Green Your Cleaning Routine and Save $$$

Spend less money. Have less toxins. Produce less waste. Have less clutter.

Sometimes it can feel like a trade-off between using greening your cleaning routine and saving money. When I choose the most eco-friendly cleaner from the store shelves, I want to kick myself at check-out when I hear the total. But then when I buy the cheapest bathroom cleaner, I instantly regret the decision the minute I accidentally breathe some in and start coughing. Why can’t we have green cleaning supplies without breaking the budget?

That’s a great question, friends! And I have an answer for you. It is possible to go green and save money (or at least not spend more money). The best part is you don’t even have to spend time making your own green cleaners with mixing cups and…whatever else goes into green cleaners. So, let’s begin with the top four things to save your hard-earned green while greening your cleaning routine.

P.S. Sometimes my posts contain affiliate links. This is at NO extra cost to you. I support these products because I use them and I believe in their quality. See my disclosure policy for more details.

Buy Cloth Napkins and Washcloths

Use cloth napkins and washcloths to green your cleaning routine today.

First, let me introduce you to my family. We use paper towels for both cleaning AND as napkins at mealtimes…don’t judge us. As you can guess we went through tons of paper towels every month. Somewhere along the lines, my green guilt built up and I pushed our family to take the plunge. So, the first step to green our cleaning routine was to incorporate cloth napkins and washcloths into our household. I started this process by placing our paper towels in an absurdly inconvenient location. Next, I filled the cutest wire basket with a boatload of washcloths in an array of coordinating colors. Then, I filled an equally cute mesh basket with just as many rolled up colorful cloth napkins. (Tip: Buy your washcloths and napkins on clearance and use baskets you already have around the house.)

BEFORE: Paper towel roll = $2.00. Three paper towel rolls per month = 36 rolls per year. Annual cost for paper towel = $72

AFTER: After the initial expense of wash cloths, cloth napkins and wire baskets, the only expense is laundering of all your reusable materials. Annual cost is $10*. (*Sidenote: I still need paper towels here and there for BIG messes, so I estimated about 5 rolls per year.)

SAVINGS: $62 per year!

Puracy Laundry Detergent

The second step to green your cleaning routine is easy too. I can’t quite remember how I discovered Puracy, but I did and I LOVE them. Even better is that they are home-grown here in Austin, so I feel like a better human being for buying local. Why do I love Puracy laundry detergent? Let me count the ways.

  1. They are scent-free and made for sensitive skin.
  2. They are comparable in cost to other higher-end detergents.
  3. They have a two-pump system, so it prevents me from overfilling the detergent cup, thus wasting money with a heavy-handed pour.

BEFORE: We do approximately 400 loads of laundry per year. Store bought laundry detergent is $19.97 for 81 loads. Annual cost for laundry detergent = $98.

AFTER: Puracy Laundry Detergent is $15.99 for 96 loads. If you join Amazon Prime and enroll in Subscribe & Save, then two bottles of Puracy will cost approximately $22.09 for 192 loads! Annual cost is $46. 

SAVINGS: $52 per year!

White Vinegar vs. Dryer Sheets

The third step to green your cleaning routine comes with a fun fact. Did you know that you can use white vinegar in the last rinse cycle of your washer and it acts as a fabric softener? Mind blown! Once I discovered this little trick I hopped on the bandwagon and never looked back. I already knew I wanted to ditch the dryer sheets and this gave me the final push to just do it already. So, repeat after me. Use 1/4 cup of white vinegar in the fabric softener dispenser…Boom. Money saved and your family is greener.

BEFORE: Eco-friendly dryer sheets are $7.98 for 80 sheets. Annual cost is $40.

AFTER: 1/4 cup white vinegar per load (purchased in bulk from Costco) averages about $21/ year. (Tip: Add 10 drops of an essential oil into the vinegar, such as lavender, purification or lemon.) (Another tip: Throw some wool dryer balls or tennis balls into the dryer to help soften laundry even more.)

SAVINGS: $19 per year!

Force of Nature

The fourth step to green your cleaning routine will also set you free of under-the-sink cleaning clutter. You’re welcome. Have you heard of Force of Nature? Me neither. But, Force of Nature discovered me through a Facebook ad strategically placed in my feed. I clicked. I read. I was interested. I purchased. I fell in love. End of story. There is some fascinating science behind Force of Nature, so check out their site and read all about it. The super simplified version is electricity + water, vinegar, salt = a substance as effective as bleach with zero toxic chemicals. After you buy the starter kit (approximately $50), then you only need to purchase the capsules each year.

Force of Nature Cleaner

BEFORE: Glass Cleaner $2.48, Bleach $1.75, Grease Cleaner $2.76, Rug Cleaner $2.96, Soap Scum Cleaner $1.97, Odor Eliminator $2.97 = $14.89

AFTER: After the initial expense of purchasing the starter kit (approximately $50), you will need to purchase the capsules each year. Annual cost for 25 capsules is $18.99.

SAVINGS: You have a single bottle of green cleaner versus six bottles of non-green cleaners cluttering up below your kitchen sink. Welcome to minimalism!

How much money did we save making these changes? The short answer is we save about $133 each year! The longer answer is that we didn’t save much the first year given the investments we had to make to begin the going-green process, but now that we are deep into our second year of greener cleaning, we would never look back. We eliminated toxic chemicals. We produce less waste. We spend less money. We have less clutter.

Reach out and let me know if you decide to take the plunge to a greener cleaning routine. What products or methods do you love? Did you save some money?

Green your cleaning routine and save money. Take these four easy steps to a green and clean home.

Kids

The reason we are parents.

Oh. My. Kids. I don’t think you can ever describe parenthood until you are there, knee-deep in the mess of it and just trying to thrive survive each day. You want to do the best for these tiny humans, but even when you’re doing parenthood right, it often feels like you are falling short. Or even failing altogether. This stuff is hard and real and beautiful.

Our family is created through adoption. Let’s add some complexity to that…inter-racial adoption. We are always learning and sitting with our feelings in this family. Our babies are still young, so while the physical demands are many, the emotional demands are still minimal-ish. But, it doesn’t stop us from trying to prepare ourselves, teach ourselves and be ready for each age and stage that our littles will pass through. Come along and learn with us as we navigate the challenges from parenthood to race to adoption to everything in between. I guarantee it will be an adventure.

Type 1 Diabetes

It’s not the same as type 2 diabetes.

I’ll describe a type 1 diabetes diagnosis in two words…WORLD. ROCKED. If you are a fellow T1D mama…Hi. I see you and you are doing a great job. You’ve got this. You really do. If you are a friend or family member of a type 1…thank you for trying. Type 1 is hard to understand if you don’t live with it daily, but you have no idea how much it means that you are present and learning. Please keep at it because we need you and we need support.

Here you will find everything related to type 1 diabetes. Our bright spots and our landmines, organization tips and tricks, books to read, T1D news, advocacy opportunities…anything and all things type 1 because it’s basically on our minds 24/7 anyway.

My 2019 Planner

I did it…I purchased my 2019 planner! I realize I am late to the planner party, but better late than never. In the past years I’ve tried the Erin Condren planners, Commit30 and this year I have decided to try the Simplified series by Emily Ley. Woo! Cheers to setting and keeping our 2019 goals like a #boss. What planner have you invested in this year? Which planner is your favorite to stay on track throughout your day, week, month and year?

Save Cash on Basics

<<This post may contain affiliate links, which means I make a small commission at NO extra cost to you. I support these products because I believe in their quality…not because I earn from qualifying purchases. See my disclosure for more details.>>

2019 is right around the corner and do I ever love the start of a new year. It feels like a fresh start at life every 365 days. This year one of my goals is to maximize our savings on the basics that our household always needs – think toilet paper, coffee, dish soap, laundry detergent, body wash, diapers and loads more. These are the items I never really think about, yet pick up all the time here and there at grocery and retail stores as needed. Last year I automated many of these purchases via Amazon’s Subscribe & Save program since we are already Amazon Prime Members. It definitely saved us some cash since you automatically save 5% once you subscribe for a product. Plus, subscribers receive an additional 15% off ALL automated orders once you have at least five products ordered each month. Boom!

I figured I had maximized our savings…BUT, throughout the year I noticed that when certain retailers ran promotions that sometimes our basics would be cheaper there than through our Amazon Subscribe & Save. Hmmmmmm. So, this year I am going to attempt to tackle these potential savings and figure out the best bang for our family buck while keeping in mind convenience. What does your basic shopping list look like? Could you save some cash in this category in 2019? Have you found any great deals or how to maximize savings on household essentials?

Food my Toddler Wants for Breakfast

Because why wouldn’t you want to eat whip cream on a spoon for breakfast.

  1. Whip cream on a spoon. (Truth: I laugh…and then I say no because that is not a breakfast food. Then she asks again and I sweetly repeat no because that is not a breakfast food. Then she asks again and I still sweetly repeat no because that is not a breakfast food. Finally at some point she is melting down over the lack of me listening to her demands of whip cream on a spoon for breakfast and somewhere along the lines I not-so-nicely repeat no because that is not a breakfast food.)
  2. Ten pieces of popcorn in a pink bowl. (Ummmmm, yep you can totally have that because it is one of your healthier breakfast requests.)
  3. Only vitamins. (This wouldn’t be the end of the world if she would also eat the non-gummy vitamins…but, toddler. I have a love/ hate relationship with gummy vitamins.)
  4. Cookies. (I have found some alphabet cookies from IKEA called KEX that I most definitely call “cookies”. They are shaped like alphabet letters and taste like graham crackers. Cookies for breakfast while learning alphabet letters and sounds = Parenting win.)
  5. An entire can of black olives. (What’s the deal with toddlers and black olives? Thank you dear Costco for stocking Lindsay Natural Black Olives in a 6-pack.)