The Cruelty-Free Review

A review of compassionate products, foods, and recipes

Free Chipotle!

Who doesn’t love free food? No one, that’s who. And here’s your chance to try Chipotle’s new sofritas (if you haven’t already) and get rewarded for it. On Monday, January 26th, order any item with sofritas, and you’ll get a free burrito (or taco, salad, or bowl), redeemable between January 27th and February 28th.

Still unsure if you want to try sofritas? Read the guest blog review I did for That Was Vegan? here, and then just give it a shot! You might discover your new favorite item…and if not, hell, at least you’ll get to go back and get something you do like for free! Either way, you’ll be supporting Chipotle’s awesome vegan option. Bring on Sofritas Monday!


DIY in ’15


When I started writing this post, all I could think about was how I wished it was 2005 instead of 2015 because then I could title it “DIY in ‘05” and it would totally rhyme. But still, if you say “one-five” instead of “fifteen” then the rhyme still works.  These are the kinds of things that keep me awake at night. Aaanywaaay….

Obviously, this is all about how I want to try and make my own cleaning and beauty products this year.  Long story short, after 10 years of living in the same apartment Robert and I lucked into renting a condo. It’s bigger than our old place and in a nicer area of town, but with the upgrade in the quality of living conditions, we also got an upgrade in the rent. So I’m trying to be more frugal and want to try the DIY route that seems popular these days. I’ve seen loads of ideas and recipes for making homemade laundry detergent, all-purpose cleansers, body scrubs, shampoo, spider repellant (something I’m VERY interested in, now that we have a garage with lots of boxes in it) and so forth. People swear that they save a ton of money by making their own stuff and that’s definitely something I can get on board with!

I decided to start with something very basic, something idiot-proof that even I couldn’t mess up, so I decided to make a sugar body scrub. Winter in Colorado equals very, very dry skin, especially with the extreme cold temperatures we’ve had lately. So sugar scrubs are a great way to slough dead, dry skin, and are especially effective when combined with an oil to moisturize. There are only about a million and one recipes for DIY scrubs, but I found one that called for just sugar and coconut oil. I said it was basic, didn’t I? Besides, that’s pretty much all the ingredients I had at the time. So I combined 1 cup of plain white sugar with ¼ cup coconut oil. I mixed everything together with my hands, which provided just enough warmth to gently melt the coconut oil and blend with the sugar. I tried it that night in the shower and it was just perfect. Gently exfoliating and moisturizing without being greasy. But like I said, it was very basic. No smell, no color (which is why I won’t bother with a picture. Imagine a Tupperware container with white sugar in it. There’s my scrub). A few drops of an essential oil would certainly elevate to something more indulgent.

But it was cheap! A 2lb. bag of sugar costs about 90 cents and the coconut oil was about $9.00 for a 32oz jar. If I’m doing the math correctly (and there’s a good chance I’m not!) that works out to about 60 cents for the batch of scrub, which makes enough to last 1 ½-2 weeks, if used every other day or so. Not too shabby when you consider store-bought scrubs can cost $5-10 or more. And given that sugar and coconut oil are staples of cooking and both have long shelf-lives, there’s little chance they will go to waste.

So, my initial foray into the world of DIY was a success! I didn’t spend any money since I used what was already on hand and it was effective. Now I want to hear from you. Has anyone else tried DIY products? Was is actually cheaper and did it work? I’d love to hear any and all experiences!