Ever get hit with some nostalgia? Well, if you ask anyone who knows me well, they’ll tell you I do. I often joke by saying I drown in it… Drown in a good way. I think it’s because I have so many clear memories of my childhood. The colours, the textures, the smells, the scenery, the music playing… I think I’m lucky I remember so many details.
One of those memories I have is when my childhood friend Natasha first introduced me (us – my sister) to the Body Shop. I thought Nat was so “worldly” because she had been “downtown” to shop far more times than we ever did. We were about 13-14 years old. Anyhow, she brought us to the store and we proceeded to buy the products a teenager would need. In my case, the Cucumber Cleansing Milk, the Japanese Washing Grains to exfoliate and the Eye Gel. I had oily skin so I didn’t think to moisturize (let alone wear sun block!!) We would also indulge with the Banana Shampoo & Conditionner… I still remember all their smells and textures so well. Especially the lovely earthy smell of the Washing Grains.
Well, the other day I was thinking about the washing grains and how they came in that cute container, that was like a salt shaker and that we had to pour a little into the palm of our hand and add some water to make a paste… I did a quick search and behold! I was shocked to discover that the only ingredient they ever had in them, were adzuki beans. Ground up. C’est tout! I knew we had a bag of leftover organic adzuki beans in the pantry so I went looking for it. Found it. Took out my Magic Bullet and added about 1/4 cup of beans and pulsed them finely. Done. As soon as I poured the grainy powder into a (cute) glass container I had, I was overtaken my the scent… EXACTLY how I remembered it. And when I used it for the first time, I swear to god, it worked exactly like I remembered. Such a great smell. My skin felt smooth and clean.
Incidentally, adzuki beans have been widely used in Japanese skin care for centuries. They clean, exfoliate and clarify the skin, leaving a natural glow. They just haven’t been as readily available, until the last couple of decades. Long after the Body Shop discontinued their product, I guess. I could have saved myself a small fortune in Japanese Washing Grains, had I known this…
It is said that you can cut your grocery bill by over half, just by redeeming discount coupons and checking the weekly flyers. That reason alone should be enough to get anyone to open-up that weekly specials bag that’s delivered to our doors, no? Well, I believe in this figure. I haven’t hit that percentage yet, but in this household, we do love the feeling of presenting coupons at the checkout. We feel zero embarrassment, or shame in doing so. Nope. We actually feel really smart and savvy. Although the flyers in the bags don’t contain nearly as many coupons as the weekend newspapers do, we do sit down and go though them to find the best deals for the things we need and it’s mainly food. There are a few supermarkets in our area and so going to 2 or 3 to get the best deals is sometimes simply a matter of walking across a parking lot.
The bag contains flyers for more than just supermarket specials, obviously. These come in handy when shopping for the girls, home, or for gifts. I’d normally add “for myself” too, but I haven’t gone for some good ol’ retail therapy in a long, long time. To be perfectly honest, I only started doing some hardcore bargain hunting since we had kids. We had to. Every penny counts. They counted before too, but I guess I just wasn’t as conscientious about where my money went as I am today (the upside to this new reality). It was kind of weird at first but now, it’s a full-blown habit. And because it is so worth doing, it’s become something fun to do while sipping a coffee or sitting on the living room floor with the girls playing around us. The idea is not to make you spend more money, but to stretch every dollar.
Another reason why I look forward to getting my weekly bag of goodies is because of the paper. We always need newsprint paper for crafts! So much of the paper gets reused at least once before we put it in the recycling bin. I just wish that everyone would systematically recycle and that the printers would always use recycled paper or make sure that their end-products were recyclable. My dream would be that they would use soy-based ink on recycled paper so I could compost the paper… THAT would be awesome as we always need “dry” materials in our compost bin, especially in the middle of summer…
What about you? Do you find yourself spending more time looking over your weekly flyer-bag? Do you still have a “no junk mail” sticker on your mailbox?
Don’t forget your reusable shopping bags when you go out!