Thursday, February 23, 2012

Grocery Budget and the high price of cleaners!

My grocery budget is  $200 a month which also includes what I spend on cleaners. Purchasing cleaners takes a big chunk out of the budget so I've been looking for cheap alternatives.

I decided to start with a toilet cleaner since I was running out. I did some research and learned that vinegar is an excellent cleaner because it has an anti-bacterial property. I found an old spray bottle and filled it with vinegar. I thought it worked great until my husband smelled it and began choking. Not such a great savings if no one can use the restroom for hours because of the smell.

So, I watered down the vinegar with half water. That worked perfectly. There still is a slight vinegar smell but it fades quickly. I've tried adding essential oils to cleaners in the past but the scent doesn't linger long so why waste it.

Since I rarely use paper towels I just grab some of the toilet paper and use that to wipe off the vinegar.
Next I hope to try it on my shower.

Do you use inexpensive cleaners?


  1. I, like you, have been reading about vinegar and am using it a lot more for cleaning. I don't mind the scent. I use it to clean the coffee pot and counter tops. It shines chrome well. And we use it outside to kill the moss growing up between our pavers. Have a good weekend!

  2. Here's to vinegar! Good use for the moss also, Podso. When I think of your $200 budget I am so impressed. Do you go to a farmer's market for fresh produce?

    Hugs and prayers,

  3. I use vinegar to clean a lot of things around our home, but I sure wish they'd make an odorless vinegar...
    I'm getting away from using paper towels and using dish cloths instead.
    I'm so impressed with your $200.00 groceries.. You could teach me a thing or two....I'm trying to cut back on expenses.

  4. I like vinegar for my all-purpose cleaner too. (Especially because it's non toxic!)My husband didn't like the smell when I first started using it, but now we associate that smell with "clean." Weird, huh?

    If I'm cleaning a germy area, I'll also add in a bit of rubbing alcohol into the vinegar/water mix.

    I also like good old-fashioned bleach, too. (I dilute it with water.) I don't use paper towels, I use rags or dish cloths.

  5. My favorite cleaner is made from: 2 oz ammonia, 6 oz. alcohol and 8 oz filtered water. I put it in a spray bottle and use it for everything, even cleaning my oven. Blessings from...........Denise

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. I still use prepared cleansers from the store; purchased when they are on sale. But I no longer have to buy so often because I also use white vinegar and baking soda for a lot of the household cleaning (pots and pans, counter and stove tops, bathroom). I learned a tip from a thrifty woman. She taught me to use bubble bath that you get as a gift and don't like or don't use, and use it to clean the toilet. I just finished using my last gift of bubble bath in this way. In between these washes I spray some diluted vinegar to disinfect the toilet.

  8. Vinegar and baking soda are 2 things in my house I absolutely could not live without. I also dilute it in a spray bottle. I use it in place of fabric softener in my washer (the smell rinses out and is totally gone by the time the clothes are clean). If there are stubborn items to be cleaned (like soap scum in the tub) I sprinkle a little baking soda and then pour a bit of vinegar on and scrub with a scrub brush.

    Another cleaning tip I got from the 7th Generation website. I add 2 large squirts of their lavender soap to a spray bottle of water and give it a shake. I use it to clean the table, counters, stove top, whatever needs cleaning. Seriously, just 2 squirts gives you enough cleaning power! I just use a damp, wrung out rag to wipe up after I spray the area I want to clean. It's surprisingly good. I've heard other people report the same results with other soaps, like blue Dawn for example (in particular).

  9. Just to be clear: I use vinegar in a spray bottle, not vinegar and baking soda together! I use vinegar in place of fabric softener as well.

    Just wanted to clarify!

  10. I am like your hubby, I do not like to smell of vinigar. I have a book called "The Cure for all diseases", and she suggests using a little borax and water. Borax is antibacterial.Desolved and put in a spray bottle. She also suggest using 50% grain alcohol(or vodka)and 50% water. It will also kill bacteria. This is what I use around the house.It also works like vinigar and shines everything.(And no I don't drink it, yuk!!)
    She uses this also in a jar to sterilize your dish cloth or spunge every night by dipping the cloth in the jar and not ringing it out, but putting it in the sink. Then hang it up to dry the next morn. Using a fresh one the next day while the other one is drying out. Our dish clothes are the germiest things in the house besides the tolet.
    Good topic.
    Blessings, Sharon

  11. I use a lot of vinegar and baking soda for cleaning too. However, for toilet cleaning, I use "The Works." I buy lg. bottles of this at Menard's on sale for $1. I'm sure all you purists would revolt, but it is the best thing I have ever found to clean a toilet and the hard water stains. I have tried vinegar, a pumice stone etc. but it just wasn't doing the trick. So I am sure I am putting something a bit strong in the toilets for 10 minutes, but I'm happy with the results!

  12. I found the easiest way to clean soap scum on the tub. I just use one of those nylon scrubbers you use with body wash and JUST PLAIN BAKING SODA.
    I just sprinkle the tub with baking soda and use the scrubber and in a circular motion clean the entire bath tub. It comes out like new.
    If you have a lot of scum you might have to do it twice and then after that just once a week.

  13. I've used vinegar to do toilets too. I get toilet cleaner too, with coupons..but only use it sometimes. The water here is pretty hard so it sometimes comes in handy to use stronger stuff. I try to do smelly cleaning when He's not home, Hubby notices every odor. :)

  14. Even though the scent may not linger long, adding a few drops of essential oils, such as citrus, pine, mints, rosemary, etc., will greatly boost the germ-killing ability of the vinegar/water cleaner.

  15. I dont think the smell lingers that long. I use baking soda and vinegar for everything. I only buy premade degreaser and dish soap. I use old toothbrushes to clean faucets. I bought 1 roll of paper towels 2 months ago and they are still sealed. We use washclothes to wipe counters, and when we eat dinner. I have a bunch of them, so I have yet to run out! Oh, and the best way to clean windows and mirrors, half vinegar, half warm water, spray directly on surface, and wipe with old newspaper!

  16. I use vinegar and water with a bit of Dishsoap in it for my kitchen floors and counters and all purpose cleaning. It's effectiv and so much cheaper!

  17. I use vinegar and baking soda when I'm cleaning. Somethimes I use it as shampoo and conditioner too. In the shower I spray on a mix of vinegar, water and dishsoap, and leave it on for 30 minutes. Then alle the dirt easily comes off. :) I actually like the vinegar smell!


Thank you for your comment.