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Feeling Frugal? My 8 Favorite Home Remedies and Products

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Ever since the August gathering of my women’s group, the Wo-Hoo! Society, where our hostess had stations for creating our own salt scrub and facial toner, I’ve been on a kick of making my own. It never occurred to me how easy it is to make these at home. I also love the “New Uses for Old Things” section in Real Simple magazine, so this is completely up my alley. I’ve also been thinking of other favorite “home remedies,” and have come across some new ones.

Salt Scrub

Concocted from a recipe found online with baby oil, Epsom salt, and essential oils (our hostess provided vanilla and amber for scenting), after using it for a few days in the shower, I noticed the baby oil was making my sensitive skin break out. I did a quick online search for alternatives to use, and found suggestions for grapeseed, canola, olive or almond oils. I switched to making it with my favorite Burt’s Bees® Apricot Baby Oil I had in the house already, which is made from a blend of apricot kernel, grapeseed, and wheat germ oils. Since it’s already “flavored” with Apricot, and has a nice, warm scent, I don’t use any extra essential oils. But I’m already looking forward to trying out different scents when the Burt’s Bees oil runs out and I buy a plain oil that could benefit from some fortification.

I use a weekly mix of 1/3 cup Epsom salt and pour the oil over it until it looks like there is just a little bit more salt than oil (you can make it the consistency you like). Then I put the cover on the plastic ware, and horizontally shake the container to blend the oil with the salt. I love using it in the shower to smooth out the rough spots on my skin, and especially rubbing it on tired muscles after my workout.

Facial Toner
Made with equal parts witch hazel, distilled water, and vinegar (our hostess provided apple cider vinegar), which we mixed in plastic ware and applied using a cotton ball. I’ve been making this weekly using a little less than 30ml (1/8th cup) each, and am using plain distilled white vinegar I already had in the house. I also had a brainstorm of soaking a chamomile tea bag in the mixture to infuse it with calming benefits (it sounded good in my head).

Add a Comment10 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

I've recently started using a mixture of Aloe Vera gel and Jojoba oil as my morning moisturizer. It works well and seems to "soak" right into my skin so there isn't any sticky residue. And since when is taking care of yourself, feeling good (and clean) and using natural products to do it not part of feminism? Are Feminists supposed to be smelly and dirty? I think it actually empowers a woman (or man) to not fall prey to the marketing of potentially hazardous products. I feel sorry for "Feminists" who are so wrapped up in trying to prove something that they can't embrace the fact that they are a woman.

June 23, 2010 - 2:51pm
EmpowHER Guest

Mash strawberries in cream for a moisturising face mask that tastes great.

June 17, 2010 - 1:01pm
EmpowHER Guest

Use a baking soda paste for shampoo, and a mild apple cider vinegar & water rinse to condition the ends. You don't need shampoo ... and after a week or two for your pores to adjust, you won't miss it. Really!


April 20, 2010 - 2:28pm
EmpowHER Guest

Since when is feminism about not being able to CHOSE? Maybe, today, I, an empowered, educated woman, felt like being able to be frugal and self indulgent. Are the feminists telling me that this is too 'girly' ? So I can only be a woman if I stop being female and proud of it?

March 18, 2010 - 3:00pm

Thank you so much for the Salt Scrub recipe! I love to use it in the shower too but rarely treat myself to buying it. I can't wait to try to make it:)

January 12, 2010 - 7:49am


Thank you so much for posting this! It is very important to understand that money can be saved in a home where it's tight by making your own cleaning and useful products. Believe it or not, if you've got vodka lying somewhere in your house it makes an EXCELLENT shiner for fixtures, treating poison ivy, freshening up laundry, preserve flowers, repel insects, and more.

I have included the site where I saw this called "The Daily Green"-- great and helpful site. http://www.thedailygreen.com/green-homes/latest/vodka-uses-460424

Thanks again for your share!

January 7, 2010 - 6:37am
EmpowHER Guest

First time on this site... I'm a little disappointed that "Empowerher" cover page article is about making homemade body salt's... don't get me wrong, I'm interested in cosmetology, but women's empowerment is much more serious than the superfluous article presented here. Sorry, I'm a bonified feminist, and I beg this to be a misrepresentation of women's empowerment.

January 6, 2010 - 10:44am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

One thought on your post, fellow Anonymous Guest: Considering the hype over anti-aging products, creams, lotions and elixirs to help us retain our youth, look 10 years younger, erase crow's feet, rejuvenate our old tired useless estrogen depleted skin so that our mid-life men might not dump us for a woman half our age anyway (like it would really be a loss) sort of supports these recipes as empowerment -- power over Madison Avenue and cosmetic solutions to a natural process called aging. We are so horrified to see celebrities actually look when caught without makeup on, and then transfer that loathing to our own aging process. Just sayin...

April 9, 2010 - 5:36am
EmpowHER Guest

I wash my hair with a tablespoon of baking soda mixed with a cup of water. It tends to dry it out a bit but you can condition it with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a cup of water. It cleans the hair while controlling the sebum.

I also make my own laundry detergent. One cup of Borax plus one cup of washing soda (both found in the laundry aisle) and one bar of soap. I prefer Fels Naptha but any bar you have lying around the house will work. Or better yet, use the free bars you get from hotels.

September 7, 2009 - 11:22am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I use the baking soda and water to wash my hair, and then rinse with the apple cider vinegar and water mixture to which I add a few drops of lavender essential oil. I have naturally curly hair and this REALLY brings out the curls! (Sometimes I steep chamomile tea bags in the water before adding the vinegar and essential oil. My hair always smells terrific after!)

June 2, 2010 - 6:40am
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