Today we are discussing some simple, money-saving tips for safe, clean, environmentally-friendly homes. Learn how to go green at home, save money and enjoy living in an eco-positive space!
With a few easy upgrades to your cleaning routine and plastic usage, you can create a more comfortable, conscious, and healthy home. At the same time, you’ll actually save money by implementing these hacks and DIY household product recipes.
These hacks are totally realistic and do-able; I won’t suggest you use reusable toilet paper, (but if you want to, then more power to ya!)
These tips ones I personally use, tried & true. I think you’ll find they are a win-win, all the way around!
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Why go green?
We all want to enjoy our homes, nurture our loved ones, and live healthier lives. We also want to spend money wisely and not overspend.
Going green around the home helps reduce exposure to toxins and chemicals, helps our planet, and helps our bank accounts. And by going green at home, we set a positive example for our kids. It’s an intentional and educational act of love.
Related: Minimalism With Kids: How to Get Rid of Clutter and Create More Calm
In addition to recycling, turning off lights that are not in use, and hanging clothes to dry, there is much you can do to live an eco-friendly lifestyle. Let’s get right to the tips!
Tip #1- Green clean with vinegar the right way:
My top tip to green clean your home while saving money is to use white vinegar.
Vinegar is a healthy and effective cleaner. It’s inexpensive with a cost-per-use that’s lower than any other cleaning solution.
Vinegar kills many germs while being non-toxic to humans, but it’s not for everything, and therein lies the confusion.
In general, you’ll want to use a ratio of 50-50 vinegar and water to clean surfaces in your kitchen, living room, and bedrooms.
Vinegar works fantastic to clean:
- Inside refrigerators
- Inside dishwashers
- Toys, phones, remote controls, etc.
All you need is a refillable plastic spray bottle. Try upcycling an old Windex bottle or similar after washing it out. Make sure to label the new bottle as vinegar!
For floors, I’ll use a 75-25 vinegar/water ratio, and I use a mop with a washable pad.
I feel much better about my kids playing on a floor that’s been cleaned with vinegar as opposed to one which may have residue from a chemical floor cleaner. And we don’t wear shoes inside so as to not track in so many other germs in the first place.
All this being said, if you have sick germs, vomit, meat juices, diarrhea, or other super-germy messes, use common sense. No one wants E.coli. I keep a bleach-based cleaner under my kitchen sink for such circumstances.
In the bathroom, I go for a natural but effective cleaner for both the toilet and tub. I also keep a bottle of 75-25 vinegar/water for quick daily sink cleanings.
Replacing the majority of your disinfectants, window cleaners, floor cleaners, and dust sprays with vinegar makes a huge difference in the health of your home AND saves money!
Tip #2- Make your own foaming hand soap:
All you need is a glass foaming hand soap dispenser and some Dr. Bronner’s natural castile soap.
Add 2-3 Tablespoons of soap to the dispenser, fill with water, and give it a shake.
One bottle of Dr Bronner’s will last for month of refills because it’s so highly concentrated, saving you money.
This hand soap leaves no smells or residue on your hands, so it won’t affect food prep. To me, there’s nothing worse than washing your hands with scented soap, then cutting up a piece of fruit and being able to smell the lingering chemicals.
Tip #3- Make your own laundry detergent:
I’ve been making my own laundry detergent for years, and doing so definitely saves me money! Making detergent is worth the 5 minutes of DIY, IMO!
Here’s the easiest recipe you’ll find on the internet for homemade laundry detergent. (I can assure you I’ve tried many!) It’s a powder formula and safe for HE washers, too
Money-saving laundry detergent recipe:
- 1 Cup Borax
- 1 Cup Super Washing Soda, (NOT baking soda.)
- 1 Bar of natural soap, shredded with a hand grater. (I recommend purchasing a dedicated grater for just this purpose.)
Mix together and use about 1 Tablespoon per load. Easy!
** There has been some controversy over the safety of Borax. After conducting my own research, I’ve decided it seems fine to use in this recipe. You may want to do your own research.
This detergent can be stored in glass mason jars, away from children.
Also, wool dryer balls can be used in place of any dryer sheets. I haven’t tried them because static never seems to be an issue for me, but I’ve heard they work great!
Tip #4- Avoid plastic for food storage:
These tips will cost money up front, but save you money in the long run because these items tend to last much longer than the plastic versions:
- Whenever possible, try a re-usable plastic bag/wrap alternative.
- Use glass food storage containers in place of plastic food storage.
- Try stainless steel cups and bowls for kids.
- Metal straws with a cleaning brush are great to have.
There are times when plastic Sippy’s and food storage containers may be necessary or more convenient, and I do use them occasionally. But I believe it’s preferable to avoid plastics whenever possible. Plastics do leech into our food and beverages, and no one wants that!
Here are my Amazon picks. I personally own all of these or very similar:
Tip #5- Eco-friendly shopping for less:
Certain items you may need to buy new, and that’s totally fine. But you can save a ton by shopping at thrift stores! I also like to check eBay for bargains.
Second hand shopping is eco-conscious, as is local shopping. Being a small business owner, I like to support small businesses, artists, farmers, and others in my community and online.
Tip # 6- Re-purpose what you can to save money & be green:
Here are some ideas:
- Old t-shirts can be made into cleaning rags
- Recyclables into art materials
- Food scraps into compost
- Let kids paint boxes for art projects
- Mend and fix your clothing, tools, outdoor furniture, etc.
Related: Awesome Art Supplies for Kids-Plus 10 Art Prompts to Keep Them Busy!
Tip # 7- Give, trade, or borrow:
This is perhaps my favorite tip of all. Share!
There is no need for multiple crock pots, most of the time. Unless you have 10 kids or frequently host large gatherings. Don’t be afraid to get rid of excess stuff to declutter your home!
In addition, donating feels good. Borrowing is a win. And trading works great when you have tomatoes and your neighbor has beans!
Concluding thoughts on going green & saving money:
I hope you enjoyed these tips to save money while going green! Learning how to go green at home, what works for you, and what doesn’t is a personal journey. We can’t be perfect, but we can do our best for the earth and for a safer, cleaner home. Let me know what you think in the comments!
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