Enjoying my budget boot camp so far? Just a couple more days left of high-gear budgeting! So far I’ve disclosed all the details about my budgeting practices regarding:
Today? Today I am going to be digging in to that toiletry fund- which also includes the money I spend on all paper goods and cleaning items too. And just a note- I’m writing this through a fever-induced haze so please let me off the hook if you stumble across some glaring grammatical errors! I’ll try not to ramble incoherently, too…
My (Green) Money Saving Trick
I don’t buy paper products like napkins and paper towels (toilet paper however… that’s a non-negotiable, people). I don’t buy cleaning supplies. I rarely buy disposable diapers. I save a lot of money by not buying, and I save a lot of planet earth by not throwing away a lot of paper and plastic
Now, before someone calls the health department to report me and my extreme hygienic negligence, let me explain. I don’t buy a whole lot because I don’t need to. In my house, we use a lot of reusable items!
The list of things we do reusable style?
- Cloth napkins
- Cloth for paper towels and cleaning rags– I’ve found that those old-school square baby diapers are excellent for the nitty gritty stuff that I don’t want to use my nice dish towels for! I have also used old receiving blankets and old t-shirts for cleaning.
- Cloth diapers– We are avid bumGenius fans around here. They are convenient, reusable, and act just like regular diapers! The cost is a little bit more up front, but the long-term savings are totally worth it! We probably spend less than $5 a month on disposable diapers- we stock up when the sales are really good (check out Money Saving Mom for current deals). I think we are outfitted through the next two sizes!
- Cloth wipes– YEP! If you are doing cloth diapers, why not?? It all goes into the same pail, and all gets dumped into the wash. I know you can buy special “cloth wipes” but I just use a few cut up receiving blankets. Spray that with a little solution of 1 cup water, 1 squirt baby soap, and 1 squirt baby oil or essential oil. Or you could just use water!
- Reusable bags– We’re pretty good about remembering our trusty reusable grocery bags when we go to the store, but from time to time we conveniently “forget” because we like to use the grocery store’s plastic bags for trash can liners and extra lunch sacks. We’re also working on converting all of our lunch baggies to reusable. Yes, they exist!
Aside from these resusables, we save money (and ourselves from exposure to harsh chemicals) by making our own non-toxic laundry detergent and cleaning supplies. For another fun, non-liquid landry detergent idea, check out Great Oak Circle’s fabulous recipe. I made some and gave half of it as a gift! This is a great way to reuse old glass food jars too.
Aside from that- I watch the sales and use coupons to get really great deals on all my other toiletry goods. Money Saving Mom is a great blog to start at if you want to know how to get started saving money while shopping. I haven’t paid for a tube of toothpaste in months thanks to my couponing and deal-hunting skills, which has landed me several free tubes of Crest in the past month alone!
All in all? We make it on a $10 budget per month, and most months we’re under that number.
How about you? How do you save money on toiletries, cleaning items, and paper goods? Go take stock, and see if you might just be able to live a little more cheaply, and a little more “greenly.” 🙂 I hear Going Green is pretty “in” these days!
Go To: My Budget Boot Camp Day 14