Our household recently added a full-sized food processor to the kitchen, after years with a tiny one that we'd been given. Since we now have this for food preparation, I decided I might as well try using it for a bath and body experiment in getting excessively frugal.
I am trying for 90% savings by making my own oatmeal bath product. I've long used the packets of milled oatmeal from the store for myself and my babies. Oatmeal seems like such a wonderfully mild, natural skin moisturizer. The name brand store product costs around $6 for a 12-ounce box, while I can buy the least-expensive whole grain oats from the grocery section for around $2 for 42 ounces. The cost comparison is 50-cents per ounce for the milled product versus less than 5-cents per ounce for the rolled oats.
I admit that I love the smooth, silky feel of the milled, colloidal oatmeal from the bath packets. You can see the texture on the left. Below is the texture of the oats that I tried to grind in the food processor. I ran the processor for about ten minutes to achieve the finest texture possible. The oats got soft, even powdery, but never as finely smooth as the packaged kind. It seemed that about 10% of the oat remained coarse, no matter how much I ran the food processor. The two piles of ground oatmeal below include the store product on the left.
I wanted to see how well the oatmeal would remain suspended in water, to replicate the bath. So, I used warm water and a bit of the oatmeal. Again, the packaged bath oatmeal is on the left, with what I made on the right. About 5% to 10% appeared to not get suspended well in the water. A colloidal material, by definition, does not really dissolve, but remains suspended in another material in tiny particles. So, my oatmeal simply wasn't getting milled finely enough to appear dissolved in the water.
The final test, of course, was using the oatmeal in the bath. The homemade bath treatment felt just as soothing to me as the other, once it was in the warm bath water. Because of the slight bit of grit, I used the oatmeal as a gentle face exfoliating treatment, which worked nicely. When it came to draining the bath water, there was a bit more grit left than usual. So, I wonder if someone with a slow sewage drain would want to be cautious about using this. Overall, I thought the less expensive oatmeal worked well enough to be worth the huge savings.
Labels: frugal, green, skin care, thrifty, with our own hands