Kroger is pushing its Simple Truth brand because this is what customers are demanding. We want safer products that are natural, organic or free range. With a great sale this week, you can download several e-coupons from Kroger’s Simple Truth brand.

In the Kroger ad, you will find directions about how to use some of the products. The company recommends using Chia Seeds on cereal or in soups.

Have you ever shopped the Kroger health-food section? There is a lot more than foods. I found something I have hunted everywhere for: Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Castile Soap. I also found essential oils, Burts Bee’s, flaxseed oil and many things I use to make products. I’ve got a new hobby I enjoy very much: making my own shampoo, liquid hand soaps and deep conditioning mixes for my hair.

What toxins are lurking in your shampoo? Last week, I talked about what was in detergent. Shampoos and conditioners, hand soap and dish soap all have the same problem: They are full of cancer-causing chemicals. But the products we put on our head and hands is much more dangerous than washing clothing in chemicals.

If you see things such as dioxane, glycol, peg, amodlmethlcone or ammonium laureth sulfate listed on the back of your shampoo or conditioner, be aware these are toxic ingredients. Why do companies use them? Because they work. They can give a smooth finish to your hair, make it shine, get rid of dandruff or make your hair soft.

Don’t you think shea butter, pure olive oil, almond oil, rose hips, distilled water, all-natural castile soap, essential oils made from plants or certain teas sound much better for hair-washing? I have been working on some recipes to try on my hair.

I started by shopping for three ingredients. T.J. Maxx had almond oil on sale in a three-pack. Also inside were avacado oil and grapeseed oil. These are pure. There is enough in a can or bottle of these oils to make at least six months of product, even if you wash your hair every day.

First is my deep conditioning treatment. I used the almond oil first. I wet my hair and then applied the almond oil. Leave it in as long as you can. When you are ready, shampoo it out with the natural shampoo you have made. I made a rose and peppermint shampoo using Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Castile Soap. It’s made from all-natural ingredients and is one of Amazon’s biggest sellers. But it costs $5.99 less at Krogers. One bottle will last at least six months. Add six drops of peppermint essential oil, six drops of rose essential oil and three drops of tea tree oil. Tea tree oil will make sure you never get dandruff. For a moisturizer, add 1 teaspoon of pure olive oil. Add two tablespoons of vegetable glycerin if you would like some suds. When you see items at T.J. Maxx such as Bliss Soapy Suds priced at $1.99, grab a bottle. I bought a pretty container for my shampoo. Mix your ingredients and you have a product that really works.

I can honestly tell you I have had compliments on my hair. This is unusual. It was really soft, stayed the way I wanted it to, was very shiny and not oily, and I swear by the end of the week, I think it grew. The homemade treatment did not harm my hair color. I find myself combing my hair more often, simply because I can’t believe how much better it looks.

Dish soap

Couponers take Dawn Dish Liquid all the time, and because animal groups use it after oil spills on animals, I thought it was safe. Remember, Dawn also kills fleas and weeds. Do you want your hands soaking in it? You won’t find the ingredients listed on the back. Your skin is the biggest organ you have, and whatever is on our skin enters the body.

You can make a gallon of dish soap for 50 cents. How about a rosemary-mint essential oil dish liquid that melts cooked-on food on skillets? I was surprised how easily it cleaned my iron skillet.

Dish or hand soap recipe:

Buy a pretty bottle or other container. Pour in 1⁄4 cup vegetable glycerin, 1⁄4 cup Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Castile Soap, six to eight drops of rosemary essential oil, six drops of peppermint essential oil, 1 tablespoon sunflower oil to moisturize and 2 teaspoons of Bliss Soapy Suds. Fill with water and shake well.

YouTube has many recipes for creams, lotions, shampoos and conditioners you may have seen in cute little containers. You might see these in boutiques or at craft sales. All You magazine’s January issue has a natural detergent recipe and natural cleaning recipes for the home.

Last week I made a wonderul-smelling rose detergent that is second to none in cleaning ability. It’s safe for high-efficiency washers. I bought a bar of rose soap at T.J. Maxx that had all-natural ingredients. I also made rosemary detergent. If you have noticed the price of Tide, Snuggle, All and Purex is at an all time low, it’s because so many people are making their own. So what happened? The price of Super Washing Soda and Borax went up and the boxes are now smaller.

A trip worth taking

We found a place you might want to try for your next day trip. Keim Family Market is about 11⁄2 hours away; it’s an Amish Super Store in Seaman, Ohio. I bought a strawberry rhubarb pie to die for. There are bulk food items, a deli, play sets, furniture, soaps, candles, hard-to-find items such as sassafras bark and homemade soda pop. We had a good time there. Call them at (937) 386-9995. Hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

CVS

Bengay, 2 ounces: $4.99; $3 ExtraBucks minus $1 coupon; free; limit one

Boost: $6.99 minus $1 EB minus $3 coupon

Systane: $9.49 minus $5 EB minus $4 coupon

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel: $2.50 if you use the $5/2 cash-register tape from last week. Always keep the coupons from CVS until they expire.

Stayfree Pads, 28 to 48 count: $4.49 minus $2 coupon.

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