Don’t forget to include cleaning supplies and toiletries in your 3 month supply! I’ve found this to be especially helpful when it comes to things like toilet paper. That’s not something you want to run out of – ever! The same is true for diapers in this household.
Considering Commercial Cleaners
I can’t say I’m perfect at having a 3 month supply of everything always, but let me tell you a little secret about cleaners. The cleaners at the store are seriously overpriced. If you buy them at the grocery store, you will pay even more than what Walmart would charge.
Here’s what I do. Since my main concern is saving money and not so much “being green”, I use commercial cleaners. They come in regular-sized bottles as concentrates. I have one bottle of tub/shower cleaner and one of general disinfectant. I also have a couple of good spray bottles. It only takes about 2 oz. of concentrate to make a whole bottle of cleaner.
Since I originally paid about 10 dollars each for the bottles of concentrate, that means I get really effective cleaners for only 63 cents a bottle! Just to compare, the tub/shower cleaner I use works better than Kaboom, which costs almost 4 dollars for a bottle. That’s a huge difference! The nice thing about the concentrates is that they last forever. I don’t remember when I got mine (a couple of years ago, maybe?), but they aren’t even half gone.
I got mine at the Don Aslett store in Idaho. If you don’t live in Idaho, then I’d look for something similar online.
Update in 2019: I can actually buy the Don Aslett cleaners on Amazon! They charge for shipping and are a little more expensive than 7 years ago, but they are still a lot cheaper than buying cleaners at Walmart.
If you do want to be more “green” and cheap, then try making your own cleaners. I’ll be posting more about those in the future, since I am currently testing some cleaners in my kitchen. I currently make “Windex” using a recipe I found online.
For laundry soap, I currently use the big tub of powder from the store. I only fill the scoop about 1/3 of the way full, and since I do about 3-4 loads a week, I’ve had the same tub for almost a year now. Everything gets clean, so I’m happy. Update in 2019: I’m using the same soap as before! I now do 5-6 loads of laundry a week, but that same tub still lasts for many months.
As for toiletries, I can’t give much advice on saving money. You already have a favorite shampoo; I’m sure of it. I use a fairly cheap shampoo and conditioner, don’t wear makeup, and don’t obsessively brush my teeth 3X a day since I don’t have braces and don’t need to. I get the big container of Softsoap (off brand, of course) and do refills. Cheap razors are my mainstay, and I only shave once a week. I don’t have a membership to any place like Sam’s/Costco, but I hear that these things are cheaper there in giant bottles/ packages. If you have a membership, go for it! Shampoo doesn’t expire…I don’t think.
Maybe cleaning won’t be my #1 priority at the end of the world, but at least I’ll have clean hair. 🙂