Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Spring Clean With A Little Savvy Savings

These days the arrival of spring signals the start of a habit that has its roots in several ancient cultures, one of the most notable being the Persian Empire. The annual Spring Clean. Maybe it’s because nature is getting a fresh start for the year, or maybe it’s because we’ve spent most of winter bundled up indoors and everything has gotten a little stuffy and more grubby than usual.
But when you’re living on a tight budget you start to realize just how much of your income is spent on cleaning products every month. If I spend $100 a month on food I’m spending at least $120 - $150 a month on cleaning supplies. Well, I used to until I started using the following advice on how to save money on my Spring Clean but which actually applies to the whole year!

Shop Savvy
Obviously this means you need to know exactly which cleaning products it is that you’re going to need for your Spring Clean. I always walk through my house, starting at the top and working my way down, in order to plan my shopping list. I head online to see what coupons I can find for the products I need and also which stores are having sales on those items. I check out the manufacturer’s websites, their Facebook pages and the emails I’ve received from the various mailing lists I’ve signed up for. And if I don’t find a coupon there then I head over to Discountrue or any of the other couponing sites I’ve bookmarked to see what I can find there. Before I decide on a particular deal I always make sure I know the coupon policy for that store because there are a few that won’t let you use a coupon for a sale item.

Buy in Bulk
This may be a clich├ęd bit of money saving advice but buying in bulk really can save you up to 50% on your cleaning supplies bill. A lot of big box stores carry concentrates where all you have to do is add water. And the best thing about buying cleaning supplies in bulk? They are almost guaranteed to never go to waste because cleaning products don’t have expiry dates. You can buy 50l of bleach and not worry that you’re going to end up throwing away most of it. In a year, it is still going to be as effective as it is now!

Recycle and Repurpose
Just because something is old or used it doesn’t mean that you should just chuck it in the bin or add it to the donate pile. Used dryer sheets make ideal dusters and they can be fitted inside AC vents as additional filters to prevent more dust. Use old t-shirts as rags that can be used to clean just about anything from tables and floors to cars and walls. While paper towels are extremely handy they can only be used once then they end up in the bin – making them expensive and not very environmentally friendly. Rather use microfiber clothes which cut the amount of cleaning chemicals you need in half and can be reused after a simple wash.

Buy Bargain Brands
Your loyalty to a specific brand is an admirable trait, but is probably an expensive one too. The No Name store brands will often produce the exact same results as that big name brand you’ve always loved and it won’t kill your budget at the same time. A word of caution though – be careful when buying a generic. Sometimes the only way for manufacturers to cut costs is by cutting corners. Still, if you can't afford a well-known product even with a Discountrue coupon code, compare the ingredients of the brand name cleaner versus the generic, and if they’re the same then test it on a small unnoticeable section of whatever you’re cleaning to make sure that it isn’t going to damage something precious and irreplaceable.

Clean Green
The actual cleaning products are the most expensive part of a spring clean, but the fact is that the majority of household cleaners can be replaced with combinations of vinegar, lemon juice, bleach and water. Not only are these items a great way to preserve the environment they are normally dirt cheap! There are hundreds of ‘Go Green’ websites where you can find recipes for homemade cleaners but again you need to test your concoction to make sure that it won’t damage anything and end up costing you more in the long run. The best DIY cleaning product websites will warn you where the product may cause harm but it’s always best to be safe rather than sorry.

Spring cleaning is an unpleasant task at the best of times but with these tips it doesn’t have to be an expensive one. With a little thought and planning you can stay within the confines of your budget while still getting your home sparkling with new life!


Jessica Cassidy said...

I love to buy bulk. It saves me a lot of money. Thank you for these tips Mommy D.

Masshole Mommy said...

I always buy in bulk. With a house full of boys, it's my only option.

Unknown said...

I cannot imagine how you spend so much on cleaning supplies!!!! You must have a huge home! We buy in bulk, as well, but I also love using vinegar, baking soda and essential oils to clean!

Carly said...

Such great tips, I need to start buying in bulk!

harriet said...

I need to do some of this. thanks

Beth@FrugalFroggie said...

I need to get my spring cleaning done. I want to create my own cleaning products.

Liz Mays said...

I will typically try a store brand to save money. They don't always fit the bill, but enough times to make it worthwhile!

Unknown said...

love your tips! thanks for sharing!

mail4rosey said...

You've got good tips here. I've been thinking of making my own products for cleaning.

Unknown said...

You have some great money saving tips here! Thanks for sharing!

Hey It's Jilly said...

I love that cleaning products never expire. I live in a small two bedroom apartment so we don't seem to spend near what you do.

the pinterested parent said...

These are all great pieces of advice. I need to cut back myself.