Money may not buy happiness, but one thing is clear: careful budgeting is one of the secrets to a happy family. Lots of the items available in stores today have a high cost; if you don’t plan carefully and truly assess your needs, you may be overpaying for fancy, shiny things you don’t need. You won’t be cleaning every day (if you plan on it, please contact Maid Sailors for employment opportunities), so your strategy should be as follows: invest in high-quality products that will serve as “necessities” which will ultimately preserve the hygiene of your living space.
We’re here to upgrade your cleaning kit on a tight budget; consider the following factors: What do you need? What can you do without? How big is your living space? Keep these in mind as you read through the following three thrifty tips (do you like what we did there?).
1. Plan at home to buy the things you actually need
While this sounds obvious, once you walk into Home Depot / Duane Reade / Walgreens / Wherever, you will be bombarded by colorful logos and advanced engineering. The cleaning products space is very competitive and many products exist – to make matters worse, many of these products are advertised as “necessary.” To ensure you don’t blow your rent, make a list of the things you need while you’re still at home. Brushes and brooms? Window cleaners? Sponges and rags? While you’re in the shop, religiously stick to buying these items only. Also, remember to google quickly for discounts and special offers – these products are generally occupying space at various hardware and department stores and owners will often provide valuable discounts in order to clear shelf space. Here are some further tips for common household cleaning items:
- Sponges and wipes: buy reusable only; non-reusable products will require you to do lots of shopping every week (which will make your salary disappear)
- Buckets: Buy 1 or 2 max
- Brushes: Buy 1 or 2 max
2. Buy in bulk
Cleaning isn’t like online dating – it requires dedication and it’s a task you’re married to for life (as depressing as that may sound). Thus, keep in mind that it’s always cheaper to buy in bulk now than it will be to make the same smaller purchase multiple times down the road. Ultimately, if you buy in bulk, you’ll save money. Determine which common items you’ll be “running out of” over the next few weeks/months (e.g. detergent, wipes, soap, paper towels). Instead of buying smaller bottles, look for larger ones and see if they’re less expensive per unit of volume. Not only will you save money on a per unit basis, you’ll eventually reduce waste – a win/win situation for both your wallet and Planet Earth.
Lastly, always keep in mind the lessons of tip 1. If there is something you don’t need, don’t buy it just because they offer bigger quantities of that product at your local store. It’s also a good idea to compare prices in different shops for larger quantities (e.g. if you know you’re going to be making big purchases, may be worth it to make the trip to Costco after all).
3. Remain eco-friendly
It’s been known for years that commercial products are fraught with all sorts of chemicals that put our health at risk and pollute the environment. Even though many companies try to hide the dangerous substances they use to make their products, it’s obvious you need to be wary of the cleaning solutions you purchase: harmful ingredients in these products can trigger many health problems such as lung diseases, skin problems, eye problems and even cancer.
Alternatively, “green cleaning” is safer, more affordable and ultimately a long-term money-saver (especially when long-term health risks are in the picture); from our perspective, eco-friendly products are a necessity if you have children, multiple roommates, and/or pets. Ultimately, once you begin using eco-friendly cleaning supplies, you’ll look at standard cleaners with disgust (similar to the way you felt about 56K after switching to Cable internet back in the day). As CityCleaners Chelsea says, “once you go green, you never go back.”
Some examples of cheap, effective and natural products are as follows: salt, lemon juice, white vinegar and baking soda. While that list may surprise you, remember that these natural products are just as effective as every-day chemical cleaners – for heavy duty cleaning, make sure to call a professional (like Maid Sailors). Further, if you want to get creative (on a budget), feel free to google for cleaning recipes that will help you prepare the right cleaning solution using the aforementioned natural ingredients. A small investment of time = large savings of cash.