1. Clean you house yourself.
I have never paid anyone to clean my house. That said, I know the temptation to pay someone. When my child was born the house was such a mess and I saw a personal ad on a local site for a girl that charged $15/hr for cleaning. I thought to myself, "Wow, I could swing that and would kill for someone to clean for an hour." Needless, to say, my husband vetoed that idea (much to my surprise). That alone saved us $210 that I would have racked up in the last 7 months.
2. Make your own cleaners.
In the last few years, I have gone pretty green... But I still struggle with this one. Maybe it is just me, but homemade dusting products have nothing on Pledge. So, I still buy Pledge. Other than that, I have found combinations of vinegar, Dawn. and/or baking soda can clean just about anything. Look for homemade cleaner recipes on Pinterest.
3. Refrain from purchasing all those fancy cleaning gadgets.
There are millions of tools out there to clean. My experience has been if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. For instance, we bought the animal Dyson which, at that time, was about $200 more than the regular Dyson. I thought it was a must since we had 2 dogs, 1 of which sheds like crazy! You know what I believe the only difference to be, well, besides color? The animal vacuum had a few extra attachments. That's all. If I could redo, I would have saved that money and purchased the regular Dyson! In any case, I do LOVE my vacuum.
We also bought a Swiffer. Aren't those the coolest things?!?! We love it, but the reusable pads add up very quickly without you noticing. I would say if you can live without it, do that. We can't. So... We had my mother-in-law make us some cloth covers and they work great and are reusable!
4. Take care of the cleaning gadgets you do have.
I think we all forget this because since our cleaning items clean.... Why should we clean them?!?! Regular maintenance on your cleaning products can contribute to extending the life of that product and help the products to clean better. I clean my Dyson every 6 months (reminders are set in my calendar), my dishwasher every month, and my laundry washer every few months.
5. Shop sales.
This can be a category that we tend to buy more on the whim. I know I do it! In the middle of grocery shopping I may remember that I used up all the Pledge. So, I throw in a can not paying a bit if attention to how much I am spending. Stock up on these items when they are on sale or buy them at stores where you know they are priced extremely competitively.
There are my tips! I believe I used to spend about $480/year on cleaning (about $40/month) but now I spend closer to $180 (about $15/month).
What are your tips to keep housekeeping within budget?