how i crunch (and how i don't)

While I wouldn't classify myself as a "hippie" by any stretch, there are some pretty "crunchy" things I do, and that's no secret. I tend to be unconventional, if not counter-cultural. Part of it is a frugal/savings thing, part of it is an "it's just better this way" thing, and part of it is borne out of an appreciation for simplicity and tradition. In the crunchy/frugal/simple/traditional circles, there are lots of sacred cows of things you ABSOLUTELY MUST do if you're going to have a legit club membership. Some of these things, I do. Some of them, I don't. For me, it all boils down to whether the savings/value is worth the effort of doing it the unconventional way.

Here are a few things I do that might qualify me for a granola card:

1. Cloth diapers. Gabriel wears cloth diapers, it's true. For how much longer, we'll see! Potty training is on the horizon!

2. Taco seasoning from scratch. This is one of those things that may or may not be "cheaper" (I never priced it) but is definitely, in my opinion, tastier. It takes hardly any time and I know exactly what's in there. Most of the store-bought taco seasoning I've looked at has a huge amount of filler. No, thanks.

3. Soap. Yes, I make my own soap. Yes, it is awesome.

4. Laundry detergent. Yes, I still make my own laundry detergent. Using the aforementioned soap. And yes, it is still awesome.

5. Oil cleansing method. I wash my face with a mixture of olive oil and castor oil. Say what???

6. Coconut oil as moisturizer/lotion. My primary facial moisturizer actually comes from the aforementioned face washing method, but on those days when I need a little extra help, a touch of coconut oil does the trick. Additionally, I gave away most of my bottles of store-bought lotion. I've got two more remnant bottles I'm working my way through, and then it'll be 100% coconut oil for me! (A bonus: I rub coconut oil on my neck and shoulders when I dress up -- it gives this really nice shimmer.)

7. Raw honey. I have just started buying raw honey. Y'all, this stuff is good. In other news: I no longer use honey for baking (very often) because geesh, this stuff is expensive!

8. Chicken stock (though currently cheating). Usually, I make my own chicken stock. And that stuff is mad tasty and so good for you. These days, I've been cheating a lot with some store-bought organic stuff. But whenever I do cook chicken, I will make some stock. I keep telling myself that once I get a leeeetle more traction in my days, I will be back in the kitchen with gusto, and one of the first things I'll do is crank the chicken stock machine.

And just for fun, here are some crunchy things I don't do, but probably "should." The ones with asterisks are ones that I'd really, really, really like to do someday (or start doing again).

1. Grow food*
2. Preserve food*
3. No 'poo (tried and rejected)
4. Backyard chickens*
5. Raw milk (tried and rejected)
6. Bread, tortillas, naan, other breads*
7. Deodorant (tried and rejected)
8. Hummus*


  1. Haha, this was an interesting idea. I'd post something like this more for me to get my own mind wrapped around what I'm thinking. Then again, maybe that's everything I write?

    Of the first list, I do 2, 4, and 7. Since most people I know won't see this, I'm gonna go ahead and risk telling you that I just plain don't do 5. At all. Haha, sort of, I mean it gets washed in the shower. But I find this has worked better for me. I don't make chicken stock because I only recall ever making food that needed chicken stock like twice. Am I cooking wrong? And I would do 1--if I had occasion to be diapering.

    Of your wish list, I have the same wishes, except that I do make all our bread. (Ask me how annoying it's been to not have our oven working since we moved in--grr.) I will never use homemade deodorant because I am one those freaky people who needs extraordinary sweat protection and I will have no friends if I start making my own. I am still waiting to try no 'pooing since I have never had a stretch of time long enough to have an adjustment period (always working or interviewing) but that's up next ASAP. Still haven't tried raw milk, but maybe eventually. And honestly, it's unlikely Brice will be letting me get chickens. I like the idea, but truly what I want is a male mallard duck named Bert and a wading pool for him to waddle in and out of. You think I'm kidding but I'm not... :-)

    1. Forgot to mention, have you tried the raw honey method? I'm an occasional reader of a blog that touts the no 'poo method as being harmful and she does honey instead. I want to try both, soon as I get myself time for an adjustment period. Here's the blog: http://empoweredsustenance.com/natural-skincare/

    2. I read that blog, too! I thought about the honey method, but for now I am fine using regular shampoo. I only wash my hair every 4 days or so, so I figure the "damage" that I am doing with regular shampoo is already significantly reduced. And when I'm at places like Marshalls, I look for organic/natural shampoos and pick them up sometimes. Budget is a real concern for me...I figure if I can't afford raw honey to put in my tea every evening, I can't afford raw honey to pour on my head and wash down the drain. All of THAT said, I one time tried some artisanal shampoo that was a hotel sample...it was aloe and honey and it was THE BEST shampoo I've ever used in my life.


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