Friday, October 23, 2009

Saving Money: Keep Your Home Clean For Less

Let's face it, living on one income has caused me to become kind of cheap!  But, it makes me so happy to find new ways to save a little money, as it all adds up!  I have discovered that there are many simple ways to save money on keeping my home clean.

For example, commercial cleaning products can be really expensive (not to mention harsh and hard on the environment).  Here are a few tips that I have come across and really like:

1.  Use vinegar and water.  I keep a spray bottle under my kitchen sink with one part water, one part white vinegar.  I use it to clean everything from my kitchen counter tops to my mirrors and windows.  I also use it for mopping my laminate floors.

2.  Make your own disinfectant spray.   You can mix 1/4 cup bleach per one gallon of tap water for a really inexpensive disinfectant.  I always use this to clean up after cooking with raw meat.  I am also using it on almost everything else right now with all of the scary flu bugs going around!

3.  Baking soda makes a great mild abrasive.  I use it on my glass stove top and it usually works well.  Just add water! One thing I don't recommend though is buying a white glass top stove, everything shows!)

4.  If you are getting the Sunday Paper (for all those great coupon inserts of course), use a few sheets for cleaning your mirrors and windows. 

5.  Use reusable cloths instead of paper towels.  I was going through about a roll every couple days which was really wasteful and costing me about $4 a week!  Since I had an overabundance of old receiving blankets, I recently cut them and they work great as cleaning rags.

6.  Do dishes the old fashioned way to save on the energy bill.  OK, I have to admit that it is so much easier and less time consuming to use the dishwasher!  But, lately I have been skipping the drying cycle and letting my dishes air dry.

7.  Cut dryer sheets in half.  They still reduce static cling and add a nice smell.  Some people even make their own dryer sheets with fabric softener and washcloths and use them over and over again.  Whichever method you prefer, always buy dryer sheets or fabric softener on sale stacked with a coupon!

8.  Of course, hanging clothes to dry also reduces the energy bill and keeps clothes in better condition.

Much of this is a no brainer.  But sometimes the simplest ideas really pay off in the long run.  Do you have any great tips to save money on cleaning?  Please leave me a comment!

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