Okay, I admit it. I'm cheap. It's true, I cannot bring myself to pay full price for anything or waste anything. I use coupons for just about everything, stalk items I want until the price is reduced and just generally count each and every penny as if it were my last. The flip side of this neurotic behavior is that I save a TON of money every year. Reducing the amount of cleaning products we buy not only saves us money, but keeps our homes free of unwanted chemicals and helps protect our environment. My mom is queen of dollar stretching (without the neurosis!) and we're always sharing ideas about how to make our dollars go farther. Recently we discussed using white vinegar for cleaning. I have always used it to clean my tile and wood floors, but there are a million other uses as well.
- Dilute 1/2 cup per half gallon of water for floors
- Use in place of rinse agent in the dishwasher
- Run through automatic coffee maker on brew, then run another brew cycle with water to remove hard water deposits
- Mix with equal part of water for general cleaning/deodorizing
- In a spray bottle, the half and half solution will help keep mildew and hard water stains out of your shower
- Two tablespoons to a pint of water to clean fresh fruits and veggies.
- Use half or a third of a dryer sheet and/or use it twice.
- Buy 'select-a-size' paper towels. I love Bounty paper towels! I can use a half of a 'select-a-size' for almost any small job and I can reuse a towel for covering food in the microwave again and again. Bargain paper towels are no bargain if you go through a roll a week.
- Reuse parchment paper, foil, ziplock bags and plastic wrap whenever possible. Sometimes a quick wipe is all you need to make these good as new again.