25 Ways To Be a Cheaper Housekeeper

by Kelsey Norwood

in Making Over

I’m constantly on the lookout for ways to spend less and get more done with my time.  I found this article about how to make your time and money go farther.  I particularly like tips 11, 9, and 6.  Enjoy!

25 Ways To Be a Cheaper Housekeeper
From Sarah Aguirre,

25. Reuse. Find ways to reuse items in your home for cleaning purposes. Try cutting up towels or clothing into cleaning rags. These can be hemmed on a sewing machine and washed in the washing machine to reduce the need for disposable cloths.

24. Use coupons. Using coupons and rebates can save a lot of money off of your household budget. Check the Sunday edition of your newspaper for coupons you could use. If you have products you consistently use, manufacturer’s websites sometimes have printable coupons for items. Don’t discount rebates. Find out what is needed to redeem the rebate (cash register receipt, bar code label, etc.) Don’t throw out a rebate just because it takes extra effort for savings that don’t happen right away. By the time the product runs out you may have the rebate in hand to replace it.

23. Get free samples. Many times manufacturers will send out free samples of new and innovative products.

22. Line dry your clothes. Line drying your clothes has many benefits that can save money. Eliminating the dryer cuts down utility costs needed for its operation, but also eliminates added cooling costs for your home.

21. Use energy efficient appliances. Check out the government’s recommendations for energy efficient appliances.

20. Follow the directions. Following the manufacturer’s recommendations makes sure that no expensive mistakes occur as the result of use. The directions also help give you an idea of how much of some products is needed to get a cleaning job done. Many people overuse cleaning products to try to get a job done more quickly with the only result being a hiked up cleaning budget.

19. Try using natural cleaners. For many cleaning jobs alternative cleansers may work wonders without emptying your checking account.

18. Plan a cleaning budget. Planning a cleaning budget can help prevent impulse buying. To really get a feel for what your budget needs to be, track your spending on cleaning products over the course of a few months. Sit down and analyze where the money was spent. Determine what items were really not needed and ones that cannot be done without. Figure out how often your products are lasting. Use the information to create a budget for your family’s cleaning needs.

17. Share a steam cleaner. Go in with a few friends or family members and purchase a nice steam cleaner together. Work out a plan for everyone to have access to it for routine maintenance, and the occasional emergency.

16. Spot treat stains on rugs, carpets, upholstery, and clothing ASAP. Fast attention prevents more expensive repairs or removals later on.

15. Buy easily cared for fabrics. Look before you buy. A dry clean only, no iron blouse may look great on you but is it worth the added cost of the dry cleaners or home dry-cleaning products?  You probably can’t stay away from all special care items, but reducing them in your home can reduce your costs.

14. Cut down on outside help. You may be able to reduce the number of visits by a paid housekeeper by delegating chores and creating a cleaning schedule that fits with your family’s lifestyle.

13. Shop around.  Find the best deals on the products you can’t live without. Check out store circulars. Shop at dollar stores or at discount warehouses. If you have the space, consider buying in bulk.

12. Invest in entrance mats. Having a door mat directly inside and outside each entrance can reduce the amount of dirt being tracked inside your home.

11. Implement a no shoe rule. Go barefoot and give your floors a break. While some people post a sign on the door asking guests to remove their shoes, many guests will voluntarily take them off when they see a selection of the family’s footwear lined up in the entryway. Even if you keep only family and close friends shoeless you’ll save a lot of wear and tear on floor cleaning costs.

10. Keep your tools clean and in good shape. Taking good care of your tools keeps them going longer. Make sure to do routine inspections of vacuum cleaners, dishwashers, garbage disposals, washing machines, dryers. Keep brushes, dustpans, brooms, mops, and sponges clean and ready to be used. Don’t forget to clean out filters, belts, bags and other accessories for your cleaning tools.

9. Use old newspaper to dry mirrors after cleaning.

8. Freshen your drain. Putting orange or lemon peels down the garbage disposal leaves a fresh scent in your drain.

7. Find a Review. Before you buy into the latest cleaning craze, find out if it really works. Post a thread in the housekeeping products forum.

Talk with friends and family members who may have used the product already. Check out the product reviews on this site.

6. Create your own air freshener. Fill a saucepan half full of water cinnamon sticks, orange peels, and some cloves. Simmer on the stovetop, adding water as the mixture reduces. It will fill your home with a great smell.

5. Make your own fabric freshener. Mix 4 tablespoons of a ultra liquid fabric softener with water in a new plastic spray bottle. You can use scented fabric softener or try unscented with a few drops of your favorite essential oils. Mix well and test in an inconspicuous spot first. This can be used like the commercial fabric fresheners. Test to be sure of fabric compatibility.

4. Use lemon juice as a last resort stain cleaner. Lemon juice can be especially effective on white clothing when left in sunlight. The juice acts to bleach out the stains, but will also bleach out color.

3. Use one pot recipes for meals. This will not only save you money on washing the dishes, but also give you more time to enjoy after dinner.

2. Maintain. Use maintenance as a weapon against tough jobs that will require more effort and tools. Setting up a cleaning schedule will help you build maintenance of chores into your daily life. Letting jobs go too long will only take more time and money at a later point to fix.

1. Use the library. Check out the library to preview the newest books and magazines to help your housekeeping needs. Some books or magazines may turn into favorites, making them a candidate for purchase.

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