Coupon Count

Yikes — I finished my wonderful 32 oz bottle of Dr. Woods Black Soap in 4 months.


This is because I use it not only in my bath and to wash my face and hands by the sink, but I also keep refilling the soap dispensers by my husband’s sink, the downstairs bathroom sink, and the kitchen sink! I guess when you think of this one bottle filling five soap dispensers over 4 months, it makes sense. I also like the idea that my refilling is saving at least 10 (!) plastic pump bottles from being purchased a year. I know we used to buy 2 per sink a year minimum!

I think the highest compliment you can pay to a product is repeat purchasing it, and that’s exactly what I did — a new bottle of Dr. Woods is beside the tub.  That’s four soap coupons to subtract! I do it with pleasure — I love this stuff. My skin loves this stuff! I love the simple ingredient list. It fills all of my soap needs, and I haven’t even started to use it for household cleaning and other uses yet!

What I’m finding even more interesting, though, are the personal/household care items I’ve bought that don’t fall into soap coupons, really. I got more Soap Nuts for our laundry. My initial tiny cardboard box of 100 nuts has about 20 left, I so I thought I should spring for the box of 350 — these, with a glug of vinegar (again, not really something to charge soap coupons for) should wash our clothes for over a year!

I also got some French Green Clay. I figure one shouldn’t be charged soap coupons for something like this, just like I wouldn’t use soap coupons for potting soil  or molding clay!  I will use this clay for facial masks, and I also found this neat recipe for a translucent powder on Pinterest that I want to try. I also saw that many people include this in their homemade deodorant recipes. I bet there is are tons more uses once I do additional research. Let me know if you use French Green Clay and what you use it for!

Additionally, I purchased Vetiver, Rosewood, and Vanilla Absolute essential oils for my concoctions. Again — combinations of oils, grasses, pods — not really a soap coupon. Just as I don’t charge myself soap coupons when I get olive oil or vanilla beans, I don’t think they really apply here. I hope to use these essential oils to add fixative properties and complexity to my perfume experiments, but each oil has other properties and benefits I will explore (except for the vanilla absolute — it’s a pure sensory indulgence!).

What do you all think — should products like these be included in soap coupons?

Honestly, I think I should be rewarded for blending my own products and using raw materials instead of purchasing finished commercial products. In retrospect, I kind of think that Argan oil, for example, shouldn’t have counted against my soap coupons. As long as I don’t go on a raw material rampage, buying up hundreds of essential oils, every base oil, and countless varieties of clays (which I won’t — I too conscious of how wasteful that would be!), I think that this little nudge/reward for using and creating from simple ingredients is a nice way to keep me on an environmentally friendly path. And isn’t that the ultimate goal of this experiment?


Clothing: 34 out of 66

Soap: 24 out of 36

Tea: 3.5 out of 10






  1. I bet your skin appreciates all this self-mixing, as well as your sense of smell! Apart from an end to scratchy skin, a much enhanced sense of smell was the biggest change I noticed when switching from shop bought concoctions to ingredient based cleaning.

    I’m not suggesting a clay binge but if you spot any rhassoul (aka ghassoul) clay, I wholeheartedly recommend it. I use it to wash my hair (i.e. scalp) as well as for a deep cleansing of the face, hands…

  2. .. and I was going on to say that your use of the rest of the items is very inspiring!!

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