Think you can’t feed your family on less than $300 with nutritious, fresh foods?
I know, I said we have a Grocery budget of $300, but really, it’s more than that. Included in our $300 is groceries, cleaning supplies, baby stuff, and toiletries. I addressed how keep to a budget on groceries in part 1, but today I want to address the second component of stretching our “everything” grocery budget – making some (not all) of our cleaners by hand!
I have tried lots and lots of homemade cleaners, and I’ve loved some and hated some. Currently, I use these recipes, but there are some things, like dishwasher detergent, that just don’t work. I have tried recipe after recipe, but can’t find one that works. So, here are my recipes that can be made for a fraction of the cost of store-bought cleaners!
Homemade Cleaners – I believe that the simplest cleaners are best. Maybe I’m the crunchy, granola type, but ever since Baby RB40 came along I have been super concerned with keeping chemicals our of our house. And saving money. I love saving money!
Really, you only need a few basic things to keep your house sparkling clean for a fraction of the cost of store-bought cleaners! Check out my favorite recipes below:
- Laundry Detergent: 1 box borax, 1 box Washing Soda, 2 boxes baking soda, 2 bars grated Zote or Ivory Soap, 1 tub OxyClean, 1 container Downy Unstoppables. The Unstoppables are really not necessary, but they are a compromise I make with The Big Guy. He needs his clothes to smell super clean, so I mix them in. Spending the extra money on them makes it worth it because of the savings. 3 jugs of laundry detergent @ $15 = $45. One year of homemade = $20. Savings = a minimum of $25!
- Glass Cleaner: ½ cup water, ½ cup vinegar, and a few drops of Dawn Dish Soap. Watch your streak free glass and be amazed!
- Toilet Cleaner: 1 cup baking soda and 1 cup vinegar. Combine the ingredients in a large bowl and then dump them all in the toilet bowl. Let them sit and then flush.
- Carpet Cleaner: Vinegar! Put in in the cleaning chemical bin of your carpet cleaner or add it directly to the water and go to town!
- Laundry Stain Remover: 1 part Dawn Dish soap, 2 parts Hydrogen Peroxide (use 3 parts Hydrogen Peroxide for really tough stains!) Always test this on an unnoticeable part of the fabric first. But, with this recipe I have gotten some really set-in stains out of toys and clothes!
- “Everything Scrub”: 6 Tbsp. Baking Soda, 5 Tbsp. Vinegar, and 4-5 drops of Dawn Dish Soap. Mix it all into a paste – nothing special! Use it to coat set-in grime on your stove and oven, and let it sit for 15 minutes. (More if it’s really bad) Use a scrub sponge when you go to take the past off and you will be shocked at how easy the grime comes off!
- Floor Cleaner: Water. Seriously, your floors don’t need much else. If you have a kiddo crawling around on them, consider adding ½ a cup of vinegar into the mix for a deeper clean, but truly, your floors don’t need anything else!
- Stainless Steel Cleaner: 1 c. baking soda, ¼ cup lemon juice, 3 Tbsp. Borax, Club Soda. Mix the baking soda, lemon juice, and borax. Add in club soda until the cleaner reaches your desired consistency. Wipe on and wipe off – it’s that easy!
One thing I DO NOT make myself is homemade dishwasher detergent. I have tried and tried to find one that works, but so far nothing but the store bought harsh stuff will take breastmilk off of bottles (TMI?). The nipples get all cloudy, and then I don’t want the baby to use them. They’re probably clean, but I like them to look clean too!
So, what do you think? Have you ever made your own cleaners? Like me, are they’re some you’re totally ok with making yourself, and some you absolutely will not? I would love to hear about your favorite!
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