Household items can get expensive real quick. I’m sure the last thing you want to do is spend more than you have to. What’s the solution? Learn how to budget for household items.
Household items are things you buy all the time like cleaning, laundry, paper products, and food prep items.
The list goes on and on. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that it adds up quickly.
You’ve come here to learn so let’s get right into it.
Follow these 4 steps and learn how to budget for household items.
how to budget for household items
#1 – know your number
You will first have to understand how much money you have or are willing to spend, on household items.
I can’t tell you how much to spend a month on household items because I don’t know how much you make but I can definitely guide you when it comes to not spending more than you have to.
So step #1 is to know your number.
Before you give yourself a random number, you’ll need to create a budget first. If you don’t have a budget and don’t know where to start, check out, 5 Easy Steps To Budgeting Success. Follow these step-by-step instructions and create a unique budget that works for you.
When you finish step 3 in 5 Easy Steps To Budgeting Success, you will know exactly how much money you have for household items. Just remember to add a Household Items category 🙂
If you don’t create a budget or decided to give yourself a random number, how would you know you’re not spending more than you have to? You wouldn’t.
It’s really important to know your number so make sure you don’t skip step #1.
If you’re looking for guidance. My household (it’s only me) items budget is $8.75 a week. How did I get to this number? I followed the 5 Easy Steps To Budgeting Success.
Before I completed the 5 Easy Steps To Budgeting Success, I didn’t have a set dollar amount to spend on household items. I just bought whatever I wanted. I realized that a lot of the time, I would buy different cleaning products but wouldn’t use them. AKA, spent more than I had to!
When I decided to create a budget and set a household items budget of $8.75/week budget. I was a lot more focused and only bought what I needed.
What do I buy with this $8.75/week budget? I buy a lot! This is what’s included in my household items budget.
My $8.75/week budget may seem small but it’s enough. As you can see from the list above, I can buy all of the essentials with my budget.
#2 – make a list
Make a list of all of the household items you currently use.
Grab a pen and paper and go to these four rooms:
- Cleaning Closet (for me this is under my sink and my laundry closet)
Household items include everything you need to do the laundry, clean your bathroom, wash your dishes, store/prep your food, etc. Basically everything that keeps your house clean, tidy, and organized.
This was my favorite step when I started my household items budget. I love making lists and getting organized.
#3 – prioritize your list
Now it’s time to prioritize your list.
What does this mean? Grab a highlighter and highlight the products you actually use on a weekly and/or daily basis. If you haven’t used something in the past 3 months you probably don’t need it. Use your best judgment.
This step was really helpful for me because I was forced to look at everything I had and second, understand the products that I actually needed to keep my apartment “running”.
When I completed the prioritize step, I realized that I don’t have a long list of cleaning products and I wanted to keep it that way. Actually, I cut out a few things I had boughten but hardly ever used.
I now have a small list of cleaning products for a few reasons.
- I want to stick to my budget.
- I’d rather clean with eco-friendly products.
- I don’t like clutter.
- I don’t like the chemical smell a lot of cleaning products have.
These are the cleaning products I use and it’s all I need to keep my apartment nice and clean:
- Dawn dish soap. I use this to clean; dishes, granite countertops, refrigerator (inside and out), and my wood floors.
- Seventh Generation dishwasher liquid. I use this along with a splash of vinegar.
- Clorox toilet wand refills. For my toilet bowl.
- White distilled vinegar. I use vinegar all the time, everywhere. To clean; mirrors, coffee tables (it’s glass) wood floor, dishes, stainless steel handles. It’s the best and eco-friendly!
- Rubbing alcohol. I like to spray surfaces that are constantly touched. Mostly handles.
- Method granite cleaner. I’ll be honest, most of the time I just use Dawn to clean my countertops. I do like this cleaner though because it leaves a nice gloss.
- Swiffer sweeper refills. For my floors of course.
- Swiffer duster refill. I dust my coffee table and side table.
- Paper towels. I use paper towels to clean my mirror, coffee table, and bathroom.
- Barkeepers. This is the best to clean stainless steel pots and your sink!
99% of the time, my cleaning list consists of 10 items. Pretty easy right? I’m curious to see how long your list is, let me know in the comments. Also, let me know what your number is after you follow step #3 and prioritize :).
#4 – plan & track your trips
Planning your trips is essential to staying within your budget. I say this all the time because it’s so important. Plan, plan, and plan!
There a few reasons why planning your trips are so important.
- You’ll only buy what you can afford based on your budget.
- You won’t spend more than you have to because you know exactly what you need.
- You will be less tempted to buy other things because you’re focused on getting what’s on your list.
When it comes to the planning process. I suggest you refer back to your prioritized household items list.
Type your household items list and make it look pretty. Also, you want to add the price next to each item. The prices for these items don’t really change so you’ll have a good idea of how much you’ll spend. Don’t enter the sale price, if it’s on sale that day, even better!
Next, print your list and note what you need to buy. Don’t forget the quantity.
I plan for three months at a time. This means that when I plan to buy my household items, I plan to buy products that will last me for about three months.
My weekly household items budget is $8.75/week which means that my 3 month budget is $8.75×12=$105. This number is a lot more reasonable, right?
Lastly, you’ll want to make sure you track what you’ve spent.
Easy enough right? All you have to do is after you go shopping, enter how much you’ve spent in your spending tracker.
This step is really important because aside from doing your best to plan, it’s possible you’ve spent more than originally planned.
So enter how much you spent and understand how much you have left in your budget.
how to save money on household items
If you follow the 4 steps above, I know you will successfully budget for household items. In addition to creating a budget, here are 10 tips that will always help you save money and stay within your budget.
- Buy less. You don’t need 10 different cleaners! I can guarantee you can probably cut down your list by almost 50%. Get creative if you have to. It’s all about spending less money and most importantly, not spending more than you have to.
- Buy what’s on sale. If something is on sale and you’re actually getting a deal. Stock up! Don’t just buy 1 or 2, buy 5 or 10! It may look like you’re going over your budget but you’re not because down the road, you won’t be spending the money.
- Buy private label. Don’t be afraid of private label if you’re not used to it. Remember that national brand items (Tide, Colgate, Lysol, Clorox, Charmin) are expensive because you pay for the advertising costs too. I usually keep it 50/50.
- Make your own cleaners. I create my own all-purpose cleaner using 50% white distilled vinegar and 50% purified water and use it for everything. Check out other ways to make your own cleaners on YouTube!
- Use reusable containers. This will save you a lot of money when it comes to plastic bags. I still buy plastic bags but they last me a really long time because I use my reusable containers a lot more.
- Use reusable towels. I use microfiber towels to clean my countertops, stove, and refrigerator. If you’re not a fan of microfiber towels there are other reusable towel alternatives. This will save you a lot of money on paper towels! I still buy paper towels but I spend a lot less now.
- Buy in bulk or large count packs. Buying in bulk will always save you money. Make sure to take advantage of it. I don’t have a Costco or Sam’s Club membership so I buy large count packs at Target and/or Walmart in order to save money.
- Always keep 2-3 products on hand. This will prevent you from having to go to the store and spending money you don’t have to! Don’t be tempted to buy that new scent of whatever or that dress you spot on your way to checkout. Don’t do it! 🙂
- Buy online. Aside from the convenience and time saver. You again won’t be tempted to buy things you don’t need.
If you want to learn how to budget for household items, all you have to do is follow the four steps below.
I know that you will always stick to your budget and ensure you’re not spending more than you have to by following these steps.
In addition to creating a budget, follow the 10 steps above that are guaranteed to always save you money.