Committing to a low weekly grocery budget (see here for my story!) has bought many more advantages than just saving money. The pleasure of knowing that you are making environmentally sustainable choices every day is very empowering. After a while you realize that being unable to afford the processed consumable products that line the supermarket shelves, and doing without or making your own is bringing you health and beauty advantages that you were previously unaware of.
When I limited our grocery budget to the insanely low $35 a week for 2, there was obviously no money for anything extra and one thing I was not prepared to go without was moisturizer, so I began making my own.
It was a pleasant surprise to discover that with little time, effort and for minimal expense, I could make my own moisturizer which worked as well or better than a bought one at a fraction of the cost and I could store it in a recycled container rather than buying another plastic thing with a lid to throw away. In retrospect I think the containers the bought moisturizer comes in costs more than the moisturizer itself which is crazy considering we constantly throw the containers away.
Here is the recipe for the simple moisturizer I first made….
as a lotion it can be used all over body and as a night cream
- 50g Coconut Oil
- 20g Emulsifying Wax (www.amoraromatherapy.co.nz)
- 150ml hot water
- 75ml Glycerine
- Fragrance (essential oil) and Color (Mica or food coloring) (Optional – omit if you have sensitive skin)
- Melt oil and wax in microwave,heat water and mix with glycerine, Carefully add hot oil mixture, Mix well,Add essential oils and colour
- Mix well,Cool for 5 minutes,Mix again and pour into jars
- Will set over night
I have got so good at making this now that I no longer measure the ingredients and can complete the task in about 5 minutes. If you do not have 5 minutes to make this, just buy some coconut oil and use that for moisturizing. If the home made moisturizer does not set to your liking simply re melt and add more emulsifying wax.
This can be stored in the fridge if you are afraid it may go moldy although I have never had a problem with this and simply store it on the shelf in a glass container with a lid.
I branched out and was buying kawa kawa oil, sweet almond and other exotic oils to add to my moisturizer, which was cheaper than buying moisturizer but still hard on the budget. Then one day I drove past a kawa kawa tree on my farm and the penny dropped, I could infuse my own oil.
The oil I had in the pantry was a budget 3litre container of soya bean oil that had cost $8-99 at the supermarket. I heated a little of this in a clean pot and gently fried off some kawa kawa leaves until they wilted. I then put the oil and leaves in a glass jar and left it in the hotwater cupboard for 3 weeks. Eventually I discarded the leaves and used the oil in the above recipe. The resulting moisturizer had the fragrance, slight green colour and healing and antibiotic properties of kawa kawa, and it had only cost me a few cents for the oil.
Of course if money was no object I could infuse a higher grade of oil, sweet almond, jojoba or coconut with something, but the result I got from the cheaper oil was delightful.
I have since made moisturizer using oil infused with other natural things around me…. Feijoa, strawberries, rose and dandelion petals, all with great success and very little expense.
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