I think the biggest deterrent for people when it comes to switches to eco-friendly or non-toxic options is the “cost.” But I’ve learned that for every switch that costs me more, there is a switch that has saved me money! That’s why I’ve become so passionate about sharing with others the many switches that will not only save us money in the big picture (by contributing to better health) but in our budget too.
I’ve probably acquired hundreds of these types of switches at this point, but today I’m just going to share with you 3!!
1. DRYER BALLS
These little puppies will save you a butt-ton of toxic chemicals (yes, even the scent free dryer sheets aren’t toxin-free) but they will also save you money.
Ryan and I have been using the same set of 6 dryer balls for over 4 years now (although we’ve since invested in a 2nd set since they often get lost in the clean laundry loads and we don’t fold frequently enough to rescue them before the next load). We pop all 6 balls in with each dryer load which cuts down dry time, and reduces static. And if you’re really hung up on the need for smelly clothes, you can add a few drops of essential oil to the balls before popping them in the dryer.
Now, there are a few tricks with these puppies (like don’t over-dry or the static will return) but nothing worth switching back to dryer sheets for.
Oh, and the Cost Breakdown?
6pack Dryer Balls: $14.95 Unlimited Loads (or based on 3 loads per week for 4 years we could say 624 loads)
$8.97 for 80 loads (at 3 sheets/load)
Batta-Bing, Batta-Boom. Let’s move on to my next favorite money saving switch.
2. DIY HAND SOAP
Hand Soap, Bar Soap, I love them both, but the Hand Soap is the most simple and probably my most favorite to share.
- Liquid Castile Soap
- Water (Tap water is fine)
- 8oz Foaming Soap Bottle
- 15 Drops of Essential Oils of Choice for Scent/Added Cleansing Properties
Add roughly 2tbsp liquid castile soap to foaming soap dispenser. Next, add 8-10 drops of essential oils of choice. Fill with water. Replace cap. Shake. Viola!
And if you like the farmhouse vibe, I love these foaming soap dispenser tops that fit any regular mouth mason jar!
While this DIY costs a tad more up-front for the liquid castile soap the overall cost breakdown is definitely worth it!
The cost breakdown depends on which oils you use, but here are the approximate cost breakdowns for the final product, based on some of my personal favorite blends:
+ Lemon & Basil- $0.14/ounce
+ Christmas Spirit- $0.20/ounce
+ Thieves- $0.21/ounce
Compare those to:
Softsoap Foaming Hand Soap at $0.37/ounce OR Bath & Body Works Foaming Hand Soap at $0.85/ounce (or $0.49/ounce on sale)
3. STAINLESS STEEL WATER BOTTLES
Ok, so this was basically a switch from pre-packaged plastic water bottles to filtered water and stainless steel bottles.
My brother inspired this one when he bought me and my hubby each a cool Hydroflask for Christmas a few years back. We figured out that we could save a ton of money, chemicals (and refrigerator space) by kicking our pre-packaged water bottle habit to the curb and replacing it with filtered water in our new stainless steel bottles.
We headed to Bed, Bath & Beyond and purchased a PUR water filter that hooked right up to our kitchen sink. Each morning, I filled our bottles with ice and filtered water and we never went back. Not only did the water stay cold (thank you hydro flask!) but the our bottles held 50% more water than the typical plastic bottle, so we ended up drinking more water throughout the day. Win-Win!!
PUR Water Filter about $0.12/gallon
Store Brand Bottled Water (24 pack) about $0.75/gallon
Around 6 years ago, I switched to using a Diva Cup (aka: a silicone menstrual cup). If I’m being completely honest, I thought I would NEVER make the switch. The whole idea kind both Freaked and Grossed me out. Obviously, somewhere along the line my feelings changed (or maybe just my budget haha!!) but now, I’d never go back.
Here’s a bit of my Story.
Why I Switched
While there are many reasons to switch to a menstrual cup, for me, the cost savings was a huge draw. I was very picky about the tampons I used and despite my extreme couponing attempts, was still spending around $6-$8 a month on tampons. The idea of spending $30 once every decade was extremely tempting.
I was also beginning to look into more eco-friendly options in all areas of life. Knowing how much waste I was creating on a regular basis made the prospect of a zero-waste option very appealing to me.
How I Chose
But there are SO many options out there, I often get the question, “how do I choose which brand/cup is right for me?” I wondered the Same Thing! I remember finding some Youtube videos that explained the differences between brands and sizes and went with the one that had a balance of good reviews/a good fit for me.
The First Time I Used It
When the package came, I was SO excited to try it out. Fast Forward to the first time I actually tried to use my Diva Cup and found myself crying in the bathroom googling Diva Cup horror stories. I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS. Lol, you will scare yourself poopless. I’m here to tell you, There is a Learning Curve. But do we all remember the first time we popped in a tampon? Yeah, my first tampon experience involved 45min in the bathroom crying while my mom coached me through the door. I was 16. Some of us just have larger learning curves than others, LOL.
The good news is, as (like my first tampon experience) by my 2nd cycle, I was handling that Diva Cup like a pro, and I liked it SO. MUCH. BETTER. than even my most favorite tampons.
What's So Great About It?
Once I got the hang of things, I loved how long I could go between changes. Menstrual cups tend to hold a lot more liquid than tampons do, meaning fewer changes, in fact, by the 2nd day of my period i was typically able to change it twice- once in the morning, and once at night, both in the privacy of my own bathroom. And because of possible TSS, No matter how little you bleed, tampons just shouldn’t be hanging around for more than 6-8 hours. Menstrual cups do not carry the same risk.
Oh, and I Definitely saved money and Emergency trips to the pharmacy. Instead of being surprised by aunt flo’s visits each month, causing me to frantically run to the store, I just keep my clean cup in it’s handy little bag in my purse and have everything I need for next time. Not to mention, I managed to use my same cup (sterilizing it between each cycle) for 6 years before having kids when I had to upgrade to the “post-vaginal-birth” size, and I suspect if that weren’t the case, I would have kept it longer.
Now, what I really didn’t expect to love about it, was how empowered I feel actually knowing what’s going on down there during my period. As it turns out, how much you bleed, the color, and texture, can all be very important signs pointing to our overall hormonal health. Like, What!? If we’re being honest, before Diva Cup, I couldn’t care less about what went on down there as long as it inconvenienced me the least bit possible. In fact, I’m sure there were times I removed my tampon and flushed it down the toilet without ever taking a second to even look at it. What I’ve learned since switching is that our periods are Important and that it’s Vital that we pay attention to what’s actually going on “down there.”
Curious as to what I mean? Check out this 2min clip from author Alisa Vitti about period health and what it can actually mean!
So there you have it,
if you’ve been considering switching to a menstural cup but have been too freaked out or grossed out by it, I’m here to tell you It’s Not That Bad. There are SO many perks to it, and I assure you, if I can get the hang of using one, so can you.
If this post got you wondering about more switches that might Improve your Menstrual Cycle, check out my course 28 Days to a Happier Period.