Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Tax-Deductible Giving

It's that time of the year, again, everybunny! TAX TIME! Take advantage of the charities you give!
This is the government's way of rewarding you for giving to charities - somewhat redeemable of them, don't you think?

I've compiled a list of things you might not need/want anymore, but hate to just "throw it out", and where you can donate them to. Make sure the organization you give to is a 501c3 org, or the IRS won't accept your charity as a tax deduction. Also, check out this site, Excess Access that matches your items to a charity that needs it for you!

Appliances - Check your local Goodwill or Salvation Army for their donation guidelines. Also, see if your local after-school programs need something, or your local homeless shelter.

Binoculars, Backpacks - The American Birding Association is always needing items to track birds and gather information about them and the environment, so you will see them again in this list!

Cosmetics - These need to be unopened and unused, of course! But check your local rape crisis center, or center for abused women. They are always needing these kinds of items to give a boost to those who have been through hardships. My local shelter is The Dekalb Rape Crisis Center in Decatur, GA.

Digital Cameras - The American Birding Association needs these!

Educational Tools - such as nice calculators or computers can be donated through The Christina Foundation which refurbs and places your item to schools who need them.

Food - canned and boxed goods are always need for your local food pantry. Avoid sugary foods, like Lucky Charms, etc. Those hold no nutritional value. Stick with things like peanut butter, granola, oatmeal or canned soups, etc.

Heifer - Ok, you obviously don't have extra cows walking around (or do you?), but I HAD to fit this into my list. Heifer International. It's a great organization in which you donate money to purchase livestock for villages. This is invaluable to them, increasing their quality of life. You can give these as gifts to others, what a great thing to do to make your loved ones feel like they've made a small difference in the world :)

Ink Cartridges - I thought this was interesting - Staples gives 1-2 dollars to non-profit orgs whenever an old ink cartridge is turned into them. So find a local charity who uses this program. In my case, Atlanta Pet Rescue & Adoptions does.

Mobile Phone - Donate your old cell phone to the Wireless Foundation, which refurbs them and gives to abused women who need them to call 911.

Service - Are you a hairdresser, a tattoo artist (like me?), a car washer, etc.? Do you own or work at a retail store that has gift certificates? You can donate a gift certificate to a service or product you provide for fundraisers. Ask the charity for an in-kind letter as a receipt for your service!

Technology - your items can be donated at the World Computer Exchange.

Tithe - if you donate with checks or direct deposit, most churches will be able to give you a receipt quarterly, twice a year, or annually that is tax deductible.

Vehicle - if you have a clunker that you can't/don't want to sell but it's still too nice to junk, consider donating it to your local high school - they may need something to fix up as a teaching tool. Also, check out Kidney Cars and Cars for Homes, a Habitat for Humanity car donation program.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Extreme Couponing: Why I love it, but hate it more...

Although the grass always seems greener on the other side of the fence (or however that expression goes - I was never good an idioms), I have come to accept the fact that I thrive on challenges rather than the goal itself. So when I heard about extreme couponing, I became fascinated. Wow, I want to get $250 worth of groceries for only two dollars and eighteen cents! How do I do it???

But the more I researched, the more the concept turned me off, and this is why:

*It's REALLY time consuming to research, go through, clip through, look up, print out, file, keep track on calendar when expiration dates are, etc. I have a full-time job, as well as a plethora of other side projects... PLUS, I like to volunteer at the pet shelter and spend time with my friends and family, and most of all, I like to sleep and REST!!!! Perhaps things would be different if I had children and was a stay-at-home mom... but then again, maybe not.... why? Because...

*Most of these coupons and rebate offers are for products that aren't earth-friendly and/or socially responsible. And even if they claim to be, they are not NEEDED. I don't buy what I don't need when it comes to household products. For example, why do I need to save two dollars on Tide when I can make my own laundry detergent for pennies on the dollar??? I spent about 8 dollars in 2008 on supplies to make my own laundry soap. It is now 2011, and I still have not used up the ingredients I bought - not even half of it! I spend MAYBE a DOLLAR per year on laundry soap. Crazy, ain't it???

*I also feel like a lot of these coupons are for food products that are processed or canned. Canned food is great for a rainy day. But not for eating every single day - the preservatives and the fact that these foods have lost a lot of their nutrition from being canned is not healthful. Also, people are now developing all kinds of crazy food allergies/sensitivities and going through all these health problems, including neurological and behavioral problems in kids, because of highly processed food anymore. Did you know that Japan can't accept much non-perishable food donations for the tsunami relief, because Japanese people can't even digest that crap??? Yeah. Scary. I think I'll just stick to driving 30 minutes each week to the Dekalb Farmer's Market for my fresh (and cheap) foods - it's worth my health and livelyhood.

*I also heard that extreme couponing also includes purchasing products you don't even use just to "profit" from the coupon/rebate thing. It's awesome that you can buck the system... but I feel like it's way too superfluous for my taste. I hate clutter, why would I want a bunch of crap I don't use in my house? And why would I want to promote products I don't even like/believe in/use?

This is just a bunny's opinion. If it works for you and your family, go for it. There's nothing like taking from monster corporations. But for me and my household, we'll stick to our principles of social responsibility (or at least making it a goal to be socially responsible).

~Jenny Bunny Bunns <3

Monday, May 2, 2011

Going Analog!

I finally did it... I said goodbye to my precious smartphone and got a regular, old-fashioned cell phone (yes, it still has a camera). I went to T-Mobile today, and got one of those "FREE" phones - of course, it's only free because I had to sign onto another 2 year contract. Then I downgraded my plan, getting rid of my dataplan. So no internet, no apps. No Facebook, no emails, no Twitter (except through text messaging), etc. It's 2008 all over again :P Hahaha!

This new plan will be saving me at least $27 a month. It doesn't seem like much, but that's $324 a year. If I keep cutting little things out, pretty soon I'll have a grand to spare by next year. Maybe (hopefully) even more! Another advantage to this, is to un-tether myself from my phone. If there was 10 seconds that I'd have to wait in line at the grocery store, I'd check my messages on my phone. Even if I had nothing to check on my phone, I'd still be messing with it. Whatever happened to standing in line for 10 seconds without having the urge to fixate on something? Also, looking down at your phone constantly is REALLY bad for your neck - worse than one thinks (but that's a whole other story), because it is a "silent killer" (no symptoms felt when the damage is done). So I felt I had to simplify my life. It was nice to know that some of my friends had already gone that way, and it inspired me to do it, too. If they can survive without it, so can I!

While I was waiting for the lady to transfer my data from my old phone to my new phone, there was another customer who was hitting on all the female workers. He was laying it on THICK. My first impulse was to Tweet about it. OOP! No phone, can't do it! Crap. Well, while I wait, I can finish replying to my client's email. GAH! Again, no phone! Oh well. I can play my word game. AUGH! Ok, ok, fine. Hmm.... my mind wanders... I wonder if I should take Millhouse to the dog park on Wednesday. It depends on the weather. Let me check the weath- YARGH!!!! Ok, SERIOUSLY, I was GLUED to that dang smartphone. When I got back home, I was customizing my phone. No live wallpapers that move and interact with you, no ringtones that you can download, then edit yourself... It really made me realize how user-friendly those smartphones are. Which is cool - but also dangerously addicting. Oh boy, what did I get myself into??? Is saving $27 a month really worth it??

By the evening, I had refreshed on myself how to use Twitter through text messaging. It's definitely limiting, but maybe limits are a good thing! With so much stimulation with technology, no wonder people are getting so-called "A.D.D." The quietness of these 8 hours going analog has actually been refreshing. I really felt like one of the civilians in the movie Wall-E, when their screens were turn off. They stopped yapping on their chat phones and realized the beauty that surrounded them right then and there! I saw the sun, I saw the trees, I saw the doggie poop... :P Well... I'm still adjusting, but I get spurts of excitement for doing something good for my wallet and good for my well-being. :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

6 Gym Alternatives

image by Jenny Bunny Bunns

I love my gym membership. I get to go to any location around town that's most convenient for me, and I get to shower and get ready for the rest of my day there. I get to use any of their machines, take any of their classes... Unfortunately when life throws you a curve, and you have to tighten up your budget again, the gym membership is one of the first monthly expense that has to go. So how shall we ever get enough exercise in without our gym AND without spending a fortune on home gym equipment and/or having to have a huge amount of space at home? Well, here are some options....

Free Gym Membership Trials
There are a lot of free gym membership trials out there. Most gyms will give you a one week trial or a 3-day pass. Look out for flyers or brochures at your local coffee shops, health food stores, etc. Also, discount coupon sites such as Groupon, LivingSocial, etc. will also offer things such as unlimited yoga classes or $25 fitness boot camp sessions.

Mini-Trampoline & Jumprope
You can get one for about $40. Jumping can surprisingly get you sweating and your heart pumping! There are even DVD workouts for trampoline work-outs! Some can fold, so it can save you space, as well. Of course, if you're really strapped for cash, a good old-fashioned jumprope is just as good. A decent jumprope starts at $10. Just make sure you jump on softer ground such as your lawn or a carpeted area. Jumping on hard ground might hurt your joints or arches. Also, make sure your rope does not scratch your hardwood floor (if you have one).

Yoga Mat
You need one of these for almost anything you do - yoga, pilates, calisthenics, etc. These can start at $10. This is a MUST have!

Workout Videos
Gaiam puts out some great pilates and yoga videos for people of all levels. For strength and circuit training, I also use Jackie Warner's circuit training DVD. She is awesome her one-minute reps keep you on your toes. I haven't gotten bored yet, and you can use the video over and over, and as you progress, just use heavier weights. Start slowly and build a small collection of videos to rotate to avoid boredom.

Weights and Pull-up Bar
There are sets in which you can add weights onto each bar to save space. These can start at around $70, which is kind of a chunk of money if you're on a budget. So really what you'd need is one set of light weights (like 5 lbs for women, 8 lbs for men), and one set of heavy weights (like 8-10 lbs for women, 12-15 for men). Check on Craigslist for used sets. Or if you have a set of heavy bookends, use that, haha! I have not seen any new pull-up bars (the kind you screw above your doorway) for less than $30. I can't even do one pull-up, but my husband can. The pull-up bar is great, but definitely optional!

Volunteer Work
Why else did I volunteer to shovel gravel at Atlanta Pet Rescue & Adoption last week? I am SO not a manual labor person - but I knew this would work my upper body! And I got to help the doggies have a nice, fresh outdoor pen to play in :) Habitat for Humanity, even volunteering at a nature center - any of these kinds of things that require moderate physical activity would kill two birds with one stone. You'll get some exercise as well as helping your community!

Of course, there are always little things you can add into your lifestyle that would also help you become a bit more active. You can park far away from the store or take the stairs - that extra 20 yards or extra two-story stair climbing will do you more good than you think. When you're sitting at your desk at work, you can do some butt-clenches to tone your glutes, hehehe hahaha. What do I do? I like to skip, gallop, or even prance down the hallway at my workplace. Hey, it's better than nothing! So get active in your life - it'll add on so many more healthy years to your life and improve the quality of life. :)

~Jenny Bunny <3

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Paraben-free Beauty Routine on a Budget!

I know on a previous entry, I quoted Annie Leonard & Ariane Conrad about American women being exposed to over 150 chemicals just in their morning routine alone, and men are exposed to at least 60. A lot of these chemicals include parabens, which are preservatives that are found to contribute to the multiplication of cancer cells. I'm sure there are other chemicals that do the same. So I've tried to come up with a system that has the least amount of chemical ingredients AND being frugal at the same time. It seems hard, and maybe it is. But if you slowly add these good things into your routine (don't do it all at once!), and slowly faze out the bad stuffs, it might not seem like such a drastic change. So... let's start our morning/evening routine, shall we? :)



Tom's Flouride Free Peppermint Toothpaste. It's pretty tasty, and a little bit goes a long way. It's a little spendy than most major brands of toothpaste - but this is all natural and paraben free. You can find it cheaper if you go to or Google Shop it! If you go to Whole Foods or any other local health food store, sometimes there will be Healthy Clippings coupon booklets that may have a coupon for you. Just be on the lookout for those coupons - that's the secret!

But if you want to take this step even further, here is my recipe for homemade toothpaste. This is THE most frugal and natural option, but it's not for all palates.
You need a small jar, aluminum-free baking soda, xylitol (powder form preferably), vegetable glycerin, spearmint essential oil. Mix these ingredients up until you get a paste-like consistency. Start with a small amount, first!


Now remember - when it comes to oral hygiene, brush your teeth at least twice a day, visit your dentist regularly, and floss, floss, floss!!!! Preferably floss with bio-degradable floss, such as Silk Floss. You can find this for a few bucks on sites like Amazon. This few bucks will last from 6-8 months. Not bad, for preventative care!


Tom's Long-Lasting Aluminum AND Propylene Glycol Free
You need to read the label carefully, because not all of the Tom's Long-Lasting deoderants are propylene glycol free. But this one is my favorite deoderant that I've tried so far. It does its job and it doesn't irritate me.

Terra Naturals
This is another deoderant that smells pleasant and is paraben free. It works and I like it, but I noticed that it irritated my underarms. It triggered my eczema, so for those of you who have eczema or sensitive skin, you might want to go with the Tom's.


Face & Body Soap:

Black Soap - originating in West Africa, it's traditionally made with only a few simple ingredients. Its effects are very powerful (yet gentle) on the skin. I had been using black soap since I was 21. Whenever I would switch to another kind of face wash, my face would eventually break out in acne. Then I'd switch to black soap again, and within a week, it'd be healed. It's AMAZING. But when shopping for black soap (you can find it at your local health food store in the beauty section), read the ingredients, because some brands will add more than just the few ingredients (cocoa pod, shea butter, and plaintain skins). So get the purest kind. Also, since it's made without glycerin, just pinch off a teeny bit off the bar and lather it up. This will make the soap last longer, since it disintegrates faster than regular soap bars. A bar of this soap runs anywhere between 3-5 dollars, but it lasts one whole year if used just for the face!

Face & Body Moisturizer

Unrefined Shea Butter
I cannot stress enough what a miracle ingredient this is. I use this in combination with black soap on my face, especially when I get a zit here or there. It seems to heal and soothe my skin. It's seriously great for sunburns, wrinkles, stretch marks, healing tattoos, bug bites, small wounds, shaving, skin allergies, eczema, skin damage from heat, dermatitis, jock itch, cold weather, healthy skin. It's really great, and it's worth the extra cost for Grade A quality, too, so read your labels!!! Again, a little goes a long way, so just pinch off a little bit, massage it in your fingers - your body heat will "melt" it, then you can rub it onto your skin like lotion.

Acne Spot Treatment for Face

Alba Botanica Acne Spot Treatment Gel
Alba Botanica products are always paraben free. This is a little trick I use for "emergencies" - not that I go out often, but I do have to show my face to my clients every day at work :P A little bit of salicylic acid and the rest are natural, soothing ingredients such as aloe vera, witch hazel and flower extracts.


Alba Botanica Sunscreens
Alba Botanica makes a variety of sunscreens for different needs - sunscreens for the face, for sensitive skin, fragrance free, etc. And they're all not only paraben free, but they're, as their labels say, very emollient! It's soothing and contains a bunch of natural ingredients, such as aloe and other flower extracts. I love this stuff!!!!

It's very important to avoid parabens and other harmful chemicals in your hair. The skin on your scalp is very absorbent, and for those of you with long hair, it gets all over your face, neck, etc. Keep your hair healthy and as free of chemicals as possible! I've listed two of my favorite brands, but if you can suggest other brands you like, please comment and share! :)

Alba Botanica is always paraben free. Nice scents and light products. Although the only complaint I have is the coconut conditioner - I have to squeeze the bottle with all my might, because it's SO thick, and I have to use tons of it to work the knots out of my long hair.

Giovanni is my all-time favorite brand so far. Everything smells nice and pleasant without being too overpowering, and I've noticed my hair looking healthier. The conditioner is very efficient - I don't have to use much for it to work on my long hair, which is great on cost-effectiveness!


This is the huge kicker for crazy chemicals! These are the products I have found that are paraben free, have few natural ingredients, and is cost-effective IF you find them at sources like These products last a long time, as long as you use clean practices, such as cleaning your makeup brushes regularly and not letting other people use your make-up to prevent cross contamination.

Aubrey Organics Silken Earth Foundation Mineral Powder AND Powder Blushes
This is a great company that uses very high quality, natural (non-man-made) ingredients such as mica and rice starches, creating a light, organic and natural foundation and blushes. They even have a shimmer powder that makes your skin look sparkly for a night out! :D I love sparkles :)

HoneyBee Gardens Eyeshadow
These powders are also as great as Aubrey's products. Their eyeshadow powders are really sparkly and it makes me feel so cute :) If you want to use an eye primer, use a tiny bit of shea butter over your eyelids! :D Love it! HoneyBee Gardens have a great line of other natural cosmetics, including non-toxic peel-off nail polishes! But get these products at I cannot stress how much savings you'll get from doing that!

Beauty Without Cruelty Paraben-Free Mascara

I'm also going to throw in this article today, hehehe :)
11 One-Ingredient DIY Face Masks

So thanks for being patient with taking so long for this entry. It's been super busy lately, but this has been on my mind for the past few weeks. Thanks!

~Jenny Bunny <3

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Energy Vampires

What is Vampire Energy? It's the household appliances or electronics that suck energy while plugged in - even when they're off. If you're aware of which devices suck up most energy energy, then perhaps it'll be one step toward saving on your utility bills, yayyyyy!

So what simple things you can do to reduce your vampire energy?

1.) Unplug your devices! Especially if you're going on vacation, or even will be gone for most of the day, it's worth the extra effort....

2.) Check labels! When choosing appliances, look for the EnergyStar label!

3.) Simplify your life - and keep it that way! Don't be dazzled by all the fancy features of some devices that you won't even use. Those things will most likely use up your power!

Until next time, my little bunnies!
~Jenny Bunns <3

Monday, January 31, 2011

Supermarket Shopping 2011

This SUPER cute and practical (form and function is my fave combo, haha!) bunny tote bag is available HERE!

It's convenient to do a one-stop shop at your local grocery store, but with convenience comes a higher price, of course. Here is a link to an article about what not to buy at a supermarket - it's better to purchase these items at a Target, a dollar store, etc. Well, just CLICK HERE for the specifics.

However, there are plenty of great things you can and should buy at your supermarket to save munnies! In Annie Leonard & Ariane Conrad's book "The Story of Stuff", they write "The average woman uses a dozen personal care products containing 168 chemical ingredients every day. Men use about six products a day with around 85 chemicals." I believe in coupling frugality with minimalism. Wow, that's amazing! Let's cut down the number of chemicals we're exposed to AND save money at the same time! You can...

* Give yourself a spa treatment at a fraction of the cost of a spa salon.
I remember when I was a tween and the first appearance of acne erupted on my face, my mother would spread egg white on my "T-zone" and tell me not to do any kind of facial expressions while it dried. After about 10 minutes, she'd tell me to rinse it off, and my skin felt much smoother and less oily. And sometimes after my parents were done hosting a dinner party, there would be a few leftover cans of beer. They didn't drink, so my mother would take a can of beer and wash my hair with it. She's wet my hair with water, then run the can of beer through it, then wash regularly with shampoo. Afterward, my hair felt silky smooth and it looked significantly shinier than before.

This is a great article that gives 9 facial mask recipes using whole foods. Simple, effective and CHEAP! :D

* Make your own laundry soap.
I had posted an article about making your own laundry soap a year or so ago. However, I'd been wanting to make it without using borax this time. Borax is generally safe, but it can be irritating because it's still a detergent. So, for those with very sensitive skin, here is a great recipe for borax-free laundry soap and you can find all these ingredients at your supermarket!

* The greatest two items you can get at your supermarket are Baking Soda and Vinegar.
Once you have these two things, it eliminates SO many other items that clutter up your home. BAKING SODA is not only great to put in your fridge to eliminate odors, but it is great for everything from washing your hair with to cleaning just about everything, from septic system maintenance to scrubbing your fruits and veggies. Vinegar (we've gotten a couple of gallons of it, which would last us a year or so) is also multi-functional. My favorite uses include soothing insect bites, making your pet's fur shiny, removing pet odors, keeping car windows frost-free, getting stains out and wiping grease off the stove, dishes or what-have-you. BUT, be warned - do NOT mix the two together, unless you want to launch a soda bottle rocket or make a volcano!

* Prepare your own foods.
Sounds kind of like "duhhhh!" but this article is practical and frugal! Yes! My favorite tip is using leftover fruit juices to make a yummy marinade for your meats (or tofu or portabella mushrooms for veggie lovers)!

~Jenny Bunns <3

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Slave to my Smartphone?

I have been debating over and over in my head whether I should downgrade my phone from a smartphone to a regular cell phone. But here is my dilemma: I used the dataplan MUCH more than I use the phone for, uh, phoning!!!

* Since I'm usually at work, I hardly ever use my talking minutes - and the minutes I do use are usually with my travelling hubby, which are free.... but the rare times I've used it to, say, call a utility company and am on hold forever can add up fast, since I have the minimal amount of free daytime minutes. SOOO... I've tried and successfully used Google Voice. I already have a Gmail account, so it was easy to set up my G-Voice. It gives me my own number and I've made calls on my computer for free! I can also use it for texting and voicemails! I found an article that also points out other free phone service using the internet... Just CLICK HERE for the link.

* For my job, I'm always getting emails from clients, so I use my phone a lot to check those. I also use it to upload the latest pictures of my tattoo or other artwork on my Facebook and other networks.

*With some phone models, you can actually tether your cell phone to your computer's airport. Your phone becomes a tiny little wi-fi hotspot for your computer, so you can enjoy internet use for your laptop wherever you and your phone are! That might come in handy, especially for what I do for a living!

So then I went to my mobile carrier's website to look at their plans. I was hoping to find that they have dataplans only, and they most certainly do! It would cut down over 60% of my current phone bill if I can switch to using the internet only. Of course, this kind of scares me - what if it doesn't work? What if I get stuck in a non-hotspot? Or will all this technology make my brain go mushy? So just to check, if I downgraded to a regular cell phone and got the lowest plan there was, it'd be the same price as if I got the dataplan only. Should I cut back so I can open my eyes to the "real" world and experience all that the Bunny Gods have already provided? Should I cut back so it can motivate me to be productive? Or... will keeping a smartphone make me more productive? Which one would make my life more enriching? I'm leaning toward going deserting my smartphone... but it's the digital addiction that's justifying that I keep it. So herein lies the dilemma. What should I do?

Any comments would help, but when I finally make the decision, I'll be sure to follow you up on this!

~Jenny Bunns <3

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Frugal Pet (Owner)!

photo from

Hello my bunnies!

Boy, I can't tell you how refreshing it is to be back on this blog :) I started this particular blog in hopes of inspiring others to adopt more socially responsible ways to spend money, and self-preserving ways to save money. But in doing so, I think keeping up with this blog has actually inspired ME more than it's inspired others because I'm looking and finding all these great sites and helpful tips, haha!

Anyhoo... I've stumbled across this website, Dog Health by lowchensaustralia. I linked this to the handy hints page of this site, because it is chalk full of frugal AND eco-friendly tips to help take care of your beloved furry baby, get rid of pests, and other household cleaning recipes :) I'll highlight a few of my favorites in the rest of this entry, but for the whole shabang, just click on the link above! :D

Backyard Bugs - Diatomaceous Earth.
This white powdery substance is actually the fossilized remains of diatoms, tiny little critters. To us it feels like talcum powder, but under a microscope you can see sharp jagged edges. The diatomaceous earth pierces soft tissues of insects when they crawl across it, causing them to dehydrate & die. So it's a mechanical killer, not a chemical one. If you decide to use diatomaceous earth, be sure to buy the pure kind that isn't chemically treated. Be sure the area you're treating is dry--wet diatomaceous earth has no effect on the bugs. Though it is non-toxic, it's not a good idea to inhale it, so when treating an area, don't let your pets near and wear a dust mask as you apply it to the ground.

Jenny Bunny's Note: This inexpensive powder is GREAT! I rub it into Millhouse's (my Jack Russell) fur in the summer months before he goes outside to keep the fleas and other insects off of him. I also sprinkle it on the rugs, bedsheets, doggie beds - I even sprinkle it in cracks and edges of the floors to help keep away ants and roaches in the hosue. It's non-toxic to humans and mammals, so it can be used anywhere in the house - again, just be careful not to inhale it. Last year, the outside walkway was riddled with little anthills, so I sprinkled diatomaceous earth on all the hills. The very next day, all the ants were GONE. SERIOUSLY, it was awesome, and it felt great knowing that I wasn't spreading poisons into the earth. I LOVE this stuff!!!!

Dry Skin Shampoo (for dogs)
Several people have reported using this with great success on dogs with dry, scratchy skin and for other skin problems that required frequent baths.
1/3 Cup Glycerin
1 Cup Lemon Liquid Joy
1 Cup White Vinegar
1 Quart of Water
Mix in a bottle or an old large shampoo bottle. If you make up the solution in advance, be sure to shake it up before use to make sure the glycerin is mixed thoroughly.

Insect Repellent for Dogs (and People)
Use Avon's Skin-So-Soft as an insect repellent for people and pets (good mosquito repellent). It helps relieve itching caused by insect bites and dry skin. Also, mix five parts water, one part Skin-So-Soft and mist on animals. Brush in to make their coats gleam and keep insects off your animal.

And here is a simple, easy Homemade Flea Shampoo for Dogs that I've refined based on several recipes I've tried:
Combine 2 cups of purified water, half a cup of distilled white vinegar, and half a cup of liquid soap (Unscented Dial or Castile Soap).
Mix thoroughly. If you wish, add up to 3 teaspoons of your preferred essential oils.

You will need to shake the bottle before using it in order to remix the essential oils into the shampoo. Wash your pet gently, but thoroughly, starting at the neck and working your way down to discourage the fleas from fleeing to your pet's head. And there you have it, a squeaky clean doggie! :D

I'd also like to share a simple dog treat recipe. This is inexpensive, easy, holistic and healthy - good for almost any dog since it's grain-free! :)

Follow the link to the recipe HERE!

If you have any other tips to share that's frugal and/or eco-friendly pertaining to pets, post your comments! THANKS!

~Jenny Bunns <3

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Safe & Frugal Winter Tips for my Southern Bunnies

Chuck Jones. Warner Brothers.

This week has been unusually "wintery" for the Southern states. Coming from the Midwest, where all this ice and snow is commonplace, I kind of laugh at how everyone here freaks out and stocks up on bread and milk, but doesn't bother buying a small bag of sand (for their driveways). The whole city shuts down - schools close, offices close, business who stay open are slow as heck because everyone's staying in. But the reality is - people here aren't used to this kind of weather, and frankly don't know how to live in it. So I've listed a few tips that may also save you a little money in the long run (especially if your pipes freeze or heater breaks down)....

Driving & Parking

* I've noticed people here saying "USE SALT"!!! as the first solution to treat their driveways or to get their cars unstuck. But the reality is - salt should be used SPARINGLY. Salt is known for melting ice and snow. But once that snow melts off, it will surely re-freeze into ice, which is even worse and more dangerous. So instead, the best thing to use and to have handy is a small bag of coarse sand. Even better to use is kitty litter! Yes, kitty litter. I remember in high school we put together emergency winter car kits, and each of them included a freezer bag full of kitty litter. Pour sand and kitty litter in the way of your tires to create for traction if you're stuck in snow or ice. You can also sprinkle it on your sidewalk and driveway. When our short little winter ends - the snow and ice melts and the concrete dries up, it's easy to sweep up the remains.

* Make sure your windshield wiper fluid is filled with solution specifically formulated for cold weather - otherwise it might just freeze onto your windshield! Flush out your radiator and replace it with anti-freeze solution (let your mechanic do this!). These extreme temperatures may not last long enough to have to do all this in the South.... but this is something you should do for SURE.... LET YOUR CAR WARM UP!!! I myself had gotten into the bad habit of letting my car run for 10 seconds before driving it - but in this weather, you REALLY need to let it warm up at least 3-5 minutes before leaving the driveway or parking lot!!!

* Use your brakes sparingly. I know your first instinct, if you hit a patch of ice or snow, is to slam on the brakes. But this is the worst thing you can do since it will take you into a tailspin and you could potentially lose control of your car! Instead, just drive slower. I know that sounds lame, but it's true! This way, you don't have to use your brakes as much as you normally do, and you can control your car much better in inclement weather and road conditions. But if you HAVE to use your brakes, PUMP THE BRAKES instead of just pressing on them in warmer weather. This way, if you do slide around, by pumping them little by little, you are able to maintain control over your car.

* Keep your car cleaned off of snow and ice - this can accumulate and weigh down your car or, if you use salt, it can create salt deposits on your car which is bad for your paint job. It can also obstruct your vision, which is dangerous. So make sure your windows are clear, and your lights, too! Also, check your tires, snow and ice like to accumulate in that space right behind them!


* Layers are the key. Each layer traps in the warm air you produce with your own body heat. Also, those puffy jackets work really great (because they trap in that warm air really well!).

* Cover your extremities! Hats, scarves, gloves, and wool (as opposed to cotton) socks work wonders to keeping warm. So don't forget those important accessories! Just think: the more ninja you look, the warmer! :P

* I also have to say from my own experience... Although I love these shoes and I am still wearing them as I type, my Converse Chuck Taylors are the WORST shoes to wear in cold weather! It makes my feet colder than if I just wore wool socks! So don't wear these, unless you want frozen feet like I have right now (and I'm indoors!).


* Weather stripping and window plastic - especially if you live in an old house, weather stripping is great to keep the heat in and the bad weather out. Also, if you have old or inefficient windows, you can wrap your windows with plastic sheeting and adhesive to prevent drafts.

* Keep your water on a slow drip! It sucks to do this because it seems wasteful. But it might beat having to suffer through frozen pipes, or worse - a bursted pipe!!! If you're concerned about the wasted water - contain it and save it for watering your plants or soaking your dirty dishes, etc. etc...

Mm, well, I think those are the basics. Happy winter! Let's keep each other warm with hugs! :)

~ Jenny Bunns