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Household expenses like cleaning products, paper towels, personal care products, and food storage can eat up a huge chunk of your monthly budget. There are so many amazing options for replacing these consumable products to save money while also creating a healthier, more sustainable home.

Household items like paper towels, personal care products, and ziplock bags can be a huge chunk of your monthly budget. Click through to read 10 top frugal living tips on how to save on common household products to include alternatives and ways to go without.

I’ve talked about how we include household consumable products in our grocery budget category, so cutting these things from my shopping trips make grocery shopping on a budget even easier!

Here are my top 10 tips for saving money on household items:

1. Make Your Own Household Cleaners

Switching to homemade household cleaners is one of the easiest things I did to save money. Making your own cleaning products only takes a few minutes a month and can also help you kick the conventional, chemical-laden products you might be using.

Related: How to Build Your DIY Cleaning Toolkit

You would be shocked at how far baking soda and vinegar can take you in cleaning your entire home. Here are some simple DIY cleaners to get you started:

2. Make Your Own Beauty and Body Care Items

This is one that I was a little bit hesitant about at first since I trusted the effectiveness of what I was buying at the store. This is honestly THE BEST switch I ever made for both our budget and our health.

Beauty and body care items like moisturizers, deodorant, body wash, and hand soap eat up a huge chunk of a family’s monthly budget, especially if you are looking for healthier, non-toxic options.

Related: Build Your Own DIY Beauty and Body Care Toolkit

I started playing around with homemade options for some of our most commonly used personal care products and was surprised at how easy and effective they were.

Here are some of my favorite DIYs:

3. Switch to Reusable Feminine Products

This is another one on the list of things that I never thought that I would do but is completely life changing. Have you ever heard of menstrual cups?

Menstrual cups are silicone cups that you insert during your period to catch your flow rather than absorbing it like a traditional tampon. It sounds terrible and scary, but it is amazing!

These menstrual cups are reusable, so you never have to buy another package of tampons or pads again.

I personally use the Dutchess Menstrual Cup since it comes in a pack of two for a very reasonable price. Diva Cup is another popular brand that you can find at health food stores and Amazon.

4. Ditch the Plastic Water Bottles

There was a time that we used to buy the huge cases of water from Costco to bring with us out family outings or for lunches. These days we have made the switch to stainless steel water bottles.

Invest in some sort of water filtration system at home if you’re concerned about water quality and start filling up those reusable water bottles at home before you leave the house.

5. Switch to Cloth Diapers

There were several years where we had two kids in diapers at the same time, and that adds up each month.

Consider switching to cloth diapers in place of disposable diapers to save money in the long-run. You will need to invest in cloth diapers on the front end, but it will save you on a monthly basis once you’ve built up a good stock.

Once you are done with your cloth diapers, you can often sell them if well-cared for to make some of your money back.

6. Bring Reusable Grocery Bags When You Go Grocery Shopping

We live in Southern California where stores charge ten cents per bag when you use paper or plastic bags from the store. I know this isn’t the case in most places, but if you are living in a place that does charge for bags, start bringing your own.

I generally have 4 or more bags each time I go grocery shopping, so this saves me money each trip.

7. Switch from Paper Towels to Reusable Cloths

We still purchase paper towels, but we have drastically reduced our use by doing most things with reusable cloths. This doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing, but using reusable cloths for wiping down countertops and cleaning bathrooms can make paper towels virtually unnecessary.

You can use microfiber cloths to dust and clean windows.

Swedish dishcloths are the BEST for wiping down surfaces and washing dishes. They last forever, can be washed in the dishwasher and are inexpensive.

8. Mop Floors with Washable Pads

I used to be a huge fan of the Swiffer Sweepers for our floors, but then my mother-in-law introduced me to microfiber mop cloths and I’ll never go back.

The microfiber cloths are easy to use on most surfaces and can be washed to reuse over and over again. This is the one that we have since it includes a cloth for dusting floors and a wet pop pad for deeper cleaning.

9. Store Food in Reusable Containers and Bags

Stop buying sandwich bags and freezer bags and start using reusable bags. There is an investment up front for purchasing the amount necessary for your family, but you’ll never have to run to Target again for gallon size bags.

You can find a wide variety of reusable bags with various sizes on Amazon. I also have a set that I love from Thrive Market.

To get rid of sandwich bags completely, switch over to bento style school lunch boxes. Some of my favorites include:

  • Bentgo Kids Lunchboxes– These were my favorite when my kids were toddlers since they are a bit smaller than others
  • Bento 3-Compartment Lunchboxes– These are a simple, budget-friendly version
  • OmieBox– These are amazing since they are leakproof, larger in size, and include a thermos for smoothies or hot items

10. Create a Natural Medicine Cabinet

Rather than having a cabinet full of various types of medicines and remedies, create a natural medicine cabinet for the whole family. This also saves late night trips out to the store when you can create things on your own at home.

Read my whole post on how to create a natural medicine cabinet on a budget.

What are some of the switches you have made in your house to save money on household items?

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Resources I Love

Ebates: Ebates is a total no-brainer for saving money when shopping online.  Every time you shop online, click on a store through Ebates to receive cash back on all of your purchases. Get $10 after your first $25 purchase when you use my link.

Ibotta: Ibotta is my favorite app for saving money on groceries without clipping coupons. Get cash back on your groceries just by uploading your receipts. Get $5 just for signing up when you click on my link.

$5 Dollar Dinners: If you love the idea of a meal plan but hate actually creating one, I highly recommend $5 Dollar Dinners. Erin outlines amazing meal plans on a budget.

MyFreezEasy: If you love freezer cooking or are interested in using it as part of your meal planning system, the MyFreezEasy shop is the place to start. Erin lists out all of her favorite tools, freezer meals plans, and more for making it as simple and budget-friendly as possible.

Real Plans: Real plans is an amazing meal planning resource, particularly for families with special diets. Real Plans helps you quickly create a meal plan based on the types of foods your family likes to eat and/or dietary restrictions.

Thrive Market: I order most of my pantry staples from Thrive Market. Think Costco meets Whole Foods with thousands of healthy food and personal care items. Get 1 month free PLUS 25% off your first order when you go through my link.

Free 25-Page Ultimate Budget Binder


Sarah Nichols

Sarah Nichols, founder and CEO of Let's Talk Mom Business, has a background in business, research, advocacy, and family finances. LetsTalkMomBusiness.com combines her Masters in Business Administration (MBA) and her love for budgeting and frugal living to help others take their family finances into their own hands by teaching budget basics, how to earn income from home as a mom, DIY tutorials, and frugal fun.

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