This post is not sponsored. I genuinely adore that these staples are part of our home. Each one of them makes our life better, easier, cruelty-free, or all around healthier. I have each product linked to my favorite online source for purchase (sources I trust and use regularly). These companies are close to my heart because they open an entire world of products for people who live in the boondocks and they’re both extremely reliable. While this post isn’t sponsored, if you shop through my unique code provided at the bottom of this post I will receive a small credit through the app you used.
If I’m being real with ya, it can be pretty hard to find quality household products in a rural area. I mean it’s not that it CAN be hard, it IS freaking hard!
When we lived on the farm in Kansas I had no idea we were missing out on anything because I wanted to keep my house vegan as much as possible so badly that the struggle to find the products to keep me in line with that goal was not an issue. Truth be told I was going to do it whether it came easily or was a huge feat.
Now we once again live in the middle of nowhere, this time the desert instead of the plains, and it’s the same situation. We have a tiny grocery store in town (11 miles away) which offers a small produce variety and a couple brands of every “necessity”. Thank goodness they have one brand of vegan soap… every time I go snatch it up I hear how they have a hard time keeping it on the shelves and think hmm… is there hope that other people in this small town are making conscious purchases?
Whatever the grocery store doesn’t have, the pharmacy probably does. So when I went to the grocery store for shampoo only to find that none of the three brands they offered were cruelty-free or vegan, I went to the pharmacy. There I found some better options that were still super questionable. (So I ordered it online… FedEx…A rural vegan’s SAVIOR)
When we moved to Spokane though… holy smokes! Before our move I spent weeks on Google Earth pretend-cruising around our future neighborhood imagining all the sights I would see and places I would shop at. I had a mall literally across the street (plus I was about to work in one) and Target, HobLob, and Trader Joe’s within minutes of the new house! I just thought about how convenient and fun it would be to have anything I could imagine so readily available that I could “swing by” to grab something on my way home from work.
This is all a huge deal for a girl who spent half of her life in small town USA. I imagined it getting me in a lot of trouble too, because goodbye paychecks! (Starbucks run, anyone? How about vegan takeout for dinner?) But it wasn’t that bad. I knew I would have access to healthier products because I had access to stores with more variety, but I didn’t know I was about to get schooled on this subject. There are literally stores that cater to natural products. I knew Trader Joe’s had some purposefully vegan groceries which I was stoked to try… but I didn’t know I’d be within walking distance of a half vegan grocery store! What?! Game changer. We still make probably weekly trips to our beloved Natural Grocers. We won’t even talk about all the vegan restaurants right now.
I made this list of our favorite products because we have tried multiple brands of each one and these are the ones we rested on. As a bonus for you, a lot of these are PNW brands that aren’t on shelves across the US but here’s your hookup! Trust me, it’s your lucky day. Oh how happy I’d have been if someone would have cut out the hard work for me when I was in rural Kansas so I could go straight online and order these bad boys…. So, so happy. We’ve also learned a lot about what ingredients are in products we use. When we walk through the store and see vegan fabric softener, we question if our fabric softener is vegan (it wasn’t). And we wouldn’t have known.
As with many other homes now days, it’s become important to us to keep a couple items we love instead of a bunch of items we like. These are a few of the necessities for our home. What’s on your list? Is there anything I MUST try? I’d love to get a peek into your home’s essentials! Let me know in the comments.
For 25% off your order at Thrive Market, use my link: http://thrv.me/a5DP7N
For $10 off your first order of $50+ at Jet use this link (SUCH a good deal!): https://jet.com/referafriend/001C86
AROUND THE HOUSE
So yeah… as I mentioned before there can be some nasties in your clothing products. This means you’re snuggling up to animal product covered blankets and drying off with not actually clean towels… Make sure they don’t contain animal products and are labeled cruelty-free! This one leaves clothes smelling soooo clean and fresh and works better than so many big names I once used. It’s also significantly cheaper than leading brands and has built-in fabric softener that actually works.
Vegan. Cruelty-free. Need I say more? Fine, I will… The shampoo (all scents) smells like heaven’s garden and the toothpaste tastes fresh and minty but also perfectly sweet. It leaves your breath fresh and mouth feeling clean for hours
I was searching high and low for completely vegan beauty products and basically despised them all. I was struggling with rashes on my arms and legs that popped up and drove me insane for a couple months at a time. Then, TADAAA! Pacifica accidentally came into my life and healed my woes. I started with a tiny tube of hand cream gifted to me from my mother-in-law, and when my rashes completely vanished I bought another tube. Then a full sized tube. Then perfume and other makeup items. Please don’t take this lightly: Pacifica has the best rollerball perfume I’ve ever used. Honestly the lilac one could very well be the best thing I have ever smelled.
We got two for Christmas and they’ve saved us so much $$ on our previously used sponges. Just throw it in the wash after a couple uses… Use one while the other is in the wash! Ours are handmade, the ones linked above are the closest to what we use.
Local to us, but you can order online! They have the absolute best deodorant and lip balm I’ve ever used. The deo allows your body to perform natural functions but keeps you fresh until you wash it off. And we have tried so many “vegan” lip balms… some claimed to be vegan and had bee products. Mountain Madness has been my absolute favorite and most effective. Plus they have so many yummy scents!
We keep a bar of soap, bottle of shampoo, an exfoliator, and a razor in the shower. Nothing extra! Our soap is always either coconut oil soap from our store in town or Kiss My Face brand. So affordable, cruelty-free, and you’re not rubbing nasty animal product on your body in an attempt to get “clean”.
IN THE KITCHEN
So many benefits from this salt. I beg of you, do not use regular table salt in your food. This packs even better flavor and bodily value from minerals that are absent from our regular diet. We like the Eden brand!
AHHHHH so good!!! For some reason I think the creamer in the plastic bottles tastes way more flavorful than the cardboard variety, though… Just a heads up.
This was one of the first vegan products we picked up from our new fave stores, and it was an instant hit. Everything you want in a milk alternative. AMAZING to drink plain (especially the vanilla) but also the best for baking and cooking.
Favorite. Candy. Ever. I melt over these. They are incredible. Please treat yo’ self.
*Sparkling water…. So refreshing, tastes amazing, and is perfectly bubbly. It also stays bubbly for days after opening, which is a plus if you can’t finish the entire giant bottle! Price-wise, it’s less than a regular smaller bottle of water.
Please, please, please, please treat yourself to this butter! OMG! Use it anywhere you’d use butter. (But try it on popcorn at least once)
Chao if you need cheese
You need Chao. Get it at your closest Natural Grocers or find other retailers online! It’s the most similar to the cheese I ate growing up. It’s creamy, melts perfectly, and packs a lot of quality flavor for a little price. In my book, there is no other vegan cheese. You’ll have to snag this one at your closest retailer, though. There’s places to order online but I haven’t tried any and therefore will not recommend them to you!
Ok, a little story about Larabars… When we first went vegan these were the first convenient snack we purchased (skeptically, might I add). They’re made of only a few ingredients, but regardless of this, each unique flavor tastes exactly what it’s supposed to. Coconut cream pie, for example… just like pie. The fruit and greens flavors taste like fruit roll ups! We get great deals on Larabars on the Jet app, so even when we go to the store we don’t really buy them there unless they’re on sale. On Jet, you always get the store’s sale price 🙂 #protip
If you’re like everyone else on the planet and appreciate a super quick dinner, add this curry powder to steamed rice and veggies. Done!
We went too many years without. Cooking on Calphalon and thinking we needed a ton of different pots and pans to match each meal we wanted to cook… Which is ridiculous, because all you need is cast iron. We got ours at an antique store for next to nothing. Griffin fixed it all up for us, we seasoned it, and it’s been rockin’ and rollin’ ever since. Every meal. It serves every purpose. And to top it all off, I swear everything tastes better when cooked on the skillet. #minimalism101
To accompany your new beloved cast iron. A true Godsend. We use it on all of our dishes, honestly… it makes cleaning the stubborn stuff a piece of cake. Easier than sponges, scrubbies, washcloths, and brushes combined.