Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Diaper Cream

I have been using the same 2.5fl oz jar of cloth diaper safe rash cream since June 2009.  You heard me.  I don’t know what it means, but it sure was thrifty.  It came with my starter package from The Stork Diaper Service (which is a great way to get into cloth without spending a ton, by the way).  Instead of researching what to buy next or tracking down the local maker of my Melissa’s Majik Baby Balm, I just took to the web for a recipe.  This was more complicated than I expected, because most recipes included an assortment of pricey essential oils, or zinc- an ingredient that is not cloth diaper safe. I eventually found this one from Ecocrazy Mom, which appealed to me because it was simple, and I had all the ingredients.  I modified it very slightly to make it a little softer and cheaper. 

You will need

1 Tbsp olive oil ($2.99 per lb, .03lb x $2.99 = $.08)

2 ½ Tbsp coconut oil ($9.99 per 14fl.oz, $9.99/ 14fl.oz = $.71 x 1.25fl.oz = $.89)

¼ oz beeswax ($7.19 per 5oz, $7.19/5oz = $1.44 x .25oz = $.36)

1 drop tea tree oil ($12.49 per 2 fl.oz, $12.49/720 drops = $.02)

Small heat proof jar (free, reused my old diaper cream jar)

Just like the lotion, that wax took forever to melt.
I didn't have a dropper, so I dipped our thermometer in the bottle to get a drop out.
Place your jar in a small saucepan and fill the pan with water until it is almost as deep as your jar is tall.  Heat the pan over medium high heat.  Add the first three ingredients to your jar one at a time, starting with beeswax, then coconut oil, then olive oil (this is only important if you are using a very small jar like me where it might overflow if you’re not careful).  Heat until all the wax and coconut oil is melted, stirring periodically.  Remove the jar from the water.  Add tea tree oil, stir to combine, and allow to cool completely.
Next morning, balm is ready to go!
 Try It

$1.35 for about 2fl.oz, or $.68/fl.oz

Buy It

I don’t remember what I paid for my jar; it was discounted as part of a package deal, but Melissa’s Majik
Baby Balm currently retails for $8.50 for a 2.5 fl.oz jar, or $3.40/fl.oz.  (and if you aren’t up for making it, this stuff is pretty awesome!)


The homemade version is 20% of the cost of store bought.  It did the job very well, but is was still a little hard for my taste.  Next batch I might add a little more olive oil and a little less beeswax.  Having that much wax makes me a little nervous, anyway, because I’m not sure if it will wash out. Try It, it's great, and the tea tree smell is very faint.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


You know those people who get stuck on things?  You know, that roommate who plays the same Hank Williams CD for a month straight, the person who might as well live in a uniform because they wear the same clothes till they fall apart, and are happy to eat the same thing for days on end till their husband cries “enough with the quiche already!”.  Yeah, I’m one of those.  Right now I’ve been in a serious Caesar salad kick brought on by a giant wedge of Parm that I bought on sale.  I went through two bags of croutons before I decided that I better try making them if I was going to continue to burn though croutons at this rate.  I looked at a number of recipes, and while they all seemed to think they had some secret, they were all basically the same.  I ended up using a very simple one from Allrecipes.

You will need

6 cups of bread, cubed- about ½ a large loaf of French bread ($3.99 per loaf, $3.99 x .5 loaf = $1.99)

1 stick organic butter ($4.79 per lb, $4.79/4sticks = $1.19)

2 cloves organic garlic, finely minced ($.50 per bulb, $.50/15cloves (estimate) = $.03 x 2cloves = $.07)
Bread cubes, ready to toss!
 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the garlic, and cook for about a minute.  Add in bread and toss until evenly coated.  Turn bread onto a baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes or until dry.
Post tossing- you can see how uneven the butter is.
That’s what I did, but it’s difficult to get the butter evenly distributed by tossing in a pan, since the bread just absorbs the butter immediately.  Next time I would put them in a large bowl with a lid and drizzle the butter over and then shake to coat before turning them onto the baking sheet.
Did you think that was a family sized salad?  Nope, that's my lunch.

Try It

$3.25 for 6 cups croutons, or $.54/cup
Buy It

$2.49 for 5 cups of Fresh Gourmet Classic Caesar Croutons, or $.49/cup


Croutons are not hard to make, and they’re pretty good.  They didn’t stay as crisp as I had expected, I think because the butter soaked into some more than others and left the soaked ones with an odd texture.  The store bought croutons are actually cheaper and more delicious, so I need to either suck it up and Buy It, or just cool it on the Caesar salads!

NEXT WEEK: Diaper rash cream