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Hey Laura, how do I eat healthy on the cheap?

Kristina writes:

Hey Laura!
My husband and I recently decided that we want to lower our food budget, without any loss to our health.  The problem is that it seems like cooking/eating healthfully is always so much more expensive.  Any tips or suggestions?

Then she ups the ante:

My husband will NOT eat leftovers that have to be refrigerated, so making something at the beginning of the week, and just reheating it several times throughout the week doesn’t work for us.

Before you judge, Kristina’s husband is a great guy who definitely pulls his own weight in the kitchen. He’s not just saddling Kristina with his gustatory whims unfairly; he does a lot of cooking himself!

Lowering your...

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Snippets: BPA-free sport top water bottle

B. just posted on Facebook:

Alright, who knows about plastics? I’m wondering if BPA free plastic is always hard plastic? I want to get [my daughter] a squeezable water bottle with a sport top…

I have some recommendations!

We really liked the Ultimate Direction 20-Ounce Bottle. It lasted about a year of hard-core daily use, including a lot of toddler biting. However, it might be hard for a little one to actually get open (although once open it still won’t spill, as it’s a bite-valve), because the “nipple” has to be pulled up before you can drink out of it.

The CamelBak Podium Bottle bypasses that issue and just has a special no-spill bite-valve.

Here’s a nifty list of Inhabitots’ Top 5...

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Coconut Bliss Contest Winners!!

And the winners of the Free Pint of Coconut Bliss are…..

#1. Heather A.
#2. Jaime C.
#3. Heather Z.

Congratulations, ladies! I’ll be mailing out your Free Pint Coupons tomorrow. If you think you cannot get a pint and try it before the 30th of July, please let me know so I can draw for another winner.


Closed Contest! Coconut Bliss Icecream!

This contest is now closed

A couple weeks ago, Kiley, from Coconut Bliss got involved in my dairy-free iceceam review post. Since I had her ear, you all encouraged me to ask her for some freebies and boy, did she deliver! Kiley sent me four coupons, each good for a free pint of Luna & Larry’s Coconut Bliss icecream.

Now, these coupons come with a responsibility: they are for review purposes on this site. So I’ll be keeping one for myself (since I can’t get myself out of my Dark Chocolate rut!) so I can start another review post, and the three of you who win the remaining coupons will be obligated to post a comment reviewing the flavor of your choice. (If the word “obligated” sounds...

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Hey Laura, what do I need to get started cloth diapering?

Carissa writes:

Hey Laura!

Now that you’re on child #2 in cloth diapers, what types and brands do you recommend? Also, are cloth wipes a given if you’re using cloth diapers? Finally, do you have a favorite soap for cleaning the diapers?

So far, I think the AI2 is the diaper for us, and I want to try five types: Thirsties Duo, FuzziBunz, BumGenius 3.0, Flip, and SoftBums.

One more question: the one-size diaper would definitely be the most cost-effective, if it really fit for three years. Has this been your experience?

Now, Carissa is already planning on cloth diapering, so I’m going to spare you the story of my own conversion and my own cloth diapering evangelism speech. But if any...

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Hey Laura, what’s an effective shampoo and conditioner without all the “bad stuff”?

Oh man, when this email popped into my inbox, I knew I was in for it. Hallie is, in my mind, already the pinnacle of “natural hippie girl,” and her question is one that has plagued me for several years!

Was this question going to force me to close my business as Your Expert, or would my enviable Googling skills pay off yet again?

Hallie wrote:

Dear Laura,
I want to use shampoo without tons of bad stuff but I get so overwhelmed trying to figure out what ingredients are no-no, and by the prices on the natural shampoos, I give up. Also I have NEVER found a natural conditioner that ACTUALLY makes my hair manageable, and once again, I don’t want to spend $200 trying different ones until I find...

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Hey Laura, how do I get my kid to stop waking me up so darn early?

It’s Too Early O’clock. Your bedroom door bursts open and an exuberant toddler voice jolts you out of slumber.

“Hey Mommy! Hey Mommy! It’s a beautiful day! I’m ready for mine breakfast!”

The sun may be up, but that doesn’t mean you should be. Here’s how I caged my early bird.

First of all, I’m assuming a foundation of safety-awareness and obedience that is necessary for any of this to work. Your child has to be old enough to be safe in his/her room unsupervised, and if you have an escape artist on your hands, you need to solve that problem, too. If you’re confident that your child can safely handle up to an hour (or more - your call!) playing quietly in his room, then you’re good to go....Continue reading