Frugal people share at least one thing in common. They know lots of frugal alternative uses for everyday household products!
You see, frugal people truly hate running to the store for one random item that they might have just run out of.
Frugal people also dislike unexpected expenses and overpriced items.
This is why prudent folks know all about the magic of cheap, everyday household items, like vinegar, baking soda, borax, hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol and Dawn dish soap!
I am convinced, from spending decades inside of grocery stores and watching people in the checkout, that folks spend 15-20% of their overall food dollars for needless cleaning supplies and detergents.
That’s a lot of food that isn’t being purchased!
If you are looking for ways to reduce your overall spending, I would highly recommend that you ditch the expensive (and toxic) clean products and check out all of the ways you can clean and maintain your home with cheaper, non-toxic alternatives.
If my family had to give me a nickname, it would be the “Vinegar Queen”.
I use vinegar for everything.
I LOVE the fact that vinegar can be used in so many ways, it’s just crazy.
Vinegar is cheap.
Vinegar is non-toxic.
Vinegar kills germs.
Here are a few of my favorite uses for vinegar!
Bathroom Cleaner: I love to use vinegar and hydrogen peroxide to clean my bathrooms! It’s very effective against germs! Don’t mix them together, but spray one and then the other, wait 5 minutes and wipe clean.
Windows: A mixture of 1/2 water and 1/2 vinegar will do a fabulous job on windows! Wipe off with newspaper or micro-cloth.
Microwave Cleaner: Simply fill a bowl with one cup of water and 1/4 cup of vinegar. Microwave on 5 minutes and after it’s all cooled down, wipe the inside of your microwave clean!
Make Buttermilk: Just add a tablespoon of vinegar to one cup of milk and let stand for a few minutes.
Fruit and veggie wash: Use equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle to spray on your fruit and vegetables, let set a few minutes and rinse.
Laundry: I love using vinegar in the laundry! To decrease lint, remove odors, brighten whites, soften and reduce static, add 1/2 cup of vinegar to your rinse cycle. See how much money you just saved by NOT buying liquid softener or dryer sheets and/or another product to brighten your clothes???
Whiten Your Teeth: Once a week or so, dip your toothbrush into white vinegar and then baking soda before brushing your teeth. Vinegar and baking soda can whiten your teeth and destroy bacteria.
Baking soda is probably one of the best known household products with many frugal, alternative uses!
Along with vinegar, baking soda is an amazing frugal household item that will serve you well in so many ways.
For baking, I recommend using aluminum-free baking soda!
Deodorizer: I adore baking soda for many reasons, but quite possibly I love it most for it’s deodorizing properties.
I sprinkle it anywhere and everywhere that is musty…. or even downright stinky!
Baking soda is great inside athletic shoes to pull out odor or sprinkled on carpet to freshen and deodorize.
A simple bowl of baking soda inside your refrigerator, under your sink or even under your car seat will absorb odors like crazy!
Toilet cleaner: To clean your toilets, just sprinkle some baking soda in your bowl and then add a cup or so of vinegar. As it foams, scrub your toilet clean!
Burnt Grease Remover: Once again, baking soda to the rescue! Make a paste of equal parts water and baking soda and then spread on your affected area. Let it set for 30 minutes or so and wipe clean!
Sunburn relief: We’ve all been sunburned at one point or another, but did you know that soaking in a warm bath with 1/2 cup of baking soda will relieve much of the sting? Try it!
Bug bites: Make a paste of equal parts baking soda and water, then apply to bite several times a day for relief.
Toothpaste: Did you know that baking soda contains properties that fight plaque? As well as whiten teeth? Crazy, I know!
Baking soda is abrasive and isn’t recommended for everyday use, but it can be used several times a week to brush. Just dip your toothbrush in some baking soda, brush and rinse.
For more in depth cleaning (once a week or so), create a paste and let it sit on your teeth for 5 minutes, then rinse.
Borax is another miracle product with many alternative and frugal uses!
From removing rust and stains to deodorizing, borax is to the rescue!
Living in the country, one of my favorite uses for borax is as a rodent and bug deterrent. Sprinkling borax around problem areas (and safely away from children and pets) takes care of most pest problems around my home.
If fleas become a problem in your home, you can sprinkle borax on the affected carpet, wait 30 minutes and vacuum. Fleas are gone!
Ants are history when you mix equal parts of borax and sugar, and sprinkle wherever you see ants or directly on colonies.
Slime: My goodness, why would someone pay for slime at the store when it’s so simple to make at home with borax?
Hydrogen peroxide, also known at H2O2, is essentially liquid oxygen.
It’s list of alternative and frugal uses is no less than amazing!
Hydrogen peroxide can be used for:
Ear Wax Removal
Toothpaste: Mix a small amount of hydrogen peroxide with baking soda to brush your teeth. (Not recommended for daily use)
Acne: Dabbing acne with hydrogen peroxide should not only kill bacteria, but facilitate in the healing process as well.
Foot fungus: Equal parts of water and hydrogen peroxide applied to feet is said to cure foot fungus!
You should NOT ingest hydrogen peroxide.
Rubbing alcohol is yet another frugal, everyday product with multiple, alternative uses!
DIY Hand Sanitizer: While other folks are out scouring the stores for hand sanitizer, you can make your own at home for pennies!
You could add a few drops of your favorite essential oil if desired, but not necessary.
This tip alone will save you a lot of money and time!
Jewelry Cleaner: Soak your jewelry in rubbing alcohol for a couple minutes and wipe clean.
Windshield De-Icer: Don’t have time to scrape ice off your windshield in the morning? Spray rubbing alcohol on your windshield , let it sit for a minute or two and wipe the ice right off!
Finally, Dawn dish soap is another one of those frugal household products that has many alternative uses!
Simply spray your shower curtains or door with Dawn/vinegar and let set for a few minutes.
Rinse the mixture off once you’re in the shower!
It also works great on bathtub rings!
While I’m not a fan of single-use, paper products, there are times and professions (teachers, day care workers) that benefit greatly from them. This is a great recipe!
DIY Foaming Hand Soap
When your store-bought foaming hand-soap is empty, simply refill it with 1/4 Dawn dish soap and 3/4 water. Shake and re-use!