How many different cleaning products are on the supermarket shelves? I haven't counted but if you put Household Cleaning in MySupermarket for one supermarket it comes up with 249, put in Laundry and there are 300 products, Dishwashing has 62 listed. I'm so glad I don't have to search through all that lot.
I limit the number of things I use for cleaning as it saves money and effort but I'm not keen enough to make all my own - I'd rather be reading.
Bicarb is used for lots of jobs along with Ecover washing up liquid and Ecover Laundry liquid and Washing Soda Crystals, plus white vinegar.
I bulk buy bicarb and have just ordered a big tub via ebay. Last time I bought a big amount - about 5+ years ago, it came in a huge bag and I then had to go out and buy a big lock and lock box to store it in which rather defeated the saving money aim! That box is now in use for craft stuff so I made a point of getting a tub this time.
Washing soda crystals come from Wilkinsons where they are £1 for 1.5 kilo, even cheaper than on line I think. I like Ecover products as they don't irritate my skin and don't have a strong smell, last a long while and no nasty chemicals to upset the septic tank. Now I have room to store things I've just bought Ecover non-bio laundry liquid in bulk - enough to last me well over a year but much cheaper than supermarket prices - if they actually even have it in stock when I need it. I use a tiny bit of Ecover liquid and add a good scoop of soda crystals. I can't stand the smell of washing powders - so strong. Some peoples houses smell so much of soap powder that I have to change clothes when I get home! We were given a Christmas present once that must have been in a cupboard with soap powder, we had to stand it out in the garage all winter before it lost it's really strong smell.
I thought I'd found somewhere for cheap but good quality white vinegar that could be used for cooking and cleaning but then with delivery costs it was more expensive than buying from a supermarket. The only place with 5L of Sarsons was Ocado but then you have to have £40 worth of stuff to get a delivery. Some of the cheap vinegar isn't good enough quality for preserving, there's not enough acid in it. So cheap supermarket own brand for cleaning and Sarsons for pickling.
We have very hard water in most parts of Suffolk causing lime-scale - it's a real nuisance and even bicarb made into a paste and left on doesn't always shift it. Ecover Limescale remover works well.
I knit dishcloths for doing the washing up and use rags - which are quite often old tea-towels torn in half or old dish cloths that have gone grey - for cleaning jobs.