Real Simple has a list of 101 New Uses for Everyday Things. It shows you ways to use household basics like coffee filters or lemon juice around the house, thus potentially saving you money in the long run. If cheap vinegar can do it, no need to buy the expensive specialty product for the same job.
Truth be told, there aren’t a ton of new ideas here, but I did pick up a few tips, such as:
Newspaper: Deodorize food containers. Stuff a balled-up piece of newspaper into a lunch box or thermos, seal it, and let sit overnight.
Velcro: Prevent a jacket or a blouse from gaping open. Sew small pieces of Velcro between the buttons to create a smooth surface.
Vinegar: Remove stubborn price tags or stickers. Paint them with several coats of vinegar, let the liquid soak in for five minutes, then wipe away the residue.
Vinegar: Kill weeds between cracks in paving stones and sidewalks. Fill a spray bottle with straight vinegar and spray multiple times. (Be careful not to get any on the surrounding grass, as it will kill that too.)
Baking soda and vinegar: Unclog a drain. Pour 1/2 to 1 cup of baking soda down the drain, then slowly pour 1/2 to 1 cup of white vinegar after it. Let sit for five minutes (covered, if possible). Follow with a gallon of boiling water.
I’m going to try that last one next time a drain is clogged instead of buying Draino. If it works, it should save me a little bit of money over time. That said, I’m not convinced all these ideas are worth the trouble. Is it really better to use olive oil to remove make-up when you could buy a $1 bottle of make-up remover, or just use soap? I’m not sure. But the article is worth a read-through, at the very least.