Get Cash for Outgrown Clothing

clothing donationsAs any mom knows, kids outgrown clothing can pile up quickly. With two girls sprouting up, I drawers and closets full of outgrown shoes, jackets, sweaters, pants, tops, and even backpacks. What is a  mom to do with all these pounds and pounds of clothing? I usually give some away to friends and family, the rest I usually give to a one of those clothing charities. Now there is a new way to pass those clothes on and earn a little cash in the process.  THRED UP is an online store that sells “Flawless used clothing” for women, girls, and boys.  To sell your clothes you sign up with an email address at their website thredup.com.  They will send you a “Cleanout Bag”. You fill it with near new condition women’s,  juniors, and kid’s clothing. You can use their Clothing Calculator to get an estimate of your payout.  You give the prepaid pre addressed bag to the USPS carrier or take it to FedEx for shipping. Shipping is free. THRED UP employees appraise your clothing  and then pay you up to 80% of the resale value. You can use that money to buy clothes from THREDUP or they will pay you via PayPal. Items they don’t use can be mailed back to you (for a fee) or forwarded to a charitable organization.

Stretching Dollars – 5 Uses for Castile Soap

These are  5 uses for castile soap that save me a little money.

1) First, I buy my castile soap in bulk.  I buy 32OZ bottles in packs of 6. I also get CastileLiquidSoapthe 1280z size for refills and laundry uses. Ebay, Amazon, Soap.com and my local warehouse stores are where I shop for the best deals. If I buy it online, I always choose free freight, no matter how long it takes to be delivered.

2) A few tablespoons of castile soap in a pail of water is good for mopping floors. I use it to mop up the kitchen tile floors with a basic sponge mop and the floors come out looking great.

3) Castile is also great for hand washing washing dishes. I use the smaller 16 OZ bottle to dispense the soap and a spray bottle with about 2 parts of water to 1 part soap.

my-doggie-300x225 4) Dogs with sensitive skin will love their baths with 2:1 ratio of water to soap. Castile soap washes off clean with less water usage, and dogs won’t smell of perfumes. 

5) I use a Hoover Steamvac to clean the carpets. I fill the water tank with 10:1 ratio of water to soap. I will sometimes add a little (10 drops or so) tea tree oil or lemon oil to add a fresh scent. If I need to clean up a little doggie mess on the carpets, I try to get clean it before the stain sets with a spot brush and a 1:1 mixture of castile soap and water.

I Love Summer Skirts

I love finding pretty, fashionable, organic, and natural clothes.  Last year I began a gradual move towards a more eco-friendly lifestyle. I got rid of my gas hog cute-organic_tulip_skirt-152x300Dodge Durango SUV and bought a Toyota Prius. I am saving a small fortune each month in gas. I now freely spend that  new found money on introducing new organic clothes to my wardrobe. Women’s organic clothes are quite pricey and there aren’t as many discounts or markdowns to be found in the stores or online. I am trying to buy items that can last more than just a season, which means high fashion cutting edge items are off the list. I have also found that the best place to shop for clothes made from sustainable materials is online. I search for things like “”  or “natural and fair trade clothes” and I can shop for hours. Doing those same searches on Pinterest also turns up some great collections of attractive and fashionable organics

Top Three Least Toxic Laundry Soaps

 

The Environmental Working Group, a consumer products watchdog analyzed household cleaning products and release their report titled “EWG’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning.” In it are the results of the top three least toxic laundry soaps. Products were rated on a scale of A to F with A being the least toxic. The top three are:

1) Seventh Generation Natural Powder Laundry Detergent, Real
Citrus & Wild Lavender
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2) Dr. Bronner’s 18-in-1 Hemp Pure-Castile Soap, Peppermint

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3) Dr. Bronner’s 18-in-1 Hemp Pure-Castile Soap Baby Mild

Dr-Bronners-Pure-Castile-Liquid-Soap-18-in-1-Hemp-Unscented-Baby-Mild

 

 

 

 

If you are looking to reduce your exposure to toxic cleaning chemicals, have a look at the EWG.ORG site. They help you decode the labels and find the top products from air fresheners to floor care and everything in between. Of the top three laundry detergents listed above I prefer the Dr. Bronner’s 18 in 1 baby mild soap. It cleans without chemical residues and it can be mixed with water in spray bottles for general household cleaning chores.

Organic Cotton Summer Wear

I really love the feel and comfort of cotton, especially organic cotton. I now wear organic clothing as often as possible and I noticed that it keeps me from getting Jcrashes even on hot sweaty days outside. I look for certified organic cotton garments that don’t  make use of a lot of chemical dyes for color. I’ve been buying several items from Indigenous and Fair Indigo recently. Their prices are reasonable considering these are quality organic fabrics and fashionable designs. I love these companies because I can get quality natural clothing without having to look like a 60′s or 70′s hippie girl.

Growing my Own Fresh Organic Foods

My garden is growing quite well this year. I am having a bumper crop of Arugula, Romaine, carrots, and tomatoes. What I can’t eat, I will give away to healthy-lifestyle-eatingfriends and family. My mom normally shops at the Farmer’s Market and pays a premium for the organically grown produce, but this year, we worked together in the garden to grow the fresh, organic vegetables ourselves. It’s a lot of work keeping the wild rabbits and bugs from eating our crop. Our cat helped with the rabbits and ladybugs helped with the aphids, mites and whatnot. I think next year I will try adding  strawberries and cucumbers. Mom and I are also starting the compost this year, so hopefully we can save some money on fertilizer.

A Great Chlorine Bleach Alternative

Chlorine bleach has always scared me. Growing up, my parents had a pool and dad maintained it himself. He had pool chlorine stored in the garage in buckets. We had a bucket leak once and I accidently stepped in the leaky residue in my bare feet. I didn’t really notice it until about 15 minutes later when I started getting a burning rash on  the bottom of my feet. I thoroughly rinsed with plenty of water, but the damage was done, I had burned through a layer of the skin and got a bad blister. It was so painful that I couldn’t walk for days.

As a laundry doing adult with two kids, I have had to rely on chlorine bleach to biokleenclean stinky diapers, kids clothes with grass, dirt, mud, blood, and food stains. That was in the past. I now use oxygen bleach for all my stain removing and brightening duties. I have used the brand “OxiClean,” but lately I have been trying out “Bio Kleen” oxygen bleach with grape seed extract (GSE).

The instructions recommend adding a few tablespoons of  the powdered bleach to a regular laundry load with the normal detergent, but I have great results just adding a scoop in the  wash cycle. The clothes come out very clean without the “bleachy” smell of chlorine products. It seems to work best on organic type stains like grass, foods, and bodily fluids, and not so well at grease and oils. For those I have to soak or spot treat first for about 30 minutes. All in all , oxygen bleach a great chlorine bleach alternative for our family.