Back to Basics

Maybe it's because I'm English but I'm horrified at some of the frugal tips I've read here (most are brillant!), like "dry washing outside, don't use dryer". I only dry indoors, if I desperately need something in a hurry and it's pouring rain outside.

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Or the recent "Swiffer type" floor cleaner mops, what's wrong with the good ol' floor mop and bucket? If I could get down there, I'd still be washing my floors by hand, much more satisfying and corners and furniture legs get a little wash down while I'm at it. I know many ladies work full-time outside (and inside!) the home, but ~ come on, back to basics please.

Liza, in France, from England.

Editor's Note: Please feel free to leave feedback whenever you think a back to basics approach is more appropriate. All tips and articles are up for discussion and we all learn from one another.

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June 14, 20040 found this helpful

I would tend to agree with Liza. When you have to bother to make "short cuts" for your "short cuts" is it really worth it? Then I realized that Liza moved from England to France... do we really want to take her advice? (Just kidding)

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June 14, 20040 found this helpful

I couldnt agree more!!!!People here keep spending more and more to be "more efficient" and quicker at housework and then have to work longer hours so they can pay for all those extra gadgets! I,too, get much more satisfaction from handwashing the floor,etc..but I am not without empathy for the women who work outside the home and are short on time.In that case ,a balance can be achieved.

I am still using baking soda to clean about 100 different things in my home!(it is sooo underestimated lol) I use as much basic cleaning stuff I possibly can.Its cheaper and less toxic.

No, its not just because your english that you feel this way, the world needs to slow down and stop to smell the roses.

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June 14, 20040 found this helpful

Everybody has different likes and dislikes, opinions, and lifestyles. We are all seeking to find and share ideas and ways of being frugal and to get the most satisfacion from our money and time. Because of this I think that there are many ways of doing things. I live in a big city and work full time. I would be the laughing stock of my city if I tried to hang my clothing in the back yard of a high-rise building. I could dry them in the inside of my apartment but I choose to spend a quarter to dry my weekly wash. I do other thngs to save money and live frugally. They probably would be just small things for you but I get a lot of satisfaction of what I do to save money and time.

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June 15, 20040 found this helpful

Good onya Liza! I used to buy a lot of cleaning lotions and potions, spray polishes, scented/antibacterial cleaners and try new things when they came out. Over a period of time I realised they were all a con to get us to part with our money. In theory, for basic cleaning all that's needed to clean in the home is water, a rag and elbow grease! For stubborn stains/marks I would add a smear of mild abrasive such as bicarb or Gumption cleanser on my rag. The advertised, (which we pay for in the final price of the product!), wonder cleaners are no better than the above and antibacterial products are harmful, helping to breed resistant superbugs. Anyway it is neither possible nor necessary to 'sterilise' surfaces in the home - this is another manufactured need by the advertisers! My recycled spray bottle with 2-3 tbs of ammonia, a couple of tsp of washing up detergent and water is all I need to clean most surfaces in the home except for fine wood furniture. On that I use good quality furniture wax, the solid type - lasts for ages.

Have to disagree with you on the Swiffer type mops though! My Sabco mop - the simple kind with the pad attached with velcro is a miracle for quick thorough floor cleaning. I'm still using the original 2 pads I bought with it by covering them with a pinned on towelling face washer which then goes in the wash. My other piece of 'modern' cleaning equipment is microfibre window cloths, with a plain water spray bottle. Much quicker and less streaky than any of the window cleaning preparations I have tried. And the cloths can be washed and reused again and again.

Regards

Jo

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June 15, 20040 found this helpful

I agree! I really hate to think of all of the chemicals in and out of the home around my 4 children. I clean almost everything with baking soda, vinegar and sometimes lysol if I need to really disinfect something. We even use vinegar to kill weeds instead of all those dangerous chemicals. It's cheap, easy, and works well.

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June 18, 20040 found this helpful

The only tips that "horrify" me are ones that are illegal, unsafe, or unethical. Otherwise, I think they are all valid, for various people at various times and for various reasons. What seems basic and obvious to one person may be a whole new concept to somebody else. And if we criticize or belittle the tips sent in by others, we're losing a chance to learn and work together to improve as a group.

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June 23, 20040 found this helpful

I also agree with liza, probably because I'm European aswell (Belgian actually), I guess we sort of have the same habbits. I still work 4 days a week and have 3 children (between 6 and 9) and still do the whole household in the "oldfashioned" way. I also cook fresh every day, no junk food for us !! Of course everybody has different customs and as long as you feel comfy with them, stick to them and just use tips that are usefull to you or adjust them to your lifestyle. I must admit I do feel proud when I see how other people use all these "convenience-goods" and don't get as much done as I do on my own without help from anybody and for much less money. It takes a bit more time but with good planning and routines, it is rewarding both in saving money AND the enviroment. Something that usually goes hand in hand. Just my humble opinion of course.....

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