I’ve been blessed to be able to work part time – instead of having to work full time. On days like this, it make me appreciate it all the more.

Last week I filled in for a co-worker on vacation and worked everyday, and our home suffered dearly. Piles of papers everywhere along with clean clothes piled on chairs while dirty clothes were overtaking our bathroom.

Thank goodness for a day off to tackle some messes!

A Switch to “Green” Products: Our Reasoning

I’ve been trying to slowly switch our cleaning supplies to the happier “green” versions. The biggest motivation was after cleaning the tub and shower and mirrors with chemical-laden cleaners, I’d often have to run out of the bathroom coughing, struggling to breathe properly with everything floated in the air. I figured I had two options 1) wear a mask every time I cleaned or 2) find some healthier cleaning products. I opted for the latter.

So off I went on a search for some earth-friendly, good smelling cleaning products. I did a search and fell in LOVE with Caldrea products. Most people seem to know their sister company Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day a little better (which are sold in Targets and other major chains). The “higher-end” Caldrea is harder to find as it’s mainly in higher-end specialty stores (like Sur la Table) or online.

Finding my Favorites (at a lower price!)

Caldrea doesn’t exactly fit into my budget-minded philosophy, so it was hard to justify spending more on the wonderful smelling  and beautifully packaged products (if you’re curious about how they smell, contact them, they’re happy to send dish soap samples!). But, happily, we received a whole slew of the products as a wedding gift from my co-workers!

And, that was just the beginning. Something about cleaning with good smelling, planet-friendly, well packaged products makes cleaning day enjoyable – and addicting! Now that I was hooked, seeing how wonderful these products worked, I knew I wanted to find ways to get these products cheaper.  Caldrea has an email sign-up (like most companies today) and they periodically send out emails telling you of what’s currently on sale. (You’ll even get a free shipping code on your first purchase! – which is a big thing for this company)

So my first purchase was directly from their website. I luckily cashed in on their holiday sale, purchasing Peppermint Amaryllis while 60% off! (It smells heavenly, by the way – I’ve been cleaning with it all day!) I used my free shipping code because shipping was actually going to cost more than my order!

Unfortunately, their high shipping costs have deterred me from wanting to shop there again. I just don’t want to spend that much, when I can find other green products at my local stores. So off I went in search of another means of finding Caldrea. Then…just a mere week or so later I found out about Soap.com. Not only do they offer free 1-2 day shipping on orders $25 or more, they have several discounts site-wide! (If you haven’t signed up yet, use “MELA0649” on your first order and get 15% off!) The added bonus is the Share the Savings Program. If someone you refer purchases with your referral code, you get $10 credit! You can work your way up to free items! I’m currently working toward this so I can get some Caldrea (highly-rated) laundry detergent in Ginger Pomelo so we can use it on our sheets! Mmmm.

A Budget-Friendly Cleaning “Recipe”

One thing I switched to was using homemade mirror cleaner. It’s a lot easier on the lungs and is made from two things that everyone has in their cupboards: vinegar and water! This is a tried-and-true mirror cleaner I used growing up. It works wonders on mirrors – the only thing it doesn’t get off of mirrors like the commercial stuff is dried on hair spray residue.

Mirror Cleaner:

  • 1 part vinegar
  • 3 parts water

Put these in a spray bottle, shake and spray. It’s really that easy!

Have any favorite green-cleaning tips, products or budget-friendly “recipes”? Share!