Three Greener and Cheaper Household Hints

These days, the idea of being environmentally friendly is very trendy and, well, friendly to the environment. From reusable grocery bags to hybrid cars, nods to being earth conscious are virtually everywhere. Here are three at-home tricks you can put into practice today that are small steps in the earth-saving direction. And because frugality is always at the forefront of my mind, these are ideas that will not drain your wallet.

The Cleaner’s In The Cupboard

Good ol’ plain, white vinegar. Chances are you have a bottle of it in your kitchen. Did you know you can take it beyond the occasional vinagrette? Vinegar makes a great cleaning product. Spray it on full strength in high-germ areas like the kitchen and bathroom and wipe with a clean cloth for cleaning on par with any chemical you’ll find in a bottle. Afraid the smell will totally overwhelm your home? Don’t be. Yes, your bathroom could smell like a salad...but only until the vinegar dissipates. As a bonus, it’s all natural and very cost effective.

Natural, Cheap Air Freshener

There seem to be a million and one air freshening products on the market today – sprays, plug-ins, decorative containers filled with every scent imaginable – all designed to make your home smell good. While I find there’s nothing really wrong with any of these items, they do tend to be filled with chemicals. Plus, they cost money. Here’s a pretty cheap, definitely green and non-toxic alternative: take a small saucepan, fill it with water, add a cinnamon stick or two, and a pinch or two of cloves and/or nutmeg. Place over low heat and simmer to fill your home with a lovely, spicy scent.

Freshen Carpets Naturally

Take a trip down the cleaning aisle and chances are you’ll find a whole section dedicated to powders and foams to help freshen your carpet. Some of those powders are on the right path to being a green altnernative in that they contain baking powder. My green, cheap tip? Grab the trusty yellow box of baking powder right from the kitchen cabinet and sprinkle it on the carpet. After letting it sit a while (you can even leave it on overnight to absorb deep odors), simply vacuum it up for clean, fresh-smelling carpet without any chemical residue. This is also cheap; boxes can be had during a drug store sale for fifty cents each.

How about you, MomVesting readers? What are some of your cheap, green tricks?

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