Thursday, January 21, 2010

Buying in Bulk

This is a pretty random post, but as my big box of wipe-O's was delivered this week, I got to wondering what other folks purchase en masse. Perhaps it's telling, like going through someone's garbage or snooping in a medicine cabinet.

What does our bulk buying say about us? That we're mint-loving tree-huggers, I s'pose.

Here are our usual suspects:
1. 7th Generation diapers - our naptime and travel dipes
2. 7th Generation (did anyone else notice that they reduced the refills to 70 down from 80 for the same price? Lame!) or Earth's Best chlorine-free wipes
3. Dr. Bronner's Magic Peppermint Soap Bars - this stuff is frighteningly miraculous, takes off tree sap and Sharpie marker, but doesn't dry out the skin
6. Charlie's Soap Powder - my new favorite laundry detergent

What do you buy in bulk?


  1. I don't so much buy in bulk as I do *make* in bulk. I make nearly all of our household cleaners, including laundry soap and liquid handsoap (and this has the benefit of being as "green" as I choose to make it) and I make and freeze dinners until the freezer is chock-full (I dream of having a chest freezer someday!). Pre-making homemade soups, stuffed cabbage, lasagna, chopping and freezing fresh veg from the farmers' market in the fall to use in the winter has saved us a ton of money -- and most of it can be cooked straight from frozen -- which means very little prep time!. I spent literally $5 on supplies and made a year's worth of laundry soap, and I can scent it using essentail oils (right now i have some lovely basil oil!). If you want any of the cleaning recipes I would be happy to send them along. Since T was laid off last winter, doing this kind of stuff has made a big difference in our budget.

  2. Jennifer, please post your liquid handsoap recipe!

  3. Certainly!
    1 bar of ivory or castile soap
    2 tsp of glycerine (should be available at the pharmacy -- sometimes behind the counter -- and cost less than $3 a bottle)
    3/4 gallon of filtered water
    essential oil to taste, I use about 12 drops

    Grate the soap finely. Boil the water then add the soap, stirring until the soap is dissolved. Add the glycerine and essential oil. Let cool a little before transfering to containers -- two well cleaned pickle jars are just about the right size for this.

    At this point the soap will still be quite thin but will thicken up nicely over night. In the morning, the soap's top will be more gelatinous than the bottom (and generally I try to pour off some of the the thinner liquid) but not so much that it won't go through a soap pump. Total cost: less than 50c a batch!