Super Simple Coconut Oil Deodorant

I’ve been curious about coconut oil for a while now; the crunchy side of me has always wondered if it lived up to all that people talked about, or if it was just another trend. I’ve gone out before to purchase it, but became overwhelmed by the options (virgin, cold pressed, unrefined) and all the brands, that I never bought any…and frankly, the frugal side of me was worried I wouldn’t find enough uses for it to justify the price. The more you buy at once, the cheaper it is, but did I really need a gigantic jar of the stuff? Would I actually use it all?

Having you ever googled the stuff? Or searched it on Pinterest? The list of uses seems to expand every day, and I just love hearing what other people use the stuff for (so if you love it like I now do, please leave me a comment with how you use it!) I am slowly venturing into using it in cooking and baking, but mostly I’ve been keeping it in my bathroom. First and foremost it’s become my deodorant, as well as a moisturizer for my stretching skin over my pregnant belly and around my eyes. It also seems to help my daughters extremely dry skin. But today, I want to focus on it as a natural deodorant option.

coconut oil deodorant

Antiperspirants and deodorants are so very bad for you. I’ve known this for years! They leach harmful chemicals into your skin, clog your pores (which is the point, right?!) and have been linked to breast cancer. My husband gave up using any such product years ago, lucky for him, he never smells, and he has been on my case to do the same. I’ve tried just about every natural product out there, and none of them worked with my body chemistry. I’ve always been a sweaty person, even as a kid, and with puberty came the smell aspect as well. My husband swears I don’t smell, but honestly, he doesn’t have the best sense of smell. Wasting money on the over priced natural products frustrated me greatly! And I have heard about using coconut oil, but all the recipes I found online had strange other ingredients in them that I had to order online…it seemed like too much work, and money, for something that might not even work for me.But when Allie (from Table for More, and now The Real Healthwives) shared how she uses just coconut oil and baking soda for deodorant, I instantly knew I had to try it. I went out that night and bought the stuff! If it didn’t work for me, than I’d find other uses for the oil, right, so no waste!

Her method of simple applying a tiny of bit coconut oil under your arm, followed by a little baking soda is quick and easy. I keep small containers of both in my bathroom now. I’ve been using this every day for about a week, we have had some warm days and the stuff worked. Like it really really worked! There was only one day that I got super sweaty, but I didn’t smell…the first time since I was like 12 that my sweat didn’t smell! If there is any scent when I did sweat, it was just a hint of coconut, and frankly, that is fine by me since it’s one of my favourite scents, and much better than the baby powder scents most products come in.

I’ve since read on other blogs and sites that sometimes your body needs to detox a bit, and so it may take a few days to adjust to the coconut oil. So if you find yourself sweating more and smellier more than normal, give it a few days before you make your decision. You will still sweat, as it’s not an antiperspirants, but perhaps the baking soda will help a bit with that, but don’t worry, it’s ok to sweat, your body needs to! I also found that rubbing the baking soda in irritated my sensitive underarm skin, so now I pat it on, and it works just fine!

I can’t wait to try it out on more pregnancy and breastfeeding things, and of course on this new bundle once it arrives (I’ve heard its great for baby acne, and diaper rashes too!) And of course, I want to start using it regularly in the kitchen as well

PLEASE share what you use your coconut oil for, I’m totally late to this game, but am completely in love with the stuff and want to use it in everything!

The crunchiest thing about me used to be the cloth diapers I put my kids in, or maybe my use of a Diva Cup, or our backyard veggie garden and rain barrel…not anymore!

 

 

Meal Plan Monday – April 14 2014

Just a quick post to share our menu this week. I’ve got a baked oatmeal recipe and my new found love for coconut oil deodorant coming this week too, so watch for those!

here’s what we are eating this week:

Monday – my famous spaghetti

Tuesday - island pork with veggie fried rice and green beans

Wednesday – beef tacos

Thursday – pierogies and peppers and salad

Friday – baked fish, with rice and broccoli

 

As always, I’m linking up over at Org Junkie. Happy Menu Planning everyone!

mpmsmallbutton

Frugal Tip Tuesday – Homemade Crispy Potatoes

I guess this counts as a frugal tip, since buying a big bag of potatoes it much cheaper than buying those bags of pre-cut frozen fries! We all love french fries, right? I love potatoes in just about any form, but super crispy french fries are top of my list! Since hitting the drive thru on the regular is out of our budget, and frankly, not a healthy option at all, this is the next best thing.

Bags of frozen french fries are easy to throw into the oven, but they aren’t very healthy. Most are filled with chemicals/preservatives, and are usually deep fried in the factory before being frozen, so even if you bake them, they can still be full of oil. Slicing up your own potatoes is a little more work, but once you taste these little gems, you won’t go back to the bagged ones!

homemade crispy potatoes

Homemade Crispy Potatoes

5 or 6 medium red potatoes

2 tbsp all purpose flour

2 tbsp olive oil

salt

Preheat the oven to 425 F. Wash and cut your potatoes into 1 inch pieces. Place in a pot of cold salted water, and bring to a boil. Boil over medium heat for 4 or 5 minutes, just until slightly fork tender. You are only par-boiling them, not fully cooking them. Drain potatoes in a strainer. Rough the potatoes up by shaking them in the strainer to make the edges fluffy. Once all the little pieces look fluffy, but are not falling apart, sprinkle with the flour and shake lightly to coat all the pieces. Meanwhile, have a foil lined baking sheet with the 2 tbsp of oil heating in the oven for a few minutes. Once the oil is hot, but not smoking, dump the potatoes into the hot oil, spreading them into a single layer. Bake for approximately 30-40 minutes, turning every 10 minutes to get each side crispy. Sprinkle lightly with salt when they are done, and enjoy! I recommend making more than you think you’ll need for your family, as these will go quickly!

crispy potatoes

drained, fluffed, and coated in flour (the real secret to getting them so crispy!)

 

crispy potatoes

spreading them out evenly in the hot oil gets them crisping up right away!

Meal Plan Monday – April 7th 2014

And we are back with another meal plan! Last week I never got around to posting our dinners for the week as I was out of commission with a nasty head cold. It came out of nowhere, knocked me on my butt for 3 days, and suddenly I was fine…very very strange, but better than having it drag on for a week!

This week we are eating pretty well, I spent a small fortune on fresh fruit; this baby is craving berries, and melon, and pears right now! It makes snacking easy, when all I have to do is grab some fruit!

I’m planning on trying some new recipes this week, and of course I will share them with you! A baked oatmeal breakfast casserole, and sharing my secret to the crispiest roasted potatoes you’ve ever had!

Here is what we are eating this week:

Monday – grilled pork chops with crispy roasted potatoes and garden salad

Tuesday – turkey and red pepper quiche with buttered sweet peas and garden salad

Wednesday - my famous spaghetti

Thursday – tacos

Friday – baked lemon and herb fish with spinach and tomato pasta

As always I am linking up over at Org Junkie. Happy Menu Planning everyone!

mpmsmallbutton

 

Cutting Our Ties With The Big Red Guys! (aka how to cut your phone/cable/internet bill in half…)

That’s a long title! But something so significant deserves lots of attention! If you live in Canada (like we do) you know how limited the options are for phone, tv, and internet providers. It’s only within the last year or so that the government finally stepped in and forced the two big companies (You know who they are, Rogers and Bell) to allow other competitors in, and to use “their” lines. I guess its the price we pay to live in this amazing country, but it still frustrates us greatly.

My husband and I have been considering cutting our ties with Rogers for a while, but we were locked in to such a great TV deal that we kept sticking it out. It wasn’t until a couple weeks ago that the straw finally broke the camels back! We have an iPhone now, and so we wanted to cancel our home phone.  Thinking it would be an easy switch, we decided to stick with Rogers for now…but when they said we were breaking contract from our existing bundle and would charge us $120 to cancel our home phone, we changed our minds! Even though we were still staying with them for our cell phone, and we’ve been loyal customers who have never missed a bill for over 6 years, this was how they were going to treat us. They honestly expected us to pay the $120 and still sign up our iPhone with them, and keep TV and internet with them too! Yeah right! I also want to mention that their cheapest data plan was absurdly expensive and much less data compared to many competitors, so we didn’t really want to go with them, we just thought it might be easier…which unfortunately is how so many Canadians get stuck with them.

So here we are, after many annoying phone calls, the iPhone is activated with a much cheaper provider, that is actually owned by Rogers, which makes me a little angry, but I like their customer service much better! We have also since put in our 30 day notice to cancel our cable and internet with them, and started the process of activating internet with another company, and had an HD Antenna installed on our house. Our new internet package is not only cheaper, but significantly better, so we will also be getting Netflix again, without any worries of going over our monthly internet usage, like we previously had with our tiny Rogers internet package. As for the antenna, we’ll only be getting 26 channels or so, but that’s a sacrifice we are willing to make. It’ll be hardest on my husband, since he’ll be missing most hockey and baseball games, but come football season, he’ll be fine (we get all major networks, and several US channels we didn’t previously get).

So here is the break down, in a nice little table (created for you by my husband!):

 
BEFORE
AFTER
Internet
Rogers Internet + modem rental
$54.99 (+tax) + $7 rental (+ tax)=$70.05
Tek Savvy Internet
$41.95 (+tax) = $47.40
Phone
Home Phone + Cell Phone
$40.59 (-8% bundle discount +tax) + $10 old cell phone (+tax) = $53.50
iPhone (Fido)
$35.10 (+ tax) = $39.66
TV
Basic Cable
$39.68 (-8% bundle discount +tax) = $41.25
Antenna + Netflix
$0 + $7.99 (no tax) = $7.99
Total
 
$164.80 per month
 
$95.05 per month

This option isn’t for everyone, as it doesn’t come without sacrifice, like I mentioned above! Upfront costs are high (prices of antennas vary along with installation and can run from $200-$700). There were also a few other costs, things like activation fee with Tek Savvy, purchasing of a modem, router, and a new PVR that would work with the antenna. But my husband shopped around for all those items, and found the best deals online, and spent less than $100 on all three pieces. The benefit is that your monthly bill will be much cheaper, so you’ll save in the long run. For us, it’s a savings of $69.75 per month! The cost of the switch will be paid for after only 9.5 months, and going forward we’ll be saving $837 per year! Living with less TV is fine for us, as we don’t watch much anyways, but check with your local antenna provider/installer to see just what channels you should expect for your area. The best part is, that our internet package is going from 80GB per month, to 300GB plus unlimited downloads over night! Any TV we miss with the antenna, we’ll just watch online (with the flip of a switch, we can view the computer on our large TV, thanks to my awesome nerdy husband and all his computer know-how!), and of course, there are plenty of tv shows and movies to watch on Netflix.

Questions? Do not hesitate to leave me a comment and ask!

 

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