Tuesday, March 31, 2009

On being thrifty

*Disclaimer: some of this might be an over share. You've been warned.*

So how about all this talk about the recession?

It's something that I prefer not to touch on much. Mostly because so many people already do and it goes along with my whole "keep my political views to myself" mantra. It's just not something that I enjoy writing about and there really isn't anything I can say that hasn't already been said many times over.

But here I am, talking about the recession and how it sucks. Big time.

I lost my job last August. I think for the most part you all knew this, but I never actually said it on here. This was the one place I could come and at least pretend, if only for a few minutes that everything was alright. That I wasn't broke. That my college degree(s) are actually useful.

I have been working, as you also know, for the same ski shop where Andy is employed. It's been nice to be fluid again, even if it's just a little fluid. Jobs are hard to find on this mountain in the best of economical climates, so right now beggars can't be choosers. Although I refuse to go get a job at the McDonald's down the road. If you had eaten there ever you would understand. It's not because it's McDonald's, I promise.

So, needless to say, I've been trying to find ways to still live my life but save money. No one wants to cut back. It sucks to not be able to buy whatever you want. Alright, so I've never been able to buy whatever I want, but there was a time that I didn't have to agonize over every penny I spent.

Back in the fall I made a decision. There were many factors that contributed to my decision, among them was our financial situation. I also took into account environment and things I was exposing my body to.

I decided to stop taking chemical birth control.

It was reaching $60 each month for the kind I was taking. Yes, I could have chosen a cheaper option, but then I would have to screw with my hormone levels after it took so long to find what worked for me. If you're a woman you understand this. If you're a man I'm sorry that I might be over sharing here.

Of course I realize that by stopping I was still screwing with my hormone levels, but at least they were my hormones that my body produces all on it's own. I had been on birth control for eight years and it got to the point that I just felt it wasn't healthy anymore and I made the decision to find another way. We aren't trying to have a baby and don't have a plan to start soon. We are taking precautions, but I won't share that because it's none of your business and you probably don't want to know.

So here I am with all my own hormones and acne to rival what I had in middle school. This is just one of the lovely side effects of going off synthetic hormones. There are many more and as I was on them for such an extended period I'm positive that my body hasn't made a full recovery and there are many more to come.

This brings me to the actual point of my post. Sure the whole birth control thing is part of being thrifty, but there were other reasons that fueled my decision.

I'm talking about skin care.

Have you been shopping for skin care lately? It isn't cheap. Nothing is cheap these days, but in particular proper skin care can rip a serious hole in your budget. I was using a really great name brand. I loved it. It worked well and my skin glowed, but I couldn't buy it locally. The only way to attain it was to purchase online (which I hate) or travel two hours to the nearest counter. It came to the point where neither of those were an option. Gas wasn't affordable and the products were so pricey it wasn't worth their benefit. For a two month supply I spent upwards of $200 and that was just for the basics.

Too much. Way too much.

I had to find another way.

And then I stumbled across a blogger who uses something called the oil cleansing method. I'll try anything once and the theory behind it actually seemed plausible. So that's what I've been doing. I wash my face with a mixture of Castor oil and olive oil (I know it sounds really disgusting) and then use a touch of just olive oil as a moisturizer at night. For daytime moisturizer I broke down and bought the expensive stuff. I can make it last a while because I only use it once a day, but I had to have something with sunscreen. I don't really like makeup so I was going out every day unprotected and I felt like I could feel my skin frying up like bacon. So I caved and found myself a really great tinted moisturizer with and SPF built in. I'm allowed one little splurge, ok?

While my acne isn't totally clear now it's under control. My breakouts are less, but I've noticed that it takes a little longer for them to heal.

I've found other things that allow me to forgo department store products or products that could be potentially hazardous to my health. I guess I'm kind of a purist when it comes to skin and body care and if all the ingredients are man made then why would I want to put that on myself?

I've been researching different home made facial and body scrubs. I've found a lot and I'm trying different ones to see which works better for me. Living up here in the mountains can cause some serious dead skin issues. It's not as bad in the summer so I'm trying to find one that is mild enough for the warmer months coming up.

Also, I stopped using deodorant. Ewww! I know. It's not like I'm not using anything. Every day I wipe my stinky pits with rubbing alcohol and then dust on some baby powder. It works surprisingly well. The alcohol kills the bacteria that causes the smell and the powder makes me feel fresh and soft like deodorant did.

Some of this might seem a little extreme, but like I said it's equal parts economically fueled and health based. I thought I was a little crazy to begin with, but then while I was talking about some of my lifestyle changes with my mom she reminded me that this isn't so far fetched. A hundred years ago women had to do something to keep fresh and feminine. There wasn't a walmart or department store on every corner. They had to make their own remedies. My own grandmother used peroxide to bleach her hair because hair bleach wasn't readily available or affordable.

It's always nice to have a little perspective from someone that lets me know I'm not totally crazy.

What are some things you're doing to tighten up during the recession?

1 comment:

  1. Use Witch Hazel on your blemishes or as a toner! I have used this for years! :O)