Today, I was doing a bit of grocery shopping at my local Save-on-Foods store, and I saw that there is now a “Green” Windex Multi-Surface with Vinegar cleaner. Price: $3.99. In essence, SC Johnson is marketing vinegar and added a few chemicals so it can be used streak free with paper towels. My question: how much more expensive is this than using plain old vinegar with newsprint (to avoid streaks and leave a nice sheen on glass)?
At the same Save-on-Foods, I could buy 4 liters of white vinegar for $5.29. As I use a 50/50 water/vinegar mix to clean my windows, this would give me 8 liters of window cleaner. A volume equivalent to the Windex cleaner (765ml) would thus have cost me a fraction of a cent more than two quarters ($0.506). In other words, the Windex Multi-Surface with Vinegar cleaner was $3.48 more expensive than using plain old vinegar and water. Throw in the added saving of paying less sales tax and the saved cost of paper towels, and you will easily save more than $4 per bottle of “green” Windex.
Yes, it is possible to be both green and frugal at the same time.
P.S. I am still refining how to best clean the toilet. Yesterday, I found a nice way to do it. I pour in two cups of vinegar and sprinkle into the toilet bowl some baking soda until it begins to fizz. I then clean the toilet with a brush. It works like a charm. The toilet is sparkling clean. Next time, I will calculate whether this is cheaper than using toilet cleaner.