I’m a CHRISTian, an American, a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a full-time employee, a photographer, a scrapbooker, a movie-lover, a book-lover, an earth-friendly through-and-through woman.

My mother has always teased me that I should have born in a different generation, because I have always wanted to live more naturally. And I hate to throw things away – wanting to reuse them as much as possible! I have always gravitated towards herbal remedies and diet tweaking, instead of using medications (except when required, obviously!). I have long wanted to live in a way that is sustainable and in touch with the earth.

Do I always succeed in this? No, not always.  Sometimes budget and convenience get in the way. Those little devils.  But I had converted my husband over to reusable cloth napkins, dish towels, and washcloths long ago.  I also use handkerchiefs instead of Kleenex, but I haven’t been able to convince him to switch yet.  (I know when to pick my battles, see?)  I started using reusable menstrual products over 2 years ago and haven’t looked back.  We use reusable bags almost exclusively in our shopping. We’re cloth diapering both of our children, who are almost-2 and just 4 months old.  These, what I consider “little” things, were easily done.

But where I was stuck was with our grocery budget. When we were first married, we lived in a 2-bedroom apartment on the ground floor. We saw a lot of wildlife, but didn’t feel comfortable keeping anything on the patio! Not even a grill! And, I also tend to kill plants easily, so my desire for a garden has been hindered quite a bit. And buying the produce that I knew was essential for our health was so expensive!  (Don’t yell at me yet. Keep reading.)

So, I began collecting coupons. I followed blogs all over the web and learned how to match coupons to sales, how to “stack” manufacturer coupons with store coupons to get stuff nearly free, and how to take advantage of frequent shopper programs. I amassed a fairly good pantry with stuff I got at really great prices – in some cases, even free!  But somewhere in my Quest for the Deal, I lost the part of myself that wanted to stay natural… And with that I began to look again at how to use what I had learned and apply it towards products that are good and healthy for my family, as well as for the earth.

I sought out the blogs that actually focused on this side of “couponing” (and while there are several, they are a small percentage of the “bargain blogs” out there!), and learned about organic brands. I learned where to find those elusive organic coupons (there are so many more available than you would think!). I had to learn all over again what a good price is on meat and dairy products, and produce I frequently purchase. And I am still learning, by the way!

I do still buy processed items and paper household goods, but I buy them now with a purpose. I support our local food pantry as much as possible and have chosen to do so with these items that I can find – when I can find them for $1 or less! Someone else is blessed, and I do not have these items in my pantry.  Some may criticize me for that, but this is how I have chosen to help others with what I know. I ask you to do the same and you will often see these $1 or less deals highlighted in my weekly posts.

And while I do still buy conventional produce, I only do so when their organic counterpart is not available locally. My husband and I have decided that ANY produce in our diet is better than NO produce.  The same for things like grass-fed, free-range meat and organic dairy.  When we have the opportunity, these are the items we purchase.  But to be realistic, in some areas, these products are not readily available. And to request to have a few items shipped is not good for the environment either. We follow the guidelines I outlined in my post here 99% of the time. And when we can’t, we buy locally-produced goods, if possible.

When we purchase non-food items, we try to get items used (either through Freecycle, Craig’s List, garage sales or local resale shops) first.  If we do need to purchase something new, I will try to do so using eco-friendly options.  We love wooden toys for our children and our first choice when buying new. But we also love previously-loved plastic toys we got at garage sales.   We make do with items we have when considering big purchases. But when necessary, again – the most eco-friendly option. I think we are probably normal in that regard. Maybe not. You tell me.

I have taken to scouring the web daily and posting what I call Green Baby Deals. These are discounts, sales, and today-only deals on great organic, healthy, natural products for children. I also am starting a Green Giveaways series – so that we can all take advantage and try to get some of these great eco-friendly products for FREE. I post what I feel are great deals, both in brick&mortal (grocery & retail) stores, as well as online stores.  And periodically, I write the “Deep Thoughts” posts – things that concern me, make me go “hmm.” Things that are great Green Ideas. And things I just generally want to educate you about.

I do have favorite brands, as you will see me mention from time to time. But I am always open to new products, new brands, new ideas.

I actually love writing reviews. If you have an earth-friendly product that you would like me to review, please contact me at greenfrugalmama@gmail.com and I will be glad to take advantage of the opportunity! I will not promise a positive review, but I will promise a fair, honest review that looks at the positives and negatives of your product.

I have not ventured into the realm of giveaways yet, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a possibility.

Is there something that you would like me to write about? A subject you want to see? A store you would like covered? Send me an email and I will do my best to accommodate you.

One last comment: I do live in the Chicago Northwest Suburbs, so many of the brick&mortar store deals I highlight will focus on stores in this area.

And with that, enjoy the green savings!

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