A lot of advertising dollars go into making us think that the newest floor cleaner, bleach detergent or dust repellent is going to start a cleaning revolution in our homes. We'll never believe how easy it is to keep a clean house, now that we have Product X!
And it's possible. A truly innovative product comes along every now and then. But the majority of the cleaning products we use aren't really that different from each other, which means -- unless you really like the way something smells, or a particular product really does make your life easier -- you're better off going generic.
Bleach, detergents and oven cleaners all come in generic versions that sometimes mean savings of a dollar or more every time you buy. If you're really feeling thrifty, you could skip the household-cleaner aisle altogether and look into alternative methods of using the ingredients themselves: Most household tasks can be accomplished with vinegar, baking soda and a little time and effort.