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MORE Replacements: Products I Stopped Buying (and What I’m Using Instead)

Lately it’s been “Operation: Simplify” around here. Konmari, purging – call it what you want, just know that things are being tossed and space is being cleared in an effort to keep things as Zen as possible. I eat pretty clean/natural, use a minimal amount of products, and am not a big shopper. I’m always reminding myself (and now my daughter) that no matter what we are doing or using, to only take what we need.

But I also drive an SUV, indulge in hot showers when I can, and will use eighteen paper towels to squash a bug. So maybe not crunchy, but I’m, you know, crispy.

In my last post of Products I Stopped Buying (and What I’m Using Instead), I told you about a natural body scrub, body lotion, an awesome microdermabrasion face scrub, salad dressing, and tea. Here are a few more things to add to the “crispy” repertoire:

MORE Replacements: Products I Stopped Buying (and What I’m Using Instead)

Deodorant. Does this sound ridiculous? Because it did to me at first. Make my own deodorant, what are you freaking crazy?! Get a life! But I was curious and I hate the toxic shit-show of ingredients in traditional deodorants (not to mention that I am breastfeeding, which means toxins are literally coming out of my nipples). So I made a batch of “clean” deodorant. It took me 3 minutes. It involves 4 ingredients. The result is that I haven’t bought deodorant in a year and a half. And IT WORKS. Bonus points for the fact that I keep it in the fridge, so I enjoy a nice mini-cool down every time I apply. DO IT – you’ll never look back. Here’s the recipe I follow.

Orange juice. I like my Vitamin C, especially this time of year. I bought a citrus juicer back when I worked at Anthropologie because I was obsessed with everything in that store and was getting 40% off as an employee. It makes me happy. And I like fresh-squeezed juice, because even the most “natural” OJs are actually very much processed and lying liars make me angry. Fresh squeezing takes me 2 minutes, I get a little arm workout, and Penelope loves helping. (And there are no lurking chemicals.) Here is one that is similar to the one I have.

Coffee maker. We switched over to a french press, so technically I didn’t so much get rid of something, but the french press doesn’t require coffee filters or even an outlet. Just sweet, sweet coffee, plus hot water. I’m HOOKED. It’s easy, fast, and makes an awesome cup of coffee, and I love that it stores in our cabinet so there’s no more precious counter space being eaten up by a coffee machine. But fair warning: I feel like my french press makes stronger coffee than my old coffee machine and that first day I was BUZZING. I had to nurse poor Ciro and I thought I would send him to the moon. Clearly, there’s an adjustment period.

Eye makeup remover. I attended a hippie party (I told you I was crispy) and discovered a great eye makeup remover recipe: witch hazel + almond oil + water. I keep it in a small bottle in my medicine cabinet and use it every night. It works like a charm. Almond oil has tons of Vitamin E, it’s cheap to buy, and is great for your skin. Re-use a bottle of any size, fill it with equal parts almond oil/witch hazel/water, and squeeze some onto a cotton ball to remove your makeup at night. (And if you do it after the mini-microderm I talked about in my first post your skin will feel sooooo soft – I try to do this a few times per week.)

Saran wrap. I got tired of buying it, it’s wasteful, and trying to get it to stick to anything in the first place would drive me insane. Now instead, I use these beeswax wraps. They are reusable (for up to a year!) and they actually freaking work, which is more than I can say for the saran wrap. You lay this beeswax wrap over a bowl or container and it seals quickly and easily with the warmth of your hands. You can even wrap it directly around the food itself – no bowl required.

Oh, and here’s a bonus one: limp plumpers. Forget fancy, expensive lip-plumping tools. Want fuller lips? Here, hold my son for 10 minutes. His favorite new trick is to whip his head around unexpectedly and blast me in the face with it. He’s given me at least 5 bloody lips already, but hey, once the blood stops, they are much more luscious! (OK so this one probably just pertains to me. But I did want to let you know just how much of a maniac Ciro is.)

Now give me YOUR tips: what did you stop buying? What do you use instead?


Alessandra Macaluso is the author of What a Good Eater! , Lucy the Bee and the Healing Honey, and The Real-Deal Bridal Bible. She’s also a Qigong and Tai Chi instructor, and overall wellness advocate. Her work has been featured in several anthologies which can all be found on her Amazon author page, and she has contributed to The Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, TODAY Parents, and many other online publications.

Alessandra is a northerner-turned-southerner, enjoying the south with her children, Penelope and Ciro, and her husband, Greg.

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[…] Citrus Juicer. If you read my recent post about why I like juicing fresh oranges then you know I am all for items that look attractive and […]

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