Monthly Archives: April 2010


15 Healthy Green Ways to Save Money On Your Grocery Bill Now

1. Shop your fridge and cupboards – At one point, I had about 5 bottles of mustard, and 4 boxes of foil because I kept buying them forgetting I had them already! After you make your grocery list, be sure to look through your fridge, freezer and cupboards and be sure that you don’t already have what’s on your list. Then move the food to the front of the fridge and cupboards so that you’ll see it.

2. Buy non-food items at the dollar store – Foil, ziploc bags, wax paper, mixing bowls, and other items are, well, a dollar at the dollar store. Don’t buy them at the grocery store. (You should eventually aim for cutting back on foil as well!)

3. Don’t buy everything organic – strawberries, peppers, pears and a few more items should definitely be purchased as organic, but others, like onions, eggplants, and corn don’t have to be purchased organic. As always though, wash everything when you get it home, with a DIY Vegetable Wash. For more information on what to what to eat organic and what you can skip, check out the links below.


Homemade Peppermint Foot Soak Routine

With the weather getting warmer, I’ve decided that it’s time to take the socks off and prep my feet for sandal weather. I grab a big basin that I got from the dollar store, and a good magazine. After doing this soak and the following routine at least once a week for the next month or two, all the roughness of winter will have melted away, revealing pretty feet and toes. The best part of a foot soak? For 15 minutes…I’m not moving! (I think normal people would call this “taking a break”) LOL!
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Hair Product Review: Chatto’s Hair Products Pt.1

I first heard about Chatto’s  products (pronounced Sha-toe), when a fan of her products contacted me and told me that I should try them. (Thanks Julie!) Ms. Chatto then contacted me herself and sent me quite a few of her products. You know how I like to thoroughly review products, so I’m going to spread this over a few posts. Chatto is based in Chicago, and the products can be ordered online. These products are definitely geared towards people with with 3b,3c,4a,4b,4c type curly hair. For more on hair typing, click here.

Here’s my review of five of Chatto’s products:

Chatto’s Shampoo Bar for Twists and Locs $12.00 + shipping
Ingredients: Sunflower, Palm, Coconut, and Castor oils; Silk Protein;  Shea Butter,Horse Tail , hops,Olive oil, Aloe Vera, Yarrow, Essential oils Argan oil Peppermint, Rosemary, Sweet Orange, Tangerine, Pink Grapefruit, Tea Tree.

Despite the name, this bar can be used on all types up hair. The shampoo bar is a nice size and so I cut it up just like the one I got from Anita Grant. I cleaned my hair in sections following my normal routine. A small piece lathered up a lot and cleaned my hair and scalp really well. You can also use this bar on your body and Chatto states that it is also good for anyone with Eczema. You can purchase this product here.
RATING*: 4 Smart - Good product, will buy again, but it would be great if it was $10 or less Continue reading


Savvy Got a Facelift!

If you’re new to Savvy Brown welcome to the party! If you’ve been here for a while, I’m sure things look a little different. After receiving some suggestions from some of you, having code issues, and problems posting, I decided to streamline things a bit.

What’s New at SB

New Buttons – At the top of the page, above the search window you can easily now see where you can email me, subscribe to the blog, become a fan on facebook or follow me on twitter. Just put your cursor over the icons and they’ll tell you what to do!

Savvy Shop – Also, there’s a bright new button in the sidebar to the right I designed for the Savvy Shop! So if you’ve been wondering where to find a lot of the affordable items I talk about here in the blog, click the big colorful shopping cart and start browsing!

Grab my Badge – And by popular demand you can now grab my badge and put it on your site letting everyone know how Savvy you are! If you have a blog or website, just highlight the code next to the badge and paste it tight into the code for your sidebar or wherever you keep your badges! (Thanks for your help Erica!) Continue reading


My Dr. Bronner’s 30 Day Challenge

The #1 thing that has helped us save money in our house is multitasking products. Castile soap is one of those products. Castile soap is a gentle sulfate-free foaming soap made mostly with vegetable oils that was named after a region in Spain in which it was originally made. Castile soap is incredibly gentle, even for use on babies. In March, I challenged the House of Brown to 30days of using Dr. Bronner’s Organic Peppermint soap to see how many ways we could use it. I purchased a 1/2 gallon at the end of February, for $25 and this is how we used it:

1. Shampoo – I took an old narrow shampoo bottle, filled it halfway with Castile soap, and filled it the rest of the way with water. My came out clean and my scalp felt great!

2. Body wash – When I’m done washing my hair I just keep going and use my castile/water mixture to wash up!

3. Hand Dish Detergent – When our bottle of Dawn was empty I filled that halfway with castile soap and the rest of the way with water and used that to hand wash the dishes. It worked great, if I needed more

5. Liquid Laundry Soap – check out My Homemade Laundry Detergent Continue reading


Homemade Bread for Dummies

Making your own bread saves you money. Plain and simple. It’s also healthier for you. My father-in-law (Papa Brown) doesn’t buy his bread from a grocery store. He either makes rolls himself, or  he buys his bread from the bakery. When I asked him why, he said, “There’s something wrong with bread from the store. It takes too long to go bad.” Papa Brown was referring to the preservatives and icky ingredients that are in most store-bought bread. Including High-Fructose Corn Syrup, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, (a.k.a.- “trans-fats”) among other things. For more info on what’s in mass-produced bread, click here.

Basic Bread only needs 6 ingredients:

  1. flour
  2. milk
  3. sugar
  4. yeast
  5. butter
  6. salt

Ever read the ingredients in that 47 grain enriched “healthy” loaf from the store? Continue reading


Savvy Mailbag: Chicken Soup with Yucca

I don’t know about you, but here in New York, we’ve gone through about 3 seasons this week, and now it seems to be fall here again for some reason?! I thought it would be a perfect day to share this recipe straight from the mailbag! (Note: If you’re vegetarian just leave the chicken out of this one..)

This one comes from Andrea, who sent me this recipe for chicken soup with a twist. If you can’t find yucca where you live you can always substitute potatoes in this recipe. Continue reading

dt water on glass thumb

Make Your Own Glass and Window Cleaner

Windex (the blue kind) includes two toxic ingredients. Ethylene glycol and isopropanol. I found out that Ethylene glycol is highly poisonous, and has a syrupy sweet taste (a problem if you have children who like to put their mouths on everything). Isopropanol is a type of alcohol that is less harmful when used properly, but highly flammable and is used in certain explosives. Johnson and Johnson must have also realized this, because they came out with Windex Natures’ Source recently, and it doesn’t include either ingredient. (Congrats to J&J for cleaning up the product!)

There are a plethora of glass-cleaner recipes on the web, and I tried a few and came up with this one. I use this all the time around the house, with either a microfiber towel, newspaper or brown paper. My mirrors shine, and it cuts right through soap scum on out shower door. I also use it on chrome and the car windows. And the cost? Pennies. Continue reading