Money Saving Cleaning Tips


     Lately I have been looking for some ways to cut down on our household expenses. I want small but impactful changes that I can manage long term. Not that I am a natural spendthrift (I err more towards spendaholic). But it never hurts to save a few bucks. And spending less is nearly always a good idea. Cleaning products are items that I have targeted for big cutbacks. I am always buying this stuff and it can really add up.

     My qualm with most of the "money saving" tips and lists that I come across is that they usually fall into one of 3 categories.

1. They give asinine advice ie: Don't buy anything = save money. Well duh. But what do I do about our legitimate needs?

2. They give tips that are unrealistic for the majority of people ie: save money by sewing your own clothes from wool you spun and wove from your own sheep, baking your own bread from grain that you grew and milled, and cutting back on travel expenses by biking everywhere as a family. PUH-LEAZE. Get real.

3. Or worst of all, they claim you can save money by spending too much ie: buy a $900 dehydrator and save money by never buying fruit snacks again.

     That kind of advice makes me seethe and regret the 5 min I spent clicking on it and reading it.

     In Confessions of A Shopaholic (one of my favorite novels, read this if you haven't, the movie sucks big time) the debt laden main character, Becky Bloomwood, has to CB (cut back) or MMM (make more money). She hilariously attempts to save money and then gets to a point where she has spent so much money "economizing" that she gives up altogether.

     Adapting these tips does require a minimal purchase in some cases. But rather than rush to buy all of these things at once, use what you already have now. Then, when you run out of that particular item, replace what you would ordinarily buy with these. Click hyperlinks and pics for shop links.


  • Wool dryer balls- no more constantly buying fabric softener or dryer sheets that shorten the life of your clothes and contain harmful chemicals. These are easy and reusaeable. Add a few drops of essential oils for all-natural fragrance (eucalyptus and bergamot are great here for freshness). 

                           




  • Microfiber towels- I stock them up so we can cut back on the amount of paper towels and cleaning wipes we go through. They do a superb job of shining any surface from granite to glass. If I have a stack of them throughout the house I can quickly grab one for any clean up necessary. I have different colored towels for each area to avoid cross contamination. Grey for the kitchen, green for grubby hands and faces, and blue for the bathroom. Just be sure to wash your microfibers WITHOUT ANY OTHER FABRICS or you will end up with a linty mess. 
                            

  • Glass spray bottles- Fill up reuseable glass spray bottles with 1 part vinegar, 3 parts water, and a few drops of essential oil (Some of my faves for this are lemon, lavender, grapefruit, and Theives). This is a great all purpose cleaner that is super inexpensive. Also, it's free of harsh chemicals! I have spray bottles placed with my stacks of towels throughout the house as I am more likely to keep things cleaner if the supplies are close at hand. 
                                            Amber Spray Bottles 16oz with Reusable Chalk Labels (2 Pack), Heavy Duty Mist and Stream Sprayer

  • Free and clear handsoap- I buy a large jug of inexpensive fragrance free handsoap and use it to refill the glass soap dispensers in our home. I add essential oil to the soap for all-natural fragrance. Buying individual containers of handsoap can really add up. 

  • Ace Sprayer/cotton towels- No need to buy those expensive Swifer refills. Just attach a cotton towel to the Swifer mop instead of the premoistened disposable cloth and use the Ace sprayer to spray the floor with the above mentioned cleaner. Yes, you need the Ace sprayer. It has a pump for easy spraying. If you have to use a traditional sprayer, fine, it works, but by the time you get the whole floor sprayed your hand with be tired from squeezing the trigger over and over. 
                    
                              

  • Vinegar in a bowl- Cut down on candle and air freshener costs. Set an uncovered bowl full of white vinegar on your counter overnight. It will help to clear cooking odors from your kitchen. Especially greasy smells. 
                                    
  • Essential oils- A bottle of your favorite oil can last quite a while and has so many uses! I already mentioned putting them on dryer balls, adding them to all-purpose cleaner, and putting them in handsoap. But you can use them in place of air fresheners too. To add a pleasant scent without harmful and expensive air fresheners, diffuse essential oils. You can use a diffuser for maximum output. If you don't have one, put a few drops of your favorite oil on a cotton ball. In the car, you can use a travel diffuser, or clip a cotton ball or tissue with a few drops of oil on it to an air vent. 
                              

     Save money. Reduce waste. Reduce the harmful chemicals in your home. Adapt what works for you.

     I still buy paper towels. There are times I just need to be able to clean up a mess and be done with it. Throw it out. Done. I do not want to have to save it in the laundry room as another mess to clean later. So I still use paper towels, just drastically less. I feel the same about baby wipes, diapers, and tissues. Essential. Cloth works for many people in these areas but not for me. Hope you found a tip or two here that you can actually use!

Happy saving y'all!

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