The Secret to Saving BIG BUCKS as a Mom

Yeah… I need a snow cone.

I’ve been reading up on how to make my own laundry detergent and dish soap. It seems to be “all the rage” on pinterest right now. Plus I’m trying to figure out a way to tighten our budget so I can buy more chocolate licorice and snow cones this summer. I printed out a few recipes, made a shopping list (Who has this stuff at home? I mean, really, borax? I haven’t seen that since my granny made me scrub her toilet with a toothbrush. Ugh.) and then promptly lost it – the list, that is.

So, I started over. But decided to check the supply closet in my bathroom first. Just in case I already had a bottle of super toxic kitchen cleaner tucked away in there already. Sure enough, I had a bunch of stuff tucked away in there; toilet bowl cleaner, counter top spray, glass cleaner (who bought that?), carpet deodorizer, wood polish (again, who polishes wood in this house?), and even some spray and wash. I stared at this treasure trove of cleaning supplies in amazement. I didn’t remember buying all this stuff, although it was clearly a collection of odds and ends I picked up off clearance shelves. And I also wondered – why haven’t we used this yet? I hadn’t bought any of this stuff recently. In fact, I couldn’t remember the last time I bought a cleaning product of any kind. What was going on?

Then I shifted my gaze and noticed the bathroom floor. Eeew.

Yah, that’s why I hadn’t used any of these cleaners – I wasn’t CLEANING. Great. I could suddenly feel ten generations of my grandmothers shaking their fingers at me from heaven.

But look at all the other great stuff I was doing! Building chicken coops! Roller skating! Planting a garden! Writing kids books! Running lots of cold, cold miles! Eating cookies to warm up! Teaching my kids to bake the cookies so I didn’t have to! Come on grandmas! Lighten up.

The final note to this story is that after a quick survey of my closet and the comfortable layer of grime in my home, I decided I was already saving a TON of money on household cleaning products by using them SPARINGLY. And I thought this was a tip worth sharing.

Ladies, do not clean unless someone you know to be anal is coming over.

Remember that sanitary does not equal “spotless”. You don’t need to be gross – no roaches or rats in my home – but a little dirt on the kitchen floor never hurt anyone. Neither has a ten-day-old noodle. CHA-CHING! No more silly floor wax!

Buy way more paper plates than you’ll need for that party and use them for meals weeks afterwards – you’ll save BUCKETS of money on dish soap! CHA-CHING!

Make your kids wear their PJ’s all day and then to bed again that night when it’s raining outside. Who cares? CHA-CHING! Another dime in my pocket that I stole from the washing machine!

Brush your teeth with your finger when you’re in the car. If they are especially carpeted, use the inside of your shirt collar. Way easier on your enamel than a tooth brush. CHA-CHING!

Give your kids raw oatmeal for their cereal in the mornings. Tell them it’s just like eating raw cookie dough. CHA-CHING! Time AND money saved on that one!

Always wear shoes in your home, or at least a very thick pair of socks, so you can’t feel the lumpiness of the seriously needing to be vacuumed floor. CHA-CHING! Saved the environment by reducing my carbon vacuum footprint of greenhouse gasses.. and stuff…

As you can see, if you are anything like me, you’re probably well on your way down the road to achieving financial independence and complete budgeting bliss. So kick those clean clothes off the couch and back into the basket on the floor and sit back and enjoy some netflix and a snow cone. You’ve EARNED IT!

What? Those clothes are dirty? Well what are they doing on your couch? Get them on the floor, girl!

**Footnote: When the neighbor kid with OCD offers to clean for you, let him. It’s not saving you money, but it’s giving his mom a break, so technically you’re paying it forward. (Thanks for the reminder Wendy!)