March 8, 2011 § 5 Comments
My Mom will tell you that cleaning was never my strong suit as a kid. When I was working full time I was more than happy to pay someone else to take care of our place. I didn’t want to spend my precious free time cleaning. Now that I work from home I find that I am much more willing to clean a bit here and there vs waiting for the cleaner to come. It’s actually kind of foreignly enjoyable to me. I crunched the numbers and we can save about $2,000/year by cleaning ourselves. That trumps my spare change exercise from yesterday.
I also took stock of the cleaning supplies we use throughout the year. Isn’t there some saying about the best marketers being the most susceptible to marketing or something like that? I have totally fallen for the marketing ploy to get people to buy a separate cleaning product for just about every surface of your house. I’m also embarrassed to say that I never really switched over from the more traditional products which are both expensive and fairly toxic.
I found a number of helpful tips on cleaning alternatives that have the benefit of being much better for you and for the environment at a fraction of the cost. Just using vinegar alone as an all purpose cleaner I can eliminate 5 different products I typically buy, plus I can use it as a fabric softener which saves me another $25/year. Normally I would be put off by the smell but apparently it goes away as it dries and deodorizes. Lemon juice acts as a natural bleaching agent & when mixed with olive oil is a natural alternative to cleaning wood surfaces. Many of these natural alternatives were what people used back in the day before we went and complicated things. My budget, my body & the environment will be happy with these changes.
If anyone has any other good “old school” cleaning methods or savings tips they want to share, pass them along.