While pushing that shopping cart through the aisles at the supermarket, have you ever wondered how much money you actually spend on personal hygiene products compared to actual food groceries? These days, maintaining your body's physical health and appearance costs a lot more than to actually feed it.

Our body can essentially survive on just water for a good long while but, in this day and age, water comes in many different forms with additives to help the body perform at its peak. When water can actually cleanse the body inside as well outside, man has also managed to come up with shampoos, conditioners, soap and bath gels. Funny to think that bathing can be as simple as jumping into a river or lake and scrubbing off with leaves. But naaah, we fill up that supermarket cart with your favorite bubble bath, bath salts, body scrub and bath oils. After which, you still toss in body wax, lotion and moisturizers. Taking note that what you use for your body is different from what you use for your face. So apart from the endless choices of bathing potions to keep our body, our face and hair clean, soft and smooth-- there's the good ole deodorant, mouthwash and toothpaste.

How on earth have we concocted all these? When back in the day, our grandmothers and great grandmothers relied on mere home remedies and herbal solutions that always seemed to work for generations. Many of our products today have borrowed greatly from these age old home remedies. Science and man's sheer desire to develop something better from these borrowed techniques have led us into a very lucrative yet expensive line of businesses and products for health and beauty. These days, only celebrities and the very rich can afford high technology cosmetic procedures. Salons charge an arm and a leg for hair spas that merely include natural ingredients. That twice a week facial scrub you indulge in also utilizes natural ingredients that have been incorporated in beauty products. A massage at your favorite spa also uses essential oils and scrubs that you can also concoct on your own with a little bit of research. Of course, the service is what you actually pay for, but with the right bribery, you can pretty much find someone to happily do it for you.

One of the most expensive aesthetic procedures in the market today is teeth whitening. Anyone will agree that dental procedures always seem to hurt your wallet as much as it hurts those choppers when you go to the dentist for whatever procedure you may need. Teeth whitening has become a very popular dental service that can rack up to almost USD 1,000. Given the fact that a professional medical person does this for you in a highly equipped clinic, will eventually reassure you of optimum results.

Then again, you could look into the working ingredients of in-office teeth whitening technology and you just might be surprised that you can actually use your basic baking soda straight off your pantry to do the same. Scoop a couple or so teaspoonfuls of baking soda onto a cup and drizzle about 2-3 teaspoons of hydrogen peroxide. Stir until it turns into a similar consistency to that of a tooth paste. You may want to add a bit of mint flavor to it, because anything with hydrogen peroxide sure doesn't sound very tasty.

Use this mixture as you would your regular toothpaste but leave it on for about 2 minutes before rinsing thoroughly. This alone can give you dramatic results in one month. Some home remedies for teeth whitening may sound a little too crude for you with the use of baking soda, but most commercial tooth pastes nowadays include this ingredient as well. Truth to tell, a lot of people from generations past have been using this home remedy not just for whitening teeth but as their regular toothpaste. Should you feel the need to use something more earthy and natural, you can also try using strawberries. Moosh a few strawberries in a bowl and dip your tooth brush in it to use as tooth paste. Brush as you would and voila! Strawberry flavored toothpaste, sparkling white teeth, fresh strawberry breath and more money in your pocket! What more could you ask for?