Keeping a home clean, organized and well maintained requires time, effort, dedication and a good chunk of the monthly budget. When finances are tight, we need to be creative and conscientious with our expenses. One way to save money is to reduce housekeeping costs. Here are some suggestions.
Things You'll Need
- Baking soda
- Household ammonia
- Microfiber cloths
- Energy-efficient products
Use household products instead of commercial cleaners. Vinegar, baking soda, toothpaste, lemons and household ammonia are excellent substitutes for cleaning, disinfecting, scrubbing and sanitizing kitchen and bathroom surfaces. They all work just as efficiently as commercially packaged cleaning solutions and chemicals.
Buy in bulk. Retail packaging jacks up product pricing. Since you will be using housekeeping products indefinitely, strive to purchase wholesale. This applies to detergents, bath products, cleaning sponges, and household cleaning products like vinegar and baking soda.
Choose "reusable" rather than "disposable." Anything disposable has the added cost of convenience. Disposable cleaning wipes and dusters are more expensive than reusable hand towels and microfiber cloths, which perform the same job.
Keep dirt out to minimize cleaning and related expenses. Close windows on windy days to minimize dust; lay doormats to catch shoe dirt; brush dogs and cats outdoors.
Maintain the integrity of the house to minimize heating and cooling costs. Seal door and window leaks. Use tints, shades, blinds or drapes to reduce transfer of heat or cold through glass windows. Ensure that the level of insulation in the ceiling or attic is optimum.
Lower the power bill by reducing energy wastage. Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lights. Use a cover to insulate the water heater. Use cold water to wash colored clothes. Use washers and dryers for full loads only. Clothes washers and dryers, as well as dishwashers, consume as much energy running a small load as a full load. Ironing several items of clothing in one session is also more cost-effective than ironing them individually at different times.
Lower the water bill by reducing water wastage. Use water-saving faucets, showerheads and toilet tanks. Water the lawn at night or early in the morning to minimize loss from evaporation.
Invest in energy-efficient appliances. When it's time to buy new appliances, consider brands that are energy rated.
Tips & Warnings
- Set a budget for housekeeping and keep tabs on your expenses. Doing the math helps in determining where savings are possible.
- Attend to housekeeping chores before they become major tasks. For example, attend to dirt and stains before they set and become tougher to remove.
- Take the middle-of-the-road approach when purchasing housekeeping tools and equipment. The really cheap ones break easily, while the really expensive ones are mostly just for show (sometimes you pay extra just for the brand name).