No Poo: Why to Forego Shampoo And How it Will Reveal Your Healthiest Hair, Ever

One of my favorite blogs Thrift Core has a great post today on not using shampoo, or as it’s commonly called “No Poo”
No Poo: Why to Forego Shampoo And How it Will Reveal Your Healthiest Hair, Ever.

I haven’t used shampoo in ages. My foray into No Poo began because I couldn’t afford to buy shampoo and the hair care methods when not using shampoo are things that can be purchased with food stamps, but most importantly, they’re food stamp allowable ingredients that are very inexpensive and don’t use a significant portion of your food stamp budget. Not to mention, they can be used for other things in cooking and around the house.

After using “no poo” out of necessity, I discovered that when I had money to buy shampoo, I wasn’t crazy about how my hair felt and went back to no poo.
I use mostly just apple cider vinegar and baking soda for my hair care with an occasional Hair Smoothie whipped up when I need some conditioning. I also have started making my own apple cider vinegar with apple scraps, which helps shave more off the grocery bill.

Lunchtime Link: Drying Clothes Without Electricity

Not much to share today. My hubby got hurt yesterday and is out of work until Monday at the very earliest. We’ll see what happens on Monday. Since he’s home, he’s on parenting duty while I work on Etsy & Ebay listings (something that is harder than you might think with a super helpful 4 year old). He didn’t do it AT work, so this is time off without pay, so trying to make up the difference from what will be missing from his paycheck.

We cannot catch a break,I swear.

Just wanted to share these tips today for drying clothes without an electric dryer or when you have the power shut off. This is one of those things people ask for tips on quite often. I think Mom with a Prep covers it well. We didn’t have a dryer for years and last year at tax return time got the old one repaired. In the summer, drying was easy. In the winter (NY) , not so much… and having a big family probably made it trickier. Pretty much if there was a place that could have a rope strung, it became drying space. The thick cloth diapers were hardest to dry inside but I found that the standard wooden drying racks worked best if I placed them really close to the heater and flipped them occasionally.

How to Dry Your Clothes Without Power - Mom with a PREP //  Whether you are existing in a post-disaster situation with no power or you are choosing to rely less on the grid that provides power for your home, finding ways to effectively dry your clothes, in no matter what amount of space that you have, can be daunting if the only option you've seen is the large telephone-like limbers that take up the entire backyard of someone's home.

How To Dry Your Clothes Without Power

Ironically, it’s raining like crazy here today and I just threw a load of laundry in the dryer.
There’s flooding in parts around us. I peeked out into the garden and some parts are underwater. Sigh.

Nick Drake is always my rainy day music…

Anyone need a FREE dress for a prom or something fancy-ish?

This first dress is being offered by Matching Outfits. If you’re interested, use the Facebook messaging system to contact .

It’s a size 2/3 and hemmed to fit about 5’2 or so.

Here’s the whole post ~here ~

This next one is one I’m offering. Probably easiest to contact me via email at First one to contact me,gets it.


It’s a size 8, but fits smaller,IMO. It’s trimmed with black velour and the dress is satiny-ish with dots that are black & glittery.
Here’s the measurements:
Waist: 15″ across front
Bust: 18″, armpit to armpit
Length: roughly 36″







Library Loot: Feb 26th to March 4th

On a fairly regular basis on my personal blog, I used to participate in a  blog hop called Library Loot a weekly event co-hosted by Claire fromThe Captive Reader and Linda from Silly Little Mischief that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library.  I think I’ll start doing it here from time to time because I do think libraries are very relevant to poor folks. We’ve already talked here about how the library is a valuable resource for Internet services but obviously, it’s great for other stuff ,too.

I used this  How Much Money Does Your Library Save You? calculator  . Now, “save” isn’t exactly correct because I don’t usually have money to spend on books,movies, classes,and any other things the library offers. But according to the calculator, if I were purchasing or paying for these items or services, it works out to be about $20,000 a year. Not just for me by myself,of course. That accounts for our whole family of 7.

Yeah, we use the library a lot.
We pay it forward a little by donating our used books to the bi-annual book sales and in the past, I’ve helped out with some of the children’s programming. I literally visit my library 5 days a week. As a treat, my son goes there after school sometimes to play the wii (we don’t have game systems at home) or just to hang out with his friend and play Pokemon or do lego builds at one of the tables.  Plus, they have a magazine exchange shelf that I frequently check and contribute copies to. I really love magazines but don’t have money to subscribe to my favorites. It’s like winning the lottery when I find copies of Brain, Child , PasteMother Earth News (and all sorts of other gardening/homesteading mags), Mother Jones, and on and on. I end up reading a lot of magazines I would have never even thought of reading before just because they’re there.

I just love my library,ok?

So, this is a sampling of what we have out right now from the library:

I intended to do reviews for all of these that we read on Goodreads (if you’re there, you can follow me here ) but considering I started the draft for this post on Monday evening… yeah, I haven’t gotten to it yet.
There’s a few not in the picture because they were in different rooms of the house and I forgot about them. Poor excluded books.

I will probably do a review separately of the Sweet Potato Lovers Cookbook with gratuitous food & recipe pics.

The one huge disappointment here was Sherlock. It’s Season 3, which I haven’t seen yet. But silly me wasn’t paying attention and grabbed the Bluray copy. We don’t have a Blu-ray player, so that didn’t do me much good.
Well, we do have a Blu-ray player but it’s way old and doesn’t play blu-ray discs anymore, only dvds.

My little guy’s favorite book this week was Nino Wrestles the World by Yuyi Morales.   





Here’s a video of the author reading it. She reads it MUCH better than I do. My Spanish is quite awful, even though I took 4 years of it in high school and Spanish is my step-children’s native language, so it’s used often around me. Something tells me my 3 year old will speak better Spanish than I do before too long.

So, that’s just a quickie look at some of our Library Loot this week. Yay, libraries!


parting shot from my little "helper"

parting shot from my little “helper”



ICYMI: Meals w/protein but no meat, thrifty kitchen tools,basic sourdough, staying clean without showering daily (or shampoo), and oodles more.


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The Foodie Stuff

21 Meals With Tons Of Protein And No Meat – Just what it says: tons of protein,no meat

Freezer Meals – Spinach Lasagna Rolls – This was one of my standard freezer meals back when I did once a month cooking regularly. They freeze well and filling is easily changed up for variety.

Soup of the Day: Fasolka – I’m loving Persephone Magazine ‘s Soup of the Day recipes. This one has good protein and easy-peasy to make.

Quinoa Mushroom Soup – I made this with some “rescued” quinoa…the grocery store was going to throw it out because there was a slit n the bag. #freegan

10 Kitchen Tools Thrifty People Own – Snail Pace Transformations    Oh, you have no idea how much I love some of these things.
Popcorn is a whole food group to me and my 2 crockpots are my bestest buds. The only think on this list I don’t like is bread machines. I dunno. I just like doing it the other way.
*My “thrifty tip”* : You can find everything on this list at yard sales & thrift stores or freecycle/craigslist.

Recipe: Basic Sourdough Starter -For the Want-to-Be-Bread-Bakers. Once you start baking sourdough, it can become a little bit of a cultivated obsession.

Roasted Sweet Potato Black Bean Burgers with Smoked Paprika Chipotle Sauce – I cooked too many black beans one day, so I used them up to make these burgers. So good.


If you’re craving something, it’s probably because your body needs something else. Well, unless it’s a comfort food but that’s another story.
Another tip about chia seeds: They do this weird expanding thing and help you feel fuller longer. Weight loss people recommend them for this reason but I recommend them for reducing some hunger pangs.

It’s a problem.

Thrifty Living Things 

Growing Onions Vertically On The Windows – Pretty easy to do and doesn’t require much space.

Renewed Frugality – 21 Frugal Tips To Try This Year -Have to be honest…. the Frugal Tips in the blogosphere are getting old for me BUT I like this one! I do most of these myself …
and I have to throw out there for #10 – if you have a good library system, use it for family movie night to save even more money.

Washing My Hair With Baking Soda | My Healthy Green Family -This is my hair care regimen,too.
( not only is it “green”, you can’t buy shampoo with SNAP but you can buy baking soda & apple cider vinegar)

Garden Crops: Cold Storage Ideas & Root Cellar Tips        Helpful for those of you who are getting a bounty of root crops from their CSA. 

How to Stay Clean Without Showering Every Day- All sorts of reasons people can’t shower every day, so here’s some ideas on how to not be the smelly kid & still be clean without showering daily.

DIY Homemade Cling Wrap – Nourishing Joy -Saves money, helps eliminate (or reduce at least ) plastic.





ICYMI: The end of unemployment benefits, handling food waste,broke systems that create poverty (SSDD)….

Food & Recipes

Video Report: An Oasis in a Food Desert | Take a look inside America’s first nonprofit grocery store, which is bringing fresh food to a struggling community in Pennsylvania.-The first non-profit grocery store opened a few months ago. It’s in Chester, PA… an area with 36% poverty rate and 13% unemployment and in a food desert.
Really interested to see how this does in the long term.

Don’t Waste Your Food- I know . No duh.  But ” Each American wastes $28 to $43 of food or about 20 pounds, per month. The average American family of four generates 36 pounds of wasted food each week. An estimated 50 million Americans don’t have enough to eat. One in six Americans go hungry. Twenty-five million people could get fed, if we reduced our waste by 15 percent.”
Article misses the crucial point that we need to change the system we have so that the food gets rerouted to people before it goes to the dumpster.

The Black Panther Party for Social Justice did some amazing things getting food to the people. Little known trivia : the school meal program that we know in American schools today was copied from The Black Panther Party. They started a free breakfast program for children in poor neighborhoods and fed 10,000 children every morning before school. The Panthers believed that “Children cannot reach their full academic potential if they have empty stomachs.” The Federal government instituted a program of their own when they saw the impact it was creating on neighborhoods. Some say the creation of the government program was due to politicians feeling shamed for not doing enough for families but more likely, the government was afraid of the power it gave the Black Panther Party.

Thrifty Living & DIY

The Most Wasteful Packaging For Food -Good to know, not just for the environmental reasons but if you have to pay for trash removal, the less you’re throwing away,the more money you aren’t spending.

Costs of a Backyard Flock – If you’re thinking of backyard chickens, some good basics. In addition to Craigslist, I’ve seen chickens offered quite often on Freecycle .There’s also a board at the local farm & garden supply store that is a great resource for getting chickens (and other poultry).

Articles & Thoughts

The end is here for long-term jobless benefits – 1.3 million unemployed will lose benefits this weekend. Anyone reading here affected by this?

Thousands of black and Latino kids lost their schools in 2013 -“Rivera and student advocates across the country describe the collective brunt of mass school closings and flawed education policy as an assault on some of the most vulnerable demographics of children in the country. School deserts cross paths where social needs tend to be greatest, where food deserts exists, where there tends to be high levels of unemployment, poverty and violence. What’s at stake in the much broader debate over school closures and urban education policy is a whole generation of minority students already struggling with great social and economic instability.”

This is one of my favorite video interviews about how to end hunger. Thoroughly thought out and practical. Joel Berg addresses the entire underlying causes of hunger and the entire system.

Activism & Awareness

Nashville remembers homeless residents who died in 2013 – “It’s important, because some of the names on the list are people who literally had nobody at all with them when they died, or who even knew they died.”
I recently watched Tent City, a documentary about Nashville’s homeless community, then stumbled on to this article the day after. Worth a watch.

5 critical issues affecting the world’s children -22,000 children die each day because of poverty-related causes. When I posted this on the Facebook page, it was just before Christmas and someone complained that I should save these types of articles until after the holidays. So, here it is, after those holidays and I’m sharing it again.

Boxed In: How a Criminal Record Keeps You Unemployed For Life - Finding myself pissed off about the prison system these days and how it creates poverty.

Hardworking yet still homeless in today’s America – About 3.5 million people experience some kind of homelessness every year, and about a quarter of them are employed at the time

Top 10 Books to Help Kids Understand -I feel like children’s books when done well on a topic can help children learn empathy for others as well as not feel so alone when they are going thru something similar in their life.
These are good recommendations for helping children understand (or not feel alone) about hunger.
Other suggestions in the comments there,too.

All the things you might have missed- 12/2-12/8/2013

Ok, let’s try this. A link digest of all the Facebook posts  from the past week, all in one handy place. Facebook’s super annoying “algorithm”  keeps fewer people from seeing the Poor as Folk page posts.

Articles & Thoughts

Where Is the Love?- I don’t like Nicholas Kristof ‘s use of unfair stereotypes here to illustrate his point (I used to work with children with FAS…none of them born to teen moms. *I* was a teen mom and never drank. Likewise, I’ve also seen many cases of abuse in children and single mothers were not the primary perpetrators) but his point is that people need to be more compassionate and I can’t disagree with that.
The call for removal of children from homes hits a huge nerve with me (and I plan to write more about this some day soon). I’ve done the math on this. It would cost most states about 7 times more to make a child a ward of the state than to just provide assistance to that child’s family.People who say poor kids should be removed from homes are NOT concerned about the financial picture. They are just because classist and ignorant jerks.

A Mockery of Poverty: Rich Tourists Paying to Live Like the Poor in ‘Luxury Shanty Town’ -
Really and truly. Poverty tourism at it’s finest.

20 things the poor do every day – I missed the original piece this is a response to. I don’t think I’m missing anything.

NPR’s Robert Siegel Needs a Reality Check -“According to this year’s Out of Reach report, published by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, in no county in the entire country can someone who works full-time and earns $11 an hour afford a decent apartment. “
While Obama Talks Poverty, Stabenow Agrees to $8 Billion More in SNAP Cuts | The Nation – Yeah, I’ve mentioned this before somewhere…Debbie Stabenow is not an advocate for those facing food insecurity in America
From Working America on tumblr

10 Little Things We Can Do To Make Life Easier For Each Other -Help people. Don’t call people names on the Internet. Be nice to retail and food service workers.

And am I the only one who thought of Dr Who when I read #1? Where my Whovians at?

This is the source of my frustration on most days. We CAN do these things. Deconditioning isn’t happening fast enough.


Interview: On Growing Quinoa in America (and Your Backyard!?) with Ian Dixon-McDonald -This is good news for people who like quinoa but want to not make poor people in other countries go without THEIR staple crop because of American foodies want for it.

The Comfort of Cooking » Southwestern Stuffed Spaghetti Squash – one of my family’s favorite ways to eat sketti squash

Recipe: Super Simple & Totally Vegetarian Split Pea Soup -my own recipe that my kids love. It’s too bad split pea soup has to look so gross

Homemade Applesauce Recipe- How to Make it Frugally and Healthy | Penniless Parenting – it really is this easy. As discussed on the page, if you don’t have an electric mixer or blender, a potato masher works just fine.

Cooking With The Classics: To Kill A Mockingbird | The Feed – I’m a major bibliophile & To Kill A Mockingbird is one of my favorites (if my youngest kiddo had been a girl, Harper would have been the middle name after Harper Lee…and we have a cat naed Scout) ,so I loved this post. The recipe for Black-Eyed Peas and Greens is classic and frugal. And I would not judge none of ya’ll for making some of that Lane Cake.

Eat Well, Spend Less: How to Store Pantry Food for Maximum Shelf Life – good info, especially  for those who stock up when they get extra cash (like at income tax return time)

Crock Pot Lentil Soup - sweet potatoes were 39¢/lb the week of Thanksgiving ,so we bought a lot. This was a good use for them.

Non Organic Foods it’s safe to eat – organic foods are just not feasible to buy for some people. These are all “clean” foods that are affordable.

WhyHunger Google+ Hangout talking about #foodjustice and food marketing to kids.


22 Natural Sore Throat Remedies to Help Soothe the Pain – I’ve used these all at some point.

Detractors seem to think my main objective is to encourage people to “mooch off the government”. Totally off base. The goal is food sovereignty and creating a better system that supports accessibility to food for EVERYONE. The current system? It needs a kick in the teeth. Small scale farming,urban gardens,backyard homesteads,CSAs, community garden plots…. all of these are ways to help everyone have equal accessibility.

Thanks to Seismologik Intelligence for sharing this.

Eco-friendly and green gift wrapping ideas for this holiday season | The Art of Simple -And frugal.

Warm & Fuzzies

Photo: Pictured in the middle is young rap phenom Rich Homie Quan, serving food and helping those in need via the Food Bank For New York City. He's a really good dude and it was a pleasure meeting him. Give Back No Matter What!

Pictured in the middle is young rap phenom Rich Homie Quan, serving food and helping those in need via the Food Bank For New York City. He’s a really good dude and it was a pleasure meeting him. Give Back No Matter What!

Photo: Read/watch the story here:

Not only did he give a homeless family a safe place to call home, he brought the family together.The shelter only allowed younger children. The single mom’s older son could not stay in the shelter with them. Now they are a whole family again.
Read/watch the story here:

Motivation & Affirmations

(I need this reminder daily)

How to Make Food Stamps Last Longer

How to Make Your Food Stamps Last Longer

How to Make Food Stamps Last Longer

All the best tips, consolidated into one post.

Personally, I rarely use coupons (as I think I’ve discussed elsewhere here and for sure on the Poor as Folk facebook page ) . It’s hard to find coupons for food things my family will use. I’ve found my time is better spent scouring  store specials and sticking to in season produce .Also, the store we usually shop at has excellent “Shopper’s Club” specials on their store brand that usually end up costing less than a non-store brand even with a manufacturer’s coupon.


Thrift Score: Belated Back-to-School Clothes

We didn’t have any extra cash to do back to school clothes shopping last month, and my three girls really needed some new stuff.

How cute is their sign? SO cute.

How cute is their sign? SO cute.

Hooray for the annual Presbyterian Mission rummage sale!

Or if we lived across the pond…a church jumble!

I look forward to this sale every year. So much great stuff for next to nothing.
The first day of the sale, my 12 year old said she wanted-needed sweaters. She scored 3 gorgeous sweaters (she will not model them. I asked) , and I found various other things…a dress, a skirt, some t-shirts,kids’ clothes…. for the bargain price of $13.

I could not buy the yarn to knit one of the sweaters for $13.

The ladies at check out were all kinds of wonderful. They would consider the brand label when tossing out a price at me. “Oh, this is a Gap shirt. $2, maybe? Or is that too much?”
There was the tiniest pinprick of a snag on something (I seriously don’t even notice it), and the lady checking out deemed it to be only worth 50¢. I think that first day of the sale, the most I paid for any one item was $3 and that was the dress I got.

Saturday was the best day, though. Saturday was “Fill a Bag for $3″ day.
My teenagers and I filled 3 bags. We went home with this:


I’m not  someone who cares about brand names and stuff but there were some really good ones in there. My teenagers  don’t care,either (hallelujah!). When they’re picking out clothes secondhand (honestly, the only way we shop at all for clothing),they’re looking for something that reflects their personal style, not a label.

So, I spent $22 total at this one rummage sale on clothes for one tween, two teenagers, myself, my two boys ,AND also managed to grab some things to donate to my local teen mamas. It was a pretty excellent score.