It is possible to save money on the family’s cleaning and toiletries budget, and no, I promise I don’t mean re-using toilet paper! When trying to cut down on home expenditures, many families look at the areas of food (groceries, takeaway and eating out) and travel (taking public transport instead of the car, or using the car less often). But have you considered looking at how much money you are spending on cleaning and toiletries products? Let me tell you… these products can add up quickly and insidiously! That may sound crazy, but let’s take an imaginary walk down the grocery aisles.
Here’s cleaning products. There’s the cheap and nasty washing powder which leaves your clothes feeling hard, then there’s the generic brand stuff which works fine but which you feel like a cheapstake buying.
Eco-friendly washing powder is there, too, next to the fancy stuff with the ducks and babies on the label, and the special stuff for woolens and blacks/whites. Then, of course, there’s all that stuff in-between. Bamboozling? You bet. Chances are you’ve pretty much been closing your eyes and grabbing anyone in a hurry before finishing off the rounds of the final aisles of the supermarket and hurrying home. But the supermarkets know this – and they make it especially hard to figure out which cleaning and toiletries products are the best value for money.
Let’s take that washing powder as an example. It’s time to find the price per wash and to jot it down on a list of the most common brands. With online grocery shopping, you can now do all of this from the comfort of your own home in no time at all. Of course, just avoid the products that you would never buy due to personal or ethical reasons. Now you will be able to see when the best value products are on special.
And here’s a tip – ecologically-friendly washing products are often more expensive compared to their friends on the shelf, but on closer, you will find that they go further – you use less of the product. This is often true with washing powders, dishwashing liquids, surface cleaners and bathroom cleaners. The natural options are often more potent in their natural chemical makeup and will go further per bottle, saving both your budget and the environment.
Consider toiletries as well. Now, are you one of those families who has a bathroom full of toiletries that are all fighting for the right to be used? Don’t worry, I think most people suffer from this bathroom problem!
For starters, get everything out of the bathroom cupboard, the sink, the window ledge, under the sink, standing around the edge of the bath, and everything falling about in the shower rack. I bet you’ve got a small pile of products before you now. Go through and pick out ONE handwash, ONE hand cream, ONE toothpaste, ONE shampoo, ONE conditioner and ONE deodorant for each family member. You may get some fussing from family members, especially teenage girls – if they don’t like it, tell them to store their excess toiletries in a container in their rooms and to take them back there every day. You will clearly not only the clutter but also the bathroom’s “room energy”, as well as encouraging everyone to use up the products that are already in the house.
Most families can stay clean for a month or two with solely the toiletries which are already in their homes! Many toiletries are bought every day by people who don’t realize they are duplicating because their bathrooms are so messy.
Finally, once the products you’ve already got get used up, keep the clutter clear and the toiletries budget down by selecting each product in terms of value for money, in the same, that you selected a washing powder.
When you see your favorite brands for sale, you can always buy several to capitalize on the saving, but try never to let stocks build up to scary levels again. You’ll find that you end up saving money on toiletries in the long run because things get used up rather than leaking or going off and being thrown out, plus you will never feel compelled again to buy 15 tubes of the toothpaste that nobody likes in the dollar store, because you’ll know that there’s plenty of the family’s favourite toothpaste available. Stores just love to get you to buy on the grounds that “you might be about to run out”. Know what they’re up to, and hold onto your hard-earned money!