Use Baking Soda for Frugal Fall Cleaning
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Use Baking Soda for Frugal Fall Cleaning

Posted on Wednesday, November 6th, 2013 at 7:00 am
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Baking Soda and ToothbrushDon’t rush out and buy a bunch of different kinds of cleaning products. Instead, pick up a box of baking soda. You can use it to safely clean a variety of things. Baking soda is a frugal and effective way to clean, reduce odors, and make things look nicer. Here are a couple of ideas to get started with.

The grungy lunchbox
The lunchbox that you bought your child for school this year started out shiny and clean. How is it doing now, a few months into the school year? Kids don’t tend to think about the germs that may be growing in their lunchboxes. That doesn’t mean there are no germs, though!

Sprinkle some baking soda onto a clean sponge. Wipe the inside and outside of the lunchbox. Rinse it out well, and let it dry. It will be ready for your child to take to school the next day.

The unpleasant carpool
Many parents organize a carpool. One parent drops all the kids off at school, and then returns to pick them up. A different parent does the same job on another day. All is well, until you realize that the back seat of your car has gotten dirty and grimy.

Mix 1/4 cup of baking soda and 1 quart of warm water. Get a clean sponge, or a soft washcloth. You can use this mixture to clean the windows, vinyl seats, floor mats, car lights, and just about anything else. The baking soda will also remove the odors that have gathered, too! Let’s face it, children do not always emerge from school smelling fresh.

The dreaded gym uniform
It is hard to imagine laundry worse than this! Your middle schooler, or high schooler, wears the same shirt and shorts (or sweats) all week long in his or her physical education class. He or she works out, sweats, and then tosses the clothing into a locker. This repeats all week long. Then, your child bundles up the gym uniform and brings it home for you to wash.

If the dreaded gym uniform is particularly “ripe” you can immediately sprinkle baking soda on it. This should reduce the odor until you can toss it into the wash. Add a 1/2 cup of baking soda to the load of laundry that the gym uniform is in. This will make it clean and fresh smelling (until your child wears it again).

The not-so-new shoes
You bought your child brand new back-to-school shoes in August. By November, they may not look or smell quite so new. Sprinkle some baking soda inside each shoe, and let it sit overnight. Shake it out in the morning (and wipe away any leftover baking soda). That should help!

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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.