If I were you and I stumbled across my blog, I would probably be thinking, "OK, Practical Rabbit, you claim that you are both broke and in love natural living, so how do you reconcile those two facts when most natural products are ridiculously expensive?"
I have always felt that natural living should be simple and inexpensive. And here's what I've found from searching for natural products while having very little money- that's totally the case. Most of the most natural products I use now are actually in the same price range as the dollar store stuff and the results are far better than the more expensive so-called natural products.
So, if you've ever looked at organic or natural shampoos, soaps, deodorants, etc. and wondered how you can possibly shell out that much money, be assured there are other options. Here is what I do:
Soap/Body Wash/Shampoo/Liquid Hand Soap- Dr. Bronner's Castile Soap is pretty much the most versatile and amazing soap in the world, in my opinion. I have yet to find any other soap that is this natural. It is completely biodegradable and vegetable-based. I generally get the largest size at the store (32 oz.), but you can get smaller sizes at the store and 1/2 gallon and gallon sizes online. We use this stuff for everything! Malamute and I have found the eucalyptus scented soap to be the best shampoo ever. That's right; it works for both our hair so we don't buy separate shampoos. Malamute also doesn't need a de-tangler any more since he started washing his curly hair with Dr. Bronner's soap. We use it as body wash and mixed with a little witch hazel (available at your local Target or Wal-Mart) for liquid hand soap. (Witch hazel has disinfectant properties.)
Toothpaste- Baking soda. Yeah, supposedly it's too abrasive, but we haven't had any problems, especially because we use just a tiny amount. In fact, Malamute's family dentist brushed his teeth with baking soda. We love how it whitens our teeth.
Deodorant- Malamute and I have both found that since we switched to a plant-based, whole foods diet we don't sweat or smell as much. I do like to have a little bit of freshness under my arms though, so I dab on some liquid soap (Dr. Bronner's + witch hazel) and then put some unrefined coconut oil on over that. Unrefined coconut oil has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. Refined coconut oil has all kinds of icky properties.
Baby Shampoo- Duckling has a nice, full head of hair, but not as much as Malamute and I, so I like to use something lighter on his hair. I put on just a little bit of Bragg's raw apple cider vinegar and then scrub with a little baking soda. This gives Duckling's hair a nice, sweet smell and prevents cradle cap.
Lotion/Body Butter- Unrefined coconut oil. Seriously, this stuff is fantastic! I also cook with it. If my hands are especially dry, I scrub with salt first and then put some unrefined coconut oil on. softest hands ever!
Baby Wipes- I have cloth wipes for Duckling's cloth-diaper bottom. I put a few squirts of my liquid soap in a small spray bottle and fill it up with water. Voila! Instant diaper wipe spray. Now if I could just get Duckling to hold still long enough to use it...
Face Wash/Moisturizer- In the shower, I use Dr. Bronner's soap (no witch hazel added), so I just put a little on a wash cloth and wash my face with that. After I get out of the shower, I put on a little bit of unrefined coconut oil. Malamute and I have both found that since cutting dairy out of our diet we haven't had much of a problem with acne. On the rare occasion that I do have a break out, I scrub very gently with a little baking soda (no soap) and then rub on a light layer of coconut oil.
Lip Balm- I used to be a chapstick addict, but then I discovered lanolin, the Lansinoh brand for a nursing moms. It is the best thing to have ever touched my lips! (Except for Malamute's kiss, of course.) Lanolin is actually in most lip balms, so why not go straight to the source? I've found the moisturizing effect lasts longer than any lip balm I've tried and it's a great protectant for cold weather. One tube lasts me several months.
Hairspray- A couple of tablespoons of sugar in a spray bottle full of water. It gives my hair a nice shine too.
All of this stuff can be found at Whole Foods, or Harmons and Good Earth if you live in Utah.