @IrishRed02 and @CleanAirMoms_TN!

Five #CleanCouponing Back-to-School tips…

Stretching a Dollar with Castile Soap Refills

“We can’t afford that!”

“It’s too expensive!”

Do you find yourself saying that about certain home products you’d like to try but don’t think fit your budget?

I used to think that about hand soap, until I realized the real cost…

Castile Soap Refills

Dr. Bronner castile soap with four soap dispenser refills

This is not a sponsored post, just an honest show & tell about one way we use #CleanCouponing at our home to stretch a dollar while choosing to be frugal with our health.

Anti-bacterial triclosan that could be adding to antibiotic resistance, synthetic fragrances hiding potential hormone disrupting phthalates, artificial colors and even more mystery ingredients are all things our family can easily expose ourselves to every time we simply need to wash our hands.  There are numerous reasons why I decided to switch what we use at home every day to something that simply gets the job done: castile soap.

I realize we’d been spending between $3 and $6 for a typical 8-ounce plastic bottle of plastic hand soap.  How  wasteful!  We switched to reusable soap dispensers for our home instead.

I typically spend no more than $12 for a 32-ounce bottle of Dr. Bronner’s castile soap (you could use any brand, but this is a leading one and you absolutely need to find a brand that is transparent about the ingredients inside).  Then, if I put 8 ounces of castile soap into four different bottles, I’m at no more expense that I was spending before on soap bottles. Since this castile soap is actually touted as three times as concentrated as traditional soaps, here’s where the potential for extra savings comes in.  If I stretch this soap with distilled water, it costs half or even a third of those other soaps.

If texture is important to you, and you want to get fancy with it, I’ve noticed that pure vegetable glycerin in my soap dispensers helps give this castile soap a thicker feel on the hands.  Otherwise, when I dilute the soap it with water, it does feel watery, although it certainly seems to clean just fine on our hands.  Instead of the artificial scents in other soaps, our family alternates choosing a castile soap scented with the natural oils of everything from almond to lavender to peppermint.

One of the biggest mistakes with concentrated castile soaps is using too much, so I would suggest stretching it in some way or at least getting accustomed to using less than you did with those other soaps that contain artificial fillers.

The oils in these soaps can tend to clog pumps, so it takes a little attention from time to time. Definitely worth the trouble for our family, since we have peace of mind about what’s going on our children’s hands.

An added #CleanCouponing bonus of using castile soap for refilling is cutting down on petroleum-based plastic bottle waste and protecting our environment.

How are you #CleanCouponing in your home?

Basil Harvested

Kitchen Garden #CleanCouponing Chat

If you could pick one thing to grow organically in your own kitchen garden, what would it be?  Will you be growing some of your own fresh vegetables and herbs this year?  Join us Thursday, March 12 at 9 pm Eastern on Twitter for our next #CleanCouponing chat on growing a kitchen garden!

Tomatoes Garden Twitter chat

 

What easy plants would an expert gardener suggest you try?  We’ll share those ideas.

Is seed saving really worth it?  I’ll share how that’s been working for me.

Where can you go to find open pollinated, heirloom seeds that you could use to continue seed saving each year?  I’ll share some of my favorite sources for non-GMO seeds.

Be sure to join us tonight at 9 pm Eastern and follow @FlourSackMama and @CleanCouponing.  Use the hashtag #CleanCouponing to join in the conversation!

Here’s to More #CleanCouponing in 2015!

Are you fed up yet with the rush to save a dollar at the grocery store, only to find you can’t pronounce the ingredients on the box of food-like stuff you bought with your coupon? I used to revel at how many dollars I “saved” when I clipped coupons for name brand products.

Baby with Ring

Then I realized I was frugal with more than money.  Parenthood awakened a new sensibility about caring what was in the products I would buy to feed, clothe and care for my babies.  The more I learned, the more frugal I became about values like health, quality and reducing wasteful plastic packaging.

#CleanCouponing is not the traditional way of looking at couponing.  It’s about sometimes clipping coupons and sometimes saving money, of course.  But it’s more than that.  It’s about finding a way to balance all of the values you and your family choose for yourselves along with living in the real world of finite resources for grocery budgets.  It’s about doing what works for you and about being creative enough to stretch a dollar without compromising nutrition and health.

Once each month in 2015, we’ll continue our #CleanCouponing Twitter chats or parties hosted by Flour Sack Mama of the parent Flour Sack Mama blog.  We’ll feature leaders in all areas of #CleanCouponing from food and home to fitness and family and beyond.  If you’re a blogger who would like to enlist for the panel of one of these chats, or a nonprofit that would like to be featured, or even if you’re interested in sponsorship, you can give us some input here in this quick online survey.  The survey is also a chance for you to share which #CleanCouponing topics you are interested in seeing in 2015.

Thanks to all of the special guests, blogger panelists and sponsors who’ve supported the beginnings of our #CleanCouponing chats in 2014.  Here’s to an even better year of #CleanCouponing for all!

Holiday Christmas background with a border of gift boxes. Vector.

#CleanCouponing Holiday Gifts Twitter Party December 11!

You are invited to a #CleanCouponing Holiday Gifts Twitter party coming up Thursday, December 11th!  We’ll be chatting from 9 to 10 pm Eastern time with @FlourSackMama.

Holiday Christmas background with a border of gift boxes. Vector.

Let’s chat about traditional holiday favorites, about your traditions this time of year.

Let’s explore ways to green our Christmas gift giving.

Let’s talk about gifts of time and talents, as well.

Special giveaway of Dino Day art & holiday ebooks:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

In the meantime, you can RSVP here:

Ripe Tomato Pike County Garden

Green Goes Mainstream special #CleanCouponing Twitter Chat Tonight!

You are invited to a special #CleanCouponing Twitter chat tonight in conjunction with co-host @FlourSackMama – on the series topic #GreenGoesMainstream.  Here at Clean Couponing we are frugal with more than money.  We discuss values like wholesome food and reasons to have organic food as a choice with what studies show are higher nutritional value and lower heavy metals and pesticides residues.

Join experts from the Rodale Institute and Organic Consumers Association as we chat at 9 pm Eastern, 6 Pacific tonight about how Green Goes Mainstream with the growth of organic food!  You can RSVP here.

Green Goes Mainstream Twitter Chat2

 

USDA Average Food Costs for Families

How much is your grocery bill each week?  As you might has guessed, the average price for food has crept up a bit each year, with USDA-estimated costs for feeding your family at least a couple of dollars more each week than it was a couple of years ago.

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The United States Department of Agriculture keeps tabs on average prices for all food categories, then figures this in, along with dietary guidance and consumption patterns, to come up with its food plans. Continue reading

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Involvement Grows in Clean Couponing Twitter Chats

(*Sponsored by Zoeganics & SOS From Texas)

You are incredibly involved and concerned.  You want the best for yourself and your family. You read ingredient labels.  You want non-toxic, sustainable products.  You want real value.  And you collectively helped us reach more than 2 million impressions at our March #CleanCouponing chat on Twitter!  Yes, that’s nearly double our first Twitter chat AND we reached 2.7 million impressions with the #CleanCouponing theme in the days surrounding the event. Continue reading

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Giveaway: Zoeganics Offers a Fresh NEW Approach to Clean

*The following is a sponsored post for Zoeganics, but my opinions are always my own!

We’re thrilled to have woman-owned green business Zoeganics co-sponsoring our March #CleanCouponing Twitter party on March 6!  If you’ve been concerned about toxins in typical cleaning products but underwhelmed by non-toxic choices on the store shelf, this may be the new product you need to try.  Zoeganics shared five new cleaning products for us to try at home, and we want to let you know how they worked for us.

KitchenTableFlourSackMama

We’ve all discovered in recent years that the freshly cleaned house smells we grew up with were often deceptively toxic.  Back in the day when I learned about keeping house from my grandmother and mother, who knew we were all breathing in fumes unkind to our lungs and potentially exposing ourselves to nervous system damage, DNA damage and cancer?  I learned that chlorine bleach and, used separately, ammonia products, were my two most useful tools  around the house.  As recently as my youngest daughter’s toddler days, I was still cleaning up bathrooms with bleach products, until the night when she struggled to breathe and thank God we had a rescue inhaler nearby. Continue reading

Green Valentine’s Day: Join us Tonight on Twitter for #EcoTipTue

What’s on your Valentine’s Day wish list?  Are you lavishing someone special with treats? What about goodies for children’s gift exchanges?  Do you love chocolate even more than, you know what?

It turns out that all Valentine’s Day chocolate is not created equally good for your sweetheart’s health or for the environment.  Before you go shopping, find out more tonight at the #EcoTipTue Twitter party on having a Green Valentine’s Day. Continue reading