Welcome to part 2 of living chemical-free! The purpose of this series is to help you take actionable steps to live chemical-free. It is a lifestyle change that requires research and preparation. But it is achievable! If you haven’t already, check out part 1, and take some time to complete it first before diving into part 2.
Here are the five parts to the living chemical-free series:
- Do your own research
- Track your budget and product usage (you are here)
- Analyze and prioritize
- Research chemical-free products
- Make your first product, and start living chemical-free!
2. Track your budget and product usage
A huge part of making the change to living chemical-free is the cost. This is an important reason why making the change all of a sudden can be very difficult. Although organic food and products are becoming more available and affordable, it’s still tempting to save a little bit of money by buying the cheaper product. I hear you. #TheStruggleIsReal.
Tracking your budget and analyzing how much you currently spend on bath products, cleaning products, and makeup will help you prioritize where you can try going chemical-free. I did this for about two to three months in order to track my budget and habits. I was quite surprised to see how many different products I use, how often I use it, and how much I’m spending! I hope that it is helpful for you, too.
Download the free printable (8.5″x11″) to track your budget and product usage!
The free printable helps you track all of the products you use. It will ask for six kinds of information:
- Product Name and Brand: Be sure to specify which brand you are using. Some brands are known for trying to be toxic-free, and some sacrifice it to keep the price down. Get to know the brands of the products you are using.
- Price: This is pretty obvious, but be as accurate as you can about how much the price is. If you bought it on sale, or with a BOGO deal, make sure to specify that. You want your budget to be as accurate as possible.
- Size: Your product should have its fluid ounce amount labeled. If you put down cleansing wipes or something else with a different form of measurement, be sure to specify what kind of measurement it is (i.e. 200 wipes)
- Usage: It’s easy to know how much you use certain products like shampoo, conditioner, face wash, and toothpaste because you use them at least once a day. If you’re not sure how often you use them, like nail polish or hair spray, write down your best estimate. Perhaps once a week, or once a month. Again, the more accurate you are, the better.
- Last bought: If you’re the type to hold onto receipts, hopefully this step will be easy! But if you can’t remember the last time you bought a product, either estimate, or wait until you buy it the next time so that you can write that date down in this column.
- Next buy date: This date is filled in only when you actually buy the product the next time. That way, you have the best idea of how often you purchase a certain product. I tracked my spending habits for about 2-3 months, and I realized that I buy 32oz of body wash about every 8-9 weeks. This will be important information later on when you think about prioritizing which products you want to go with chemical-free first.
This information may differ from season to season because in the winter we might use lotion more, or take more showers in the summer. But it’s still a good gauge of how often you use certain products, and how long it takes before you have to replenish.
Lastly, if you feel that this is a bit overwhelming and don’t want to track every single product in your bathroom, makeup bag, and cleaning closet, then focus on just a type of product. Perhaps you want to tackle just what’s in the shower (shampoo, conditioner, body wash, shaving cream, etc.). Or perhaps you want to look at the things you put on your face (moisturizer, toner, makeup, etc.). Use the list however it fits your needs and lifestyle right now. Perhaps it’s not your time to go full out chemical-free, but my hope is that one day, you will be able to achieve that. Until then, there is no shame in taking it step by step!
Please let me know in the comments how you’re using budget/product usage tracker printable, and if it’s helpful! I’m also open to suggestions on how to improve the printable.
Stay tuned next week for part 3 where we’ll analyze what we did in this step! Happy tracking!