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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been a customer of Melaleuca for about 1 year now. I was getting paid by them enough to cover the cost of what I needed for the house... cleaning, hygiene and supplements. I didn't like the work... too much phone and computer time. Now, I don't get enough to cover what we need at the house. I would like to cancel my membership with them, but I need to save money. I signed on with them to get more natural types of stuff and quality supplements for much cheaper than I can get at Wild Oats and such. I want to even go more natural than what Melaleuca offers. Chemical free if possible. Any suggestions? Right now we spend around $120 monthly on the supplies in the 3 categories mentioned above. It goes on a credit card and I pay whatever I get with my check from Melaleuca on top of my minimum payment. Now, it's not covering it. I don't want to rack up debt.
 

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For cleaning, you can't get more natural or cheap than vinegar. And possibly using cloth to replace tp, paper towels etc if you don't already.<br><br>
For supplements, I find Trader Joe's to have the best prices.
 

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Wow, $120 is a LOT! What sort of hygiene products are you using, it might help to know so we can give suggestions.<br><br>
For cleaning, I use vinegar, baking soda, dr.bronners and tea tree oil for everything. (I know melaleuca is all TTO based, right? Why not just use that instead? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> ) for laundry, I use either my own laundry stuff (grated fels naptha, washing soda, borax and a few drops of lavender EO) or recently I've gotten some arm and hammer naturals (no phosphates, enqymes or other yucky chemicals) laundry soap.<br><br>
Hygiene-wise, we use dr.bronners for body wash, arm and hammer toothpaste, tom's of maine deodorant (although DH uses Degree; he's got serious perspiration problems, LOL!) Shampoo is Dr. bronner's or aveda rosemary mint.<br><br>
supplements, I use the trader darwin's from Trader Joes <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hygiene - seperate shampoos for me, DH, and DD as well as separate body washes or soaps. Conditioner for me. Hairspray for DH and pomade for me. Deordorant/anitperspirant, lotion separate for adults and DD. cologne (DH), body spray (me)... Toothpaste, mouthwash... Hydorcortisone for DD's eczema... Gel for cuts... TTO... bath oil for DD's eczema.<br><br>
Cleaning - laundry soap, alternative brightner, dryer sheets, stain remover, thyme oil disinfectant, bathroom cleaner, kitchen cleaner, 3-in-1 cleaner<br><br>
Supplements - Prenatal vitamins and minerals, DD's chewables, DHA and EPA fish oil capsules, vitex<br><br>
I don't get all of these things every month... just as we run out. I've done some research on the cleaning and I know about the baking soda and vinegar thing with essential oils as I want or need. I know most of my disinfecting can be done with TTO. I think the key is to cut on the hygiene area, and to find quality ceap supplements. We don't have a Trader Joes. We have Whole Foods and Wild Oats and 2 small local health food stores. I'm interested in the making my own laundry stuff, and what I can cut there. I really want to get as natural as possible. I was excited when I signed on with Melaleuca because their products are safer than regular store brands as they have removed known carcinogens, caustic chemicals, and phosphates and the like. They still include parabens which I don't like, and some other things I question... dimethicone. So, I'm excited about going even cheaper and more natural. I think that is the key to health.<br><br>
Any suggestions?
 

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This kind of depends on what you're willing to try and what you're willing to change.<br><br>
Hygiene: I use baking soda and vinegar instead of shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, and much of my soap. I don't use perfumes. Bar soaps are usually not wasted as much as shower gels. I don't use mouthwash. I use olive oil for dry skin instead of lotion.<br><br>
Cleaning: I use vinegar, baking soda, dish detergent, and microfiber cloths. And laundry detergent.<br><br>
Supplements: I don' take any so don't have much advice, but you might want to consider replacing some, like the fish oil, with cheaper food-based supplements like ground flaxseed.
 

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I'd recommend getting in on a Frontier co-op! The supplements they sell are half off the suggested retail price. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">
 

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What everybody else mentioned for cleaning and hygiene.<br><br>
Supplements-definately whole foods. Spirulina, bee pollen, ect, doesn't cost much when bought in larger quantities and covers broad spectrum nutrition. I have an encapsulator and can encapsulate my own stuff which really cuts cost, too. A dehydrator is great, too. For example, every spring I dig, clean, dehydrate, grind and encapsulate dandelion. This can be done with a wide variety of herbs and saves a pile of $$$. Plus you control freshness and quality. Harvesting herbs for tea is another thing I've done in the past- you can't get more frugal than that!!!
 

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<div style="font-style:italic;">I'd recommend getting in on a Frontier co-op! The supplements they sell are half off the suggested retail price. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"></div>
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Doing this was a big help for me. I also got all of our hygeine stuff at almost half off. Check out the co-ops section under The Trading Post.<br><br>
You can also email or write to all the companies whose products you use, gush about how much you love them and ask for coupons. I've always managed to get coupons from companies that way.<br><br>
You can print coupons for the Seventh Generation brand here:<br><a href="http://www.seventhgeneration.com/" target="_blank">http://www.seventhgeneration.com/</a>
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm willing to try most anything that is all natural for hygiene and cleaning. I'm definitely going to do some research on alternatives. My supplements are something I really need to feel well. I have Epstein Barr, so vitamins are a must. Thanks for your help. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I own a Steam Buggy which is an electrical cannister type steamer. It uses only steam (water) to clean everything. I love it! It can be used to clean your kitchen, bathroom, mirrors, windows etc. It gets things sparkling clean, much cleaner than what I could do by hand, and the steam disinfects. I got mine several years ago from an infomercial. I'm sure you could get one from QVC, HSN, Bed, Bath & Beyond or on Ebay.
 

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That seems like a lot of shampoos for each person, etc. I'd go crazy just trying not to knock all the bottles in the shower. Can't wait till my sister moves out with all her junk...<br>
Have you ever tried vinegar and baking soda "shampooing" or conditioner-only washing, or even going water only for your hair? I don't use anything on my hair. DH of course doesn't actually use much shampoo on his tiny short hair.<br><br>
We use bar ivory soap because it's cheap and doesn't have much in it.<br><br>
I have been very successful with using homemade deoderant. It's roughly 50/50 baking soda/cornstarch, lavender eo and tto (about 1/8 tsp per 2 tablespoons of bs ) with a body oil carrier enough to make it all soupy. I don't always measure; after you make it a few times you get the gist of it.<br><br>
I make laundry soap with 2 grated bars of ivory soap melted on low in a pan of water on the stove, maybe a cup of borax powder and 5 gal of warm water. I don't worry about the lack of bubbles. Costs me less than $1 for 5 gal. of soap. (cost nearly $7 for a 5 gal bucket and lid though <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">: )<br><br>
I use vinegar for most everything else. I have a downy ball that I sometimes use full of vinegar for clothes softener.<br><br>
The only cleaning chemical I routinely buy is hand dish detergent, which I cut by half with water.<br><br>
We get Toms of Maine fluoride free tothpaste, it's worth the price IMO. DH will even use it, we love the peppermint flavor.
 

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if you want much better products and no monthly committment to stay active, consider Shaklee. You won't be dissapointed. Let me know if you need a distributor and I can help you out. We've been faithful Shaklee users for a few years now and their products and the company AND the way they make the products are all incredible.
 

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Thats a lot of products! I'm cheap and found the $2 trial sized salt crystal thingy at Whole Foods to work wonderfully for me and its lasted for months. For supps are there cheaper food based alternatives? Like grounding your own flax for EFA's or what ever is the important stuff in there (my brains still not working to well tonight). For Shampoo I've been using this Dove 2 in 1 stuff that seems to be ok but before that I used Avalon Organics gotten when on sale for dirt cheap and I know whole foods sales shampoo and conditioner as well as lotions and Dr B's in bulk for really really cheap. I think I paid .27 cents an oz for Dr B's from the bulk jugs<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks again for the suggestions. Is Dr. Bronner's good for a toddler with eczema? DD has eczema and I wonder about her using the same soaps as we do. I'm definitely getting into the thought of cutting back on all of it. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 
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