Do you know what doesn’t make much sense to me? How much money we spend out of our family budget (Six Dollar Family) simply to clean our homes. It isn’t that I think that you shouldn’t clean.
Please clean your home.
It’s more that I can’t believe that we have all (myself included) been duped into thinking that we need a boatload of expensive cleaning products and gadgets to do so. Really, if you were to total up the amount of cleaning supplies that are in your closets, under sinks and so on, how much money are you spending on them each year? My guess? You’ve wasted hundreds of dollars on them. Even dish soap, at $2.00 per bottle and 1 bottle per week, will cost you $8.00/mo or $96 per year. That’s just one product! It isn’t needed though and the simple truth is this. You can clean your entire home for less than $10.00 each week if you really put some thought into it.
As I mentioned above, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t clean on a regular basis. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t use cleaning products. What I am saying is that you should be doing everything you can to save money on cleaning supplies. Cleaning our homes shouldn’t be a family budget busting event but rather something that we manage to do safely and as cheaply as possible without sacrificing the quality of what we’re doing.
Family Budget – How to Clean Your Home for Less than $10.00/Week
When you’re looking for ways to cut how much money you’re currently spending on cleaning at home, it can be incredibly easy to overlook something that is really simple (at least in my case it is.). We have been conditioned as consumers to automatically head to the store or to the website/app when we need something as opposed to figuring something out for ourselves. In my opinion, the ability to do for ourselves is only one of the frugal skills that we should all have, but most of us don’t. It’s okay though if you have forgotten those skills. You can still learn (or re-teach yourself) to clean your home for less than $10 each week. Once you do, you’ll be absolutely amazed at how much money you’re saving.
Save Money on Laundry –
Your laundry is very likely much more expensive than you realize and that lack of realization is killing your family budget. First, your dryer is one of the single most expensive appliances you own. You can cut this cost with line drying your clothing. One of the most common misconceptions about line drying is that it can only be done outdoors. When you pick up a clothing rack, it makes it possible to do inside just as cheaply. Once you’ve got that all in place, you can learn to make your own homemade laundry detergent. It doesn’t matter which you prefer since you can make homemade powdered laundry detergent and homemade liquid laundry detergent to suit your personal preference. They’re both just as easy as the other to make and both can be made for pennies on the dollar over buying it.
Go Natural –
There are reasons that people who live a natural lifestyle do so. One of those reasons is that living naturally is often much cheaper than living with commercial products. You can make homemade all purpose cleaner for cheap, homemade furniture polish can be made from orange peel scraps, DIY window cleaner can be made for less than $1.00 per batch, homemade grout cleaner is also very inexpensive and my recipe for homemade floor cleaner will run you less than $1.50 per gallon. You can even make your own homemade liquid Castile soap for less than $5.00 per batch instead of paying $11.00 or more for Dr. Bronners. When our family budget tanked in 2014, one of the first things that we did was to stop buying and start making as much as we possibly could homemade. We’re up to a list of over 60 items that we now make homemade and have saved more money than I could count as a result of it. If you really want to stop buying and make as much as possible, we also have a list of over 200 items you can stop buying and start making to save.
Go paperless –
Paper products such as cleaning wipes and paper towels are eating away at your budget one throw away sheet at a time. Going paperless though, while it will cost you more upfront, will save you quite a bit of money throughout the year. For paper towels, you can replace them with handmade unpaper towels. For cleaning and disinfecting wipes, you can make your own homemade cleaning wipes for cheap. You can even make your own homemade reusable fabric softener sheets to help lower that laundry cost I mentioned even more.
Be smart about water usage –
How much money are you sending down the drain each day? Probably more than you realize and that money is adding up to a big chunk taken out of your family budget. Instead of letting your water run, fill your sink or a bucket with water. Instead of letting your water run down the drain, put a bucket under the pipe and collect greywater to use (clean water only). When you do have to run the water, set a timer so that you don’t run it too long. By cutting your water usage, you’ll cut your water bill each month.
Stay consistent –
When your life goes crazy and your clean home suffers because of it, it will absolutely cost you more to clean your home. By keeping consistent though, you actually spend less money. For me, I love to use the Motivated Moms planner for this. Not only does it have a daily to-do list, but there is also a daily cleaning list that helps me keep on top of things.
Use the bare minimum supplies –
If you don’t want to make homemade cleaners, you can always just go with the bare minimums needed to clean your home. Vinegar; both Apple Cider Vinegar and White Vinegar; can be used to clean and disinfect just about anything. Table salt is great for scouring, lemon juice or lemon essential oil and baking soda rounds out the bare minimums for cleaning. By using just these four items, you can clean your home for pennies each day.
Go deal hunting –
Finally, if you absolutely must buy cleaning supplies, do what you can to save. There are ways to do so without too much work. Grove Collaborative is great for getting deals on natural cleaning supplies. The Retale App is great for finding local sales that can be paired with printable coupons. Amazon Prime Pantry can be used as well. Thrive Market is another one that you can use to get deals. Finally, Ebates is fantastic for getting cash back when you shop online. If you absolutely must buy them, there’s absolutely no reason that you can’t save on them too.