Your mission, if you choose to accept, is to streamline a part of your life by automating it.
Whether you choose something in the kitchen or not, let’s try to free up some time for all those make-from-scratch recipes you’ve wanted to try but couldn’t manage because your life is too busy.
I try to automate everything.
The normal stuff like bills and calendar reminders for sure.
Years ago I even automated our tithing, assigning each of our favorite charities to a month and scheduling bill-pay through my bank to send money for 20 years.
Then recently a blog colleague and friend, Crystal Paine, emailed an introduction to a company she’s been loving: ePantry.
She said she was super impressed with their personal attention and customer service, and let me tell you – that girl doesn’t lie.
ePantry is an automated ordering system for personal/cleaning products but – how awesome is this? – focused on non-toxic living almost exclusively!
I was excited to start the ordering process, which is super smooth and simple, about 3 minutes.
I answered super fast questions about family size, how much we clean, etc., and they recommended quantities of things like toilet paper, garbage bags, etc (that were probably just about right!). You can change them with a click if you need to.
Their flagship brands include 7th Generation, Method and Mrs. Meyer’s. All the ingredients are are super easy to find (except for some 7th Gen items because they just don’t list them all out fully). I was very happy to see that the SPF product recommended for me, for example, had only mineral ‘screen ingredients, no chemical junk.
I got up to $100 in my cart far too quickly!
Hence I discovered a super cool feature – You can drag items you don’t want now to a “holding basket” and save them for later. Again – so. dang. quick. I was happy not to have to click around in and out of a wish list or whatever to “save my work.” I’ll never have to browse again!
I had Mrs. Meyer’s dishsoap all picked out as the freebie item that I could share with you all after checking my old review (from 2009!) to make sure I remembered correctly that I liked it.
And then I saw the methylisothiazolinone in the ingredients.
I just wrote about that a few weeks ago, so now that I’m more informed than I was in 2009, it’s not something I would be recommending to all of you.
It turned out that I’m ePantry’s first “truly” green partner, so I spent some time on the phone explaining the m-word, and they were super receptive.
Now I get to introduce them to my friends like Redmond Clay, Molly’s Suds, Branch Basics (new formula, even better!) (product being reformulated, check back later!), NaturOli and more. Hopefully you can watch for some of those brands soon!
The ePantry rep commented on how cute Molly’s Suds owl packaging is, and I started feeling like a proud party hostess whose high school friends and college friends are all getting along smashingly well.
And now I get to introduce them to you – and they come with party favors of their own for everyone in the room.
Hot ePantry Offer for KS Readers
I mentioned we had some discussions about some of the product ingredients that might not be quite perfect for my audience.
I had an item or two picked out in the $5 range that I was supposed to choose from for a freebie for you – but once we got on the phone, ePantry said it just wasn’t good enough.
They wanted to knock your socks off.
We ended up knocking your pants off instead – we’re giving away toilet paper! ($9.95 value!)
Who doesn’t need toilet paper? I know, there are some families who use family cloth, but I figured since I’ve never written about that (and don’t do it here) I’m pretty safe with this audience sharing toilet paper, especially post-consumer recycled green crunchy stuff.
Oh – Not crunchy that way – not crunchy on the bum, don’t worry!
Just CLICK HERE for our special Kitchen Stewardship basket – You’ll be asked to click through a few questions to help ePantry understand how quickly you’ll go through things, like size of family and how clean you keep your house.
I chose “Eh” for that one. Yes, “eh” is truly an option.
You can always change amounts and extend shipping times on the schedule, and ePantry will contact you a week before each ship date to see if you want to make any changes.
Here’s what you’ll find in the basket:
- BioBag Tall Compostable Bags: $5.25
- Reusable Produce Bags: $5.99
- Smart Absorbent Kitchen Cloth: $4.99
- Smart Scouring Pads: $4.50
- Preserve Soft Toothbrush: $3.19
- ePantry Soy Candle: $9.95
- Green Forrest Bathroom Tissue: Free with your offer!
- $5 credit + free shipping
- $61+ dollar value, for only $28.87!
This isn’t a company who has any intention to trick you – in fact, they wanted me to let them know when I was sharing the KS package with you all so that they could make sure customer service reps were live, online, and ready to answer any of your questions.
I’ve never really experienced that level of attention with a business, have you?
And their shipping?
About the Products
I’m just experimenting with the SMART brand cloths, made of renewable viscose. They’re a great alternative to microfiber, which is made of plastic and will never biodegrade, and of course better than disposable paper towels.
I wouldn’t recommend using the kitchen cloth for actually washing dishes – it did fine, but it looks pretty icky quickly.
I cut mine right into 4 pieces after that to make “wipe up rags” – you can put them right through the washer and dryer and have 8 of them from your package to help you ditch the disposables. (They also have a glass cleaning shammy that you could add to your order if you’d like – it is very effective for a streak-free clean with just water on the mirrors).
The scouring pads aren’t quite as strong as the green scrubbies, but made of renewable material, washable (so less mildew issues compared to the green) and safe for use on cast iron (yay!). You can cut them into 8 pieces as well!
When we talked about air quality last month, Jamie detailed the hazards of scented, synthetic candles – the soy candle from ePantry is a good alternative.
They feature cleaner scents, a longer burn time (8 oz. will burn for around 70 hours — that’s around twice as long as an average candle would burn), plus less waste. In addition, every part of the candle from the vessel to 100% cotton wick and labels are made, grown and poured in the USA.
We tried to create basket that would work for any family, but there still may be things you don’t want or need. You can swap items in and out very easily – one thought that I wanted to include in the package but couldn’t offer “brand choices” was this:
You know how dishwasher detergent is so dependent on one’s water, so that what works for someone might not work for the next person? I know I’ve spent plenty of time and money testing out various natural and homemade detergents until I found a few that worked (and then had to start over in our new house).
You could use your $5 credit to get a free or cheap opportunity to try out a brand you haven’t tried yet, so then you’re not out so much in case it doesn’t work with your water! At our old house, Mrs. Meyer’s was great. I just got Method tabs with my own ePantry order, and no complaints so far. 7th Generation didn’t work well for us, but that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t work well for you.
A Few Notes
- They have a whole “unscented” category! That makes me happy too, and for those of you who understand why, you’ll be happy as well.
- As you browse, know that it’s not all natural stuff. Deodorant definitely isn’t, and some things are “on the line” IMO. But they’ll be adding new products often!
- Still worth price checking, but the few I spot-checked (except for one) were less (sometimes FAR less) than Amazon and brand retail.
- Check out the organic feminine care products!
- So many ways to save $. You can even answer a little question and get $2 more off your first order.
- Consumer shipping is always just $2.99 (and is carbon offset). Remember that yours is free on the first order as long as you have a $20 minimum.
- You can split the bill evenly with another person!
- Can give a gift to someone else and earn your own $10 referral credit. 🙂
- Oh yeah – the best part – you can refer friends and earn $10 for every one who signs up! Imagine all the free toilet paper you could have coming…
- The deal ends at 6 p.m. PST (9 p.m. EST) this Friday, February 13th.
So whether you choose to automate your natural cleaning and personal products, your tithing, or a weekly menu plan – find something to make your life easier and free up time to make homemade raspberry honey bon bons…
Or just take a moment with your kids to do something awesome like pulling apart a dead bug to look at its wings under a microscope.
Need More Baby Steps?
Here at Kitchen Stewardship, we’ve always been all about the baby steps. But if you’re just starting your real food and natural living journey, sifting through all that we’ve shared here over the years can be totally overwhelming.
That’s why we took the best 10 rookie “Monday Missions” that used to post once a week and got them all spruced up to send to your inbox – once a week on Mondays, so you can learn to be a kitchen steward one baby step at a time, in a doable sequence.
Sign up to get weekly challenges and teaching on key topics like meal planning, homemade foods that save the budget (and don’t take too much time), what to cut out of your pantry, and more.