Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Sometimes, Less Isn't More

Growing up, I was taught to be thrifty. Much to my shagrin, my mother always shopped for me at the thrift store or walmart, buying me clothes that I would end up getting teased for wearing because they weren't the latest, greatest, most expensive brand-name item. We bought food in bulk at Sam's club and made sure to get the store brand whenever possible. It was rare that I got a "treat" like a lunchable, a kid's cuisine, or some other novelty food item. I typically didn't ask my parents to buy me certain things because I knew we couldn't afford them. Even now, I try to not ask for many expensive things for christmas or a birthday, even though money is better for the family these days.

I carried this idea of thrifty shopping into adulthood. I learned to appreciate it as a teenager and bought as much cheap crap as I could. I shopped at big lots, walmart, TJMaxx, and Ross for everything I could possibly buy at those stores. It was rare I ever needed anything that I couldn't get there because I didn't think I needed the expensive clothes or the nice cosmetics.

Well...that has changed.

I'm still not into wearing brand name shit just for the sake of wearing brand name shit. If I do buy something that is from a more expensive store, I tend to shop on sales racks and never buy stuff that has the store's name big as hell across the front of it. But, I've started pampering myself in certain ways that has really made a difference.

The biggest thing, is body care. After taking the trip to North Carolina in April, and learning about natural body care products, I decided to do some research and try some for myself. I made a trip to whole foods and bought natural shampoo and body wash.

Wow. What a difference!

My hair was instantly much healthier, shinier, cleaner, and softer. It was literally squeaky clean! My skin was sooo soft and smooth. I wasn't really paying that much more for these items than I had the other crap at walmart. After all, I did like to use Pantene for my hair, which costs about the same as a bottle of the least expensive natural shampoo at whole foods. But pantene and other shampoos are chock-full of extra crap that builds up on your hair and weighs it down, damaging and destroying it over time. Don't believe me? Ask a hair dresser. It's the same with soaps and body washes. I used to use Oil of Olay which is supposed to moisturize and blah blah blah. After one shower with the Jason teatree body wash, I was hooked. That stuff is definately more expensive than Olay, but at $10 for a big pump bottle, it's not a bad deal. My skin is clean and soft all day plus it isn't dried out at all!

I put off splurging for face wash for a while because this is where it gets pricey. I couldn't find anything for less than $10 and I'm used to paying $3 for a big bottle of equate brand clearasil type stuff. But I finally got sick of the dry, blotchy skin on my face and splurged for the Alba coconut milk face wash. After ONE USE I could tell a major difference!! My skin wasn't dry and flaky and it was very smooth and evenly toned: no red splotches! I paid $12 for an 8oz bottle, which is pretty expensive in my thrifty book, but I'm glad I did.

I still try to find good stuff for cheap when I can. I found some Almay makeup at biglots the other day for less than half its usual price at walmart. (Almay is awesome, by the way, hypo-allergenic and no animal testing. woohoo!) But after treating myself to some nicer stuff for my body, I don't think I'll go back. It is completely worth it. Even the cheapest of the all natural, organic goods(like 365 brand at whole foods) is much better than any of the "special" crap you can get at walmart. They've even started carrying certain brands like Alba and Jason (which aren't necessarily cheaper, only more convenient) at walgreens.

So long blog short, buy organics. They're environmentally friendly and much better for your body than all that other crap. Ever wonder why you don't see very many commercials for natural and organic body care and you see tons of ads for the other shit? It's because the other crap has to dish you a load of bull to get you to buy their stuff. Organics don't need to. It's naturally good and it sells itself(once you try it once!).

Plus you'll feel super cool and trendy shopping at Whole Foods. And you might end up in a craigslist missed connection. haha

Originally posted to Myspace on July 6th, 2008

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