Like many moms, I often have so much on my plate that it’s dizzying.
I work, I parent, I manage our household … all with barely a break. Being all of those things is awesome, but it can take a toll, especially because there are only so many hours in the day to get it all done.
After a bit of a stress meltdown a few months ago, I decided that something needed to give, and I needed to lighten my load. I wasn’t really in the position to do that with work or childcare, so I focused on my chores and responsibilities — most notably shopping, which I detest.
I began getting my groceries delivered, which was a godsend, as going to the crowded grocery store in my area can easily suck up two hours. I also gave myself permission to purchase whatever I pleased from Amazon — even a tube of toothpaste or a ream of paper was acceptable … anything to make my life less hectic.
The problem was that, as a mom, convenience isn’t the only factor I value when it comes to the purchases I make: cost, quality and natural products top the list as well. So when I was offered the chance to try Public Goods’ products for a few months, I leapt at the opportunity. The grocery store I used for home delivery had limited selections when it came to the natural, eco-friendly products I was looking for, and the ones offered on Amazon were often out of my budget.
Back in January of this year, I placed my first order with Public Goods. At the time, Public Goods’ line of grocery items wasn’t unveiled yet, so this post will not touch upon those. Instead it will focus on cleaners and toiletries, all of which I had previously been purchasing either from the grocery store, the drug store or Amazon.
Starting out, I admittedly had some concerns, most having to do with cost. I am newly committed to the direct-to-consumer thing, but I am also on a budget, and an initial look at the Public Goods model gave me pause. A membership fee? No free shipping?
Full disclosure: my first few orders, along with the yearly membership fee, were comped by the company because I was reviewing the products. But I was taking the long view and wondering if I would be able to keep up the costs after the initial trial period.
I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the yearly membership fee — which all customers must pay to purchase Public Goods products — was only $59, exactly half the cost of my yearly Amazon Prime membership of $119. Unlike Amazon Prime products, shipping is not free at Public Goods. However, it becomes free after an order of $45 or more, so with a little planning, you can get free shipping on all your orders at Public Goods (I do!). I’ve found shipping is very speedy, as well, usually within 2-3 days of placing an order.
As for the cost of the products themselves, they were priced in line with many of the products I was purchasing from other distributors. For example, the natural dish soap I’d been buying (Mrs. Meyer’s) cost $4.19 for a 16 ounce bottle at the grocery store, and $4.25 for 16 ounces at Public Goods. Public Goods’ surface cleaner was even more of a bargain: $5.75 for 24 ounces, versus $5.49 for a 16 ounces bottle of Mrs. Meyer’s.
What about the quality of the products?
What about the quality of the products? I make it a priority to purchase toiletries and cleaners with as few added chemicals as possible, and not just because they make me feel safer in theory. When I use products with high potency chemicals (bleach, for example) I notice an uptick in my kids’ asthma symptoms. Also, one of my sons has very sensitive skin, so I try to purchase soaps and skincare products with as little added junk as possible.
The Public Goods products I purchased passed both of those tests. The surface and glass cleaners were not only free of any unwanted chemicals, but they worked wonderfully. I had been using Windex (which contains ammonia) to clean my windows and mirrors because that was honestly the only thing that worked. I was ecstatic when the Public Goods’ glass cleaner worked as well as Windex had. The surface cleaner works great as well, and the jasmine essential oil scent is just lovely.
I am also madly in love with Public Goods’ dental floss (I’m apparently not the only one, as it frequently sells out). I had been using Oral B dental floss for a few years because it was the only floss that fit between my tight teeth and didn’t cause bleeding. When I learned that it there were some serious health concerns about Oral B, I was really bummed, and concerned I’d never find a floss that actually worked for me.
Public Goods’ dental floss is made of natural silk and candelilla wax, both totally non-toxic and sustainable. Plus, it comfortably slides right between my teeth. Win-win.
Our family has been using Public Goods hand soap, body wash, shampoo, and conditioner for a few months now, and there have been no issues with my son’s sensitive skin. It looks like we will be buying Public Goods’ sunblock in bulk too, as I recently learned my son is allergic to commercially manufactured sunblock, and can only tolerate titanium dioxide and zinc oxide-based sunblocks. Public Goods’ sunblock fits the bill, and is SPF 50 to boot!
My “free trial” period ended back in March, but I am definitely on the Public Goods bandwagon and will continue to purchase from the company for the foreseeable future.
For me, it’s all about being strategic. There are a few core products I adore and fit my budget/quality needs. These products include shampoo, conditioner, hand soap, surface/glass cleaner, dish soap, dental floss, shaving cream, deodorant and sunblock. I keep a list of these products and time my orders so I can buy these products in bulk, which means I get free shipping each time.
So far, I’ve been needing to place this order about once every 4-6 weeks. It’s fun having a routine, and I welcome the familiar Public Goods box on my doorstep. I can breathe a deep sigh of relief knowing my family is using earth-friendly, toxic-free products that don’t break the bank — and most importantly, that I don’t have to schlep all around town to pick up.
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