20 unusual ways to save money: Ditch the expensive cleaning supplies

Over the years, we've bought into the idea that we need a whole arsenal of expensive cleaning supplies in order to keep our homes spotless but it ain't necessarily so. In fact, many of the products we add to our grocery lists every week are just plain unnecessary, not to mention hard on our wallets. With that in mind, here are some of the worst money wasters and the cheaper (and often more environmentally friendly) alternatives.

Glass cleaner and paper towels - in my humble opinion - and I've been washing windows for a good many years - there's nothing like a generous pour of vinegar in a pail of hot water to get the job done. Then wipe dry with old tea towels. Hey, if tea towels are good enough for your glass ware, they can certainly handle windows. If you don't have any old tea towels, pick up a few at the dollar store for a buck each. Try a spray bottle containing water and vinegar for smaller jobs like mirrors. For more on cleaning with vinegar, check out How To Clean Windows with Vinegar and Vinegar Tips.

Disposable dusters and mop cloths - Use once then add to the landfill doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. I use a piece of an old tea towel for dusting and I'm a card carrying member of the bucket and mop brigade. It may take a little more muscle and time but I consider it time well spent. If you have one of those Swiffer mops - those ads snared me too! - consider buying a couple of washable micro fiber cloths to replace the throw-aways. These will pick up the dust and debris from your kitchen floor just as well as the disposable cloths and you can get them for $1 a piece at the dollar store.