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Hey, is that a quarter behind your ear?

Ok, so I haven’t really found a way to make money just materialize (though I do pick up pennies off the sidewalk.  Maybe no one else can be bothered, but hey, it’s money.  I’ll take it).  Since my post on poverty, more ways to save money have presented themselves to me, so I thought I’d share.

1.  I eat a lot of hummus.  A whole lot.  I use it as a spread on the veggie sandwich I eat for lunch every day.  I eat falafel with hummus at least twice a week.  And hummus is a pretty good dip for green pepper slices.  I loves me some hummus.

I’ve been buying a locally made all natural hummus that’s very good for $4.99/14 oz.  I go through at least one container a week.  It’s probably one of my biggest grocery expenses, but I figured it’s healthy, it’s a source of protein, it’s locally made…these are all good things.  And it’s delicious.

Last week the price jumped to $5.49.

I decided, you know, I can find a recipe to make my own hummus.  How hard can it be?

Not all that hard.  I found a recipe that listed the same ingredients listed on the package, bought what I needed, got out my food processor, and went at it.  I made a few modifications.  I didn’t measure the lemon juice; I just used the juice of one lemon.  And I didn’t measure the salt; I just poured some salt into the palm of my hand.  It looked like a little less than a teaspoon.  And I didn’t measure the water.  The hummus I’d been buying didn’t contain water, just all the other ingredients, so I decided to mix all the other ingredients first, and then just add water a little at a time until it was the right consistency.

When it looked right, I tasted it.  A little bit too salty, but otherwise delicious!  I’ll definitely make it again but use less salt next time.

The cost came out to around $3.80 or so, for a larger quantity, and I can probably get tahini cheaper if I check out one of the little Middle Eastern grocery stores within walking distance.  Coolsville.  Hell, they might even have lemons and chickpeas cheaper.  I should definitely check that out.

2.  People on a couple of Ravelry groups were talking about Artisan bread in five minutes a day.  Well now, I’m a total bread snob.  If I can have good bread cheap without spending hours a day making it, I’m all for it.  Looking at the photos of bread people made using the instructions in the book, I was totally drooling, so I put a hold request on one of AADL‘s copies (they’ve got eight copies, all checked out, and now three more people have hold requests after me.  I guess it’s a pretty popular book).  I’m looking forward to looking through it.

3.  I’d read about people who wash their hair just using water, i.e., no shampoo.  They say it takes a while for your scalp to adjust to not having shampoo strip all the oil out, so at first it keeps producing extra oil to compensate, but after a while it reaches a balance point and your hair looks good.  It all sounded reasonable, but I wasn’t really ready to go through the extra oily stage.  But then last week I read something that made me reconsider.

Sodium lauryl sulfate (which is found in almost every shampoo) causes hair loss in many people.  After people who have lost hair stop using shampoo, their hair becomes thicker.  What?!

Now, I have never had thick hair.  And it seems like for as long as I can remember it’s done nothing but get thinner.  And thinner.  And thinner.  I read that, and I went into the bathroom and picked up my shampoo bottle, looked at it and said, “You Bastard!”

I found the MSDS for sodium lauryl sulfate, and after reading it, I don’t think it’s really something I want to be rubbing into my scalp morning after morning, year after year, decade after decade.  I looked at the rest of the ingredients on the shampoo label.  One of them was propylene glycol.  Um…why would I want to be rubbing antifreeze into my scalp?  According to propylene glycol’s MSDS, it’s absorbed through the skin and has some badass side effects.

So screw it.  That stuff can’t be good for you.

So the last time I shampooed my hair was last Monday.  Since then I’ve been washing my hair with just hot water, massaging my scalp and rinsing very well.  I was expecting it to look kind of skanky, but it doesn’t.  It feels a bit oily near my scalp, but it doesn’t really look oily.

What’s interesting is before, when I shampooed it, I had to use a conditioner or I could barely get a comb through it.  Some people refer to naturally curly hair as naturally tangly hair, and yeah, they’re not kidding.  Occasionally I would forget to use the conditioner, and I found it took less time to get back into the shower and use the conditioner than to try to comb my hair without it.  Combing without it took forever, and four times as much hair would come out.

Now I’m not using shampoo, I’m not using conditioner, and it’s easy to comb.  Far easier to comb than before.  Go figure.

From what I’ve read, my hair will still get oilier over the next several weeks before things normalize, but I bought some apple cider vinegar to use as a rinse once or twice a week, which is supposed to help.  I think I’ll try using it tomorrow morning.

I’m really looking forward to my hair getting thicker and looking better as time progresses.  I’ll save so much money not buying shampoo and conditioner anymore, and I won’t be bringing all those plastic bottles home, I won’t be rubbing a bunch of nasty chemicals into my scalp, and I won’t be washing a bunch of nasty chemicals down the drain.  Better for the environment, better for my health, better for my wallet.  There’s the green triangle again.

3 comments

  1. Jeanne B.

    Wow, I never realized what was IN shampoo. Kind of like hot dogs–you really don’t wanna know. (I don’t eat them, for the record.) I only shampoo about twice a week, but… I’m reconsidering.
    Are you using regular ACV or ACV with the Mother? If it’s the one with the Mother, which is more expensive, to save money on the ACV w/Mother, you can make more. It’s like sourdough starter. Buy a liter or half-gallon of Organic ACV with the Mother (Bragg’s, for example) and a same-size bottle of the regular stuff. Mix half and half in a gallon jug. Set aside in a cool dark place for a couple of weeks–shazam. Then, just keep making more.
    Of course, if you’re just using regular ACV, never mind. ;-) Great tips.

  2. Susan

    I started washing my hair every few days to save water. I never thought about doing it because of all of the chemicals in shampoo that may be absorbed into your skin. Good thinking Riin. I’ll try the Hummus recipe too. :) Susan

  3. Marcy

    Be careful with the vinegar, it can strip oil away which will trigger your scalp to produce more. No more than a capful in at least 2 cups of water. And it will soften your hair and make it limp. Baking soda will raise the scales on your hair (just like on wool) and make it thicker.
    Yay! Another convert to the no ‘poo way of life. I’m down to a once-a-month baking soda scrub and I just rinse every day to get rid of the dreaded “bed hair.”

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