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