When I first became a mom eight years ago, I really had no budget prepared for my growing family. While I was prepared with diapers and clothing and all the gadgets that come with a new little person in the house, I think I was so accustomed to living alone that I didn’t really think about all the costs that come with having a baby in the home. I quickly found out a few months later that everything I once used a little of, I’d soon be using a lot of for a long time to come.
For example, now that my daughter is eight-years-old and participating in so many activities, I can’t keep up with her. From after-school sessions of drama and cooking classes to her weekly track class to weekend gymnastics, she’s busier than me. Being a prepared and busy mom isn’t as easy as it seems. I can’t imagine that chopping onions for hours or running through the park in the heat and rain would inspire her, but who knew?
Maybe she is doing it to shock me. While sitting at the dinner table she announced she was planning to take up sky diving when she turns 10. What??? It almost made me spew my water across the table.
Now, not only do I have double the loads of clothes (I have a little fashion-plate on my hands too), but they’re filthy, smelly laundry covered with sweat and dirt (and onions). I can’t lie, I’ve held my breath for a few second while loading the washing machine. Weeks ago, after washing one load, I opened the washer to find clothes still stinky. That’s where I caught myself and thought about the cheap products I had been using to save a few dimes. I’m sure all you moms out there can relate because it turned out to cost me more in the end because I had to buy my great and very reliable Tide. I get it from my momma because she has sworn by Tide since I was a little girl. But was also on this trip to the store that I discovered Febreze Heavy Duty Fabric Refresher.
We all know Febreze as a spray to use on carpets and curtains and even furniture and bedding, but the Heavy Duty version of Febreze is like Febreze to the next level. The laundry products are great for my daughter’s cooking apron, running gear and gymnastics uniform, which are all hard-to-wash fabrics. It knocks out those tough lingering odors and replaces them with long-lasting freshness.
I started using this and found it really does work. Her clothes smell fresh even when they still look a little less than brand-new. Confession, you may have to search a bit for the Febreze Heavy Duty Fabric Refresher if you’re going to small local stores, but I found that Target and Walmart always have it.
While I’m sharing all my dirt, I have another tip for saving money. This may seem elementary, but when buying products it makes sense to buy great products that really do the job, but also can be used for double (and triple) duty.
A perfect example is Dawn dishwashing liquid. Not only do I use it to clean my dishes, but I also use it for some other things. I mean, you’ve seen the commercials where they use Dawn to bathe the wildlife trapped in oil, so of course it’s safe for other uses around the home. I found this “recipe” for stain removal on Pinterest, and gave it a shot:
1 large hydrogen peroxide
2 Tbsps baking soda
6 drops Dawn
This gets out blood, puke, pee, poop, wine, smells, anything! I haven’t found a place this doesn’t work on. If you use the mixture straight it may leave a white ‘hue’ (it’s NOT a stain or bleach!) but it will go away after you vaccum a few times or clean the carpets with a machine.
Here are some of my favorites (I use Dawn Original Blue):
1. Use Dawn as a laundry pre-treater. Don’t get too crazy with the application or wipe the Dawn away before washing. You don’t sitcom-worthy bubbles coming out of your machine.
2. Dawn as a soap scum remover in your tub or shower. Smear it on, let it stand for 15 minutes or more, then clean it off.
3. Dawn as an oil spot remover for your driveway. Absorb any oil with kitty litter. Sweep up the kitty litter. Apply Dawn, let soak, then rinse it away.
4. This one is a little embarrassing but I use Dawn to kill bugs. They can’t move once you squirt a bit on them. I do know that you can mix the liquid with a bit of water in a spray bottle to kill bees, fleas and ants as well.
5. We know Dawn cuts through grease but it also can clear up a grease-clogged drain. Boil a small pot of water and add two or three teaspoons of the Dawn to the hot water. Slowly pour the mixture down the drain.
I keep Tide in my trunk because I’m not too crazy about the washers and dryers in my apartment building, so I go to a Laundromat close to my home.
There are so many tough things we tackle as moms on a daily basis, and little tricks like knowing what products work best can make just the difference to keep us going through the day. What products do you love to use that make running your home easier?
In the interest of full disclosure, this post was sponsored by Procter & Gamble, though all opinions are my own.