My coupon-clipping habit has scaled back quite a bit. It's kind of funny... I used to be a clippin' fool, but now I just don't use those products anymore. I decided it was time to list the things I have effortlessly learned to live without.
Shampoo. We use baking soda. I have a few left-over bottles of stuff that I will use on rare occasion, but generally I am saving money AND plastic and my hair is in fine shape.
Conditioner. Apple cider vinegar and water is a nice rinse. And no I don't smell like a salad. No chemicals here.
Laundry detergent. We use soap nuts. The contain natural saponin and are biodegradeble and do not come with extra chemicals or plastic. http://naturoli.com/ What does my laundry smell like? NOTHING! Don't even show me a dryer sheet, either. No chemicals in my clothing. That touches my skin, after all.
Drano. Don't need it. White vinegar and baking soda works fine.
Harsh cleaners/bleach. We use Better Life products for all our cleaning. http://cleanhappens.com/ Lemon and baking soda and white vinegar also supplement in areas, but I'm good with Better Life.
Specialty acne treatments. I'm Italian. I have oily skin. I have ALWAYS had pimples. I thought for sure that by the time I had grey hair, I wouldn't have zits anymore, but no. What I HAVE learned is that I don't need special soaps or creams or anything. When I feel a zit coming on, I dab toothpaste on it overnight, and poof it's gone as fast as with even prescription stuff. No extra chemicals, no extra packaging, no extra waste.
Hair color. I embrace my greys. And I used to feel so much guilt about all that waste and all those chemicals. I'll be natural, thanks. To each their own, but I'm good.
Straws. Snort... like THOSE are a necessity in life. Gimme a break.
Paper towels. We don't even have the holder in the kitchen anymore. If there is any mess we feel NEEDS a paper towel, we have a stash of napkins from take-out. We tell them to not include them but they send them anyway sometimes, so we keep them on hand for such situations. But we haven't bought a roll of paper towels in MONTHS, and I can't say I miss them.
Paper napkins. Who needs 'em? We have cloth. They don't take up much space in laundry.
Facial tissues. Hankies and bandanas.
Bath pouf. Loofahs are natural.
Bottled water. Haven't touched a plastic bottle to my lips in ages. Our faucet-mounted filter is great and my reuseable bottle goes everywhere with me. I don't drink soda. Rarely drink juice. I drink wine, but that's in glass. And wine is a necessity. :)
There you have it. That's a lot of stuff I DON'T buy, don't have to spend money on, don't have to throw away, doesn't have to be produced. I actually had to think hard about some of these, because it's all second nature to me now. I'm sure I'm leaving things out, because I just don't miss them anymore.
This is just me. I hope people can take some ideas from here. I just like to teach by example.