Saturday, 31 August 2013

The Great Household and Cleaning Budget Challenge

Whilst thoroughly cleaning our bathroom this week after an encounter with an unwelcome visitor the other night, I got to thinking and decided to start a new blogging challenge.  Similar to AMrsThrifty's beauty challenge that I'm currently joining in with, I have decided to begin another similar challenge of my own, namely the Great Household  and Cleaning Budget Challenge and in this challenge I aim to keep my Household and Cleaning Budget within £125 for the year.

Now, I know that to many of  you this might sound like an awful lot of money, but as keeping your environment clean and hygienic is an important part of family life and health, and secondly, as I have absolutely no idea how much I spend a year on cleaning and household products and don't want to pitch it too low, I have plumped for this sum.  Bearing in mind that you could easily spend £50 per year on toilet rolls alone,  more if you buy the expensive branded types (which I don't in case you were wondering) and branded dishwasher tablets (which I do use) can set you back at least another £35 or so.

Included in this challenge are all cleaning and household products i.e. washing powder, fabric conditioner, toilet cleaner, toilet brushes, sweeping brushes, mops, dusters, washing up liquid, hand wash, disinfectant, bleach, white vinegar, wipes, bin liners, food caddy liners, toilet rolls, bicarbonate of soda, furniture polish, dishcloths, pegs, cleaning cloths, kitchen paper towels, tea towels, rubber gloves, dishwasher tablets, fire lighters, matches, cling film, sandwich bags, aluminium foil, baking parchment, shoe polish, oven cleaner, hoover bags, Brillo pads, string, etc. etc. etc.  I think I've covered most things there.

Not included are more expensive, occasional purchases such as new crockery, food containers, kitchen equipment, etc.

Unlike the beauty challenge, I don't have quite as huge a stash of unopened cleaning and household products as I have been using them up lately and trying not to overbuy, but I do have quite a few bits and pieces to use up.  I noticed today that my stocks have been quite seriously diminished in recent months, although I do have opened bottles or packets of just about everything to keep me going for a while.

I don't intend to use this challenge as an excuse to clean less, as with a dog in the household I do need to clean all the floors regularly, to get rid of excess dog hairs and prevent the house smelling too much.  Having a Victorian house, living in London and both my partner and I working from home, it does tend to get dusty and dirty very quickly, so I do try to keep on top of it as much as I can.  I use my dishwasher once daily, obviously can't do without toilet paper and wash a ridiculous amount of clothes every week.  I don't clean religiously every day or week, but whenever I feel it is necessary or we are expecting visitors and then when we are having people to stay or I feel the need,  I tend to blitz the whole house.

Here's a picture of my household cleaning cupboard.  A bit of a disgrace I know and not as eco-friendly as it could be.

As you can see there's quite a lot in there and there are also a few other bits and pieces in other parts of the house, but it is not overflowing.   I would, however, like to make a bit more room in there so it is a bit tidier and I can readily see all that I have at my disposal and there are lots of bits and pieces that need using up.  In terms of a stash, I do have a smallish stash of unused products and these are shown in the following two photographs.  I will try to use these and all the half empty bottles first where possible, before buying any more new products although if I see any really good offers such as for dishwasher tablets or washing liquid I will probably go ahead and take advantage of them.

I'm looking forward to this challenge because if nothing else it will help to give me some idea how much I actually do spend yearly on products and where savings might be made.  Hopefully it might also help me to become a bit more creative and eco friendly with cleaning solutions such as using essential oils, lemon juice, bicarbonate of soda, vinegar and newspaper, etc. more in everyday cleaning rather than chemical filled products.  I'll be posting monthly as I do for the beauty challenge and will keep you up to date with my spending.  I may also post about ways in which to save money on cleaning and household products if I happen upon any that I think might be of interest to others.

To make it easy to remember when I started I am starting this challenge on the 1st September and it will continue for a full year. 

If anybody wishes to join me in this challenge please feel free and please let me know so I can follow your progress and pick up tips from you too.  You can choose your own spending limit if your budget requires you to be a bit more careful or if you think it is just too difficult on this one, but please to do let me know how you are getting on as I would love to hear how other people might be faring.

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