December 29, 2016

Saving Money (and maybe the planet!) on 3 Ordinary Household Items

There are so many things to buy nowadays that merely going to the shops can be a task in self restraint. Being frugal and eco usually go hand in hand and there are some big savings to be made in the home by changing a few small items!

Paper Towels

If you hunt around the internet on ways to save money at home, this is a big one. Paper Towels are costlier than tea towels and kitchen towels. You can invest in some nice looking kitchen towels (basically tea towels that you don’t mind getting some stains on) and use it for everything that you would paper towels. I use mine for coffee spills (why does this happen every day to me!?), moping up anything that has sploshed onto the microwave and for grabbing hot plates from the oven. Paper towels are handy to have on hand but they shouldn’t be what you first reach for. The best way to cut back is to hide them in the cupboard. Out of sight and out of mind!

Fabric Softener

Fabric Softener is used to remove static from clothing and obviously add “softening”. I stopped using fabric softener when I:

  1. Realised how much it was costing me and how little it actually did at softening my clothing
  2. Ended up with a rashes on my upper arms.

I make my own now and basically it is so much better that I still can’t believe everyone doesn’t make their own. It is simply vinegar and essential oil. Done!  I mix up 500ml of vinegar with drops of my favourite essential oil (this month is peppermint!) and I add it to my washing machine in the softener section. It leaves the clothes super clean, makes sure there is no residue from the washing powder plus adds a wonderful fragrance.

There are recipes floating around that uses bi carb soda, but I haven’t tried it but I will include the recipe here:

Lemon Fabric Softener (this one makes your clothes really soft)

  • 6 cups of white vinegar
  • 1 cup of baking soda
  • 1 cup water
  • 15 drops of lemongrass essential oil (optional)
  • bottle or container with screw top to hold mixture
  1. Get a large pot or mixing bowl and pour the vinegar and water in.
  2. Next add the baking soda a little at a time, (because it’s going to bubble up like a volcano).
  3. When all of the baking soda is added to the vinegar and has settled, stir it a bit so that the majority of the baking soda dissolves.
  4. Then pour the vinegar into the container and add the essential oil
  5. Shake before use

Air Fresheners

I loathe air fresheners. They never work, they make the air toxic plus the fragrances they use are hideous. Yes, I know people who love them but I am not one of them. If it comes in a can and spray it around, then I am bound to hate it.

This is so easy to fix. How about try opening up your house and letting it air out for a day, shake out old blankets, rugs, doonas, pillows etc. Vacuum or sweep the house and then mop the floor with a simple mixture of vinegar and water. Make sure you test it on your floors before plowing in. Grab a cloth and dust all the surfaces down. This will make a huge difference in the air quality in your home, plus the feeling of “clean home” is just lovely.

If your house is still feeling funky, try boiling a pot of freshly ground coffee (yum!) or even a pot of water with lemon and orange rinds. This will freshen your house in no time. And if all else fails, make sure you have thrown all your rubbish out and there is no mouldy food! ew.

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