I have absolutely come to love vinegar and all of the versatility that comes with it. It is an inexpensive alternative to so many things-not to mention a healthier alternative too! Saving money and keeping yourself healthy? Now that's a win!
So how in the world can vinegar save you money? Let me tell you!
Vinegar as a Window Cleaner
Yep! I use vinegar now exclusively as a window cleaner in my house (and a towel as a way to wipe!). It gets the job done- the never ending job when you have little ones who enjoy blowing raspberries on the windows! It's also a healthier option too- no chemicals! It's a great way to get kids to be involved in the cleaning process.
To make window cleaner, you'll need to purchase a spray bottle (or use an old and empty store-bought bottle). Then, fill 1/4 of the bottle with vinegar and fill the rest up with water! That's all there is to it!
Now, let's talk savings!
One gallon of vinegar is equal to $3.15 at my local grocery store. In comparison, a gallon of Windex would be just under $15.00. And that's if you're using a 1:1 ration of Windex to Vinegar, which we're not! We're only using about one-two cups of vinegar in each spray bottle, which lowers our overall cost even more. There are 16 cups in one gallon, so we could fill up about 8 of our own spray bottles with a gallon of vinegar at $3.15 compared to 4 spray bottles of a gallon of Windex at $15.00. That's five times less! That means the vinegar window cleaner costs about $0.78 per bottle.
Overall savings: $3.21/bottle
If you use 10 bottles per year, that's $32 back in your pocket!
Vinegar as a Floor Cleaner
Now that you're saving with the windows, let's get to the floors too! After emptying out a bottle of my Swiffer spray, I refilled the swiffer bottle (which was very difficult to open) with my vinegar solution. To make it, you can use the same recipe as the window cleaner, except add a few squirts of dish soap and 1-2 T. of lemon juice.
Swiffer spray can be really expensive. At our local grocery it is $5.69 per bottle for 42.2 fluid ounces, which comes to around $0.13/ounce. The vinegar is around only $0.02/ounce, which is incredibly cheaper. Plus, again, we're not using a 1:1 ratio either!
I'm going to estimate that a bottle of homemade floor cleaner costs about $0.90/bottle (considering the addition of the dishsoap and lemon juice). We go through about 1 bottle per month to keep our floors clean, which really gives us some nice savings over time.
Overall Savings: $4.79/bottle
If you use 1 bottle per month, that's $57.48 you are saving every year!
Vinegar as a Weed Killer
This works pretty well! Of course, there are always some really stubborn weeds that don't ever die, but vinegar really does do a pretty good job of getting rid of weeds. Be sure not to spray it on the plants you want though because it will kill them too!
Not only is vinegar effective, but it's also non-toxic. Round-up is extremely dangerous to use, in my own opinion, because of the risks it brings to your overall health. If you buy organic weed killer, it can get pretty pricey. The Natria weed killer below is an organic weed killer that many use:
To use vinegar as a weed killer, you don't dilute it at all and just spray or pour it onto the weeds (on a really sunny day works great). In this case, we are using a 1:1 ratio between vinegar and weed killer solution.
Overall Savings: $12.82/bottle
If you use 4 bottles over summer, that's $51.28 in savings per year!
Vinegar as a Pickling Ingredient
We love pickles around here! And not only pickles....we like pickled eggs, pickled beans, and pickled green onions! But, let's just focus on pickles here for a minute.
Making your own pickles does take some time and effort, and it does require you to grow your own cucumbers. You could always purchase some cucumbers to pickle, but then your cost is going to go up too.
Let's talk some costs. If you buy pickles from the store, it's going to cost you between $2-4/jar. I'm estimating that a homemade jar of pickles, assuming you have all of the jars/canning equipment already and you are growing your own cucumbers, costs around $0.75/jar. If you're purchasing cucumbers to pickle, I would say the cost is around $1.25/jar.
Overall Savings: $2.44/jar
If you consume 2 jars of pickles per month, that's a savings of $58.56/year!
Vinegar as a Way to Make Reusable Cleaning Wipes
This idea I got from https://www.carolinevencil.com/best-uses-for-white-vinegar/. She suggests the following recipe for cleaning wipes:
"In a large mason jar, mix 1/4 cup white vinegar, 2 tablespoons of baking soda and 1/4 cup water, along with sweet orange essential oil. Fill the mason jar with reusable rags (these are the ones I bought 2 years ago and still have). Shake so that the rags are evenly coated. let it sit upside down if you need to. Add more water if needed. Now you don’t need to go through one-time-use wipes all the time to clean surfaces in the home."
Cleaning wipes can be very expensive, and they're something you're just going to throw away! If you make it yourself, you can use reusable wipes, plus create something that is free of harmful ingredients. Let's look at a comparison.
If you follow the recipe above, it will cost you roughly $0.16 for the vinegar and probably less than a penny for the baking soda (it's only 85 cents for an entire box!). The essential oil she mentions would cost a bit more- it would be about $0.90 for the 1 tsp. of oil. That makes the total cost come to $1.07 for your DIY wipes.
Overall Savings: $2.62/container
If you use 2 containers per month, that is an overall savings of $62.88 per year!
So...Are you convinced?
If you switched all of your products over for the entire year to vinegar using my suggestions above, your total annual savings would be $262.20. What could you buy with that extra money? It could be nearly an entire month of groceries! Or, maybe you want to treat yourself and go shopping with the extra saved cash. That money saved is yours to spend however you'd like!
If you'd like more tips on frugal living, check out this post here: Five Ways to Save This Month
What are your favorite uses for vinegar? I'd love to hear more ways to incorporate this miracle liquid into my life! Let me know in the comments below!
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