Welcome to a new series I am launching this year to share with you firsthand what we do here in my home to live naturally well. Tune in Tuesday gives you a peak into my life with information and tips for what we do, what we use and why we are doing it. This is an educational series to help you easily and quickly use the resources and tools you need to help your family live naturally well.
Today, I’m sharing with you 3 ways I have drastically cut what my family spends on household cleaners. Since all this month on the blog we are talking about the basics of living naturally well this seemed like a really good area to talk about. That’s because I believe our financial well-being is a big part of what helps us see what is possible in our life. When we feel good about our family budget and find those few extra dollars we can use to help us change, we can feel more confident in tackling other problems that sometimes it can take a little money to change.
So today, we’re digging into household cleaners. The last time I walked down the cleaning aisle at our local grocery store I was blown away at how much some of those products cost! Even with a good sale, on average the cost of a multi-purpose cleaner is over $4 a bottle. Then you add on toilet cleaner at another $4 to $5 and pile on some window cleaner for yet another $3 to $5 – you get the picture. By the end of that aisle we can easily spend over $100 a month on cleaners, detergents, air fresheners and a whole bunch of other things we use regularly to clean our homes. I can think of a lot of other ways to use $100 and I’m sure you can too.
Now, the other side of this is what’s on the labels of those cleaners. Almost all of them have some sort of warning, cautioning you against skin irritations, keeping it away from pets and children and what to do if it gets ingested or in your eyes. That is really concerning because if I use that product and then the dog licks the floor or my child puts his hands on the counter are they going to be sick afterwards? This raises some serious questions to me. Like should I even have these in my home? What other damage could they be causing if I use them? Are there long term side effects we should know about?
You can see that besides costing a lot there are some really scary things about the average cleaners that really had me thinking about finding alternatives. I want a clean home, that smells nice, is disinfected and doesn’t cost me a ton every month to accomplish. That should be pretty easy to figure out right? The answer is yes it is really that easy too and I can save a bunch of money.
Here are 3 ways I have drastically cut these costs and the amount of chemicals our family is exposed to through your average cleaners
1. Making Your Own
I get that we are all super busy and it can seem like an overwhelming ordeal to think about making your own cleaners. However, most cleaners can be mixed up in a matter of a minute or less. Yes, a minute! Also, you can use super cute bottles, spray containers and canisters that really saves a lot of space in your cabinets. This is by far the best way to see a big shift in your family budget when it comes to what you spend for cleaners and detergents.
On top of that you are significantly reducing the chemical ingredients, personalizing the aroma and getting a product that you can trust to do a good job. What I have also found possible is that with natural cleaners I often don’t need as much to do the job so whether I make or buy it I’m not doing that very frequently while still enjoying having a clean home.
There are a ton of recipes for cleaners on my website (dragonspitapothecary.com/recipes) that you can download to make your own cleaners including multi-purpose cleaner, scrubs, carpet and air fresheners, detergents and more! Be sure to check out the Make It Monday recipe of this week – Liquid Laundry Detergent.
Typical ingredients I buy to make my own cleaners include:
Washing Soda (Arm & Hammer or Borox)
Glass spray bottles, canisters and jars
doTERRA Essential Oils (dragonspitapothecary.com)
2. Buy Natural Pre-Made Products
I have not found any cleaners and detergents that I cannot make and I do believe that is the most significant way to save money in your budget while getting great green cleaners but sometimes I want the convenience over the savings. Once you realize the savings from making your own products for a while, you also see the freedom to make this choice. It is only the beginning of financial freedom that can be achieved through living naturally well.
For me, it’s nice to have a back up bottle of detergent for instance if I know my schedule is going to be tight for a couple weeks and I won’t have time to make something. As I’ve learned how quickly my family goes through things I’ve been able to reduce the amount of back up I need but this can take some time to perfect. I also like to have some extra on hand for when we have guests coming or I’m about to start some deep cleaning.
The good news is there are a growing number of companies who are offering more natural products. The caution here is to look beyond the label. A simple label with pretty colors does not mean the ingredients are safe. This can also be a way of marketing a natural product at a higher price to make it appear better so you pay more.
These are brands I trust when I’m looking for a pre-made natural product:
doTERRA detergent, concentrate cleaner, personal care products, soaps, etc. (dragonspitapothecary.com)
Dr. Bonner’s hand soap, Castile Soap, Epsom Salt
Gove.com offers a variety of natural products but again read the labels (https://www.grove.co/referrer/29089412/)
Arm & Hammer
There are others but these are ones I have personally used and had a positive experience.
3. Gradually Swap
In an ideal world when we decide to eliminate chemicals from our life we would pick a day to get rid of everything and buy new good green products. That would be great but doing so can also be very wasteful and expensive so let’s talk strategy.
Most of us already have a lot of cleaners in our home. We have more than we think most of the time too. I recommend, using up what you have then as you run out make the transition to a natural product. While it would be safest and healthiest to eliminate everything in one sweep, we also don’t want to overextend our family budget and end up with things we don’t like.
By gradually swapping, we see the advantage time come to help us. We can experiment with different recipes. We can find things we like, that smell great to us and do a great job in our home. This is an opportunity to build our knowledge, get comfortable making our own products or finding those we like best. It also best of all gives us a side-by-side comparison with what we regularly use to measure results.
I also recommend picking one or two products at a time. For me this was toilet bowl cleaner and multi-purpose cleaner. It was about the time I would have replenished these cleaners in my home so I started experimenting with making my own before I ran out of the other stuff. This gave me more than enough time to try a couple different methods and recipes, get what I needed and look at cost. In the end I saved $3.50 on toilet cleaner and $2.95 on multi-purchase cleaner by swapping to making them myself. (this included cost of buying one time supplies like cute glass spray bottles)
Over time I swapped all my cleaners to ones I made or found that met my criteria for saving money and being all natural plant ingredients. These days when I go through my grocery store I can skip the cleaning aisle. I also notice when I pass it the aroma of that aisle really triggers me to realize how overpowering some of the smells from chemicals are in regular products.
Since swapping products and now having my home completely operating off green cleaners, I am realizing a savings of around 65% on average compared to what we used to spend. It may end up being a few dollars here and there but over time that difference over time has been significant! Not only do I have extra cash from these changes but I’m realizing the health and well-being benefits of having less chemicals around us and producing much less plastic waste, water pollution and other environmental concerns.
If you have questions or want to explore more, visit my website at dragonspitapothecary.com